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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a '67 gtv (single circuit Ate) that I am considering running with out the brake booster. I have searched the site and found a little info regarding some cars that were mostly used on the track, but direct feedback relating to long-term street use would be very appreciated.

Please give me feedback on the pros and cons.
Will the pedal pressure be too excessive for regular use?
Are modulation or sensitivity adversely affected?

Thanks:D
 

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Bryan, it will work just fine if you also use pads with a little more grip over the standard pads.

In the days before power brakes, brake material was softer, and to get the higher mileage/longer life for the increasingly heavier cars, harder lining/pad material was used which necessated a brake booster.

Today the pads for Alfas are so hard that they never seem to wear out. And the Alfas are much lighter over most other cars. Also the Alfa brake system was first designed without a brake booster and is more than adequate without one.

I use the Centerline performance pads without a brake booster on most of the cars I build. Works well.

Hope this helps.
 

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..i run without a booster,my car is an 1984 spider.and i have 4 pot calipers on the thing..but even with the org. brakes , running without the booster was fine...had no problems at all..
 

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Is it possible (or a big job) to physically remove the booster on the newer
(74) cars or do you just block off the vacuum? On my Canadian 69 GTV (single booster floor pedals) it was easy :)
Thanks..


Bryan, it will work just fine if you also use pads with a little more grip over the standard pads.

In the days before power brakes, brake material was softer, and to get the higher mileage/longer life for the increasingly heavier cars, harder lining/pad material was used which necessated a brake booster.

Today the pads for Alfas are so hard that they never seem to wear out. And the Alfas are much lighter over most other cars. Also the Alfa brake system was first designed without a brake booster and is more than adequate without one.

I use the Centerline performance pads without a brake booster on most of the cars I build. Works well.

Hope this helps.
 

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If anything, the 'feel' should be better without a booster, as your foot will be more directly connected (hydraulically) to the brake pads. Early 105 cars which left the factory without a brake servo had a 20mm M/C instead of the 22mm version fitted to cars with the servo. If you're really looking for the ultimate and aren't too bothered about the terrible $/£ exchange rate at the moment, Alfaholics do a really nice twin Girling M/C unit with adjustable balance bar. [Max, do I get a discount for the plug? :D]

This is something I am also seriously considering ... but these days I'm ideas-rich but time-poor :rolleyes:

Alex.
 

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To me it is all in the selection of the pad material, hard pads require more pedal pressure and have less "feel". Better pads allow one to modulate the grip better.

In my experience, the '69 up calipers with racing pads will give more stopping torque than the grip from any racing tire we've used. Along with good modulation (feel).

Ken (gtv4evr) why do you want to take off the booster on your beautiful car? Besides won't Canadian inspectors say it is no longer "stock" and give you a bad time?

(And we still use the 22mm bore master cylinder)
 

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Ken (gtv4evr) why do you want to take off the booster on your beautiful car? Besides won't Canadian inspectors say it is no longer "stock" and give you a bad time?
(And we still use the 22mm bore master cylinder)
Just curious. I ran my 69 with no booster and liked the feel. The engine compartment would look cleaner without the booster.
 

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67 Spiders without boosters had a different size MC from Supers and GTVs with boosters.

I've driven two 69 Berlinas with their boosters removed and I wouldn't do it again. The pedal effort required was unbelievable and I don't think it would be humanly possible to lock the brakes. If you swapped to the Duetto size MC, it might be OK, but you'd have to convert to single-circuit, and the calipers and pads are still larger. I don't like it at all.

Andrew
 

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Bryan,

When you borrow my wheel rollers you can drive my Duetto. Late ATE brakes, stock pads, no booster. You'll like it !

Dan
 

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Bryan

I run without a booster and as George has said, many pad choices will affect pedal pressure needed.

That said why don't you try it for a while by removing the vacuum line from the booster and blocking it. An old sparkplug usually works fine for this. Try a sport/race pad if you think the pedal is too stiff. The feel/feedback is better without the booster because the vacuum level in a booster is constantly changing the amount of boost you get. Un boosted will be the same every time you touch the pedal.
 

