Conversion to Hydro Boost Brake System - 1970 El Camino - Page 2 - El Camino Central Forum : Chevrolet El Camino Forums
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  #16  
Old 04-27-2015, 04:39 PM
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As promised, here is a link to images of a big block.
This is Mark Demers' ultra clean Chevelle.
At about 35 seconds into the video, you can see it has more than 4 bolts in the valve covers. I can't tell if they are tall covers or not.
His booster bracket looks like about 6 degrees. His mount and hydro boost came from Power Brake Service (Matt Sweeting).

Matt can probably tell you what angle is used on the bracket for Mark's Chevelle.

Now with that said, other shiny stuff seems to have caused some hood clearance issues for Mark.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvDgzgLgSx8

Last edited by Old Bear; 04-27-2015 at 08:07 PM.
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  #17  
Old 04-27-2015, 05:59 PM
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There is another difference in Mark Demers' install.

Notice that mine and his nitrogen cylinders are opposite of each other.
His Hydro Boost unit is rotated 180 degrees from mine.
Notice that his lines come up the fender wells.
Just two different approaches.

1) My install (I hide my hoses)
2) Mark's PBS install (Mark shows his off)
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  #18  
Old 05-19-2015, 09:54 PM
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Default Where do I see purchasing a hydro-boost kit adding value?

Someone asked a good question, that I think might lead to a better understanding of the process.

Where do I see purchasing a hydroboost kit adding value?
This may be worth scanning, even if you are going with all used parts.

Each of us is different. The skills of the members and visitors to the https://www.elcaminocentral.com vary widely. Some love the hunt for parts, others are better puzzle solver, and some are fine mechanics. The kit that I purchased can help in a number of ways, yet your skills and interest may take you in a different direction.

Of course, there is the new part vs. experienced part decisions. When selecting a kit, be sure to read the fine print to see if the brake assist unit is new or rebuilt. It took a little looking with one vendor before I found out the “NEW” kit had a “REBUILT” brake assist unit. You can choose either, just know what you are getting.

References to “The kit” below refer to the 3014 GM A body kit as I purchased it.
1) The kit provided a machined aluminum bracket that provided the correct angle (did not need to modify the firewall for this bracket, you may if you pull parts).
2) The hose/connector kit provided the brake pedal attachment/adjustment rod from the brake assist back toward the pedal.
3) The instructions included how to move (without drilling a new hole for this kit) the brake pedal connection clevis to the correct whole on the brake pedal lever. The calculations had already been done and the angle of the bracket would cause everything to line up and it is the correct length.
4) The brake pedal attachment included an adjustable section to allow setting the pedal to a level the driver prefers. I adjusted mine to be close to that of my daily driver.
5) Even if you are reusing the existing master cylinder, the bore and rod must be a match. The kit either included the master cylinder with the correct bore diameter or tells you which you need for this kit. Additionally, it specifies the short or long rod that goes between the brake assist unit and the master cylinder. Mine actually had an adapter rod to support either length.
6) You can order some kits with different levels of finish on the components. From black paint, to multiple coats with a clear, powder coat including custom colors, or chrome.
7) Keep in mind when assembling your own parts, that some years used metric and others did not. So when pulling parts you will need to either have the hoses/connections or figure out what they are.
8 ) Some vendors redrill the connections at the brake assist, changing to A/N fittings. Having a matching hose kit can help reduce time in figuring which is which.
9) The kit had the correct connections for the Saginaw pump for GM A Body, so metric did not play into the decisions.
10) The kit had reusable AN fittings, rather than crimped. So if we needed to shorten a hose or reset a connection to the brake assist, we could more easily than using crimped connections.
11) The hose and fitting kit can save a lot of time versus rounding up parts.
12) The kit also comes with instructions. Your experience will cause the value you receive to vary. Even for an experienced mechanic, it can function as a good check list that may improve quality.

The kit contained what I view as a fair price with all the hose/fittings for a good quality install. The skills at Shear Performance include “very skilled auto plumbing”. I admit to pushing the phrase…. “I don’t want it to leak!” I liked Justin’s personal install on his Chevelle with even higher pressure black mesh hoses. Together we chose to use the higher pressure hoses and AN fittings at the PS reservoir (rather than barbed fittings). We added the extra return connection to the reservoir rather than using a Tee fitting (one was included in the kit). Because of the custom install and our personal choices, we needed some different fittings than what came with the kit. So we saved (did not open) the purchased kit and Justin created one for me. Our custom hose/fitting set cost more $ than the kit's set.

