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Getting rid of HydroVac Brakes

Unread postby Pwoudenberg on Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:50 pm

This is a repost of what I accidentally posted in the technical section.......

I'm thinking of getting rid of the old hydrovac brake system. Dodge and others discontinued it for safety reasons, and mine doesn't work right anyway. I looked into the Hydroboost system, but it has a flaw of if/when the fan belt breaks, you have no brakes or steering at the same time... kind of a problem there too. So, I"m considering just going with a standard brake master/booster combo typically used on a newer model truck. I've got a number of heavy duty truck guys saying that will work just fine... just need to fab up some brackets for mounting...
Any thoughts from the experts on this forum? I haven't started anything yet so I could be persuaded differently.
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Re: Getting rid of HydroVac Brakes

Unread postby KB2CRK on Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:47 am

Just to let you know the Hydroboost system has an internal accumulator which in case of a broken belt should give you enough reserve pressure to stop. If you are going with a vacuum based booster add a couple vacuum storage cans.
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Re: Getting rid of HydroVac Brakes

Unread postby badbillybiker on Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:18 am

great.... where do i find the listing for the required pieces????
Have always complained about these lousy DOT approved (bet therre was a payoff on those_}
brake systems... ready to buy... close to dumping due to these brakes and going to a P30 system/unit!
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Re: Getting rid of HydroVac Brakes

Unread postby KB2CRK on Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:23 am

Billy
Didn't you have a 76 Mahal? That would have had all the pieces from the factory.
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Re: Getting rid of HydroVac Brakes

Unread postby badbillybiker on Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:56 pm

Yes...in fact still have the 76 mahal title, original vin still attatched to the "hood" in my garage... i cut that unit up into little pieces with a sawzall and about 20 blades...kept rotors,, calip[ers, glass etc, after getting in the way in my garage scrapped all of it except, windshields, rear window,screen door and misc. parts...not much here anymore...however i did document the ruination and is in my library under DOAT death of a travco... switched to a 90 john deere/freight liner then recently bought this 1974 ride..a. very costly mistake... now maybe a looking at a 98 southwind on a p30 chasihows with easily repairable brakes etc. might keep the 74 for nostalgia.....same for my mc's.... just wrecked one i had recently acquired about a month ago, with less than 6 tou miles....got a broken arm, fractured ribs, going to a large open wound specialist..lotsa meat gone....arm ok in another month? cant do a thing for a while i offed the 90 and .went to a class c, then finally this 74... worse than standing on a pier tossing money into a lake!...now you know...the mc might be my last one tooo at 77 how much longer can i hileke getting into wrecks..... yes i ride like people in cars are trying to kill me....
btw, it was NOT my fault!!!!!!
been a biker for over 50 years...no, no helmet... cant stand them or seatbelts... would have been of no use anyhow......
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Re: Getting rid of HydroVac Brakes

Unread postby badbillybiker on Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:33 pm

badbillybiker wrote:Yes...in fact still have the 76 mahal title, original vin still attatched to the "hood" in my garage... i
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Re: Getting rid of HydroVac Brakes

Unread postby KB2CRK on Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:39 am

badbillybiker wrote:Yes...in fact still have the 76 mahal title, original vin still attatched to the "hood" in my garage... i cut that unit up into little pieces with a sawzall and about 20 blades...kept rotors,, calip[ers, glass etc, after getting in the way in my garage scrapped all of it except, windshields, rear window,screen door and misc. parts...not much here anymore...however i did document the ruination and is in my library under DOAT death of a travco... switched to a 90 john deere/freight liner then recently bought this 1974 ride..a. very costly mistake... now maybe a looking at a 98 southwind on a p30 chasihows with easily repairable brakes etc. might keep the 74 for nostalgia.....same for my mc's.... just wrecked one i had recently acquired about a month ago, with less than 6 tou miles....got a broken arm, fractured ribs, going to a large open wound specialist..lotsa meat gone....arm ok in another month? cant do a thing for a while i offed the 90 and .went to a class c, then finally this 74... worse than standing on a pier tossing money into a lake!...now you know...the mc might be my last one tooo at 77 how much longer can i hileke getting into wrecks..... yes i ride like people in cars are trying to kill me....
btw, it was NOT my fault!!!!!!
been a biker for over 50 years...no, no helmet... cant stand them or seatbelts... would have been of no use anyhow......
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That may explain a little bot....lol
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Re: Getting rid of HydroVac Brakes

Unread postby Acesneights on Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:28 pm

Both systems are dual circuit Hydro and hyrda and both are pretty safe. The only real issue with Hydavacs is when they sit. I have often wondered if chaging over to DOT 5 would help. It seems to last alot longer in the military trucks from my experience.
As far as stopping power, the main issue with Travcos are the older ones with front drum brakes. They did not stop well and no booster is going to fix that. It's brake fade from heat.
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Re: Getting rid of HydroVac Brakes

Unread postby Pwoudenberg on Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:58 am

While up in Michigan for vacation, I met another Travco owner named Craig. He graciously let me look around his rig and has done a couple things that I was considering. He removed all the old HydroVac stuff and replaced with a modern power brake system from a 1 ton Dodge truck. New booster and master cylinder. Made a real difference, and a lot safer, so that is the route I think I'll be going too. Cheaper than fixing the hydrovac also.
The other thing he did was add air bags to the suspension. He said it is still really stiff and you feel every imperfection in the road. I think I'll do the same however, but will probably strategically remove some of the leafs so the air bags take more of the load. In the end the actual support will be the same, but just shared by the bags and the leafs.
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Re: Getting rid of HydroVac Brakes

Unread postby badbillybiker on Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:50 am

Nice post.... a real maneuver to rid those pos brakes...
what i spent and times involved, had i known, would have walked...
i am not above cutting this one up too... tolerance and grief are wearing on me.
be nice if pics, procedures including part numbers were shared on this site, of course...
Sounds like a great course change on these travco brake systems... want me to send a mini-camera?
All hydrovacs, rotors, mc, wheel cylinders, hoses, vacuum hoses replaced and still dont trust these braked...
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