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Thread: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

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    Senior Member Sucked In BigOldBlueC350's Avatar
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    Default C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    Has anyone done a c350 hydroboost conversion, from vacuum- to hydoboost ??

    I am seriously looking at converting mine ( 95 c350 ) to 97-99 SD hydoboost-assisted braking w. all OEM ford parts !

  2. #2
    Gear Head Sucked In Bronco Biff's Avatar
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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    Funny, I was just looking into the same thing!! Measured up the 4 holes on the firewall and the length of the plunger. Thinking around 1999 to 2000 vintage f350 stuff. They came in both the vacuum and hydro version and then would have the rear volume to make the rear disc I added work better!! (as opposed to using correct year diesel stuff) I figured worse case would have to drill a couple of more holes in the fire wall. Dual return pumps are easy to find. Picked up a couple of pointers on a you tube video for instance if adding a tee to the pressure line insuring the steering box is connected straight thru and the booster on the 90, the box needs the volume.

    Me "But Honey, it seats nine!"
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    Senior Member Sucked In BigOldBlueC350's Avatar
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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    got mine back yesterday ... my diesel genius friend found me a hole herd of add horses w.out going turbo / boost nuts !!
    the truck gooooes now ... but almost wrecked it trying to stop. i need more stopping power ..was told hydro should do the trick !?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Biff ...
    not a big fan of Ts !! but yes the steering would need the strait shot oil w. a T !

    was told Oem 97-99 SD hyrdo ( rod and all ) is a strait bolt in ( cruise w. work too) !!
    the OEM dual return PS pump inc the existing pully is also a strait swap !!
    on the fence about the ome hoses vs. banjo braided hoses ?!

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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    We have all the hydro boost parts, never installed them. That sounds right though, that it is all bolt on.
    You can get creative with your lines if you want, but many times you spend more money on adapters and fittings than just buying the proper SD parts.

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    Senior Member Sucked In BigOldBlueC350's Avatar
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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    well i was told ...
    the SD hoses are good but lil on the small size when running oversize tires ... thats why the banjo stainless-steel braided hoses ?!?

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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    That could very well be true. It has been a long time since I looked into it.

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    Senior Member Sucked In BigOldBlueC350's Avatar
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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    what parts did you get ??

    my RockAuto & OEM list:
    Hydroboost
    MOTORCRAFT Part # BRB37 { # E8TZ-2005-B } w/ 33.33mm Bore; w/ Hydroboost $233.79

    Power Steering pump
    MOTORCRAFT Part # STP56RM { # F1TC3A674DARM, F1TZ-3A674-DBRM } $120.79

    Master
    MOTORCRAFT part # ? { # F4TZ-2140-CD } IS DISCONTINUED ! but i think my orig. would work !!
    next best thing ..
    RAYBESTOS Part # MC390158 Bore Size=1-5/16" w.Cruise Control $82.79

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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    Master cylinder I had would work because we had disc brakes on the rear so we had upgraded it already.

    Hydro boost was motorcraft that is all I remember. I am sure the pump was too, but we had not gotten hoses yet.

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    Senior Member Sucked In BigOldBlueC350's Avatar
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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion


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    Junior Member Curious
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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    i converted my 97 F250 over to hydro boost. love the feel of the brakes now. I used stock 97 super duty parts. got a new pump from Autozone with the Hydro back case, with the two return ports. All i had to do was to file the two mounting holes on the master cylinder wider to match up with the super duty studs. There were some differences with hoses, from year to year, and even split one year if i remember right. The one style hose is still available, but they other is not. Difference was with the hose ends, again, if i remember right. Think i still have the one style hose in the garage, can look when i get home.
    just found this forum http://www.powerstrokenation.com/for...ad.php?t=29267
    looks like the hose differences happened late 1997, unless get a hydroboost from late 97 maybe.
    1991 c150, 4x4, automatic, 5.8L, Hy-rail centurion bronco.
    1966 bronco, all stock
    2006 jetta tdi, 3"exhaust, stage 1 cam, tune
    1997 f250 power stroke 4x4. many extras
    1949 international kb2.
    several fairmont speeders and member of NARCOA. north american railcar operators association.

  11. #11
    Gear Head Sucked In Bronco Biff's Avatar
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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    '99 up is not a direct bolt in. Bought a used booster to see and found bolt pattern on fire wall, spigot fit on master cylinder, and rod are all wrong. The brake lines will bolt right up though.

    Ordered new '97 super duty stuff, hydro booster, master cylinder and power steering pressure side hoses pump to booster and booster to box right at $300 bucks delivered. Did not get the dual return pump. I'm going to try with a tee first and upgrade from there. One area of concern I have already is the '97 is still a drum rear setup with a residual valve on the rear output. I gutted my '93 residual when I did the rear disc swap and the only real issue i'm having with my setup now is not enough rear volume. This swap will go from a 1-1/8" bore to a 1-5/16" MC using the 2wd version. Could have work it out to a 1-1/4" bore. Hope I'm not going to big, will see. With the pressure lines it looks like there was some difference in fittings on the box end that changed in mid '97. I opted for the earlier version since my truck is a '93. The best feeling rear disc brake vehicles I have experienced felt strong in the back in panic stop situations giving the feeling of the rear squatting with the front instead of just nosing down.

