58 ElecBrakes

Electric Brake Booster in the '58 Truck

This truck was originally set up with a remote vacuum booster mounted under the floor...
it has worked well for 17 years, was rebuilt about 5 years ago, but is sensitive to all the
heat generated by the headers and exhaust system nearby.

Here's an old page I had published on this brake system....


I like to go ocean paddling in a Hawaiian style outrigger one man canoe. 
It's a really good workout, and I love being out on the ocean....

I haul this canoe around on my 58 truck...

....And was headed down to the beach to go paddling recently, when the brakes decided to go out....

Called a buddy at a tow company for a ride home....
We pulled it up on the bed backwards, an easier hookup that way,
and an easier unload when I got back to the shop....

I broke down right in front of the sugar mill where I had worked for the last 40+ years....
Got lots of comments about that !!


WHEN IT FAILED...
The brake pedal went down all the way to the floor all at once,
in traffic, with no warning, no brakes at all.  I was able to run off onto the shoulder,
downshifting through 2nd and 1st to get it slowed down, without hitting anything,
and eventually using reverse to get it stopped when I had slowed down enough.
The hand brake was pretty worthless, didn't make much difference for slowing me down!

A thorough inspection of the brake system revealed no leaks, a full master cylinder,
and no mechanical problems anywhere in the system.  When the truck was pulled
off of the tow truck, the brakes were fully functional again....

Since I had recently rebuilt the exhaust system, with new headers that sit quite close to the
brake system under the truck's floor, and had even installed a sheet metal heat deflector
between the headers and the brake system, it seems that there was just too much heat
for the master cylinder and/or the remote vacuum booster, probably causing the brake
fluid in the piston bore to boil away, leaving me with nothing to push when I hit the brake pedal !

Awhile back I had decided to try one of the electric brake systems from ABS Power Brakes,
and had the parts on the shelf.  Got them out and will post more as it comes together.

I need to take a close look at possible heat issues with this setup also....

More later....

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