I got a really nice letter from Bennett, one of my local Scout friends, when I was laid up last month. He offered to get our local group of IH guys together and get some work done on Peer Pressure while I was laid up, the generosity of which blew me away. We set up a date in early March and he had me put together a list of stuff I’d like to tackle: Hydroboost, fuel sender, and maybe something else if we have the time.

The Hydroboost project involves removing the big stock brake booster and replacing it with a GM hydraulic unit sourced from an Astro van and hooking it into the power steering pump. What this does is improve overall braking power, allow for added stopping power in the event of an engine shutoff, and make more room in the engine bay. Back in 2013 I assembled all of the parts but stalled out, because I don’t trust myself enough to follow the sparse instructions found online or bleed the brake system correctly by myself.

Clockwise, from upper left: Astro brake unit, power steering hoses, power steering adaptors, aluminum standoff block, brass fittings.

So I’m sending this photo over to Bennett and Ray, the acknowledged experts, to make sure I’ve got everything I need. I’ve got to pick up new brake fluid for sure, but hopefully everything else is correct.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: January 31, 2018 | Filed under friends, Hydroboost, Scout | Comments Off on A Boost for my Hydro

Peer Pressure is squirrelly. Suspension mods installed by the previous owner make the ride stiff; at highway speeds expansion joints and large bumps render the steering vague as the body floats up over the springs and back downward. Braking has gotten dicier since I bought the truck. Moderate pedal pressure these days sends the front and rear in different directions as the pads and calipers grab at different points.

Among the many repairs and upgrades I’d like to do is one of the (I’m told) easiest and most inexpensive improvements to the braking system: the Hydro-Boost. A system originally installed in GM products the world over, it’s an improvement on the old big round booster design Scouts were installed with, because it does away with vacuum-powered braking in favor of fluid power supplied by the power steering pump. It seems to be a pretty popular mod for a lot of vintage cars. Following a thread on the Just Internationals forum, I ventured out to the junkyard with my brother-in-law in search of an Astro Van with ABS brakes. We found four with and two without—the difference being the ones without ABS have the big round brake booster we’re looking to discard. I found an ABS Pontiac Safari already propped up on tires waiting for me, so early this morning I got to work.

Hydroboost 4

I disconnected the hose running across the top, then the right-side hose that ran to the power steering pump. Thankfully, someone had already pulled the radiator, so I had a ton of room to work with.

Hydroboost 1

The left-side hose running down underneath was very difficult to get off (I didn’t have metric wrenches) so I punted and cut the hose as close to the top of the metal line as I could. I used a pair of channel locks to snip the coiled metal hose running to and from the ABS computer (the big box directly below the hydroboost assembly) below the proportioning valve because those bolts were not coming off for love or money.

Hydroboost 2

Finally, I crawled inside and used a long 15mm metric socket to take off four mounting bolts on the bracket. Hopefully other used Astros will be cleaner under the dash than mine was.

Hydroboost 5

Then, a bunch of wrestling, tugging, pulling, and twisting got the whole assembly free. GM didn’t leave a lot of room in the engine bay to work with, so I removed the top fitting to clear the cowl and put it back on when I was done.

Hydroboost 3

Stay tuned. Next I’m going to assemble all the parts needed to retrofit the assembly.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: March 11, 2013 | Filed under Hydroboost, Purchasing, Scout | Comments Off on Hydro-Boost.