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Power Brake Booster Out in Less Than 15 Minutes

Old 11-08-2018, 06:59 PM
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Greg
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Default Power Brake Booster Out in Less Than 15 Minutes

Really.
OK, I've been reading some recent posts about the horrors some are facing when replacing their power brake boosters with outrageous times and dismantling half the car to do this relatively simple job. I couldn't grasp what the problem was. I have replaced them in the past without problem and I knew my '73 was due for a booster replacement so I decided to do it today and pass along this info to help out. This is only a matter of 6 nuts and 4 screws. It is NOT that difficult.
First and foremost I think the biggest difference is simply what tools others are using. These are all the tools I needed to remove the booster plus a 9/16 open end wrench to remove the two master cyl. nuts.
A Phillips screwdriver, needle nose pliers, a regular 3/8 ratchet, 8 inch extension, 12 inch extension, universal swivel, 9/16 socket, and an electric (or air) ratchet to speed things up a bit.



First, under the hood, I removed the master cyl. bolts and pushed it forward out of the way.
Then inside the car the ONLY parts I removed were the lower column panel and the driver's side A/C duct. The dash and column stay in place.


Then I connected the 8 inch and 12 inch extension, used my Snap-On small universal swivel and a 9/16 deep socket. Cracked the nuts loose with the ratchet, then unwound them with my electric ratchet attached to the same extension set up. Then I used my needle nose pliers to grasp the clip that holds the pedal pin in place. I understand many have trouble with this step. Here's the way. Grab it with a good sturdy pair of needle nose at the bottom of the clip (see pic) and give it a twist, then push it back. It will come right off.

The only sacrifice I made was to tear a little of the rubber backed insulation off at the corner that covers the upper left nut in order to access it cleanly. Small price.

Back outside, under the hood, I pulled the booster loose and out.

On the floor in less than 15 minutes.

Honestly, it took me longer to write this thread than it did to remove the booster. I was not out to set any speed record. I did this at a normal pace and the whole process, including grabbing the tools I needed was only 12 or 13 minutes; certainly less than 15. I expect re-install to take just slightly longer to allow for some clean up and adjustment if necessary but again, certainly less than a half hour.
Don't over-think this one. I believe the biggest problem has to do with others not using the correct tools for easy access.
And just so you know, while my background makes me very familiar with Corvettes including 30 years of auto/mechanical repair, mostly with the General, I am not a gymnast or a contortionist. I am 60 years old with a "questionable" back. So if I can do this, so can you.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:14 PM
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YES...I can get them out easily without a bunch of 'drama'.

BUT...when it goes to going back in and then getting that clip back on correctly. It will take longer that you may think. Keep in mind I do both manual and automatic transmission cars add and they are different when it comes to putting that clip on.

And sometimes trying to get the booster studs to index back into the firewall may seem easy...but the pedal assembly can often times shift a little bit and fight you dearly to allow those studs to go back through it and the firewall.

And if you are replacing the booster you can find that the studs are off a little bit and thus cause for even more grief

And if the car has the aping washer that goes in between the brake pedal arm and the clevis on the end of the booster...that is also more fun to get lined up and get the pin to go into the hole..

Book time on this is about 0.8 of an hour.

Taking it out is the easy part.

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Old 11-08-2018, 07:32 PM
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You are correct DUB, this job can seem difficult for some. I have done this job many times so maybe it is easier for me. But the book time you've posted says it all.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg View Post
You are correct DUB, this job can seem difficult for some. I have done this job many times so maybe it is easier for me. But the book time you've posted says it all.
Hmm, .8 huh. Is that customer pay or warranty time.

Last edited by sunflower 1972; 11-08-2018 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:19 PM
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I think you should go buy a lottery ticket, you sure are lucky, I lost track, is this my third or fourth day of changing booster, it did take me all day yesterday to get that pin in and half a day today to get the clip on the pin, probably another day or two to put dash; dash pad; center cluster; duck work; center consoul; clean up my mess and put tools away. I am happy for you and I'm not mad at myself, just glad to be finishing up and having a cold beer for my getting it done myself.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by sunflower 1972 View Post
Hmm, .8 huh. Is that customer pay or warranty time.
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:22 PM
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Yes, good point Ed T.
I've used the blue painters tape as well, but any tape to stop the swivel from flopping around too much can certainly make this process a little less painful.
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:33 PM
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I figured while I was in there and before I re-install the new booster, I might as well address the charcoal canister.
Others have posted on here about replacing the expired media in their canisters. I can't really add anything to what they've already shared but this is a very simple job on a much over-looked part.
Removed the canister easily from the top side (if your booster is in place you can remove the canister from the bottom).


Cut the end off with a thin blade on my die grinder and dumped the 45 year old charcoal (it has done it's job!)


Pulled the 3 foam filters and the 1 fiber filter. I will install new ones tomorrow. Like others have posted before me, the best place to source new charcoal is from a pet store aquarium dept.
I will epoxy the end back on and re-install. Good for another 45 years.

