3 Tips for Repairing Classic Car Brake Systems
Repairing classic car brake systems can be a little different than doing similar work on more modern vehicles. Simply by virtue of their age classic cars can be a little bit challenging to work on as an amateur. Not because they are more complex or difficult to understand, in fact classic cars tend to be much simpler in design then modern vehicles. Working on older vehicles simply presents its own set of challenges. Here are a few things to keep in mind when working on your classic car’s braking system:
- Have a Vision – Before attempting any work on a classic car, you should have a clear vision of what you want to do with the vehicle. Some classic car owners feel that it is very important to keep their vehicles in stock condition, or as near to stock condition as possible. Other drivers are just as comfortable or even prefer modifying their classic vehicle in order to bring it up to modern standards. Keeping a classic vehicle in its original stock condition tends to protect its value, however retrofitting modern components tends to offer advantages in safety and durability. This is particularly true of components within the braking system. Components and designs that were cutting edge in the 60’s and 70’s are lackluster by modern standards. Upgrading or “resto-modding” some components is a good option for most drivers that don’t intend to show their vehicles. That way they can take advantage of new technology and still enjoy the classic-car nostalgia.
- If It Ain’t Broke, You Could Still Fix It – One thing that classic cars all have in common: They’re OLD! That’s what makes them classic. That’s also something that should be kept in mind when doing work on a classic car. Anytime a repair is needed on a classic car, that should be viewed as an opportunity to check up on and replace or repair other components within the same system. This is especially true of components within the braking system. You should always take into consideration how a particular repair could affect other brake parts. For example, many classic car owners who replace worn out master cylinders find that once they install a new master cylinder the increased hydraulic pressure in the braking system causes aging caliper piston seals to leak, or old brake lines to swell or even burst.
- Safety Comes First – The foremost thing on every driver’s mind should always be safety. Especially for the classic car owner that is driving their car regularly or in adverse weather conditions, any repair to the braking system should be accompanied with a good deal of thought about what can be done to make the car safer. The truth of the matter is that although muscle cars are really cool, they sometimes don’t perform on par with modern cars in key areas. Braking is one of the most worst offenders in this category. If you are doing work on the brakes you should do some research on safety related upgrades that you could take advantage of like updated proportioning valves.