|New and shiny, and less than 69 bucks.|
What could be better?
It's time for me to do something to move the '51 Jag forward. I was outside the other day looking at it. I really do want to get the car up and running.
I've been told several times on the forums, that I should just contact White Post Restorations. They have been re-sleeving master and brake wheel cylinders for years. I was checking out the shop online and thought that I might get an estimate to rebuild my equipment. I followed up a thread from a Ferrari forum of a poster that had a beef with the shop. The poster sent his master cylinder and booster for rebuilding. He claimed that the rebuild was sloppy and dirty on arrival. He called the shop to complain and got a lot of grief from the owner, who really had a bad attitude.
What caught my eye was the price of the master cylinder rebuild, over 450 bucks. And this was a few years ago.
Let's see, I've got two master cylinders, a clutch slave cylinder, four front brake wheel cylinders and two rear brake wheel cylinders. It looks like this could really add up! It wouldn't be hard to imagine that it could cost a couple of grand.
I've also checked their website and they said to just send in the disassembled master and wheel cylinders to be re-sleeved. If I could disassemble the masters I wouldn't be having these problems!
I've already dissembled the wheel cylinders and they were gummed up, not rusted up. The masters were equally gummy, but the main thing is that I'm unable to disassemble them due to that threaded rear plug. That has to come off to replace the rear seal. Why couldn't this have been built like an American unit with spring clips?
I found a disc brake kit specifically designed for the Mark VII that sells for a couple of grand. That doesn't include the master cylinder.
|Note how simple the caliper mounts are.|
This would be preferable but than I'd still have the rest of the old system.
The basic structure of the frame is massive.
( This is not my car, mine's still intact!)
|That old frame isn't much different from a 30's or 40's car.|
Can anybody say, Speedster?
Street Rodders began swapping in front suspension clips from newer cars that were already equipped with disc brakes and rack and pinon steering systems. Such as the famous Mustang II front cross member. That gave rise to the term, "clipping." This was a cheap and easy (?) way to update the chassis, as the entire unit is already engineered as a stock unit. Then they would swap in a rear axle that had the same wheel bolt pattern. This all calls for some careful and exact welding. I thought about contacting a local hot rod shop.
Oh wait, "Where is there a local hot rod shop?
So I'm going to try the most conservative approach and just replace the brake and clutch master cylinders.
Will it work? I don't know. The bore is the same. The unit is listed as a high pressure unit that can work with disc brakes. The original system had a vacuum booster. According to the son of the owner, though, it had been running without one for many years. It might also need a residual pressure valve.
First, I'll have to figure out how to mount it. There's a two bolt vertical flange cast into the unit. Then there are two holes in the body of the unit. I'll probably be using the side mounts. I can easily make an adapter plate. Maybe I can even use one of the holes with the existing hole in the frame member.
Then I'll have to adapt the fittings to the existing hydraulic line. I know that there are lots of little brass fittings, connectors and adapters available.
Next, I'll have to adapt the linkage from the foot pedals.
My goal will be to have the original drums working effectively and safely. I would like to have front disc brakes, even all around discs. But it's more important to see if it can be a running and driving car first.
I ordered the master cylinder from Speedway Motors, they sell many items for hot rods and competition vehicles. Real race cars use their stuff.
They have a world of disc brake kits, pedal assemblies and anything else you could imagine. But that is only if you have a mainstream car.
I've got some ideas on adapting other rear brake set ups onto the Mark. Since the bolt pattern is the same as a Chevy 1/2 ton truck, I've considered transplanting those drum brakes onto the rear axle. It might not give me better braking but it would give me a bigger source for replacement parts. I also think that I might be able to adapt a disc brake assembly designed for the truck to the rear axle. I'll explore some of my ideas later, at a more appropriate time.
Am I just in over my head? Is my cheapness, lack of knowledge, and poverty just on clear display? There isn't much more that I can do. I've got to try something that is within my wheelhouse, as restrictive and limited as that probably is! That's what car guys and hot rodders do. I'm not afraid to work on my cars brakes. I've done brake jobs and repairs for years. I even replaced all the hard lines in my '66 Riviera with universal hard line, and that came out fine.
I'll be completely honest, there's no way that I'm gonna drop any big money into that old Jag. I'll see what I can do, and make my decisions from there.
The master cylinder should arrive in a couple of weeks. Then the fun begins.