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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 02:36 PM
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add pwr brakes to 73 CJ5

My 73 cj has manual drums and they are finally giving up. I dread the thought of working on drum brakes but will hopefully intice some of my mechanicly inclined friends to help by offering Beer and Pizza if necessary. my question: is ther an inexpensive way to add a power brake booster to my braking system? can i reuse my original master cylinder? I seem to remember hearing about using a Chevy power booster and master cylinder but dont know what year. I just dont want to spend all the time and money to do a comprehensive brake job (I think i need a hose or two as well) and still have brakes that SUCK. Any help would be great. thanks. Ill try to check back tomarrow
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 02:46 PM
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Re: add pwr brakes to 73 CJ5

So i just remembered that this sit has a search feature and I found numerous threads related to my topic. Sorry, Ill search before I ask next time.
post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 02:48 PM
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Re: add pwr brakes to 73 CJ5

Without knowing what engine yours has, it is hard to say whether you will be able to fit a booster or not.

But, to answer the question as well as possible, I would look into a front disk upgrade and keep the non-power. One thing to think about is if the engine dies on a hill, so does your power brakes. A well adjusted set of drums can work well (mine stop 35's well enough to lock them if I want to) and adding disks to the front can make a decent system a great performer.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 03:26 PM
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Re: add pwr brakes to 73 CJ5

I put Disc brakes in my 73 CJ-5 with the Dana 30. It was really simple. I bought a Dana 30 from a late 70's CJ with the narrow track and swapped the knuckles out. If you trust the other front end completely than you can swap in the whole axle, provided the gear ratios are the same. I used the stock master cylinder and it has worked fine. The only problem is the rear locks up pretty easy if you jump on the brakes too hard. This can be adjusted by adding a proportioning valve. Wilwood sells the nicest ones I have seen. Check I am sure someone here in this list can tell us if there is really any difference between the Drum/ Drum and Disc/Drum master cylinders. The reason why I left mine was because I was afraid that the throws in the pedals would be different. I am sure someone on this list can clear that on up as well.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 07:49 PM
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Re: add pwr brakes to 73 CJ5

I've got a '74 CJ5 that has the same brake system as your '73. I've been looking at the power brake idea as well. The brakebooster from a mid-late '80s GM car is supposed to work. What I can't find out is if the AMC master cylinder will bolt up, or if you have to use the GM MC. Like you I have drums front and rear. Drums are high pressure, low volume and discs are low pressure high volume. When looking at your master cylinder you will notice both front and rear resivores are the same size, and on a disc/drum combo the front is smaller than the rear (remember front resivore goes to rear brakes, rear resivoir goes to front brakes--why they aren't front to front and rear to rear I've never been clear on!) Anyhow, since all '80s GM cars were disc/drum, that means I'd need to change the MC out...but I'm unsure if the AMC MC will bolt up to the booster and I've not been willing to plunk down the money on a "maybe". I'm thinking about saving up and going 4 wheel disc brakes and a whole new brake system...about $1300 according to the catalogs. Power steering is coming first though!
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