My car finally tried to kill me today-

Dhos1

Self-tuning wanna-be
Needless to say, i experienced to ole powermaster brake fade ALMOST failure at 70 mph at a stoplight...had to push it further than ordinary. Probably time to switch to vacuum.
 
I hated how the powermaster brakes felt too ! Scared me once and I went hydro boost and wow it was night and day !!! I'd swap to vacuum or Hydro if it's a driver and not a show car.
 
^^^ ...or time to switch to vacuum .....just switched from a good working P/M system.....just too risky... made me too paranoid.
 
Been there more than once. Forget fixing the pm. Its time to go to hydroboost or vacuum. Not worth it.
 
In my opinion, it sucks. On an NA car they work fine. Hydroboost is such a better setup it doesn't make sense to go vacuum when it's damn near the same cost.
 
Going from vacuum to hydroboost on a buddies car. Vacuum can suck it too.
With that being said, any of you guys that converted to vacuum brakes had any issues or regret doing it? My GN is stock...
For ease of conversion, I sure would like to go vacuum. But if vacuum is going to cause me headaches I would probably go hydro.....

Any advice?
 
I have converted to vacuum assist. My '87 is mostly stock. No regrets yet.

I do believe that hydro probably has an advantage though.

Supposedly the Powermaster is superior to vacuum when building boost against the brakes. I would think that the hydro would be better than vacuum in this instance also.
 
With that being said, any of you guys that converted to vacuum brakes had any issues or regret doing it? My GN is stock...
For ease of conversion, I sure would like to go vacuum. But if vacuum is going to cause me headaches I would probably go hydro.....

Any advice?

The problem with hydro is you have no way of knowing if your power steering pump is up to the task. The only way to find out is to hook all the stuff up and see if you have brakes.

When Advance Auto quit warranting my powermaster I wanted to do hydro over vacuum... then I did the research.

I didn't like how the hydro brake system is like a very long tuning fork sticking off the firewall. It looked to make working on the DS of the car more trouble too.

Then I read about a few people that had tired PS pumps. Turns out it would turn the car just fine but when asked to do it's job and stop the car it was just not up to the task. I found quite a few reports where 'new' parts house pumps still weren't up to it.

That's when I went vacuum. Changing PS pumps are a pain in the but. ATF shampoos and fighting with the press fit pulleys... no thanks.
 
Only time I've had good success with vacuum brakes has been in my current NA el Camino. They work good. I installed a hydroboost setup in a pro touring style Camaro...bad ass. Neck snapping stopping.
I've installed vacuum brakes on a couple other NA cars, worked great.

I converted another 87 GN to vacuum, brakes were more dependable than the PM but sucked in comparison to hydroboost. Two of my buddies with GN's as we speak, have the worst brakes ever. Both going to hydroboost. I have hydroboost in my GN and look forward to good stopping power. There is a reason most if not all heavy duty trucks come with hydroboost. The shit works. If your pump can't handle running the brakes, it is probably on the way out anyways.

Sorry Earl, I can't agree on this one:D
I've done way too many brake setups and have found what works best for me. To each their own.

OP, whatever you do, be sure to change the proportioning valve if it's cast iron.
 
I have converted to vacuum assist. My '87 is mostly stock. No regrets yet.

I do believe that hydro probably has an advantage though.

Supposedly the Powermaster is superior to vacuum when building boost against the brakes. I would think that the hydro would be better than vacuum in this instance also.
Absolutely. If you go out and try to build boost with vacuum brakes, it won't take long for you to lose your brakes.
 
Sorry Earl, I can't agree on this one:D
I've done way too many brake setups and have found what works best for me. To each their own.

.

You're good. I only quoted the research I did. (other than not liking the 5 foot tuning fork, that's all me :) )


I can build boost with my vac setup since my check valve is in working order and I put one as a redundant backup right at the vac nipple.

..and I think big trucks use something a little more fortified than a GN power steering pump :D
 
You're good. I only quoted the research I did. (other than not liking the 5 foot tuning fork, that's all me :) )


I can build boost with my vac setup since my check valve is in working order and I put one as a redundant backup right at the vac nipple.

..and I think big trucks use something a little more fortified than a GN power steering pump :D
I like that on my F450 I can pump the brakes when I'm at a dead stop and make my steering wheel jerk...:p

For sure vacuum brakes are at least reliable over a PM.
 
I've had vacuum brakes for about 18 years now. Used all new GM parts back then. Sold my PM before it failed and the car had less than 10,000 miles when I did it. Had a friend with a low mile car almost lose it when the PM crapped out and that was enough for me to convert. Simple setup, reliable and can build 12 lbs of boost with them and probably more if I want with no creep. I do have SSB calipers on the front and the rear drums are 11" since my GN has Ford 9" in it. Hydro to me just seems to add more complications to the equation. More sources of leaks, harder access to spark plugs, etc.
 
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Sure looks sexy instead of some big turd on the firewall.
 
I like the hydroboost system over the vacuum system any day of the week.

What no one has seemed to mention in all the threads I've read is that the hydro system will also go pedal hard if the engine stalls. Pump no turn, brakes no there.:eek:

The vac system, powermaster, and hydro all have their respective pros and cons.

Believe it or not I still have the powermaster and like it the best. I have had the switch go bad and give me a scare [hard pedal], but I know how to drive unlike some of the people who own these cars.

Any of these systems can fail and the biggest difference in if you crash or not is how the driver reacts to the problem, not the problem. Unless you are the problem then you deserve to wreck.
 
I like the hydroboost system over the vacuum system any day of the week.

What no one has seemed to mention in all the threads I've read is that the hydro system will also go pedal hard if the engine stalls. Pump no turn, brakes no there.:eek:

The vac system, powermaster, and hydro all have their respective pros and cons.

Believe it or not I still have the powermaster and like it the best. I have had the switch go bad and give me a scare [hard pedal], but I know how to drive unlike some of the people who own these cars.

Any of these systems can fail and the biggest difference in if you crash or not is how the driver reacts to the problem, not the problem. Unless you are the problem then you deserve to wreck.
Some of the hydroboost have a reserve in them, like the one I posted. You still get a solid pump or two if the car dies. I believe the power master is the same way. Either way, if your car stalls, it's probably a POS anyways:eek::D I think we're having too much fun with this thread:p
 
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