Converting old, manual brakes to power-assisted brakes is such a significant upgrade in drivability - it makes sense that this is one of the most frequent purchases we see here at Master Power Brakes. Due to differences in sizing requirements for components like brake boosters and master cylinders, you may really need some help sorting out available options to optimize your brake components based on your vehicle. That's where the tech pros here at Master Power Brakes come in.
We recently had a question posed by a customer with a half-ton, 1968 Chevy C10. Old trucks have their own unique requirements for more stopping power. When thinking about stopping a truck you need to realize that it’s not just the weight of vehicle, but there can also be cargo in the back.
Our customer's truck came from the factory and has always been maintained with manual disc brakes; however, he was looking to upgrade to power assisted disc brakes. The customer's question was whether our 9" single diaphragm booster was the right component for his upgrade job on the Chevy C10 pickup. Although it would work, we recommended instead purchasing our BM1755, an 8" dual diaphragm booster which provides more assist.
For those less than familiar with some of the classic brake terminology, "assist" really references the additional help (read here: lack of force) needed when pushing down on the pedal. To be clear, more assist is not always the answer to better braking. Take the example of a car (or truck) that has drum brakes on both the front and the rear. In that case, getting a booster that provided too much assist (like the suggestion above which, with dual diaphragms provides almost twice the assist) effectively makes the brake pedal feel too much like an on-off switch.
The ideal, or optimized, size configuration for your vehicle's power assisted brakes is one which gives the driver good modulation. Modulation refers to having a range of stopping capabilities; it is essentially the feeling that you can alternatively softly apply the brakes, or in an emergency, apply the brakes very swiftly.
Have a brake component sizing question of your own? We love to hear from our customers and we are always happy to share our best advice on optimizing the safety and enjoyment of your classic ride. Give us a call or shoot us a line.