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  #1  
Old 04-27-2010, 01:48 AM
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Post Vacuum Booster

Hi guys!

I picked up a 1959 Squarebird a few years ago and now I'm out of college I have time to restore it! But the interesting part is I'm on a budget! The original engine was replaced with a 428 Cobra Jet from a 68 Turino so I'm really not going for original but just a fun driver. The restoration is going pretty well, under the hood is all painted, did a complete overhaul, the interior is really close to being finished, the outside is last. The picture below is when I first got it years ago.

My problem is the Vacuum booster is pretty aged, and I'm not sure if I want to put my hands in a 50 year old sticky booster. So my question to you gear heads is there another booster that will fit the Birds that are more common from another vehicle?



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Old 04-27-2010, 02:02 AM
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Default Vacuum Booster

Hi Bob! Welcome aboard! Lets find out a bit more about your vacuum booster. I am assuming that you are talking about the under the dash power booster that many of the '59's, like mine, have factory installed on them.. Or does your Tbird have an under the hood single booster and master cylinder installed in it, by chance? If it is an under the dash booster, I think it can be overhauled. If it is an under the hood booster, probably the same thing, replace it.

Does your Tbird have AC on it? If not, you might want to do what several of us have done, or are doing. Put in a dual booster and dual MC under the hood. If you have AC it gets a bit trickier because the of AC plenem in the engine well, but it can be done. And you might want to go further and put disk brakes on the front while you are at it. Howard Prout and others on here, who have gone that route, can tell you more about that. I will be doing that to my '59 in the near future.

I see you are online still or where, so I will post this.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:16 AM
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Welcome, Bob. Check out Howard Prout's setup:
http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/sho...?t=5023&page=3
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:48 AM
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Wow you guys are quick!

I'd love to go to disc but I really don't have the money. Someday I will. The funny thing is my dad has all the break parts from a Grenada sitting in the garage but that's going on his 65 mustang and won't part with them!

It thankfully does not have a AC unit, and don't need one in the pacific northwest either!

Anyway is this dog here, single. So I'd like to replace with one or get this one working really good.



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Old 04-27-2010, 03:14 AM
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Default Vacuum Booster

Hi Bob,

Yup, that looks like the old single stage master cylinder and booster that you often see in the '60 Tbirds. I don't remember seeing many of them in the '59's. It might have been added after it left the factory. You can replace that with a dual mc and dual power booster system. You already have the necessary mounting bracket, it would appear. You don't have to worry about clearing an AC plenum like Howard and I have to. We got our dual MC and dual power booster from Old Irish Dave on eBay. Ours is in chrome, but you can get then natural. Here is the link to his, going for $175, as I recall. Simplyconnected knows a lot about changing over to these types of system. Maybe he can tell you more. I am headed for the sack. Good luck with your restoration work!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Power...Q5fAccessories
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:32 AM
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Thanks a bunch, I'm going to look into that. I definitely wanted to go to a dual too. I have already gone through the drum brakes so I know they are good at that end, so this will last a long time.

And just wanted to say this is a great forum, I've learned a lot from you pro's already. Its a shame you guys just replace your dashboards instead of repairing them (its my next project on the "Budget Bird")

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Old 04-27-2010, 03:46 AM
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You need to do your brake system all at once, or you will end up doing it a few times, which costs even more money.

Get rid of that dangerous master cylinder. Go with a dual master and a combination proportioning valve.

With that, you will need to pipe your system. It doesn't cost that much but you need inverted flare tools, 3/16" line, and some fittings.

You can keep your shoes for now, but disk brakes can be done using your existing spindles. Just buy S-10 caliper brackets from Scarebird (on eBay). You can buy 11" Mustang rotors at your local parts store, and your original bearings will still fit. You won't need a front-end allignment, because all your suspension remains untouched.

To do this right, you need to do the whole system at once and be done with it. New disk brakes will put you through the windshield, and your Thunderbird will stop 'straight as an arrow', just like a modern car.

If you fall into some money, we can give you part numbers and instructions for everything you need to do the job. If you stick with 14" wheels, they need to be made for disk brakes (like Granada wheels). - Dave
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