    More to come!!

    Me "But Honey, it seats nine!"
    Honey "No way! Have you lost your mind?! Five kids is plenty!"

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    Senior Member Sucked In Harleydude's Avatar
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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    I am seriously considering this swap. The brakes on my c350 have never felt right since I have had the truck.

  13. #13
    Gear Head Sucked In Bronco Biff's Avatar
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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    Got the rebuilt hydro boost last night, hopefully Master Cylinder and hoses will show up today. Hydro boost direction said I need to reuse spring and shaft off of old booster being replaced ........gotta figure that one out.....

    Me "But Honey, it seats nine!"
    Honey "No way! Have you lost your mind?! Five kids is plenty!"

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    Senior Member Sucked In BigOldBlueC350's Avatar
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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    what and from who did you order ?? all oem ?? what master w. speed control did you get ?
    MOTORCRAFT Part # BRB37 should swap straight in !
    Attached Images  

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    Senior Member Sucked In BigOldBlueC350's Avatar
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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Bronco Biff View Post
    Hydro boost direction said I need to reuse spring and shaft off of old booster being replaced ........gotta figure that one out.....
    might be quicker just to swap out the matching brake pedal !

    have look on yours ...
    left F150/Bronco vs on the right SD .... all the same only pin location differs !
    Attached Images  

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    Gear Head Sucked In Bronco Biff's Avatar
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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    The spring and rod they were referencing appeared to go between the booster and the MC. I'll scan the directions and invoice and post them up. Looks like the SD would have more mechanical advantage (longer lever) and less/slower travel.

    Me "But Honey, it seats nine!"
    Honey "No way! Have you lost your mind?! Five kids is plenty!"

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    Senior Member Sucked In kto17's Avatar
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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    I'm interested.
    Doug
    Alpharetta, GA
    1995 C350 4x4 7.5L
    1965 Buick Riviera 6.6L
    1961 Shasta 19' Deluxe Camper
    1948 Spartan Manor Tandem Camper Restoration

  18. #18
    Gear Head Sucked In Bronco Biff's Avatar
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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    the spring, rod and retainer in the instructions was already installed in the booster....go figure!?!? so I'm thinking the pedal assembly will be fine if the brakes don't wind up being too "fast" with out enough power.... I ordered everything from Autozone who were offering a 20% off, free shipping to home and a $10 gift card. Everything looks really good. The bootser is suppose to be a reman but there was no core charge and it appears new. the Master cylinder was new and is in fact the 1 5/16" bore with a residual valve included. The hose look perfect. I took some pics last night and got the invoice ready to scan but had to go to a viewing and was done by the time I got home....will get it up hopefully along with the install this week end. Hoping to find a dual return reservoir and just swap it out and also interested in adding filter(s).

    Me "But Honey, it seats nine!"
    Honey "No way! Have you lost your mind?! Five kids is plenty!"

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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    Hello Gentlemen,

    I put Hydro-Boost on my Wagoneer two years ago, and then put it on my '86 F-350 this past summer. I consider it to be one of the great mods and it is fairly straight-forward, but there are a couple "gotchas" to be aware of.

    What makes this a bolt-on affair is that the F-450 of the same years as the FDB came with Hydro-Boost, so Ford already created all the bits for the OBS and earlier trucks. So, go about collecting parts for a pre-'98 F-450.

    First "Gotcha": you MUST use the F-450 brake pedal, and there are a couple of reasons for this. The only difference between the F-450 pedal and your truck's brake pedal is the location of the pin for the rod that actuates the booster. The HB pin is about an inch closer to the pivot point, and this provides additional leverage on the booster. However, it is also necessary from a mechanical point since the HB rod is otherwise pointed downward at an unacceptably large angle which can cause the rod to bind on the nose of the HB's main casting. This can prevent the full actuation of the HB even though you may be standing on the pedal, and it can also cause the rod to become bent which is a really-not-good thing for your most critical system on the vehicle.

    Be aware that there are two different F-450 brake pedals; one for vehicles with an automatic transmission and one for vehicles with a clutch.

    Second "Gotcha": the HB expects to have a higher hydraulic supply pressure than the stock Ford power steering pump provides. If you try to use the truck's stock pump, you won't get anywhere near the full benefit of the HB. The F-450 pump was a special unit, setup to generate more pressure, however buying a rebuilt pump for an F-450 won't get you what you want as the rebuilders treat any of those pumps are regular ones. There are some online Ford dealers that will sell you a "new" F-450 pump (and with a "new" price!), but it is rebuilt, not new.

    So, there are only two ways to get around all this. The first is to get a pump literally off an F-450 in a bone yard (and hope it is the original), or swallow your "blue pride" and convert to a GM style Saginaw pump. In truth, this is an excellent upgrade even if you aren't going to HB as the Ford pump just plain sucks. The higher pressure of the Saginaw pump (about 1200 psi) compared to the Ford pump (about 700 psi) makes the otherwise stock steering system feel much more uniform across its range of motion as well as boost the "power" operation too.

