Improved Stopping Power for 1955-1959 Chevy Trucks

By Brian McCormick


If you are building a classic truck, chances are that nearly everything you could possibly need to replace or update is readily available through the after market. Among the sea of components is a wide range of suspension kits that provide updated geometry, ride, handling and reliability. It is not uncommon for enthusiasts to pay thousands of dollars for suspension products alone. However, at the top of every shopping list should be a quality brake system to safely stop your classic Chevy. It makes absolutely no sense to trick out the suspension and not update the brakes. The bottom line is that you are asking for trouble in the long run. Classic Performance Products has a new power brake kit for '55-59 Chevys that addresses all the improvement questions you might have. They have gone the extra mile to include new, 
quality products attached to a well-designed retrofit bracket system.  Some of the notable features of their system include a 7-inch, dual-diaphragm power booster and GM master cylinder that provides minimal pedal movement and maximizes 100 percent of the master cylinder's effectiveness. The kit also comes with a Delco combination (proportioning) valve that is pre-plumbed with stainless steel brake lines so all you need to do is connect your rear and front lines to the new lines. The combination valve also contains a provision and wire attachment for a brake warning light. All of the necessary Grade 8 and Nylock hardware is included to make attaching the kit to the stock location of your frame easy. Adjustments are also easy thanks to an aircraft-quality Helm joint attached to an added bracket that can be used to 
further increase the ratio for even easier braking.  Since the design of the kit follows the traditional under-cab mounting location, a fluid-fill bottle comes as standard equipment. Optional is a pre-fabricated access door that can be installed under the driver's seat. Classic Performance Products' years of experience in after market braking systems has produced one of the most complete power brake kits you can buy. they're perfect for the novice enthusiast looking to improve his truck's braking system, or the customizer building a hot rod show truck. Stopping power is not the place to scrimp on money, especially if you are going to invest a lot of time and cash into your ride. Follow along as Classic Performance Products takes you through the installation procedures and you'll see just how complete and easy the kit is to install.


A computer-generated diagram shows the entire assembly construction, which can be helpful should you choose to disassemble part of the kit.
To begin, remove the pedal arm from the stock master cylinder.
Unbolt the master from the frame and remove the brace plate from behind the stock mount This brace may be tack-welded in end should be removed.
Due to the length of the power brake kit, the stock parking brake pulley must be moved towards the rear. Measure 14 inches from the rear stock hole and mark the spot on the frame. Do the same for the front hole.
It is important that the new holes be the same height as the original ones. Measure from the hole center to the bottom of the frame to determine the distance, then mark the height onto the two new hole marks you made in the previous step.
Once the two new hole locations have been determined, drill each hole using a 3/8-inch drill bit
Reattach the stock parking brake pulley to the new location on the inside of the frame.


The stock parking brake cable attaches to a hinged bracket on a crossmember to the rear of the power brake kit. Remove the old pin holding the end of the cable.
Feed the cable through the inside of the frame and into the pulley bracket. 
Drill a new hole on the outside of the bracket as shown.  This will be the new attachment  location for the cable. The Classic Performance Products kit comes with a new pin since the old one is probably pretty worn out.
The new bracket simply bolts to the frame brace where the stock master cylinder was mounted.
Make sure the parking brake cable feeds through the middle of the new bracket as shown.
The new bracket system requires you to drill new mounting holes in the frame to properly support the weight of the power brake components.
The entire power brake assembly can now be installed onto the mounting bracket feed the plunger arm through the middle hole, line up the booster bolts with the four holes in the bracket and attach the required nuts to hold it in place. Do not tighten the assembly yet


An additional support brace attaches over the bottom-outside booster bolt and to the frame where a new hole must be drilled.
Attach the bracket with the provided Grade 8 hardware.
Grease the inside of the pedal arm I pivot point as well as the new pivot pin included in the kit.
Insert the pedal into the bracket and slide the pivot pin into the assembly.
The small bracket that extends from the pivot pin has two holes in it. The inward hole attaches the bracket to the pedal arm.
The outer hole is where the Heim joint attaches to the pedal bracket


In some cases, the casting thickness of the stock pedal may be too large to allow the Nylock nut to screw onto the assembly bolt if so, sand as much of the casting as necessary to allow the nut to properly fit.
When the modification is complete, bolt the Heim joint to the bracket. The plunger an is threaded to allow adjustment in the pedal pressure performance.
Once the pedal assembly is completed, use a grease gun to lubricate the pivot pin.
The combination valve used in the Classic Performance Products kit even has a plug application for wiring up a brake warning light
Filling the master cylinder is made easy thanks to a provided fill bottle with an angled feed nozzle. Another option for easier master cylinder access is to purchase this cool floor access door that installs under the driver's seat.
When using the Classic Performance Products power brake kit, or any other after market power brake kit, a Classic Performance
Products transmission crossmember should be installed, especially if you are going to install a V-8 engine and Turbo tranny.

Classic Performance Products  378 E Orangethorpe Ave.,  Placentia CA 92870  Tech Line 714-522-2000


© Classic Performance Products. This "website" and all contents are property of Classic Performance Products.  Prices subject to change without notice. Not responsible for errors or omissions. Please note that kits & prices may vary between certain applications.