Classic Performance Products 378 E Orangethorpe Ave., Placentia CA 92870

Classic Performance Products

Installing a Master Cylinder and Power Brake Assembly

By Jeff Tann
Whoa power is as important as go power in any street rod, and today most street rods are equipped with disc brakes so they can slow down just as quickly as the car in front of them. Safety should be a concern to anyone building a street rod or street machine, and having excellent brakes is not just a good idea but should be mandatory as well. This street rod, a '35 Ford, will be equipped with Wilwood front disc brakes and Chevy rear drum brakes, and a top-quality master cylinder with power assist was required. The owner decided to equip the '35 Ford chassis with a bolt-in master cylinder and power booster kit from Classic Performance Products (CPP). The master cylinder is a brand-new item cast by the company specifically for street rods and street machines. One was ordered that works perfectly with the disc/drum setup used on this car. If you are building a chassis, this master cylinder, power booster and pedal kit is easy to install and should take only a few hours to complete if you don't figure in the time it takes to hook up the brake lines. The installation is easy, but you will need a metal-cutting device, such as a 3-inch cutoff wheel or a plasma cutter. The rest of the installation will require an electric drill and various hand tools. If you are working on a '35-'40 Ford and plan to hook up a master cylinder, follow along and we'll show you how easy it is.

1) The brake pedal assembly comes with a template for the installation. We cut out the template, punched the holes for the bolts and located the proper position for the template on the framerail crossmember.

2) The template was traced on the crossmember. We found that three of the bolt holes line up to existing holes and only one will have to be installed.

3) The new hole in the crossmember was cut out with a plasma cutter. This could also be done with a 3-inch cutoff wheel, but it wouldn't be as precise and would be a slower process.

4) A close look reveals the nice, clean cut that the plasma cutter made. Only minor sanding will be required to get it perfect. Notice that three of the bolt holes are already in the frame, but one will have to be installed.

5) Following the mark made on the frame, the bolt hole was drilled with an electric drill motor and a small step drill.

6) Using the kit's button-head Allen bolts, the brake bracket was bolted on the crossmember. Here, they are installed finger-tight.

7) After the bolts were installed, they were tightened with an Allen wrench and a 1/2-inch open-end wrench.

8) The vacuum booster was installed next and secured with the nuts supplied in the kit. The booster looks great with the gold-cad finish.

9) The pedal shaft was installed through the boss in the bracket. It's a good idea to lubricate the shaft before it is permanently installed.

10) The female Heim joint end was installed on the booster drive rod.

11) The pedal was installed over the shaft assembly and then the securing bolt was tightened with an Allen wrench and box-end wrench.

12) The booster assembly was connected to the power booster with the bolt and locknut supplied in the kit.

13) The master cylinder was equipped with the small drive fod that was supplied in the kit. Notice that it was lubricated before it was installed.

14) The master cylinder was installed on the two studs in the power booster and then the 9/16-inch bolts were installed finger-tight.

15) The bolts were secured with a large 9/16-inch box-end wrench. The master cylinder cap is also gold-cad-plated, and together the booster and master cylinder look terrific. If you look closely, you can also see the black vacuum fitting in the booster.

16) Here is the booster and master cylinder assembly mounted in the '35 frame and ready to plumb. The assembly fits great and the pedal assembly is in the same place as the original.