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MG MGB Technical - 67 MGB: Brake booster kit worth it?

Greetings from Denver, Colorado! I own a 1967 MGB. I just completed a brake rebuild including new calipers, wheel cylinders, master cyl., steel flex brake hoses, pads, shoes, etc. My question is: There is a kit available for $275.00(US) that adds power boost to the single circut system. Has anyone out there done this and were the results positive? Any input will be greatly appreciated! Sincere thanks, Ken.

The kit was a factory-installed option on MKI MGBs for the UK/European market. It will reduce pedal effort, but not total braking power. Some UK owners on this BBS report that the servo-boosted single circuit braking system is lacking in "feel", i.e., feels a bit numb.
Stephen Strange

I've had my '67 since '72 and found the braking system to be more than adequate in stock form. I, too, just replaced the entire braking systems components, using copper/nickel lines, and the braking is even better than before. I don't understand why so many people feel that they need a booster in their braking system. My only answer is that they are used to the light brake pedal of new cars and feel that the extra pressure, required on a non boosted system, indicates that it is not operating properly. I own a '87 Chevy K10 4 X 4 and the brakes require almost no effort to stop the truck. There is no feedback like in the MGB's brakes. I prefer the feel of the stock B brakes and the single circuit system requires very little pressure to bring the car to a complete stop. Maybe I've simply gotten used to the feel of the stock braking system, but every time I take the car out for a drive, I'm impressed by how easy it is to stop as well as the small amount of pedal pressure required for the task. RAY
rjm RAY

It sounds like you're paying too much for your servo kits over there.

There are available on Fleabay Uk for much less...
Dave O'Neill 2

I would have to agree with Ray. The standard system in tip top condition is great. I had this, and found the braking was adequate. I did use a fair bit of pedal pressure, and at first being used to modern cars was a bit disconcerting. I do have a servo on it now, it came my way at a reasonable price. I remember when my starter motor went on an old Camaro of mine. I had the wife tow me home! Now that was disconcerting! No power steering and no brake pedal assistance! I had to use both feet! U do loose some feel with boosted brakes for sure. Mike
J.M. Doust

Thank you all for the input! I agree with Ray. When I really give it some serious thought, I have to admit my brain gets stuck. It thinks I'm still driving my daily driver, a Toyota! The B has been off the road for about three years. After the brake rebuild, I was shocked how weak they feel (they aren't). I need to spend some real road time in the B this spring! Again, thanks to all! Ken.

I have a '67 non assisted and a '77 V8 with servo. The difference (pedal pressure - not stopping ability) is very noticeable and makes for far less effort for us "grey nomads".
Peter Malkin

The *factory* option servo gives very little assistance, precisely because it was optional, i.e. the brakes had to be at the very least adequate. Having driven both (on the same car) I wouldn't say it was numb or lacking in feel precisely because it does make so little difference. Conversely some North American drivers say they prefer the harder pedal. Unless you put very large and/or sticky tyres on you should always be able to lock the fronts on an MGB with a steadily increasing pedal pressure (they will lock easier if you just bang them on), if you can't something is wrong.

The later servoed twin circuit system is a completely different kettle of fish, the servo on that makes a significant difference, and losing it makes for a very heavy pedal indeed. But again having driven one as well as single-circuit boosted and unboosted, I can't say there is that much difference between the two servoed systems. What *does* make a difference to pedal travel and feel is if the brakes aren't bled properly. On the several MGBs I have done I have always had to use a two-stage bleeding process - low pressure continuous flow from a gunsons to refill a system and get the bulk of the air out, then high-pressure from someone pressing down hard on the pedal while I rapidly open and close each caliper nipple in turn. This second stage always gets more air out, and the pedal feel changes significantly.
PaulH Solihull

When I fitted a servo to my single circuit system as I was required to do for the V8 conversion it made very little difference. The car stops the same, just a marginally lighter pedal presure. Ian
Ian Buckley

There are at least two servo systems available; one has a ratio of 1;1.6 and the other has a ratio of 1;1.9. The later giving more assistance.
Contaqct MB BEEHIVE for advice.
AG Martin

This thread was discussed between 13/02/2011 and 15/02/2011

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