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I am getting my 65 back on the road after a long 11 year rest. Is a dual bowl master cylinder a must have upgrade for safety or overkill?
I will be making a run to John's Mustang in Houston and feel might as well pick up everything I might need while there.
I am actually looking at CJ Pony YouTube channel and they are showing the upgrade.
Hummmmm
Would it be cheaper to just hit napa and get a dual master cylinder and bend my own lines?
 

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Will this be a front drum/rear drum master cylinder? If so, it isn't the same as any old typical master cylinder which is for front disc brakes. You can tell just by looking at one because the reservoir for the front disc's is bigger than the rear for drum brakes. I know its a significant expense but I would go ahead and bite the big bullet and convert to front disc brakes and get the appropriate master cylinder for the conversion. That is what I did on mine.
 

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If you have all drums like me I got the my MC kit from CJ Pony but the pre bent lines didn’t line up exactly so I had to do a little massaging to get the lined up.

I only drive mine on weekends so didn’t think I really needed the disc upgrade but the dual MC was a must.


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A dual bowl MC for a 1967 Mustang with drum brakes is what you need. Any auto parts store can get it for you.
Is it mandatory- No. I was alive back in those days and I don't remember hearing about wrecks caused by single bowl MC failures.
Is it a good idea- Yes. If you have the ability to bend and flare brake line tubing the conversion should cost less than $50.
 

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A dual MC is a good upgrade. With a single, if a line bursts you will have 0 brakes. With a dual you would still have braking to two wheels.

Agreed that you would need a drum/drum dual master cylinder. I would do a little research to see what fits the bill before buying a kit with lines.
 

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A dual bowl MC for a 1967 Mustang with drum brakes is what you need. Any auto parts store can get it for you.
Is it mandatory- No. I was alive back in those days and I don't remember hearing about wrecks caused by single bowl MC failures.
Is it a good idea- Yes. If you have the ability to bend and flare brake line tubing the conversion should cost less than $50.
I agree exactly. I have done this on numerous cars. I have not done this on mine.
 

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As said above it isn't mandatory but after 11 years of sitting you probably need a new master cylinder anyways...and new wheel cylinders!
 

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DO the upgrade. The ability to stop if one or the other circuit fails is worth it. As others have said.
 

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I would do at least dual master.

25+ years ago, I had rear brake line failure in a gas station.

Found transverse muffler had rubbed the hardline on axle.

I had just filled up and about to get on interstate in Oakland, CA.

Drove home slowly AND only had downshifting c4, parking brake, and placing in neutral (at stop lights).

289/c4/factory 4 wheel power drums

That was an interesting 15 minute drive home in traffic.
 

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I would do at least dual master.

25+ years ago, I had rear brake line failure in a gas station.

Found transverse muffler had rubbed the hardline on axle.

I had just filled up and about to get on interstate in Oakland, CA.

Drove home slowly AND only had downshifting c4, parking brake, and placing in neutral (at stop lights).

289/c4/factory 4 wheel power drums

That was an interesting 15 minute drive home in traffic.
Yeah. I've seen that failure in traffic actually. (rear brake hose) It might as well been a master cylinder,
since the guy's car was an all original 65/66, the result would be the same. He did hit other cars in front of him
at a traffic light.

If I were the OP, I'd do the dual reservoir master for sure. I personally like braided steel "flex" lines in the
other three locations.

ex-Global West GM
1991-1995
 

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I agree with everyone else, at least do the dual bowl, it's a cheap upgrade that makes your car much safer. That said I would also do a front disk conversion too. That was one of the first and single best mods I've done to my car hands down.
 

