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Unread 01-05-2010, 12:48 PM   #1
Area.3.Fiftyone
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Power brakes - what are my options?

My 79 has manual brakes and I'm tired of standing on the pedal (well, not exactly) to stop.

I would like to add a power brake booster but was wondering if there was anything better than getting a CJ booster?

Are the YJ boosters any better and will they fit? Is there something else that is the ultimate as far as stopping power (IE: hydroboost?).

I'll be upgrading my suspension in the spring and will be stepping up to 35's so I figure I'd like to do this once and be done with it.

What is the hot setup for good braking with large tires? Something that I can salvage from a junkyard vehicle to keep cost down.

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Unread 01-05-2010, 01:17 PM   #2
CSP
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Just about anything is better than a CJ booster and finding the bracket for a CJ booster is getting to be next to impossible these days anyhow.

The YJ upgrade is well documented on the web. Be sure and seek out a dual diaphragm booster as not all YJ boosters are dual (despite some web pages stating that they are).

Hydroboost is another option and is also well documented for DIY as well as in kit form. GM diesel vehicles are a common source as are 1999 and newer SuperDuty Fords and some mid-80s full size Mercury and Lincoln cars. I pulled my hydroboost setup out of an '86 disc/disc Mercury Marquis.

Vanco brakes has the best kits in both vacuum and hydroboost, hands down. Even if you don't buy a kit from them, be sure to call and talk to them as they are a treasure trove of brake info.

On the Pirate4x4.com tech pages (not the forums) there's a great Brakes 101 tech page.
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Unread 01-05-2010, 02:11 PM   #3
JeepHammer
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'79 probably has power steering, that means Hydro Boost is a option.

Depending on tire size, it's a good idea if you are running anything larger than about 33" tires.
Made all the difference in my buddy's 35" tire set up.

33" is right on the borderline,
You CAN go with standard dual diaphragm booster,
One off an early 80s S-10 or S-15 pickup will work just fine, all you have to change is the brake rod length.

If you think you will be going to larger tire in the future,
I'd go hydro boost and get that over with now.
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Unread 01-05-2010, 02:30 PM   #4
Mudviper
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I actually just upgraded my 79 CJ7 to a dual diaphragm booster from a 95 YJ. Was just about a bolt in upgrade with the only real mods I had to make was finding brake line adapters to the master cylinder since they have a different flare end and thread type. If you are running the straight 6, you might run into air cleaner clearence problems.

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Unread 01-05-2010, 04:19 PM   #5
Redmanchew
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As said in an earlier post... Vanco. no muss no fuss and way less then an afternoon instal time. When you call for tech support is it usually Van that picks up the phone. Second to none.....
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Unread 01-05-2010, 04:32 PM   #6
Area.3.Fiftyone
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I guess some of you guys missed this part of my post:

"Something that I can salvage from a junkyard vehicle to keep cost down."

I'll start looking at the S10 stuff. I need something that I can bolt on pretty quick at the moment and don't have time to fuss with hydraulic lines.

It's only about 15 degrees out there and down and dirty will have to do for now. Anything will be better than my manual brakes.

Besides all that:
  1. "I'm so tight you couldn't ram a needle up my a$$ with a jack hammer". (RIP Mark)
  2. I get way more satisfaction out of scrounging the salvage yards in search of usable parts that will enhance the performance of my rig for next to nothing.
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Last edited by Area.3.Fiftyone; 01-05-2010 at 05:13 PM..
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Unread 01-05-2010, 04:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMaiden View Post
I guess some of you guys missed this part of my post:

"Something that I can salvage from a junkyard vehicle to keep cost down."
Quote:
Originally Posted by CSP View Post
The YJ upgrade is well documented on the web. Be sure and seek out a dual diaphragm booster as not all YJ boosters are dual (despite some web pages stating that they are).

Hydroboost is another option and is also well documented for DIY as well as in kit form. GM diesel vehicles are a common source as are 1999 and newer SuperDuty Fords and some mid-80s full size Mercury and Lincoln cars. I pulled my hydroboost setup out of an '86 disc/disc Mercury Marquis.


