SERIOUS STOPPING
Four Wheeler|October 2021
We add a hydro boost power brake system to our early Bronco
Verne Simons

Early Broncos are smokin’ hot for many reasons: solid axles, compact size, and the availability of small-block V-8s as an easy swap or right from the factory. We love Ford Windsor V-8s. These engines, like the early Bronco, are compact and pack a punch. Still, many 302s, 289s, and 351s are built to the hilt. That’s great if you like horsepower, but generally, small-block Ford Windsor engines that are even mildly built don’t build enough vacuum to power most power brake boosters (that is, assuming the old rig has a booster to begin with). The result is a mushy brake pedal and suboptimal braking performance.

So, when it came time for us to get a braking system figured out for our ’69 Bronco project, we asked our friends and Bronco experts at Wild Horses 4x4 for a recommendation. It turns out the company has the perfect product for us and many other early Bronco owners. Namely, an early Bronco hydro-boost brake system the company calls the Mother Of All Brake (MOAB) Hydroboost Power Brake System. This system, like many of the products we’ve used from Wild Horses 4x4, turned out to be a pleasurable install where everything fit as it should.

Detailed instructions provided with the kit helped make the installation a breeze. Like most brake system work, it’s pretty simple but occasionally messy (once the brake fluid enters the arena). Some trimming is required, but all the parts are new and look great under the hood. It only took a few hours to complete, and the result was a huge improvement in brake performance regardless of engine vacuum. Here are some tips and tricks we found helpful while installing our Wild Horses 4x4 MOAB system.

1 The brake master cylinder opening in the firewall needs to be enlarged a touch for the hydro boost unit. We marked it and then used a drill with a uni-bit and an air saw to remove about 1⁄2-inch on the top.

2 We then installed the hydro boost portion of the system to the firewall using the longer three stainless bolts supplied with the kit.

3 The Wilwood master cylinder went on next. Make sure the bullet-shaped pill is in the master when you install it. If that pill isn’t there, the brakes won’t work no matter how much you pump them.

4 We temporarily installed the master cylinder so we could set up the rest of the system.

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