Last edited by Old Bear; 05-19-2015 at 10:08 PM.
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  #19  
Old 06-29-2015, 11:19 AM
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This is a wonderfully thorough thread. Thanks. I am hopeful someone will add a few subjective comments as to the changes (improvements) noted after the install. Thanks again!
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  #20  
Old 06-29-2015, 11:12 PM
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Default 3 Month Follow Up

Three Month Follow Up To See If Goals Were Met.
I collected the info in this article as we started and completed the install. I don’t have a set of before and after comparative stopping distances to report. Therefore, what appears below are my personal experiences and observations.

GOAL 1: Produce improved power brake assist.
Definitely Improved.
Hydro boost creates more pressure to the brake cylinders/pistons than vacuum brakes. The truck stops almost instantaneously from 20 MPH. I really have not tried a panic stop. I did slow quickly from about 65 a couple times. Now they are strong enough to feel the slight pulling to one side. I no longer use both feet on the brake pedal.

GOAL 2: Produce consistent power brake assist.
Highly Consistent.
Prior to the change, I watched the vacuum/boost gauge more than all other gauges combined. Not to read boost, yet to see if enough vacuum was generated to have any assist the next time I applied the brakes. It took about six short trips to break that habit. I now check for boost, because I am less reluctant to pass a car/truck.

On the way to the shop to get the change made, I could not build enough noticeable vacuum for brake assist in the stop and go freeway traffic. Regular freeway or PCH drives caused totally unpredictable brake assist.

After the change, stop and go freeway as well as PCH traffic show no noticeable difference of pressure needed for repeatedly slowing/stopping.

I can’t tell if there would be any fade on an autocross track, yet feel it would be less than the loss from a vacuum booster.

GOAL 3: Stop prior to the rear bumper of the car ahead.
In addition to wanting to be safe, there were other factors encouraging the change to safer brakes.

Last fall, on the way home from Pomona Auto Swap Meet, my Honda was passed by a mild small block white 3rd gen. As I flashed him a “thumbs up”, I wondered what would need to change on mine to have brakes good enough for that drive. I remembered the phrase: “You need to be able to stop as fast as the vehicle in front of you”. Three miles down the road, the white El Camino now needed a new front clip. That was an item not on his list when he left the swap meet. I felt bad for the fellow, and decided to find out what would be needed to get close to stopping as fast as my light weight Honda. That is when Goal 3 was set.

Brake technology improved over 45 years. I think the Honda can out stop the truck today. However, I think the El Camino now stops as good as or better than it did in 1970. When I locate even better pads and shoes and have those installed, I think the truck will stop better than when new.

Since the brake upgrade occurred at the same time as the three point seat/shoulder belt upgrade, I could move forward with two changes:
• Now I ask an adult niece or nephew to ride with me to car shows. I don’t have kid seats.
• One nephew has now been added as an alternate driver on my AAA Collector’s Car Policy.

Let’s think back and remember in Driver’s Ed. class of about 1970. “Always leave a full car length between you and the car in front of you for each ten miles per hour.” Prior to the upgrade I had a different rule for the El Camino. Rather than car lengths, it was a semi-tractor with 53 foot long trailer for each ten MPH.

Now that we are much improved, I will leave the slow lane and pass as needed. With an original stock 45 year old suspension (shocks had been replaced), lots of small noises, I like the slow lane. However, I no longer need to be there to dive onto the shoulder because she will not stop.

What else?
This is not a cheap solution. For my low vacuum situation, this solution produced a more affordable and better end result than adding $3K to $4K in expensive large front and rear disk brakes. The first post lists other alternatives that should be considered before making a decision. If you arehaving braking problems, yet generating a lot of vacuum for your vacuum power assist, find out what is failing in your current system. Hydro boost does not magically fix other brake problems.

Would I Use Shear Performance in Costa Mesa Again?
I used them for the subsequent project to improve reliability of the truck’s starting system. I will use them again.

Over the River and Through the Woods
There is a winding country highway that goes from the Coast through the Cleveland National Forest up, over and then down a mountain into Lake Elsinore. I would now consider taking that trip.

If I do and you tailgate me through the shadows of the hundred year old oaks, don’t expect me to pull off into those loose gravel turnouts and chip the paint!

