Installing power brakes

Discussion in '1955-1959' started by garrison, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. garrison

    garrison Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    17
    My 57 is pretty stock except for lowering it a few inches. But I'd like to have power brakes. The kit says it just bolts in place of the old one. But you need to replace the transmission cross member. However, it looks as if the old one is riveted with great big rivets! I assume I'd have to drill them out. Anyone done this? Suggestions? And also, if you've done this yourself, do you think the power brakes work well or should I consider just replacing the stock master cylinder with a dual master cylinder?
    Any and all suggestions appreciated!
     
  2. Bill Hanlon

    Bill Hanlon Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,535
    Location:
    Fredericksburg TX
    I HAVE a 52 that came to me with power disk brakes and of course a dual chamber master cylinder. It has a bunch of plumbing including a proportioning valve and two residual valves.

    I HAD a '57 that I added front disk brakes to. I used a dual chamber master cylinder with no booster. I think it was from an early 70s Mustang. The residual valves were built into the master cylinder so no extra plumbing.

    Given the choice, I'd fly without the booster and all the extra plumbing.
     
  3. garrison

    garrison Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    17
    Bill,
    That's really interesting that you shared that. From talking to a guy at Classic Chevy Parts, he actually said he didn't think I'd notice that big of a difference in a stock setup and recommended just switching to a dual chamber. I'm leaning that way.
     
  4. coilover

    coilover Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
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    2,493
    Location:
    Plano US
    There is no rule where a different master cylinder has to be mounted in the factory position. On some with bigger transmissions (automatic) and with column shifter we move the master cylinder back away from all the congestion. A longer actuator rod is needed and a new service hole is made in the floor pan. On my lowered and VERY crowded 34 Chevy coupe the booster and master cylinder are in the TRUNK where it is easy to service. Do a search on "remote mounted booster/mc". We have even used the 60-62 Chevy pickup hydraulic clutch set up where the clutch release arm and slave cylinder are on the passenger side of the bell housing giving more room on the drivers side. Get outside the box for a few thoughts here.
     

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