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  • 1963 Brakes

    Some of you may recall that last week I determined that I had a bad stop light switch. So I ordered one from Rock Auto and it arrived today. All the manual says about replacing these is to unscrew the old one and screw in the new one. Sounded like an easy lunch time job. But...

    In looking at it, I'm wondering if when I unscrew it if all of the brake fluid is going to drain out of the M/C. Especially since the pics in the manual show the stop light switch as being on the top of the M/C, but mine is actually on the bottom.

    Which led me to looking in my M/C, where all of the fluid is brown. My understanding is that this means that I have rust in my lines.

    So, first things first....am I looking at flushing the lines, or replacing them?

  • #2
    Here is the current contents of my M/C. (Yuck!)



    And this shows my stop light switch on the underside of the M/C, instead of the top as indicated in the manual. Not that it matters much at this point, I guess, but I'm still curious -- if I take that out is the M/C going to just drain into my engine compartment?

    Comment


    • #3
      The fluid will come out but not as quickly as if you stepped on the brake. The opening is not that large so it will drip out. Just put something under it to catch it and quickly swap the switch out.

      As for whether to change out the fluid do you know how old is it. If you're not sure change it. Just because it's dark doesn't necessarily mean it's contaminated. Even if every part of your brake system is new it's eventually going to get dark.

      John
      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

      Thunderbird Registry #36223
      jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

      Comment


      • #4
        I've owned the car for 3 years and have never changed it. I have no idea prior to that. So looks like I'll be doing that soon.

        Thanks, John.

        Comment


        • #5
          Scott, this is so serious I don't know where to begin. That color is typical of rust from INSIDE your brake lines. The brake fluid has become so saturated with water, it now promotes rust. All new brake fluid is water-clear and it should be changed AT LEAST every three years.

          Also know, if this is DOT-3, it is water soluble because it is glycol-based, like antifreeze but concentrated. All those horror stories about brake fluid eating paint go right out the window when a common garden hose washes it off.

          Get a turkey baster from the dollar store and suck out all you can from that nasty looking reservoir. Unscrew your old brake switch and screw in the new one. Air will be in your brake system but it needs to be bled anyway.

          Pour fresh brake fluid in the reservoir and follow your shop manual to properly bleed your brakes. Keep pumping that pedal until the fluid runs clear at each wheel cylinder.

          If you spill brake fluid, use water to wash it down. - Dave
          My latest project:
          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
          --Lee Iacocca

          Comment


          • #6
            Dave, I understand that's where the rust is, which is why I was asking if I should bother flushing the fluid, or if I should just plan on replacing the lines altogether.

            The good news is I've replaced the switch already and my brake lights work again.

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't recommend anyone drive a car with 53 year old brake lines. If they've never been replaced now is the time to do it before disaster strikes. With a single master cylinder a leak means no brakes front or rear.

              John
              John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

              Thunderbird Registry #36223
              jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

              http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

              Comment


              • #8
                My prioritized check list when buying a classic:
                1. New brake lines, convert to dual master, four new slave cylinders.
                2. Everything else.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                  Scott, this is so serious I don't know where to begin.
                  Originally posted by jopizz View Post
                  I don't recommend anyone drive a car with 53 year old brake lines. If they've never been replaced now is the time to do it before disaster strikes. With a single master cylinder a leak means no brakes front or rear.
                  Originally posted by Yadkin View Post
                  My prioritized check list when buying a classic:
                  1. New brake lines, convert to dual master, four new slave cylinders.
                  2. Everything else.
                  Understood. Thanks, guys.

                  So now let me ask some additional questions. My power booster hasn't worked since I've owned the car. I was just getting ready to ship it off to be rebuilt. I'm not ready yet for a conversion to disc, but as I'm replacing/fixing/getting parts I'd like to keep disc conversion in mind so that it is as easy and cost effective as possible in the future. To that end:

                  1. When I'm ready to convert to disc, will I need a different booster? So rather than spend $150 on rebuilding the one I have, I should just get a different one now?

                  2. What dual M/C do you recommend?

                  3. What kind of brake line do you recommend?

                  Thanks, as always.

                  Scott

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Look in the technical resource library. http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...ad.php?t=15295

                    There's a long write-up of a booster/ master/ disc brake conversion. Plan your booster/ master for this as you will likely want disc brakes in front at some time.

                    For a dual master/ 4 wheel drum conversion, you don't need a proportioning valve. However you will need one if you move up to discs. They are not that expensive, you'll need some kind of manifold anyway, and since you are installing new lines it's easier to put one in now then later. Get an adjustable one, and has a fitting for your brake light switch. All the proportioning valve does is reduce pressure to the rear brakes, so you can set it to 100% if you have drums at all corners.

                    I just converted to front discs myself; the kit was $375.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Yadkin View Post
                      Look in the technical resource library. http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...ad.php?t=15295

                      There's a long write-up of a booster/ master/ disc brake conversion. Plan your booster/ master for this as you will likely want disc brakes in front at some time.

                      For a dual master/ 4 wheel drum conversion, you don't need a proportioning valve. However you will need one if you move up to discs. They are not that expensive, you'll need some kind of manifold anyway, and since you are installing new lines it's easier to put one in now then later. Get an adjustable one, and has a fitting for your brake light switch. All the proportioning valve does is reduce pressure to the rear brakes, so you can set it to 100% if you have drums at all corners.
                      I've been doing some reading of other posts, and think I'm close to understanding what I need, but will read through that link to be sure. Thanks.

                      Originally posted by Yadkin View Post
                      I just converted to front discs myself; the kit was $375.
                      What kit did you use? That price seems familiar -- Auto City Classic on eBay, I believe.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ickaber View Post
                        What kit did you use? That price seems familiar -- Auto City Classic on eBay, I believe.
                        Nope, it was tomsclassic. He's got the kit without booster and master cylinder for $375, or with them for $600. It seems I can get my own booster and M/C for a lot less than $225.

                        I'd love to know if that's the kit you used, as I've been eyeing that one for a while myself.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ickaber View Post
                          Nope, it was tomsclassic. He's got the kit without booster and master cylinder for $375, or with them for $600. It seems I can get my own booster and M/C for a lot less than $225.

                          I'd love to know if that's the kit you used, as I've been eyeing that one for a while myself.
                          I used Toms Classic, from his ebay store. $225 is a bargain for a booster and M/C.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            By the way I sold my old (original, never rebuilt, but working) booster on ebay for $73. I used a generic slimline booster because I had a clearance issue with my Offenhauser valve covers, so the core was of no value to me. Evidently it was valuable to others.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, maybe not a bargain, but close to it. Looking back, I paid $175, but had to do some fabrication, and it has a 1-1/8" piston. You should get a master with a 1".

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