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Power brake conversion

bigserve

New member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
2
Location
Wichita, KS
Corvette
1966 Nassau Blue coupe
I have a '66 I'd like to convert to power brakes. A few questions:
What changes in the lines will I have to make?
Why is it so hard to find a master cylinder for a '66?
Would it be easier to use a setup from a '65 or a '67?
 

Nutmegger

Active member
Joined
Mar 5, 2003
Messages
34
Location
Atlanta Georgia
I have a '66 I'd like to convert to power brakes. A few questions:
What changes in the lines will I have to make?
Why is it so hard to find a master cylinder for a '66?
Would it be easier to use a setup from a '65 or a '67?

I did the conversion to a 66 using a 67 system with power booster.

Don't know what the issues are with availability of 65 and 66 systems but the dual cylinder on the 67 seems a good safety factor to me. Master culinders seldon just "Fail" but I had a line break once on a college car , read that junker, with a one chamber master cylinder. It was while I was on a hill and it was not pretty although I escaped w/o injury or accident.

Anyway as to your question about lines. I have to think here because this was done awhile ago.

The line that runs under the front crossmember can be retained, the long line from front to rear has to be changed. This one is a stinker and some folks say ya gotta remove the body. I did not remove the body..repeat I did not remove or lift the body. The new line is not dead nuts in the factory location but I was not about to life the body up. I think I made a slightly different configuration clamp(s) to attach the line to the frame. The issue is that you have a hell of a time with the bolts that hold the line to the frame in the original location if the body is still installed. I guess the important point is you can do this w/o removing / lifting the body. It won't be factory perfect but like I said..not about to lift the body

You need the later model distribution block for up front...it is required because it separates the circuits ofr the front and the rear brakes. and you need all the lines out of the master cyl. to the distrib block for whatever system you choose to use. The 67 setup I had had all the lines I needed and everything just fit into place.

In the back you can replace the lines if you want to, I did because mine were very old...original to the car. If I recall right it is not necessary though.

I don't think I have covered every little item necessary to do this. It was a long time ago when I did the job and the car is not currently garaged here so can't just look at what I did.

Also ..........I just remembered... you need to change the position of the shaft that goes from the brake pedal into the master cylinder / booster. The non power single chamber master cyls and the power, dual chamber 67 cyls use different locating holes for the shaft.
 

bigserve

New member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
2
Location
Wichita, KS
Corvette
1966 Nassau Blue coupe
You were reading my mind

Thanks for the info. While I try to keep my cars as stock as possible, I had strongly considered switching to the dual-chamber '67 setup. I take braking seriously and, like you, the single-chamber master cylinder has always bothered me.
Plus, it will make finding a master cylinder easier and less costly, I believe.
This car is no longer my daily driver (retired about three years ago) so I'll be able to take my time while combating the long brake line.
Again, many thanks.









I did the conversion to a 66 using a 67 system with power booster.

Don't know what the issues are with availability of 65 and 66 systems but the dual cylinder on the 67 seems a good safety factor to me. Master culinders seldon just "Fail" but I had a line break once on a college car , read that junker, with a one chamber master cylinder. It was while I was on a hill and it was not pretty although I escaped w/o injury or accident.

Anyway as to your question about lines. I have to think here because this was done awhile ago.

The line that runs under the front crossmember can be retained, the long line from front to rear has to be changed. This one is a stinker and some folks say ya gotta remove the body. I did not remove the body..repeat I did not remove or lift the body. The new line is not dead nuts in the factory location but I was not about to life the body up. I think I made a slightly different configuration clamp(s) to attach the line to the frame. The issue is that you have a hell of a time with the bolts that hold the line to the frame in the original location if the body is still installed. I guess the important point is you can do this w/o removing / lifting the body. It won't be factory perfect but like I said..not about to lift the body

You need the later model distribution block for up front...it is required because it separates the circuits ofr the front and the rear brakes. and you need all the lines out of the master cyl. to the distrib block for whatever system you choose to use. The 67 setup I had had all the lines I needed and everything just fit into place.

In the back you can replace the lines if you want to, I did because mine were very old...original to the car. If I recall right it is not necessary though.

I don't think I have covered every little item necessary to do this. It was a long time ago when I did the job and the car is not currently garaged here so can't just look at what I did.

Also ..........I just remembered... you need to change the position of the shaft that goes from the brake pedal into the master cylinder / booster. The non power single chamber master cyls and the power, dual chamber 67 cyls use different locating holes for the shaft.
 

Nutmegger

Active member
Joined
Mar 5, 2003
Messages
34
Location
Atlanta Georgia
Thanks for the info. While I try to keep my cars as stock as possible, I had strongly considered switching to the dual-chamber '67 setup. I take braking seriously and, like you, the single-chamber master cylinder has always bothered me.
Plus, it will make finding a master cylinder easier and less costly, I believe.
This car is no longer my daily driver (retired about three years ago) so I'll be able to take my time while combating the long brake line.
Again, many thanks.


Glad to help. As I said the long line is not a big deal and the more I think about it I may have actually used the original mounting positions and clamps but left one clamp out cause it was just impossible. I recall that I had searched for some shorter bolts to hold the clamps down and I even took an old wrench and ground it into a thinner cross section so I could get more clearance.

If this is not a job that "Has to be done in a day so I can get to work tomorrow" you should be able to do the work on the long hose. I also now remember I had to do some temporary bending to snake the long hose over or was it under or was it thru the corssmember? I do recall that a little bending here and there was necessary. It was not a quality of fit issue from the ventor it was just necessary to install the darn thing. Once it was "in place" I just rebent it to the original config. / shape. I should add I was working on the floor with the car on stands so that added to the need to do a little creative bending until the long line was in place.

Good Luck ...Glad to Help
 

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