Brake Boost­ing Options forYour Jeep

The tech­ni­cal side of the hy­draulic equa­tion

Jp Magazine - - Table Of Contents - By Jay Kopy­cin­ski jped­i­tor@jp­ Pho­tog­ra­phy: Jay Kopy­cin­ski

Mod­ern fac­tory brake sys­tems are de­signed to pro­vide some type of as­sist,

help­ing the driver pro­vide solid brak­ing per­for­mance without caus­ing his or her leg to go numb while bear­ing down on the pedal—com­monly known as power brakes as opposed to man­ual brakes. How­ever, when build­ing a cus­tom rig or deal­ing with ve­hi­cle mod­i­fi­ca­tions, there may be a time where one needs to re­place the ex­ist­ing boosted master cylin­der setup and change to some­thing dif­fer­ent. This could be from a de­sire to change the means of brake boost­ing or want­ing to elim­i­nate the brake boost func­tion for sim­plic­ity and re­li­a­bil­ity. An­other rea­son could be the lack of space for a large booster due to an en­gine swap or other space con­straints.

It’s use­ful to note that go­ing to larger brake pis­tons at the axles means they re­quire greater fluid flow from the master to func­tion prop­erly. In­creas­ing the master cylin­der bore size can pro­vide greater fluid and keep the pedal stroke short, but you lose me­chan­i­cal advantage as you in­crease the master bore size. For a given push of the brake pedal, a smaller bore master will pro­vide more hy­draulic pres­sure out at the wheels, while a larger bore de­liv­ers more fluid to the brakes but at lower pres­sure.

We’ve seen cases where the stock vac­uum booster was re­moved from the brake sys­tem, leav­ing a purely man­ual brake master on the ve­hi­cle. Where there has been room, or the brake master was mounted higher than nor­mal, we’ve also seen fab­ri­ca­tors ex­tend the length of the brake pedal to in­crease me­chan­i­cal advantage pro­vided by the pedal pres­sure. Of course, the pedal move­ment un­der brak­ing will also in­crease by a pro­por­tional amount, so that has to be taken into ac­count as well.

There are al­ter­na­tive options to run­ning the typ­i­cal large vac­uum-as­sist booster. These in­clude smaller af­ter­mar­ket boost sys­tems, hy­draulic-as­sist sys­tems, and sev­eral types of man­ual brake setups that have the advantage of pro­vid­ing con­stant brake per­for­mance re­gard­less of what the en­gine is do­ing. Here are a few al­ter­na­tives for you to con­tem­plate when plan­ning your next build or re­vamp­ing your cur­rent rig.

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