On the Pirate4x4.com tech pages (not the forums) there's a great Brakes 101 tech page.
Yes I mentioned Vanco, but also gave you things to search for. You'll find junkyard sources if you utilize Google. I don't have the time nor the inclination to search for you, but know that the info is out there to be had as I've seen lots of it in my own searching in the past.
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Unread 01-05-2010, 04:49 PM   #8
Area.3.Fiftyone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSP View Post
Yes I mentioned Vanco, but also gave you things to search for. You'll find junkyard sources if you utilize Google. I don't have the time nor the inclination to search for you, but know that the info is out there to be had as I've seen lots of it in my own searching in the past.
No need to get your panties all up in a knot.

I was just saying that Vanco is out of the question as far as price goes, and instead of sifting though hundreds of posts on Google (which I already did BTW), I thought maybe I would ask someone who had been there, done that on the cheap.

I wasn't trying to be rude and I appreciate anyone that commented. It just seems like some people are in a hurry to offer advice without reading the entire question first.
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Unread 01-05-2010, 04:54 PM   #9
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My conversion cost me a total of $60 and the junkyard even pulled the booster assembly for me for no extra charge. Cost will vary depending on what the junkyard is will to part with the booster.
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Unread 01-05-2010, 05:12 PM   #10
Area.3.Fiftyone
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Booster assemblies are only $18 according to their price sheet and I can probably get it cheaper.

It pays to make small talk with the girls at the checkout window.

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Unread 01-05-2010, 07:31 PM   #11
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I have a YJ single diaphram booster and am able to lock up my tires on dry pavement. I bought it off e-bay for something like $63 to my door. I could lengthen the pushrod alittle but they work pretty good now. Took about 1-1 1/2 hrs to do the complete swap. Not a junkyard but pretty close.
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Unread 01-05-2010, 07:38 PM   #12
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Ok, maybe a stoopid question, but I want to do this too. To change the length of the pushrod (shorten or lengthen), is it just a threaded rod that you have to adjust, or look for a different one, or what exactly? And what about the proportioning valve? Ok to run the stock manual brake model?
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Unread 01-05-2010, 07:51 PM   #13
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I used the unit from a 1985 S10. A bit of modification to the rod end, and spacers on the four mounting bolts. IIRC, I had to drill out the four mounting holes to fit the larger bolts. The lines bolted right up.
Here's a pic from when I was doing it, it's been two years now.

Here's the Cardone part info, from RockAuto.com-
Quote:
A-1 CARDONE Part # 501268 {w/Master Cylinder; Reman.}
w/JM5 Booster Stamped BK; GM Brake Codes are on the "Service Parts Identification" sticker.

I actually got the assembly from a buddy who was going to upgrade his S10, and hadn't gotten around to it. I had to bend that rod a bit, to clear the master cylinder cap.
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Unread 01-05-2010, 07:58 PM   #14
78treehugger
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-AC- --- You can cut and reweld the rod or you can purchase an adjustable one. I am not sure if you can use the manual proportioning valve.

trillobite---did the booster bolt up to the CJ bracket? Spacers on which mounting holes, from the booster to the bracket or the bracket to the firewall? I like that setup, lines on CJ side and looks to be a better sealing cap.
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Unread 01-05-2010, 07:59 PM   #15
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Other than the different master cylinder and booster, the brakes are all stock. I was running 33x12.5 tires until a week ago, and I could lock them up, but the brakes had a good, moderate feel to them. Not touchy at all, once I got used to having brakes again.
The old booster had a quart of brake fluid in it, so I had a habit of punching the brake pedal to get brakes.
I think I shorted the new booster's rod by a inch, maybe. I cut and rewelded it, using vice grips as heat sinks, and pouring water after each weld. Don't want to ruin the vacuum diaphram. After doing that, I realized that the mounting bolts were long enough to allow for some adjustment.
If you get a junkyard brake assembly, check the booster for liquids.
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