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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - 70 MGB, no brake booster

When I got my 70 MGB V8 project car home, it took me a while to realise that there was never a brake booster installed on the car. I'd like to upgrade the system to include a booster but I am aware that there are some later systems that may not be compatiable with the '70 chassis. Any tips on retro-fitting a booster system will be appreciated, thanks.

Do you really need one? My '74 gtv8 has no booster and it stops right quick with no particularly great effort, albeit requiring a little more oomph than is needed in my wife's new german car. Don't you have to change out the whole pedal box, etc. to put the servo'd system in there? ... seems like a monster pain, for little if any real benefit. I'm not passing judgment, I just wonder if it's time all that well spent.

Anthony, in the 70s a brake booster was an optional extra. So the easiest way to go is to fit the remote type of booster as per factory option.Also it has a greater volume than the later integral type of booster & is generally considered a better choice.It sits on the firewall shelf opposite the steering pedal box.They're still around in second hand dealers & the recon kits are still available. In Australia during the 70s a lot of car makers including Ford & GM used these remote type of boosters, even with drum brakes.I don't know if that was the case in N.America.To fit the later type of booster has a few benefits, ie, a split system & a warnig light but there's a lot more work & parts required as David points out. Barrie E
Barrie Egerton

Thanks for the replies David/Barrie..
I haven't driven my car on the road yet, it was bought as a work in progress and since it's my first MGB, I'm not familiar with the braking characteristics of the car but I'm happy to hear that I might not need a servo -yet.
Anyhow, I was fortunate enough to dig a servo and pedal box assy. out of a donor car recently so I've got it covered in case I decide that I really do need stronger brakes after I get the car on the road.
As a matter of interest- what kind of vacuum reservoir was common when servo brakes were used?
I didn't find one in the donor car... how about an old automobile fire extinguisher, if properly cleaned out, that might be suitable eh?
Anthony Morgan

A vacuum reservoir is built into both the remote and integral servos; you dont need a separate tank.
What brakes do you have? A servo does not make stronger brakes, it simply reduces the pedal effort, and the brakes themselves will remain as strong or as weak as they are now but as you have the parts already I would use them. The conversion would be to fit the pedal box with the integral servo and pedals in place of the original, the fixing are the same. Obviously there will be modifications to the brake pipes required and you may need to swap the clutch master cylinder.
Geoff King

Yes of course, "stronger brakes" is not the right terminology, I should have should have typed, "less effort" etc... I didn't realize that the servo unit had sufficient vacuum reserve to operate without an additional reservoir, thanks for the tip- saves me some work. The car is a 1970 with the standard brake set-up at present and I'm pleased to learn that adding the servo is not high on the list of required mods. if you're considering driving the car on the street only as I have more pressing matters with the car's condition at the moment.
No problem with re-making the brake lines though, the originals are pretty tired looking and I want to get the engine bay looking as clean as possible so new brake lines are in order.
Thanks for the replies, AJM

I've driven V8s both with and without servo and was surprised how little effort they save.
Paul Hunt

This thread was discussed between 11/12/2001 and 13/12/2001

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

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