Last edited by Old Bear; 06-30-2015 at 12:35 AM.
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  #21  
Old 06-30-2015, 06:09 PM
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That feedback is very helpful for sure. From a "why is this idea a good one" perspective, I can easily see why a lumpy cam car would benefit, but all those American cars and trucks with hydroboost as stock don't all have lumpy cams. Is the "benefit" in any way connected to better stopping distance of less pressure required or better feel? Thanks!
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  #22  
Old 06-30-2015, 06:52 PM
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Dave, I may not be qualified to fully answer that question.

I will ask someone who is if they would like to respond. If they have the time I can then post their "Guest Expert" answer.

I was glad that Justin Shears showed me how to adjust the brake pedal adjuster. I lowered the point where the pedal engages to match my Honda and Cheyenne. The hydro boost make this 45 year old El Camino brakes feel like those newer vehicles.

I can also tell you that a few of Shear Performance customers have come back with another vehicle that generate high vacuum and say "Hydro Boost it. Make it like my other one." I don't have the funds for that, yet some do. So they like the feel and ask for the change.

I missed one opportunity before making the changes. I should have asked to test drive Justin's Chevelle before we made the change. I would recommend driving a hydro boost similar to a car like yours if at all possible before the investment.

Here is a link to some of HydraTech Braking's customers talking about their experiences. At least one speaks about having manual brakes, yet not enough power to push his modified big brakes and the results after the change.

http://hydratechbraking.com/testimonials_old/

Last edited by Old Bear; 06-30-2015 at 07:15 PM.
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  #23  
Old 07-04-2015, 01:38 PM
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Dave, I am still hoping to get someone to better answer your question.

In the mean time, here is an article on Super Chevy by Steven Rupp
Chevy Nova Disc Brake Conversion - Beating The Drums
Conversion of a 69 Nova to HydroBoost and from drum/drum to disk/disk with their before/After results.

http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/bra...n/viewall.html
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  #24  
Old 07-19-2015, 12:54 AM
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Dave
There is also this interesting thread on www.elcaminoentral.com about the affects of major upgrades to good 4 wheel disks and then followed with a change to hydro boost.
https://www.elcaminocentral.com/showthread.php?t=15167
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  #25  
Old 07-30-2015, 04:46 PM
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Great Information. I did not know about the fitting on the type 2 pumps. I did this conversion with a set up from an astro van and had problems. I am using a type 2 pump. I did not use a reducer fitting or valve on the pump. Will the steering be affected by the pressure reduction?

Bill
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:04 PM
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Bill, Nice to see you posting.

Shear Performance modified the '70 Gen 1 pump by adding a second return line to the reservoir, converting to Shear Performance specially design AN fittings. I don't think they needed to modify the pump.

However, there is a good link discussing GM Gen 2 pump, aftermarket reservoir and line sizes between the two.
http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums...d.php?t=186234

I know Paul's HydroTech FAQ talks about the pump selection and the importance of not getting to much aeration when using a reservoir. It is worth another read.
http://www.hydratechbraking.com/FAQ.html

Last edited by Old Bear; 07-30-2015 at 06:25 PM.
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  #27  
Old 01-29-2017, 07:10 PM
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Just installed CPP hydroboost into my 68 with 4x wheel disc. Did anyone encounter power steering pump wine after install? I'm using the T fitting going to see if installing a cooler and dual port to the reservoir will help.
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  #28  
Old 01-29-2017, 08:56 PM
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Chris
My kit came through CPP too. Then they used HydraTech, so it is likely as described in this article.

The whining is usually microbubbles (or bigger bubbles) in the power steering fluid.

I remember Justin Shears of Shear Performance asking me NOT to bring any power steering fluid for the job. He used one of the Delco products, because they have had some problems with after market fluids. HydraTech also recommends using manufacturers power steering fluid. They say to not use Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) (see link in next paragraph).

About half a page down in this link is HydraTech's instructions on getting the air out of the power steering system.
http://www.hydratechbraking.com/tech.html

Last edited by Old Bear; 01-29-2017 at 09:37 PM.
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  #29  
Old 01-30-2017, 09:36 PM
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Thank you for your input.
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Old 01-31-2017, 08:31 AM
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Cali
There is a preferred direction to add that "T" fitting. If you don't find the info in the instructions, HydraTech support at 625-449-8261 should have the most recent update.

The low pressure return line from steering box, should flow straight through the T to the PS reservoir. The low pressure return line from brake assist unit comes in at the 90 degree angle.

We choose to not use the T fitting and added the additional connection to the PS reservoir.
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