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I haven't had a master cylinder failure since 1966 when I was sitting at a red light and my '59 Chevy suddenly rolled foreword and bumped the car ahead of me. It was an old farm worker's car and there was no damage.

About a week ago I detected the first sign of my master cylinder failing when I gave it a light brake application and my pedal slowly went to the floor. Uh oh. It'll hold under a quick brake application but not a gentle application and that's why I know its seals are shot after a good 13 years and 150,000 miles of daily use.

My new master cylinder will arrive via FedEx around noon so the moment it arrives I'll fill it, bleed it, then install it. I may have to re-adjust its adjustable push rod to give my pedal about 1/16" of free travel.

My brake booster is a Chinese booster that was advertised as being "A Reconditioned AC Delco" when in fact it was new, unpainted, and with metric studs and nuts. The mounting surface for the master cylinder was recessed 1/2" so I had to make a 1/2" thick steel spacer. After I installed it my brake pedal was about 2" too high so I had to cut more threads on its shaft then cut about 1" off its shaft. Altogether it took me about 12 hours to install it so buyer beware!
 

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