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Old 09-03-2003, 12:43 PM
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converting standard brakes to power on a 55 belair

I have a 55 chevy belair with standard brakes. I'm wanting to convert to power brakes but don't have the money to go to disc brakes. I was thinking I could just replace the standard master with a power booster and newer, larger master. My question is this, is this stupid and if not then what years could I look for for a power booster and master that would bolt on in place of the original? Thanks Randal

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Old 09-06-2003, 11:04 AM
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Cool

Wanting to stop better and easier is a good thing. Take a look at the 55-57 Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac and Olds cars for the master cylinder and Bendix booster, you can scour the wrecking yards or look in Hemmings Motor News for rebuilt units. These will be a direct bolt in. You might get luck and find an original Chev unit
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Old 09-08-2003, 08:36 PM
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brakes

I just did the conversion on mine this winter. I can't use power assisted brakes because of my monsta cam.

I HIGHLY recommend the disc brake conversion kit, even if you want to use the exsisting drum spindles, they sell kits that will bolt on to what you have. I am uncertain, but I think that the booster for the drum and the booster for the disk are 2 different kinds. What I learned the hard way: save your $ and do it all in one shot. It's worth it in the long run!

Going from manual drums to manual disk was no big deal; peadal is a little hard but it stops really well now at the end of the 1/4!!


CJ
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Old 09-09-2003, 12:15 PM
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Converting a 55-57 to dissk brakes is one of the best things you can do to the tri 5's, and should be considered mandatory. The OEM brakes on these cars are horrid.

Vince
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Old 09-15-2003, 12:15 PM
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Thanks for all the info, the more I look into this the more I should probably just hold off and do a 4 wheel disc conversion instead of just trying to do a power drum first and then going to a disc system. Thanks again.
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Old 09-15-2003, 12:45 PM
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Frankly, if you don't have the wampum to go with a disc brake conversion right now, I'd just go to a dual reservoir master cylinder, for safety reasons, and call it good for now. The old 55 drum brakes will work better under power assist but will still fade real bad under heavy braking. I think tri five cars look best with a clean fire wall. with considerable effort, an under slung or behind the firewall mounted booster/master setup really cleans things up and makes your under-hood shot a cut above the rest. There are so many killer custom brake system applications for 55-57 Chevrolet's these days, it's just amazing.

It all depends on the depth of your pockets and what level your willing to take it to.
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