Brakes failed what should I replace?

Z28PILOT

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Lifetime Gold Member
Oct 8, 2009
2,322
Emerald Isle , NC
on my 1974 Camaro today , I lost all the brakes , fortunately at a good spot ....MY driveway.

The master cylinder leaked down, apparently the fluid was lost into the power brake booster ....says my mechanic. Can I get by with just a new or rebuilt master cylinder or do I need to replace the booster too? The booster is beautiful restored original to the car . I hate to replace. Would it hurt to reuse the booster ?
 

ol' grouch

Veteran Member
Jul 4, 2013
3,623
Evansville, In.
on my 1974 Camaro today , I lost all the brakes , fortunately at a good spot ....MY driveway.

The master cylinder leaked down, apparently the fluid was lost into the power brake booster ....says my mechanic. Can I get by with just a new or rebuilt master cylinder or do I need to replace the booster too? The booster is beautiful restored original to the car . I hate to replace. Would it hurt to reuse the booster ?


Before you replace the master cylinder though, make sure you didn't have a flew hose break. You have three. One on each caliper and one on the rear axle. If one of those fails, the pedal will just drop. If one did fail, replace all of them as they are all the same age. If the hoses are good, I'd replace the master cylinder first. If that takes care of the problem, great. If not, make sure there aren't any leaks elsewhere before you replace a restored booster.
 

CorkyE

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Lifetime Gold Member
Nov 4, 2004
11,937
Ringgold, GA
If fluid has leaked into the vacuum booster, you'll want to replace it also. Mine didn't fail, but was leaking in that manner. I think I'll schedule a dentist visit before I replace the booster again.
 

Twisted_Metal

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
31,903
Bloomington, MN
If brake fluid is inside your booster, I would replace it.

I can change my booster in half an hour! :D

But... I used lock washers and nuts on the four studs when I replaced the booster the first time. (3 hour job)
Those self locking nuts, covered in undercoating, on studs that seem WAY too long, certainly suck to remove the first time. :mad:

It can be done with stubby wrenches and the hood in place.
Take a couple of Advil before you start... Your aching back will thank you.

Good Luck!
 

Z28PILOT

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Lifetime Gold Member
Oct 8, 2009
2,322
Emerald Isle , NC
So far I got bad master cyl. leaking and one leaking flare fitting at a caliper.

And I was just bragging to a neighbor , "8 years and never touched the brake system " Jinxed myself .

Will continue the saga tommorrow ......mucho appreciate the info .....
 

ronzz572

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Feb 8, 2007
2,514
imperial pa
I would rebuild the original. It's not very difficult. If the bore isn't rust pitted. Just hone it and clean it well. Buy a rebuild kit or a rebuilt master cylinder and remove the internals and install in your original. Sometimes kits are hard to find. So I buy a rebuilt master cylinder for internal parts. Then give it back as the core when finished. There is a drain hole lower rear of the master cylinder, so fluid rarely would get in it to the booster to damage it past the boot and pin. To disassemble the master cylinder you need to remove the screw inside the reservoir. Remove the tappered brass plug rear brake line hole also. Screw a small self tapping sheet metal screw in the hole of it to pull it out. I mount it in a good vise to hold it still, Remove the rear clip by pushing the rear pizton in with a screwdriver and everything comes out the rear. Pay very close attention to the order it goes. After cleaning and honing it. Lube it up with fresh brake fluid. Reverse the procedure and your done with you rebuild. Bench bleed it and install it. Finish the brake bleed on the car. I have done this many times with no trouble.
 




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