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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am doing a "Resto-Mod" on a 1963 Ford Falcon Convertibe with 351W bored and stroked to 414 cu.in. with an AOD trans and 9" rear. Total Cost Involved IFS front end.

I have front disc brakes and rear drum - I have installed a 7" brake booster with dual master cylinder.

When I set the block in the car, I noticed that the valve cover was going to hit the brake booster. I would have to raise the booster significantly to clear valve cover.

I wanted opinions on how it would work without the booster( this is the easiest fix). I suppose I could try it manual and see, but now is the time to rework, if needed.

I was hoping someone had experienced this already

Thanks for you for any and all input.
Joe
 

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Most drag cars use manual brakes that work great, but you must size the MC bore and the pedal ratio correctly for good performance. I prefer manual brakes - but that's just me. A powerful alternative to a vacuum booster would be the slimmer HydroBoost. You need to have an electric or belt-drive power steering pump for that, whether you have PS or not. Day Bresnan (DazeCars) has an example here.

David

Day's setup in his Galaxie. Aerostar hydroboosters are another popular unit that takes Ford MCs:
 

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You can do an electric boosted power brake. Works great. All you have under the hood is the MC the pump can be put anywhere so long as it is lower than the MC.
 

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I have manual brakes on my 63 and it works fine. With the 414ci, I would think depending on cam size would it generate enough vacuum for the booster anyways.
 

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I have a 63' wagon, 289v8.. Total Control Products front suspension setup, and I am running a granada disk brake and drum rear break with a late 70's era master cylinder (2 chamber).. No power assist.
Totally happy with how it works. Stops 200 times better than with factory setup.
 

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I'm also running non-power brakes on my car. It had SSBC 11" front discs on it when I bought it along with the stock rear drums and a dual pot master cylinder and it did fine. I've since replaced the rear with Currie 11" discs so it's now 4 wheel disc and it does even better. It did have a proportioning valve in the system so I left it in when I swapped to the rear disc set-up. I'm not sure if it really does anything since I've played with it a few times and can't feel a difference. No booster is planned.

These cars are pretty light (mine weighed in at 3050 with a full tank of gas) so unless you're planning on running it pretty hard I'm not sure it's necessary. With that said, if I had a boosted system I'm sure the car would stop even better but to date I haven't had a concern.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for the input.
We ran manual brakes on our 165mph drag car with no problems.
I did install a proportioning valve.
I will look into the Geo booster - but I expect it would still hinder the valve covers.
I am utilizing the stock brake pedal, and I kept the booster/master combo in the stock posistion - so I expect geometry to be ok.
I think I will remove the booster, and see how it works.

Thank you all - great forum -
as it said on the back of my drag car: FOMOGO
 

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Also went manual to get rid of the big nasty booster and master cylinder. The Wilwood duel even mounter directly to the OEM location on the firewall. The adjustable "12 swing pedal with "6 push rod works great.

As PSIG said there is Hydroboost which requires a dedicated pump to supply pressure to the master cylinder. Normally power steering, system operates at very high pressures. When you loose steering you also loose brakes. The Hydoboost has a back up emergency system that consists of a high pressure accumulator mounted behind the master. It stores hydraulic pressure in the event of a failure, engine stall or belt break. In an emergency failure the pressure is released to give four or five normal brake applications after that El Manual. These can be pricey.

Hydromax is another system that uses back up electric motors to supply pressure to braking system in stead of a accumulator. The warning lights, bells and whistles would be a pain to install for compliance. Again pricey and not for your application.

There are many options, In my situation the Wilwood was the easiest to install and there proven. Go manual.

Put the first 50 miles on the Falcon last weekend and the manual brakes worked awesome. Adjusted the swing pedal a couple of times from more throw and the prop valve to get the fronts working at there peak. A few first gear full throttle pulls to 50 mph and on the brakes, stopped straight and fast...
 

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The pic below shows the Hydroboost accumulator that tfrias mentioned. It stores pressurized fluid and allows power brakes for a few uses if the engine quits, or the PS belt breaks, etc. Hydroboost units are common and cheap at $40 or so in most wrecking yards and about $50 for a kit if it ever needs a rebuild. If wanting a fresh one, they are $100-150 online from various sources. Bendix makes them all so parts are readily available.

You also need the two extra hoses to hook it up, and an additional return on your fluid reservoir (if you also have power steering) as you usually cannot join two returns with a Y-fitting without having problems. BTW - if you get the old hoses from the donor car, hydraulic shops can lengthen or shorten for your custom installation using the original ends inexpensively.

I know of one guy that wanted the little Hydroboost but not power steering. As he didn't want the pump on the engine, he was going to use an electric PS pump as many do, but found a convertible top pump (900 psi) in a Dodge for $10 and a pressure switch. Now, it just hums for 1-2 seconds to fill the accumulator, and then goes quiet until he uses the brakes. Another 1-2 seconds and it's ready for a few more stops and always holds reserve. I may use his ideas for my next installation.

David



This example is for a '96-'98 Mustang, but they are all similar across many makes and models. A popular one is for Ford F-250 and larger as well as vans, etc.:

 

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I;m running Wilwood 4 piston fronts with Curries rear disc kit,
I had a booster off a Mustang 11 laying around, & it was small enough to clear Ford valve covers, tall covers for r.rockers too.
Works great, but, i did run manual before i installed the Wilwoods(was Gr,front discs) i ran a Granada MC manual with a 15/16"s bore size, As PSIG says, its all about the right mc bore size when running manual brakes.
 

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I have Maverick front disc brakes and a 74 Maverick manual master cyl with a Wilwood adjustable proportioning valve and the stock drums on the rear of my 68 Falcon wagon.I drive daily to work on the highway doing 75mph and have no problems stopping when people run over each other while texting.It also stops fine in stop and go traffic.I personally don't care for power brakes.
 

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I used granada spindles, with rotors and new calipers, a new 74 maverick manual MC, and a proportioning valve on my 64 comet HT. Been 9 yrs the absolute best mod I ever did. stops great at all speeds.
 
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