    Of course, the mounting of the Saginaw pump is completely different compared to the Ford pump but, as blind pigs, Ford did throw us an acorn in that the E series vans used Saginaw power steering pumps! So, you need to find a power steering pump bracket for your same engine from an E series van.

    I also got a new, aluminum F-450 brake master cylinder to replace the cast iron unit on the truck. There are plenty of different master cylinders that are intended to work with a HB unit that there is no need to be hogging out mounting holes to make an incorrect unit fit the HB. The one I got for the F-450 does have the 1-5/16" bore (as compared to the stock 1-1/8"), and I feel that it is just a touch too large to get into the pedal force I would prefer. I think a 1-1/4" bore would be more suitable, and this corresponds to the fact that the F-450 has 19.5" wheels and much larger brakes in them which would require a somewhat longer pedal travel but less pedal force.

    You can also "tune" the brakes on vehicles with rear drum brakes by changing the size of the slave cylinders in the rear brakes. My F-350 hasn't required any such action, but I did change the rear cylinders in my Wagoneer from 15/16" to 1", and then to 1-1/6" and now have a good front-rear brake balance on the vehicle.

    And now you have to make an unanticipated decision. All these HB components come with a couple different types of fittings on the hydraulic hoses. Ford stuff is at least all SAE, but anything GM from the last 30 years will be metric. I was not aware of the need for the Saginaw pump when I converted my '86 F-350 to HB, so I bought all Ford F-450 parts to do the conversion and, even including replacing the brake pedal, had the whole thing done in about 3 hours. Preparing for the Saginaw conversion took a whole lot longer.

    First, rebuilt power steering pumps just suck, plain and simple. It doesn't matter if it's a Ford pump or a Saginaw pump, they all suck. However, most of the places that sell truly new Saginaw pumps sell them for sport applications and they are unnecessarily expensive. It was only dumb luck that I stumbled across the fact that GM kept using these pumps right up through 2010 on their trucks, and you can get a brand new one with a brand new housing with either one or two return line nipples for less than $100 on Amazon. Now we got something.

    But, still, we aren't quite 100% complete. We've got the Ford HB unit with SAE connections, but now we've got a metric GM pump. I tried and tried to find an off-the-shelf hose that would make the connection between the GM Saginaw pump and the Ford HB unit, but it never happened. I had to get one of each and have the hydraulic shop splice them together.

    In my case the steering box was also shot to all heck (sloppy!) and I didn't want 27 year old micro metal filings from the steering box to get into my brand new pump and HB and hoses, so I also got a Redhead rebuilt steering box (the only rebuilt steering box worth a damn), and did everything at the same time. Brakes and steering!! Hot damn!


    Original stuff on the '86 F-350:
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    Original Ford Power steering pump:
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    New Ford HB in place:
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    E-series Van 460 Saginaw pump bracket and new Saginaw pump and housing (for 2010 GM truck with HB):
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    Other little issues that popped up are that the steel brake lines going to the master cylinder on my -F-350 are a smaller size than what the F-450 master cylinder expects, and the E-series Van pump bracket needs different length fan belts. Summit Racing provided the brake line fitting adapters (visible in the photo), and NAPA provided the fan belts after a couple of guesses on what the lengths should be. Also, regarding the Ford Saginaw bracket, get the pulley for the Saginaw pump. The Saginaw and the Ford pumps have different shaft sizes, so the Ford pump pulley won't work.

    Note that the Hydro-Boost can generate much higher brake line pressures than the vacuum booster can produce, so it is always a good idea to replace all the rubber brake hoses at the same time. You're going to have to bleed the brakes anyway, so it's a good time to just do it. Another consideration is the metal brake lines. A lot of folks like to use the Cunifer tubing because it's fairly easy to work with, but it is rated at only 1600 psi working pressure. The HB can generate line pressures well over 2000 psi, so it's best to stick with steel lines when doing replacements.
    Chris

    '86 F-350, 460, 4-speed, 4WD (I love this truck! ), Hydro-Boost, Redhead, Saginaw
    '96 F-350, 460, 5-speed, 4WD, all stock so far

  20. #20
    Gear Head Sucked In Bronco Biff's Avatar
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    Default Re: C350 Hydroboost Conversion

    Name:  boosta.jpg
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Size:  95.5 KBName:  boosta.jpg
Views: 407
Size:  95.5 KBSo I started to get started (like how that works!!) on the swap and noticed some leakage on my existing power steering pump and decided to go ahead and order a new pump with the dual returns. Was thinking of doing the Delphi swap but figured I'd skip for the time being and determine if its needed and locate the proper bracket if so... Pump came in yesterday so hopefully I'll get to start getting started again!! All of the pictured came from Auto Zone online....

    Me "But Honey, it seats nine!"
    Honey "No way! Have you lost your mind?! Five kids is plenty!"

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