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 Power Brakes

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wydtrac

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PostSubject: Power Brakes   Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:04 am

The power brakes on my '59 recently stopped working. The brakes work fine but the power assist is gone. Does anyone have any experience with the check valve in the vacuum line to the booster? How likely is it that this valve is the problem? How can I test it?
Thanks
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CATBIRD



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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:01 am

wydtrac.....May be a little crude test, but take it off the car, hold your finger over the tube that goes to the booster, and suck on the tube that goes to the engine until your finger sticks. If your finger still sticks when you stop sucking, it's good. If not, replace it. Good luck finding an original replacement! Fortunately you can usually find a newer type on E-Bay or maybe NAPA. The newer ones are usually plastic. Hope this helps......John
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59vista

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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:16 pm

Unless the valve is clogged the boost brakes should still work - the valve is there to ensure that you have vacuum when the engine is off, or in case of WOT (for as long as the reservoir on the booster will last that is). So if you can blow air through the valve it is properbly not the valve that is the problem. You can take the hose off at the booster while the engine is at idle, and check for vacuum with your finger. If no vacuum check hoses for cracks and valve. Valve should let air through in one direction only (from booster towards engine), and block the other way.
If there is vacuum at the booster, and no boost, there is a problem with the booster itself.
Unfortunatly my car does not have the power brakes, but it is essentially the same system as in all other cars that has a booster...

Hope you can use this..
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manicmechanic

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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:24 am

not helpful, but you can hate my grandfather for the power brakes on your cars. He designed them.

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59 Blue Bomber



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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:15 pm

59Vista is correct. Mine did the same thing. I found that if a hose is not only cracked, but if they are brittle, they don't hold a seal as well as a soft and pliable hose will. A little vaseline inside the hose and on a clean, rust free nipple will help with those small leaks. The canisters have a tendancy to collect moisture on the bottom, causing pinholes in them too. Good Luck!
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wydtrac

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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:36 pm

The valve blocks air one way and not the other. I have vacuum at the booster.
So, it must be the booster needs a rebuild?
Any good suggestions as to who can do this correctly and at a resonable cost?
Thanks for all your ideas.

dlh
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59vista

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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:26 pm

I have a description of rebuild procedure in my shop manual - it might help. I could make a scan, but you need to check the type of booster, since apparently they used 2 types (bendix and (i don't remember)).

But first you might want to check the booster for vacuum leaks, that may be fixed with a little welding or even solder. This can be done by applying a little air pressure, and checking for leaks using sopy water and checking for bubbles. As far as vacuum goes it only takes a very small leak to break the vacuum.

It could be the diaphram inside the booster, in which case you will need a new one. I never did repair one, since it was always cheaper to get another one from the junkyard.
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manicmechanic

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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:08 pm

59vista wrote:
I could make a scan, but you need to check the type of booster, since apparently they used 2 types (bendix and (i don't remember)).

Moraine.
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CATBIRD



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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:35 pm

wydtrac.....The check valve and the tank are there only to provide vacuum for the brakes if the engine dies. A leak of the tank or the hoses, if big enough, can cause you to have no brakes. Since you already checked the hose from the carburator to the check valve and the valve to the booster, remove the hose to the tank and block it off. You should still have power with the engine running. If not, then the problem is with the booster. There were two different suppliers of boosters for 1959. They are distinguished by the way that the large housing attaches to the backing plate. The Bendix booster is held together with screws, while the Delco-Moraine is pushed on and turned to engage in notches around the edge, bayonet style. I have seen rebuild kits from time to time for the Bendix units, and the shop manual has a good description of how to rebuild them. The manual is also good for the Delco-Moraine units, however I've never seen a rebuild kit for them. The Delco unit has a large rubber diaphram that only the guys that rebuild them for a living seem to have. It would seem that your choices are to find a kit and do it yourself if you have the Bendix booster, or send it out if you have either. I've delt with two specialists for these. Booster Dewy, you can find in Hemings Motor News. The last time I had a Delco unit done I used Midwest Power Products in Morris Il. (815)942-0550. I was very happy with the results.
Just a bit of trivia if anyone wants to indulge an old man. The shop manual states that the Bendix unit was painted black for identification. It states that the Delco-Moraine unit was gold but it doesn't say whether it was painted or plated. I checked this out with an expert on 1959's and was told that they were indeed plated gold iridate, but some of the assembly plants painted over them in black. POCI's position for judging is that either is correct. Enough babbling!.....John
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59 Blue Bomber



