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New on here and hope someone can help.
Recently purchased a 1961 Galaxie coupe. It has power brakes and I removed the vacuum canister which is tied into the brake booster, and found that the canister was about half full of what looks like brake fluid. Would that indicate a bad master cylinder? Also the master cylinder was completely empty. If the vacuum canister was sucking brake fluid back into it then wouldn't it also get sucked into the intake manifold where the vacuum line attaches?

Thanks for any help.
 

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Were the brakes not working is why you took it apart? It should smoke pretty good i would think, if the fluid was traveling into the intake. Check your oil, smell it. Hard to tell if that's brake fluid or not but if your brakes weren't working then it would be the master cylinder. Should be a line going from the booster to the transmission also and sometimes the modulator on the tranny will go also, don't see that fluid would travel that far though. A '61 might not have that hose though, i'm only familiar with '64 w/automatic
 

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I'd like to see how the canister is tied into the brake booster. A photo of the set up would be nice please.
 

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Car wasn't running when I bought it and the master cylinder was empty. Pulled the plugs after I got it home and they all looked pretty black so I was concerned I might be burning oil. Did a compression check and all cylinders were between 160 and 180. Burning brake fluid is likely the culprit. The brake booster vacuum is supplied by a 3/8 hose from the back of the intake to a "t" fitting on the top of the booster and then to the vacuum canister. The trans modulator is a separate 1/4 hose from the front of the intake.
I removed the vacuum canister for better access to that side of the engine. I am going to check the brake booster today and bet it is full of brake fluid.
Thanks
 

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The larger hose goes to the vacuum source and the smaller one goes to a metal line that goes to the vacuum modulator on the back of the transmission in the area of where the tail shaft housing bolts on. Or on mine it does at least. Standard shift cars don't have this hose.
booster1.jpg

I'd like to see how the canister is tied into the brake booster. A photo of the set up would be nice please.
 

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What is that canister for anyway? Maybe i read it in your posts and just forgot though. I don't have anything like that at all. But good guess your MC is bad and everything is full of fluid. Is your firewall on the inside dry?


Car wasn't running when I bought it and the master cylinder was empty. Pulled the plugs after I got it home and they all looked pretty black so I was concerned I might be burning oil. Did a compression check and all cylinders were between 160 and 180. Burning brake fluid is likely the culprit. The brake booster vacuum is supplied by a 3/8 hose from the back of the intake to a "t" fitting on the top of the booster and then to the vacuum canister. The trans modulator is a separate 1/4 hose from the front of the intake.
I removed the vacuum canister for better access to that side of the engine. I am going to check the brake booster today and bet it is full of brake fluid.
Thanks
 

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Mike Guenther: The master was leaking fluid into the booster, then the fluid getting sucked into the vacuum source (intake manifold). The vacuum can was acting as an intermediate reservoir. I don't think brake fluid burns so great so that explains the black plugs.

ShotRod64: The canister is for cars with vacuum operated accessories that need an accumulation of vacuum to operate when the engine isn't running, like power door locks. There should be a check valve between the accumulator and the intake manifold. Cars with vacuum operated wipers may also have them to keep the wipers running when manifold vacuum is low, like WOT.
 

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Thanks Yadkin, haven't had a car with any vacuum operated things. sis did when we were kids basically but we never worked on it. That car had the wipers, one way and string to pull them back. :)
 

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Yeah, firewall is dry. I have vacuum wipers so that explains the canister. Still haven't pulled the brake booster but expect it is full of fluid. Been focusing on getting it ready to fire up. Any good links to get rebuild kits or new master cylinder and brake booster?
 

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Yeah, firewall is dry. I have vacuum wipers so that explains the canister. Still haven't pulled the brake booster but expect it is full of fluid. Been focusing on getting it ready to fire up. Any good links to get rebuild kits or new master cylinder and brake booster?
At this point you should be making a tentative long term plan. At the very least you should get rid of that single master cylinder (if the car still has it) and upgrading to a double. Then think about upgrading the front drums to much more fade resistant disks. That will influence your choice of a proportioning valve. This will influence you choice of which booster/ master to get. Purchasing a kit saves you money. It's not always necessary to go with an original style booster. I saved several hundred by changing mine to a generic kit. Although it required some modification, it wasn't a difficult job, and it freed up space for a larger, old scholls hot rod valve covers. And I sold the old booster on ebay as a core for someone more interested in originality.
 

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Thanks Yadkin, I have a short term to do list to get it running and on the road. I am anxious about driving it was thinking about repairing the existing brake set up to be able to drive it this summer. Front disk conversion sounds like a good winter project. Where did you get your kit from?
 

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Thanks Yadkin, I have a short term to do list to get it running and on the road. I am anxious about driving it was thinking about repairing the existing brake set up to be able to drive it this summer. Front disk conversion sounds like a good winter project. Where did you get your kit from?
I bought my kit from here: tomsclassic | eBay Stores

The kit for my 'bird is based on an inexpensive Chevy S-10 rotors, bearings and calipers, using my original spindles. The kit includes special brackets to bolt the calipers to the spindles. The S-10 bearings are slightly larger so the kit includes precision adapters. I can buy replacement rotors, calipers, hoses and pads locally using S-10 part numbers. And the calipers are small enough so they fit under my 15" wheels.

I'd rate my kit "OK". The brakes don't fade like they used to, and I do a lot of mountain driving. Stopping power is on par with the factory drums; maybe a little better. With the small S-10 rotors and my heavy car I do get a lot of brake dust and expect to replace pads often.

Wilwood makes better, larger kits, priced accordingly. But the big issue is the wheel size; big brakes require big wheels.
 

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Flyin1500 posted on a place that rebuilds brake boosters you can check out as far as the booster goes.

http://www.fordmuscleforums.com/galaxie-pages/648378-power-brake-booster-exchange-review.html

I'd like to one of these days change to a duel mc but have no desire to change to discs. I can see the advantages of it but I have driven the car as is most of my life and it has stopped me suddenly to avoid idiots more than once and i don't wait til i'm at the stop sign to start braking. There has been a couple times when going through high water back home i forgot to keep my foot on the brake as i drove through it and of course i missed the driveway i wanted right after fording the creek but that was my fault. lol

Would make you a great winter project for sure. I'm just one of those hate change people but most people with these drum brake cars today never drove one before and it is definitely a change from the more modern cars!!

But til winter you can get the booster taken care of. For my '64 right now it's like$600 for the booster, the rebuilding place Flyin1500 reviewed would for sure cost you less!! Not sure on direct swap for a MC on a '62 but am sure you can find that answer with some searching on here or someone here responds. That would get you by til winter hits without spending an arm and a leg. There might even be a booster that you can swap also.

Thanks Yadkin, I have a short term to do list to get it running and on the road. I am anxious about driving it was thinking about repairing the existing brake set up to be able to drive it this summer. Front disk conversion sounds like a good winter project. Where did you get your kit from?
 
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