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Hydroboost Installed 1960 430 Thunderbird

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  • Hydroboost Installed 1960 430 Thunderbird

    I have seen a few blogs on this site regarding a hydroboost installation on a squarebird.

    I had my front brakes converted to disc using the scarebird parts. The brakes were pretty good after I bled the mc properly and tightened up all of the new stainless lines. I still wasn't satisfied, however, with the pedal feel or the performance of the under-dash booster. I have never been impressed with squarebird brakes in any of the many examples I have owned and driven since 1985. To remedy this, I had an off of the shelf hydroboost installed that is specifically for 1955-1960 T-birds.

    I have to say that this is undoubtedly the best upgrade I have ever made to any of the 14 Thunderbird cars I have owned since '85!!! My 5000 lb convertible stops on a dime, and has the pedal feel like a new Cadillac.

    Highly recommend!

    20211015_165523.jpg

    20211015_165528.jpg
    Last edited by YellowRose; October 15th, 2021, 11:03 PM. Reason: Addes the Pix that Matt sent me.

  • #2
    Over the years, Matt here in my area, has done a lot of repairs and restorations on the early Tbirds. His 430MEL Raven Black Squarebird will be a thing of beauty to see when he gets her back on the road again. We are looking forward to seeing him and her at some of our local Tbird club meetings and events!

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Matt,

      Thanks for the pictures and basic info. I have a questions though, Which hydro boost unit (part number?)
      and where did you source it from? Direct bolt in? which m/c did you use?

      Thanks for any info you can provide.
      Pat M.
      Monson, MA
      1959 HT Hickory Tan, Thunderbird registry #77617

      Comment


      • #4
        Matt just passed this information on to me to post...

        Hey Ray, Here is the link for the hydroboost unit I had installed. I used a GM master cylinder and I bought my own proportioning valve.

        https://www.powerbrakeservice.net/ne...e-booster.html

        I have to tell you that the shipping time took forever because they make these as they are ordered. Ten weeks for mine.

        Thank you, Matt

        Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
        The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
        Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

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

        Comment


        • #5
          Hydro-boost works well but my preference is still the vacuum booster. Cadillac, Mustang and a host of other cars came with hydro-boost, usually when there isn't enough room or the engine doesn't produce enough vacuum. Here's why:

          With a vacuum booster, if the engine stops (stalls) you still get a few more power brake pumps out of the brake pedal.
          With a hydro-boost system, once the power steering pump stops, no more power brakes.

          It's unusual for your engine to stall during driving but it has happened to all of us. Otherwise, hydro-boost is great.
          I use a two-stage 8" vacuum booster on our '59 Galaxie with front disc brakes. This system will lock up all the wheels and yes, this is the best upgrade for your classic car because it stops just like a modern car. (The second best upgrade is shared by using radial tires with rack and pinion steering.)

          For an example, my buddy's 2004 Cobra has hydro-boost, for those who want a part number. - 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

          From: Royal Oak, Michigan

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks to Matt, Ray and Dave for all the extra information.
            Pat M.
            Monson, MA
            1959 HT Hickory Tan, Thunderbird registry #77617

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
              Hydro-boost works well but my preference is still the vacuum booster. Cadillac, Mustang and a host of other cars came with hydro-boost, usually when there isn't enough room or the engine doesn't produce enough vacuum. Here's why:

              With a vacuum booster, if the engine stops (stalls) you still get a few more power brake pumps out of the brake pedal.
              With a hydro-boost system, once the power steering pump stops, no more power brakes.

              It's unusual for your engine to stall during driving but it has happened to all of us. Otherwise, hydro-boost is great.
              I use a two-stage 8" vacuum booster on our '59 Galaxie with front disc brakes. This system will lock up all the wheels and yes, this is the best upgrade for your classic car because it stops just like a modern car. (The second best upgrade is shared by using radial tires with rack and pinion steering.)

              For an example, my buddy's 2004 Cobra has hydro-boost, for those who want a part number. - Dave
              Welcome back buddy

              "The hydro-boost also has a reserve system (compressed gas accumulator) that is designed to store sufficient fluid under pressure to provide at least two power assist brake applications in the event that the fluid flow from the power steering pump is not available. The brakes can also be applied manually if the reserve system is depleted."



              59-430-HT

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              • #8
                Yeah, well, my car has factory air conditioning and space is an issue. I don't particularly like the way an aftermarket vacuum booster looks and frankly, they generally under-perform and waste engine vacuum. If the car stalls, you are not going to get too much power assistance from a vacuum booster so, I don't see the advantage? As the last post states, you have a reserve on the hydroboost that should provide power assistance for one to two more depressions of the pedal should the rare case occur when the engine stalls. I am extremely happy with this upgrade and as I have stated, I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to optimize your braking capabilities on a squarebird. I intend to use my car a lot (pretty much daily) so I wanted the added peace of mind knowing that I can easily stop my car in heavy, unpredictable traffic.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks Henry, I'm doin' good. I love your illustration showing an accumulator. Now, I have to get back with Chuck (my Mustang buddy) to try his system when the engine is 'stalled'. If he doesn't get 'extra pumps' then his accumulator must not be working correctly.

                  I always ask the question, 'what do OEMs use?' Certainly, the hydro-boost is an alternative but they mainly use vacuum boosters. OEMs know that their system are always under scrutiny in court, especially when injury is involved. If the system used is inferior, that opens the door to huge payouts for negligence regardless of cost (and they won't be in business for long).

                  Two brake components retained for many decades stands out, DOT-3 brake fluid and vacuum boosters. Are they the only choice? No. DOT-5 brake fluid and hydro-boost both function equally as well as alternatives. All brake systems require scheduled maintenance because there is no way to stop condensation. - 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

                  From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Don't think liability is an issue. Millions of 3/4-1 ton diesels used hydroboost for the last 25-30 years, since diesel's don't produce enough vacuum.
                    59-430-HT

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                    • #11
                      Will this Hydro Boost also work on a 1959 T-Bird with A/C?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes it should look exactly like mine does assuming factory air.

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