Can you do this on your own?
Maybe not me. However, many of those on El Camino Central have the skills to do this kit modification.
What else is important?
These are your brakes. I am not a mechanic, so I used a very good mechanic familiar with this customization. In fact Justin’s Chevelle has this system.
Do not skimp on the hoses, fittings and assembly. Very high pressure quality hoses with good fittings are required. Leaks would be bad enough, yet under pressure, you could “paint” your engine compartment in power steering fluid and risk fire and loss of power assist. Expect $225 to $300 for hoses and fittings.
Use Power Steering Fluid, not ATF. ATF foams more which is not good for Hydro Boost systems.
If you have high vacuum, you should be able to correct your power vacuum assist system. Hydro Boost does not magically fix other brake system problems.
DStinch has a very similar engine/blower set up to me. Don is happy with his electric vacuum assist solution (not a Hydro Boost solution).
What happens if I break a power steering hose?
If you are turning, it will be more difficult, just as your power steering would be before adding Hydro Boost.
The Hydro Boost system above uses a booster that includes a nitrogen cylinder.
The nitrogen cylinder stores energy that assists in the brake boosting. The cylinder normally assists every brake application. Should a power steering hose hose break or an engine stall, the nitrogen cylinder provides assist to the next three brake applications at declining levels. As the assist level reduces you should become aware of the difference in brake pedal feel. Then the brakes go to a level not too dissimilar from manual brakes. As long as your brake master cylinder, lines and system are in tack, you will need to apply considerably more foot pressure on subsequent stops.
Did we find weak spots during our install?
Yes. Replaced the 45 year old rubber brake lines at the four wheels (appox 12 inches long). The old ones where brittle and cracked. They were close to the point of failure with the old system, let alone with the new higher pressure.
Replaced right rear brake cylinder that ended up leaking.
Replaced left rear brake cylinder that was jamming.
SHOW ME installation video resources
V8TV HydraTech install Part 1 and Part 2
Popular Hot rodding CPP Hydra Stop Brake Booster
Note: Prices have escalated since video released.
Matt Sweeting Power Brake TV
A different FAQ
Can I get used parts for less?
You will need to adjust pedal lever location, make mount for firewall, match booster to MC, obtain or make quality hoses, etc.
1983 El Camino diesel had Hydro Boost. (Thanks JLCustomZ)
Some Chevy Astro Vans
Some 88-98? C/K250 and C/K350 Chevy trucks
Any references for going recycled parts?
Car Craft - Chevy Astro Van Hydroboost Salvage - Junkyard Builder
Bangshift.com How to Swap a Junkyard Hyrdoboost on Your Classic GM Muscle Car or Truck
Any other El Camino Central Threads on Hydro Boost?