Magazines that center around our hobby by their very nature tend to focus on technical stories dealing with performance or appearance, but any performance upgrade to a stock vehicle, or any rod or custom built from the ground up, will require improvements to the brake system or a system properly set up with compatible components.

Master Power Brakes sent us one of their Brake System Diagnostic Kits, and rather than just run it in our Rod Shop section, we figured it'd be neat to actually put it through its paces on one of our cars. My '46 roadster pickup was the obvious choice, especially as I've not been completely happy with the brake system since getting the truck on the road. While the front and rear brakes are stock Caprice, albeit rebuilt with all new calipers, wheel cylinders, hoses, pads, and shoes, and the combination valve is also from a Caprice, the dual circuit master cylinder and booster were aftermarket items more commonly used on lighter hot rods such as a '32. I didn't know the cylinder bore size and had a feeling the 7-inch booster was too small, but I'd selected it as a 9-inch version would have been too large to fit between the steering column and the inner fender panel. It should also be noted here that the brake pedal is the Caprice item, with the ratio unchanged, though it's modified to offset the pushrod 2 inches to the left in order to align with the booster on the firewall.

The brakes had never felt "right" and it took considerable effort to bring the truck to a halt after the first, and easy, use of the pedal. All things considered then, the system needed inspection, so I put it up on the rack at our Tech Center and unboxed the diagnostic kit.

SOURCE
Master Power Brakes
254-1 Rolling Hills Rd.
Mooresville
NC  28117
704-664-8866
www.mpbrakes.com
Classic Performance Products
175 East Freedom Avenue
Anaheim
CA  92801
800-522-5004
www.classicperform.com