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1966 Brake Booster Question

Discussion in '1955 - 1966 Classic Ford Thunderbird' started by MichRX7, May 10, 2017.

  1. Hello, very new to the Thunderbird world, and as my name shares, very senior to the rotary world. My son decided he wanted to get a Father/Son project going and we have purchased a rust-free 1966 Thunderbird. While it has been great fun so far looking up/breaking down the VIN code, it is now time to start getting the vehicle running.

    While we are waiting for our shop manual and other items to show up, I went to go look up replacement parts for the Brake Booster and Master Cylinder, and this is where the confusion starts. When I look up the parts there are two different types:

    Bendix twist lock unit. With master cylinder
    Midland Clamp Band Unit. With master cylinder

    Since I haven't taken the old one off the car, and not being very familiar with the Booster units, is this two different styles that it attaches to the car, or maybe different ways to attach to the MC? Is there a preference of one over the other, or am I stuck using the same one that is one the car today? I'm going to pull the old one off the car, tonight maybe, and will hopefully figure it out, but I thought maybe that while I was sitting here at work being bored someone might enlighten our naivety in all things Thunderbird.

  2. Or did I just ask a really dumb question that no one wants to answer. :)
  3. fordrodsteven

    fordrodsteven Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    Don't get worried. Sometimes people take a while to answer some questions. I cannot say for certain that I know the answers to your questions but.... I personally would try to keep the system as originally designed. Just makes it more certain of ease of assembly and proper functioning once re-assembled. Now in regards to whether one is better than the other - I don't know. I wouldn't think so. I also feel the fitup should be okay because I wouldn't think the manufacturing assembly line would want drastically different parts in the bins for assembly. That would just cause more slowdowns in the assembly line build schedule. Although, If cars are built at different sites the parts could be different because one factory is in U.S. and another factory might be in Canada. Again I would expect it would still assemble okay because Ford Motor Company wouldn't have different body firewalls and different brake pedal assemblies up under the dash. SO... in my opinion - It should not matter which booster you use.
  4. Thanks for the reply. I am guessing I'll be able to tell easily which one it is once I get the 51 year old bolts off (ugh) and take a good look at it. Right now trying to figure out why the ignition switch just clicks instead of firing up the car, lol... I need to get it running and stopping so the boy feels like he might actually drive it some day!
  5. Brake booster: I have a 64, but same difference as to what I'm about to say.

    Originally I was able to rebuild my booster, using parts from another. It's kinda neat, the shop manual has detailed instructions. BUT -- heaven help you to try and find the parts. I get the impression that for safety reasons, you'll be hard pressed to find parts or any support for a DIY rebuild. In my case I've since replaced it anyway, as the master cylinder began leaking -- when that happens, the booster's days are numbered.

    There is a place in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida that rebuilds these, and does a great job. I don't recall the name, but you can find it on the internet by searching out places that rebuild brake boosters. You can also buy a booster from a catalog store, and send yours in for a core. An exchange is faster -- but as supply is drying up they might want yours first, which doesn't benefit you much. What do the catalog places do? Send them to Ft. Lauderdale, or similar place, and make a profit as a middleman.

    Having been there and done that, my recommendation is to locate this place, and consider having them rebuild it for you. Of course, rebuild the master cylinder as well -- or get a new one if available.

    When I first started my project, I was excited about getting into the nuts and bolts, doing everything myself. Some assemblies are fine -- power steering pump for example. Rebuilt it some 20 years ago, still going strong. But the brake booster is one that I would not do again.
  6. I have been sending my boosters to Booster Dewy in Portland Oregon. Excellent work and turnaround time.
  7. Thanks for the replies. I ended up sending it to Larry's T-Bird in California and it came back looking all nice and new. Hope to install it this Sunday along with the new master cylinder and soft brake lines to see if we can get the car to stop.

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