CC Tech: Installation of Power Brake Booster and Dual Master Cylinder In My 1965 F-100

I had only had the truck for four days in 2006 when I lost my brakes 1.5 miles from home and rolled through a 4-way stop.

Here is an original picture of the truck which body wise seemed to be in good but some mechanical parts not so much. After that episode the brakes always made me nervous especially since I couldn’t find anything obvious as to why I lost my brakes.  I spent a lot of time rebuilding them back then and trying to find decent drums yet that single pot master was always in the back of my mind.

In 2009 I found a rare 1966 F-100 in the most local Pick & Pull near me and it had power drum brakes. So I took the booster out and sent it off to Booster Dewey to rebuild as he has done several of mine. It then sat on the shelf for years in a box. In the meantime I kept driving the truck a bit but then had it off line for 18 months when the 360 crankcase filled up with water just sitting there and a rebuild ensued. Much has been done to this truck but I’ll only deal with the installation of the power booster and dual master. I don’t know if this qualifies as a COAL where one could go into it’s complete restoration to stock once again. Now moving on.

This is the basic junction block used to take the main line and split it into two lines for front and one line back. Seen as removed and then cleaned up.

Here is the original line and the start of a new line. I am using nickle copper brake line which is easy to bend and form. I made the curves by winding the line around a broom handle. That clip on the new line is used half way down to hold the long line steadily in place till it reaches the junction block on the frame.

Since I need a vacuum line I had to form a metal line of which I had some stock on the wall. When bought it already has fittings on both ends but I only need on one end so cut the piece I need and go from there.

With that the booster is put into place. The brackets were cleaned and painted and I obtaining a bellows to cover the pushrod between the booster and firewall. One can make an adjustment on the small rod sticking out from the booster. Had a tool to measure the clearance and it was too much unless the rod was at maximum extension plus some. So I took some round metal rod and cut a piece to fit into the master in front of the booster rod which got me what I needed.

As you can see I rotated the booster around once I started to fit things in and see if there were any obstructions. The bracket holding that proportioning valve was key and some holes needed to be re-drilled. The valve will allow me to regulate pressure to the rear so it doesn’t lock up before the front. The master cylinder is for a 1967 Mustang I believe with equal sized reservoirs as I am working with drums all around. Also the bore size was correct for the truck. The upper lines are in.

The two large main lines are now in place here after spending some time forming them to bend down in the same place, clear the rag joint, run past the middle bracket so both can be attached and then down to the junction block.

Junction block mounts behind the steering box. I bought a coupler so I could mate the new rear feed line to the original rear line to the back. I then blocked off it’s former location on the block and added my new front feed line. So now we are all set only we weren’t and weren’t for months. After filling the master and letting sit the upper lines leaked brake fluid out on the bottom of the bracket and there was a leak down here. How could that be?

I wasn’t using the hand method to make flares but rather the Eastwood hydraulic press which made it easy. Only after making four new lines they also leaked slightly up top and tremendously down below when I pushed on the brake pedal. This caused things to drag out for months as I would get frustrated. Then I discovered the reason for the leaks.

I was using the so called good line cutter I had bought many years ago but had somehow acquired a cheap line cutter seen on the left. If you look closely you can see what the initial cuts look like before one reams the burrs and maybe chamfers the outer edges a bit. The lines done by the cutter on the right all leaked while none of the last four, made by the cutter on the left, did. So cutter on the right into the trash.

With that problem solved now I could fill up the master and after two weeks there were no leaks. Next stepping on the brake pedal caused no leaks to appear under pressure so time to take out on the road around the house only. This upgrade made a visible difference in braking compared to stock. I’d place it between my 68 all drum Mustang and my 68 power disc Cougar. Before it always felt like I needed both feet on the brakes (very little pedal movement) to be safe given my nervousness from long ago. Now one foot, like all my cars, some pedal travel, and you are stopped. I liked it. Adjusted the proportioning valve in a deserted school parking lot so all four brakes grabbed at the same time during a panic stop. All this was done through most of 2021 to the beginning of this year.

Most important of all I didn’t make a flare before putting a fitting on.