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I have the single bowl (with factory power brakes). It's what everybody did before 1967. I check my whole brake system periodically to make sure it's in perfect shape and replace parts right away if needed. (leaks or sinking pedal) Car was my daily driver in Los Angeles during rush hour for years and years. Make sure that parking/emergency brake works as that give you roughly the same braking as losing the front brakes in a dual bowl setup. (Not much braking). Downshifting helps immensely too. Rear brake plumbing is often overlooked and that's where I see a greater danger. A failure is usually not catastrophic but certainly could be. Usually there are warning signs that are missed by the car owner.

All that being said nearly everyone recommends a dual bowl setup. That still doesn't excuse you from making sure the system is in good shape no matter what you do.
 

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Let me tell you a story... Had my 66 Fastback out for a local show 'n shine. It wasn't more than about 5 miles from the house (I mention this because it doesn't matter 5 miles or 500 miles). Show is over, driving home... dumbass lady pulls out right friggin in front of me, I have to slam on my brakes. Well my car would not stop, it felt like the front passenger wheel was the only one trying to stop. I almost plowed this dumbass, and my car would have been junk. I wasn't going very fast, but I guarantee my car would have been trashed. SOMEHOW, I did not ram this bitch, but my car almost went sideways with me trying not to wreck. On very shaky knees I limped home, and yes, I wanted to bleed this lady, but you know, did not of course. I get it back into the garage and there is not a teaspoon of fluid in my single bowl master. Long story shortened up, the only brake working was the right front drum.
Summary? I ordered the dual bowl master that night and did NOT drive my car until I had it in, properly bled and all 4 brakes. Additionally I bought the Wilwood disk brake kit for the front, but the point is I came very, very close to losing my car because of that single bowl master.
If you love your car like mine, upgrade to a dual bowl master. I almost waited too long!
 

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I should also mention that the car was hiding the brake fluid leak, and I do check things like my brake fluid level, just did not this night....
 

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I noticed whenever I would check my fluid level I always had to top it off but couldn't find a leak anywhere. When I finally decided it was time to at least upgrade to a dual bowl I noticed some brake fluid on my steering column right below the push rod inside the cab.
My mc had a leak at the pushrod seal and the rod basically just fell off so I didn't need to hammer it off.

I'm just glad I finally did the upgrade and no longer have to worry about it brake failure.
 

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I've wanted to make the swap for awhile on my daily driven 65 but the horrid reviews on any decently affordable front disc/rear drum dual bowl mc I've seen have scared me off from tackling it (and therefore maybe being without transport while troubleshooting for awhile) thus far. So while I wouldn't call it a must, I'd certainly call it a good idea if you have the time to make a cheaper one work or the money to buy a nice one.
 

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My first car was a 65 Chevy Biscayne with a single bowl MC. I was about 17/18 years old at the time. I had just exited the freeway and drove about 3/4 of a mile towards the gas station I worked at. I was sitting at a stoplight to make the turn into the station when all of a sudden the brake pedal sank to the floor and my car started to roll forward into the intersection. I don't remember what I did to stop it from rolling, but I did and then pulled into the station safely. A couple of weeks before, I had changed out the passenger front spindle when the bearing fried. I either forgot to clip the front brake hose back on, or it came loose. Either way, the front tire had rubbed a hole into to brake hose and it finally ruptured at the intersection. I'm glad it didn't happen on the freeway I had just exited! If I had a dual bowl system, it would have freaked me out, but I still would have been able to stop somewhat safer than jamming the e-brake.
 

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I've wanted to make the swap for awhile on my daily driven 65 but the horrid reviews on any decently affordable front disc/rear drum dual bowl mc I've seen have scared me off from tackling it (and therefore maybe being without transport while troubleshooting for awhile) thus far. So while I wouldn't call it a must, I'd certainly call it a good idea if you have the time to make a cheaper one work or the money to buy a nice one.
??? bad reviews for disc/drum MCs? Granted I have not looked lately, but when I did my Granada swap the Mopar MC was a popular choice as it was pretty much the same as a Wilwood. It was available in 1" and 1 1/16" bores IIRC. I think I went 1" given I was going manual brakes.
 
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