By Tommy Lee Byrd   –   Photography by the Author

For decades we trusted single-reservoir master cylinders on our daily drivers and our street rods, but the thought of evacuating all of your brake fluid due to an aging or faulty wheel cylinder, brake hose, or brake line issue is frightening. Our 1964 Chevelle was built toward the end of the single-reservoir era, as dual-reservoir master cylinders would become the industry standard just a few years later. The same principles apply to many popular platforms, such as the Tri-Five Chevy and pretty much any car or truck built before 1967.

Even though the CPP kit comes assembled, we took it apart to bench bleed the master cylinder and give us more room. The brake booster bracket slides over the original studs and we tighten the original nuts.
Another time-saver is this proportioning valve, which includes the appropriate bracket and pre-bent hard lines that run between the master cylinder and valve. Sure, you can buy piece by piece, but CPP makes it easy and affordable with a complete kit.
Brake lines are cheap for most applications, but they do require some dirty work. This old Chevelle has a tired 283 that keeps the undercarriage well lubricated, so our brake line install was a little greasier than most. We used a hard line kit from Summit Racing (PN COP64H2), which is designed for use with power disc brake conversions on 1964-1967 Chevelles.

The braking system on our Chevelle project car never gave us any signs of failure, but for safety purposes we decided to proactively upgrade our master cylinder. Classic Performance Products (CPP) offers a kit that not only converts the car to a dual master cylinder, but also converts it to power brakes. The brake booster offsets the increased pedal effort from the larger bore inside the master cylinder.

The CPP Firewall Booster kit (PN 6474BB2) includes a cadmium- plated booster, with 3/16-inch steel brackets that fit nicely on the stock firewall. Also included is a CPP dual reservoir master cylinder, pre-bent lines, a proportioning valve and bracket assembly, and a new pushrod and clevis.

We used a CPP master cylinder kit (PN 6474BB2), which is a direct bolt-on kit for cars using disc brakes up front and drums out back. The kit includes a cadmium-plated brake booster (you can choose the size but we went with the 9-inch booster), brackets for bolting directly to your stock firewall, a new dual-reservoir master cylinder, pedal pushrod and clevis, pre-bent hard lines, and a new proportioning valve and bracket assembly. One additional item that makes this installation easier is a new hard brake line kit. In the case of our Chevelle, we used a Right Stuff kit from Summit Racing (PN COP64H2), which works for 1964-1967 Chevelles with power disc brake conversions. Overall, our brake booster and master cylinder upgrade only took a few hours (most of which was spent installing the new lines), and set us back about $400, including the new brake lines and brake fluid. Follow along as we install the kit, which gives us added confidence and comfort when it’s time to slide behind the wheel of our weekend cruiser. MR

Classic Performance Products
(714) 522-2000