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Old 11-09-2018, 05:52 AM
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I have had my '72 since '95 and in that time the dash removal became a super PIA, so I got creative, I got a 4 pin 'Molex" inline plug connector, and cut all the wires, taking the dash lights and turn sig lights and brake lights through the connector, no more removing bulbs and that mess......ONE ground for both the tach and speedo, SO, tach connector, speedo cable, two plugs and 6 phillips screws, plus drop the column.....removed in like 15 minits.....put back in 15 minits too.....

I would never reinstall a vac booster, HYDROboost is the way to go....because we all know that vacuum sux.....

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Old 11-09-2018, 06:11 AM
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Really.
OK, I've been reading some recent posts about the horrors some are facing when replacing their power brake boosters with outrageous times and dismantling half the car to do this relatively simple job. I couldn't grasp what the problem was. I have replaced them in the past without problem
Ive seen horror stories too about various jobs that i never found epic,
My dad was a navy plane tech and machinist,
I asked him about it and his take and heres some paraphrase of it.

Some people have a major ordeal turning a door ****,
Well perhaps not that bad but some folks are just more mechanically inclined than others,
So a job one guy finds easy the next guy finds difficult,
My dad also had a disdane for the types who like to make everything some horrible and epic task, in his view it was to be able to boast and brag that while its a difficult job "they" made it happen, you know a chest pounding idea and of course some pros do it to charge more.

He went on to say sure some things are just hard jobs but bitching about it to no end doesnt help.

I have lots of hobbies and i was as big into kit cars as vettes and i believe working on kit cars is why i find most c3 stuff a cake walk...lol

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Old 11-09-2018, 08:29 AM
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Next time you replace a booster on a manual, please post a video from start to finish. I'm skeptical but that's just me.
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:56 AM
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'Greg',

I applaud you for doing what you did here in this post and did not want to come across as discrediting any of it. I was only explaining that only half of the job is done and hopefully you can get it back in the same amount of time.

Originally Posted by sunflower 1972 View Post
Hmm, .8 huh. Is that customer pay or warranty time.
The labor time is out of the Mitchell mechanical labor estimating guide I have.

Now many mechanics may know that often times the labor times given in these books are correct while others are way off the mark on reality.

As written in the book...for what ever this is worth.
1875-1977 Corvette booster R & R -------0.7 hour.
1978-1979 Corvette booster R & R---------0.8 hour
1980-1981 Corvette booster R & R -------0.8 hour
1982 Corvette booster R & R----------------1.3 hours
1984-1987 Corvette booster R & R---------0.7 hour

Once again...read into this as you wish due to I cannot see why 1982 labor times are higher due to a 1982 in this areas is basically the exact same a that of a 1981.

And knowing that in this area once again. A 1968 all the way to a 1975 are basically the same also. Except for the obvious type of transmission.

No time is given to use the tool to adjust the adjustable pin in the front of the booster on the early boosters also Go figure.

And know that the air duct needs to be removed and reinstalled ...that alone can be a bit of a challenge getting that back in correctly.

I can say that many repairs on these cars are not that bad while others can be rather challenging. And for those who are mechanically inclined. These jobs are often times rather easy. BUT for those who are not mechanically inclined and read this thread and think that it is easy. Well it is...coming from a guy who is mechanically inclined. But there are times when those of us who are mechanically inclined will come across something that requires us to think and work out a particular problem. Because the ease of something being taken apart is not guaranteed to be the same as when it is being reassembled.

EXAMPLE: Remove your convertible top frame assembly. It takes basically no time at all. Four to eight bolts (depending on year model) and it is out. BUT putting it back in and getting it adjusted is another thing entirely. And if a person does not stop and take time to mark where the frame mounts were positioned...that misstep is what can cause them MORE time and grief.

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Old 11-09-2018, 11:22 AM
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GM book times were set based on brand new vehicles using factory mechanics. I never meet a GM mechanic who agreed with book times. I even had a factory rep during the 80's tell a seminar group good luck with the factory times.
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg View Post
Really.
OK, I've been reading some recent posts about the horrors some are facing when replacing their power brake boosters with outrageous times and dismantling half the car to do this relatively simple job. I couldn't grasp what the problem was. I have replaced them in the past without problem and I knew my '73 was due for a booster replacement so I decided to do it today and pass along this info to help out. This is only a matter of 6 nuts and 4 screws. It is NOT that difficult.
First and foremost I think the biggest difference is simply what tools others are using. These are all the tools I needed to remove the booster plus a 9/16 open end wrench to remove the two master cyl. nuts.
A Phillips screwdriver, needle nose pliers, a regular 3/8 ratchet, 8 inch extension, 12 inch extension, universal swivel, 9/16 socket, and an electric (or air) ratchet to speed things up a bit.