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I am seriously thinking of doing this on my 69 GTV. I am sick and tired of playing with brake issues that seem to be linked to the brake booster. I run KFP blue compound carbon/Kevlar brake pads on both cars. When the alfa has working brakes, it stops really well, the rest of the time, they are horrible. That said the Datsun with no power assist always feels awesome. It flat out stops with great pedal feel and not a lot of effort. The Alfa on the other hand even with significant effort still doesn't stop. The pedal is mushy and despite replacing the MC, booster, front calipers, check valve, booster vacuum line, and brake pads it still doesn't stop.
I have already removed one of the boosters, and converted to a single circuit system with a '67 MC.

Will
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
OK. I had the local Napa Auto parts fabricate a brake line straight from the master cylinder to the brass manifold, instead of making some sort of connection betwen the two lines that used to run to and from the booster. It cost about $15 and is much prettier, and possibly cheaper, than the cost of a connection fitting.

It is the darker gray colored line


You can see how much cleaner it is without a booster...
Before


After


You know, I've heard guys complain about how unsafe a single circuit system is, but this system is so SIMPLE, I think a single circuit system w/o a booster eliminates the most frequent components of failure, thereby making a less problem-prone system in the first place. There is hardly anything to go wrong with the system. But just in case, I rebuilt the master cylinder while i was in there. Cheers for a job that actually took less time than anticipated!
 

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Thats a really nice clean install. I think you nailed it when you say making it a single circuit system without the boosters is more reliable. I like simple stupid. If it doesn't work for some reason its ususally pretty obvious.

Nice work,
Will
 

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Check Valve

I am seriously thinking of doing this on my 69 GTV. I am sick and tired of playing with brake issues that seem to be linked to the brake booster. I run KFP blue compound carbon/Kevlar brake pads on both cars. When the alfa has working brakes, it stops really well, the rest of the time, they are horrible. That said the Datsun with no power assist always feels awesome. It flat out stops with great pedal feel and not a lot of effort. The Alfa on the other hand even with significant effort still doesn't stop. The pedal is mushy and despite replacing the MC, booster, front calipers, check valve, booster vacuum line, and brake pads it still doesn't stop.
I have already removed one of the boosters, and converted to a single circuit system with a '67 MC.

Will
Will, where did you find the check valve? Was it the one off the back of the intake manifold or the one on the first booster (69)? My latter one is busted and leaking. Thanks, Bruce
 

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Will, where did you find the check valve? Was it the one off the back of the intake manifold or the one on the first booster (69)? My latter one is busted and leaking. Thanks, Bruce
The check valve is in the back of the intake. I got mine from Alfa Parts. I think I will be pulling the booster off on friday to see if something is stuck in the air valve. I hate dealing with these stupid boosters. Every time I mess with one, it ends up costing paint as the brake fluid eats the original paint like its candy. It will then take a good 4 hours to bleed the system out, as well as a quart or more of brake fluid. I'd rather have my teeth pulled than mess with these brakes.

Will
 

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..if you are worried about leaking brake fluid on you car, when you play with your boster,, try this..get some vegatable oil, pour it around the painted area that you are worried about,, brush it around to get good coverge, then work on your car.. the brake fluid will not touch the paint, just that vegi oil..
 

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#&nm Brakes

The check valve is in the back of the intake. I got mine from Alfa Parts. I think I will be pulling the booster off on friday to see if something is stuck in the air valve. I hate dealing with these stupid boosters. Every time I mess with one, it ends up costing paint as the brake fluid eats the original paint like its candy. It will then take a good 4 hours to bleed the system out, as well as a quart or more of brake fluid. I'd rather have my teeth pulled than mess with these brakes.

Will
Ditto that Will. Even root canals w/o novicane. Brakes have been 80% of my grief on this car (for a long, long time now). I've gone through 6 boosters and am on number 7/8. It's now pulling badly to right after complete system rebuild and new booster #7/8. Alignment is OK. Someone thinks it may be a kinked S/S wound PN hose. While the engines are jewels, I suspect the brake system is the dark underbelly of Alfas that we do not much speak about, unless amply punctuated with expletives. #[email protected]## *&$##@!!

*EDIT: To be more specific, the brakes on a dual circuit '69 anyway.
 
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