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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:03 am

John-Interesting about the gold iridate being painted over..The booster on the Blue Bomber is black with a hint of iridate underneath. I wonder why they would take the time to paint them, it seems there are a lot of parts that were never painted, i.e. propellor shafts, u-joints, ball joints and axle center sections. I guess maybe it was aesthetics? What are your thoughts?? Funny, I am finding that almost nothing was replaced on this car, not that anything is failing, but rather starting (50 years later) to show it's actual vintage. Kinda neat though, I guess if it's not broke don't fix it!
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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:49 am

59 Blue Bomber.....All I know is that you can easily drive yourself crazy trying to figure some of this out if you are trying to have a correct restoration. It makes no sense to add an extra step by painting over them. It would have to be done by Fisher Body, and before assembly, or there would be overspray on the firewall. Fisher installed them before the body drop. It's funny, but we tend to think of these cars as being identical, however there were many suppliers of the same parts and they wern't always identical. A couple examples; my convertible (Kansas City) has a gas door that was stamped with a curve for the finger pull; my parts car (Wilmington, Del.) has a tab welded on for a pull. Kansas City grill mesh was riveted on, Wilmington was screwed on. Go figure! One thing I can say, is that paint holds up better than the gold iridate. After 4 years the booster on my 1967 Firebird is getting corroded, just from humidity. Like you though, I find this stuff interesting. I toured the BOP assembly plant in Linden, N.J. in 1965, and have been facinated by all the logistics and historical implications ever since......John
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59 Blue Bomber



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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:35 am

John- I feel bad I Hijacked this thread..Maybe we should start a thread about these production anomolies..perhaps in the restorarion section. I'm sure others have questions and comments regarding this. I am interested in your stories about you B-O-P plant visit. Chad
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wydtrac

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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:45 pm

Looks like my booster is not boosting anymore. Everything else checks out fine. Thanks for the input and sources for getting it rebuilt. Looks like a winter project for me.
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wydtrac

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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:56 am

I was planning to ship my booster out to be serviced but after studying the repair manual decided it didn't look to hard so I jumped into it.
I was right, it is not too difficult to disassemble the booster. After taking the outer case off I believe I have found my problem. The diaphram looks brand new. But inside the outer case, laying in the bottom of it was lots of crud. Rusty water and grease or mud. The outside of the outer case was also rusty in the same place. I sand blasted it and got all the crud and rust off off it then painted it with rust inhibiting paint. It cleaned up pretty good. While I was at it I am rebuilding the Master Cylinder as well.
Does anyone have a picture of an original booster for this car so I can make it look correct? (1959 Star Chief 4dr. Sedan)
If it still doesn't work after all this I will have to send it out, but thought it was worth the effort to pull it apart first. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thanks
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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:21 pm

wydtrac.....Check 5 posts up for the colors. Black, gold, or black over gold, doesn't seem to matter. I did mine gold just because there isn't a whole lot of colorfulness in the engine compartment to begin with......John
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wydtrac

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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:24 am

John, I did see that post but was not sure if gold would be correct. I have seen gold ones before and like the splash of color to the engine compartment.
What paint did you use to paint yours gold?
Or did you have it plated?