First, under the hood, I removed the master cyl. bolts and pushed it forward out of the way.
Then inside the car the ONLY parts I removed were the lower column panel and the driver's side A/C duct. The dash and column stay in place.
Then I connected the 8 inch and 12 inch extension, used my Snap-On small universal swivel and a 9/16 deep socket. Cracked the nuts loose with the ratchet, then unwound them with my electric ratchet attached to the same extension set up. Then I used my needle nose pliers to grasp the clip that holds the pedal pin in place. I understand many have trouble with this step. Here's the way. Grab it with a good sturdy pair of needle nose at the bottom of the clip (see pic) and give it a twist, then push it back. It will come right off.
The only sacrifice I made was to tear a little of the rubber backed insulation off at the corner that covers the upper left nut in order to access it cleanly. Small price.
Back outside, under the hood, I pulled the booster loose and out.
On the floor in less than 15 minutes.
Honestly, it took me longer to write this thread than it did to remove the booster. I was not out to set any speed record. I did this at a normal pace and the whole process, including grabbing the tools I needed was only 12 or 13 minutes; certainly less than 15. I expect re-install to take just slightly longer to allow for some clean up and adjustment if necessary but again, certainly less than a half hour.
Don't over-think this one. I believe the biggest problem has to do with others not using the correct tools for easy access.
And just so you know, while my background makes me very familiar with Corvettes including 30 years of auto/mechanical repair, mostly with the General, I am not a gymnast or a contortionist. I am 60 years old with a "questionable" back. So if I can do this, so can you.
This makes it even easier!!!! I got it on Amazon......


Last edited by scottjamison; 11-09-2018 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 11-09-2018, 03:19 PM
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Excellent choice Scott.
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Old 11-09-2018, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by BlackC3vette View Post
GM book times were set based on brand new vehicles using factory mechanics. I never meet a GM mechanic who agreed with book times. I even had a factory rep during the 80's tell a seminar group good luck with the factory times.
Well, I can tell you I am very familiar with GM book times, both "warranty" and "customer pay" as I spent a good part of my career using exactly those numbers as the basis for my bi-weekly flat rate income.
But don't confuse "book time" with "warranty time" like many do. I'm sure your factory rep was referring to warranty time. "Book time", which is found in labor guides like Chilton, Mitchell or Motors manuals and later computer based versions like All-Data were set times based on the average mechanic with decent set skills and realistic amount of tools. In other words, almost anyone on the planet could do the job in the specified book time. This was the figure quoted when a customer came in asking for repairs. Warranty time is the time allotted by the manufacturer that they are willing to pay a mechanic to do the job under warranty for newer cars.
Here is an example for comparison. This Chilton labor guide shows Book Time (customer pay) to R&R the flywheel on this particular car as 3.8 hours (green arrow). The number to the left in parentheses (1.8) is the warranty time (red arrow). All labor guides will list both these times and, as a rule of thumb, warranty time is usually about 50% of book time.


Yes, we all complained about warranty paid jobs as I'm sure all mechanics still do. But whatever the job was, and no matter how scary the warranty time looked, it could always be done by a competent mechanic in that amount of time.
Example: When I moved over to the Cadillac division I was the Heavy Line tech (engine and transmission) the new North Star V-8's had a real problem with leaks on the lower half of the crank case. The fix was to drop the cradle, engine and trans to reseal. The first one I got was a warranty pay at, I believe 10.2 hours and took me just about 18 hours do the job. Yes I lost my *** on the first one but I learned the short cuts, familiarized myself with the job and bought the $60 Snap-On extension to reach otherwise impossible places, etc. By the time I was on my third one I could do the job in 8 hours. The upside was when a customer pay came in for the same job (a car that was out of warranty) Book Time was right around 20 hours, a huge money maker for a decent mechanic.
Hope this wasn't too long winded!

Last edited by Greg; 11-09-2018 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:05 PM
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Greg, BlackC3vette. Thanks for explaining to the uninitiated about customer pay versus warranty time. As a recently retired GM parts manager, when I saw the 0.8 post, I just couldn't pass up the wisecrack! And I figured there has to be some old GM techs here who knew EXACTLY what I was talking about and get a chuckle.
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:06 PM
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There is no confusion. During the 80's I never knew of any GM mechanic's time based on a Chilton"s manual. Of course the reps were referring to warranty time in their "book" because there were no computers to look it up (early 80's). Not sure how you got that confused to require your explanation. Sorry for using the term "book".

Last edited by BlackC3vette; 11-09-2018 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:42 PM
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1980-1981 Corvette booster R & R -------0.8 hour
1982 Corvette booster R & R----------------1.3 hours
I have no idea either why the two years would be so different for the time, but I looked under my dash on my 82 and said... "HTF do I get under there and get it out"? Anything under a 82 dash is a PITA IMO maybe all C3s are like that as well, I don't know. If you want, you can come over and replace mine and I'll even let you take 1.5hrs R&R if you like. FREE beer as well.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Buccaneer View Post
I have no idea either why the two years would be so different for the time, but I looked under my dash on my 82 and said... "HTF do I get under there and get it out"? Anything under a 82 dash is a PITA IMO maybe all C3s are like that as well, I don't know. If you want, you can come over and replace mine and I'll even let you take 1.5hrs R&R if you like. FREE beer as well.

Thanks for the offer. Maybe when I run out of things to do on my '73 I'll take you up on this.
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