For many years, Master Power Brakes (and every other company offering disc brake conversions) has simply used the General Motors thought process for converting drum brakes to disc brakes on the 64-72 GM A-body, 67-69 GM F-body and the 64-74 GM X-body vehicles. We aren’t saying what General Motors did was wrong, but we felt it was time to re-visit this system and approach it with a new line of thinking for our Legend Series.
We have been asked a number of times if there is such a thing as a manual disk brake conversion kit? The simple answer is yes. The power booster component almost exclusively affects how your brake pedal "feels" to you under foot.
In a situation where your classic car has multiple drivers, some of whom are used to the "foot feel" of power brakes - maybe they spend most of their time driving a newer car or light truck - a power-assisted brake pedal can makes it easier to go between vehicles. The power booster allows you to maintain relative consistency with how much pressure to apply when stopping either of the two vehicles.
You DO NOT NEED to upgrade or convert to a power assisted apply system, however, when making the upgrade to disc from drum brakes. Recently, we got an email from a customer planning on making that drum to disc brake conversion but interested in sticking with a manual set-up.
"Dave" has a '66 GTO he uses as a daily driver and wanted the enhanced performance and stopping ability of disc brakes. But as the sole driver of the car, Dave was comfortable with the pedal effort the manual brakes currently required and wanted to keep that same level of brake feel.
Recently, we wrote about converting manual to power brakes whether your car originally came from the factory with drum or disc brakes. We received several follow up questions from people with drum brakes looking to upgrade to better braking - but trying hard to stay on a budget.
Since the hardware at the wheels and brake lines can remain untouched after converting to a power assisted pedal, we were asked, "Can I just add a booster and new master cylinder to my car?" Essentially the questioners were asking whether the booster master conversion kit or the complete brake conversion kit was their best solution. Of course, like the answer to a lot of questions, it depends!
Topics: Tips and Info, Disc Brake Conversion Kit, disc brake technology, tech tip, rear disc brake conversion, front disc brake conversion, Brake Boosters, Disc Brakes vs Drum Brakes, Better Classic Car Braking
I recently overheard an exchange taking place at a car show about whether or not you could make drum brakes into "power brakes."
"Aren't drum brakes always manual and disc brakes always power?" the one fellow asked.
"That's right, it's why they have disc brake conversion systems," a second fellow chimed in.
"Whoa - not so fast!" I said, as I stopped to jump into their discussion for a second.
Topics: How To Series, Tips and Info, Master Power Brakes, disc brake technology, tech tip, rear disc brake conversion, front disc brake conversion, Brake Boosters, Drum Brake Upgrade Kit, Disc Brakes vs Drum Brakes
Here’s a scary scenario we all dread as drivers. You’re cruising down the highway, wind flowing through your hair and “Born to be Wild” pumping from the stereo. Up ahead traffic begins to slow and you gently tap the brakes. To your horror, nothing happens! The pedal is stiff as a plank of wood. You have to practically stand on the brake to slow the vehicle down, but it does so eventually. Phew!
This post on vacuum pressure is the first of our 4-part series in which we take a deep dive into diagnosing the most frequent causes and solutions related to a hard brake pedal.