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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:32 am

wydtrac.....The first time I did it I primed it with light gray primer. I then covered it with the gold carburetor paint that Eastwood sells. Then I misted it with a light green metalic (got it at Home Depot.) Held the can about 3 feet away, and sprayed very quickly and lightly. It actually looked like plating with a little patina. When I got it back from the rebuild it was painted black. The rebuilder would have plated it gold for me, but by the time I made up my mind, it was done and shipped already. This time I used a Metalic gold from ??? Looks close to plating. I'll go out to the workshop tomorrow and let you know what brand and number......John
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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:12 am

wydtrac.....The paint is RUST-OLEUM METALLIC. The color is #7270 "GOLD RUSH METALLIC." Not quite iradate but close enough......John
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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:47 am

Thanks John, I'll check it out.
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wydtrac

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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:11 pm

OK, now I'm wishing I had sent it out to be rebuilt!
Not really, it's pretty simple to get apart and clean it.
However, I have discovered my problem.
THe power piston diaphram has a pin hole in it.
I'll assume this is my vacuum leak.
It looks easy enough to replace it if I can find one.
Anyone have any ideas on who might have one?
I'll try Ames but I doubt they will have it.
Thanks for any thoughts.
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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:48 am

wydtrac.....The only places that seems to have access to the diaphram are the places that rebuild them. I feel your pain. Took mine apart and put it back together 4 times before I gave up and sent it out. Never did find a hole in it, but rebuilder said that was the problem. The rebuilder I used is listed a couple posts up from here, but there are several if you check Hemmings......John
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wydtrac

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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:28 am

Booster Dewey seems to be a popular choice.
I talked with him yesterday and got a good feeling from our conversation.
He says the reason we cant buy the diaphram is liability issues prevent it.
He has insurance that covers him if anything goes wrong after rebuild, but it does not cover him if he sells the parts. (Only in America!)
I guess I have no choice at this point. He charges $130 plus shipping.
That is actually pretty competitive compared to the others that do it.
Thanks again for all the input on this everyone.
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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:19 am

wydtrac.....Never used him, but he's got a very good reputation in the hobby......John
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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:25 am

Catbird, you said...

CATBIRD wrote:
The manual is also good for the Delco-Moraine units, however I've never seen a rebuild kit for them. The Delco unit has a large rubber diaphram that only the guys that rebuild them for a living seem to have. It would seem that your choices are to find a kit and do it yourself if you have the Bendix booster, or send it out if you have either. I've delt with two specialists for these. Booster Dewy, you can find in Hemings Motor News. The last time I had a Delco unit done I used Midwest Power Products in Morris Il. (815)942-0550. I was very happy with the results.
Do you happen to remember the cost to rebuild your booster and are these guys still around?

I've found the origonal Moraine style booster & master cylinder rebuilt on ebay for $400 (not including shipping) once you return your core.

Moraine booster and master on ebay

My problem is that I'm getting brake fluid leaking back into the booster.  I've rebuilt the master cylinder, replaced it with a new one, and replaced the rubber seals that are on the end of the plunger on the booster and still it leaks back into the booster.  After a couple of pumps of the brake pedal I have brake fluid leaking out the bottom of the booster and the brake pedal is slow to move back up so the pedal can be pushed down again.

I'm out of ideas and I'm very tempted by the offer on ebay but I think its a bit much.

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts and suggestions here...  Thanks!

Michael
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PostSubject: Re: Power Brakes   Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:03 pm

Michael…..Midwest Power Products is advertising in Hemings Motor News so I would guess that they are still in business. I was charged $155 for the rebuild and $16.88 for shipping. As I mentioned before, that did not include plating. I don't remember what it cost me to ship the booster and master cylinder to them, but it was probably about the same. That was in June of 2010.

If you replaced the two seals on the plunger that should prevent fluid from backing into the booster, unless the master cylinder bore is not in good shape. Even if you replaced the entire master cylinder, rebuilders don't always measure the size of the bore after they've honed them smooth. Once the bore has been honed a couple times, they end up too big and need to be sleeved. There are several companies who can sleeve them. I would send your master cylinder along with your booster to whoever you finally choose to do the work. When you call, explain your problem, and ask them to check that out also.

Another possible cause of this is again the large diaphragm leaking. One side is supposed to have a vacuum and the other side is at atmospheric pressure. When you start to press the pedal a valve opens and the pressure helps to reduce the effort needed to slow the car. If the diaphragm is leaking, you could have constant vacuum trying to draw fluid past the plunger (actually called the piston) seals……John
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