Power Booster Information for Imperials with Disc Brakes

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Question from Gary (1961):

I have a 61 Crown that has a loud "HISSING" only when I press the brakes. I think something in the vacuum booster is leaking. Does anyone know of a good company that repairs power brake units? How long does it take? Is the vacuum unit the same for a 61 Crown, 62 Chrysler 300, and 62 Chrysler Newport? Cost?


From Tony:

I recently had my '61 booster rebuilt by Karp's. They are located in CA and the website is www.resleeve.com. They charge $200.

I am very pleased with the result and it only took a few days for them to complete the job.

I think you will find that Imperial brake boosters changed in '62 with the master cylinder bolted on the front of the booster instead of being separately located underneath. The chances are other Chrysler products changed too.

From John:

Before you remove the booster, check the hoses for leaks. I believe the 61 has the vacuum tank under the front wheel well like the 60 has. These sometimes develop rust outs. Check that also.

Question from Chris (1962):

I've been looking for a vacuum booster for my '62 and have run into a brickwall. There are many places that will rebuild mine, which is fine, but no one sells one rebuilt! I have this compulsive disorder about having spare parts for rare cars...


From Anthony:

Find another '62, pull the booster and have it rebuilt, may be slightly challenging but it may not necessarily have to just be a '62.

From Larry:

Check with Power Brake Booster Exchange in Portland, Or. The address is 4533 S.E. Division St. The Phone # is 503-238-8882. I had one rebuilt for my '67. They said they had some units available, but I don't know for what models.

From John:

Buy a used one. In my experience, a very small percentage of these ever go bad.

Question from William (1966):

I have been experiencing difficulties with the brakes on my '66 Crown Conv.. Here is the history: car bought 9/00 with new pads installed, no self adjusters. Drove car to S.F., CA and master cylinder went. Replaced with a NEW one, as well as the wheel cylinders, and brakes adjusted up and the pads were virtually new with very little wear. Great. Jan. '01 brake pedal low from use without self adjusters. My old mechanic adjusted up and pedal is high. All during this time when the top was up and windows closed when I applied the brakes I hear a slight hissing. Since then I have purchased and had installed the self adjusters for the brakes, I have verified that the brakes were adjusted properly. At this point the brake pedal has quite a bit of travel (50%+) before you feel any pressure. If not used much (highways) first application is down further, with more pressure required. If you pump them the pedal comes up a small amount but on hard braking it requires greater pressure as well. I really don't think I could lock up the brakes if I wanted to, although the car did stop with greater effort. I have been given three possibilities: 1). Air in brake lines (low pedal) 2). brake booster check valve. 3). Master cylinder (pedal never sinks when at stop) also bypassing back brakes. My new mechanics seem to think the whole booster is bad, rather then the valve check (?) and/or vacuum hose.

I hope this makes sense, and if anyone has had similar experience I would really appreciate input. If I do need a new booster, can I get a NOS one? Are they rebuildable, or where a quality used one may be had?


From John:

The hissing sound is most likely the booster leaking. I've heard of someone called "Booster Dewey" that rebuilds the boosters. I recall someone recently on the list saying that he was good. This should be an easy find used & I would go that route if it were mine, since it would probably be a 3rd the price.

From Steve:

I would agree with your mechanic that the booster is bad. The hissing sound and hard pedal are clues that make me think that the booster has ruptured. I don't know if you can get new/rebuilt units for your car but I bet somebody that does know will post soon.

I would have your mechanic replace the booster and bleed the brakes. Go ahead and have him adjust the brakes even though they have the self adjusters now.

From Ken:

Power brake boosters are rebuilt by Booster Dewey here in Portland. He's a super nice guy, does great work, and is reasonable. Contact him at 503 238-8882 for shipping instructions. The last time I was in his shop he was quoting around $100 and 5-day turnarounds but that may have changed.

From Allen:

Take a look at your disks - are they worn. Lastly, take off your wheel covers and see if the noise is from them.....

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