Feb 23, 2012 update to the Lincoln Mark VII project car

Working Out the Lincoln’s Brake System

It takes a few hands to stabilize a master cylinder for bench bleeding when you don't have a vice handy.
If you're working on a friend's car or something that's supposed to look good, use a tubing bender. But if you're working on a LeMons car, just be careful not to kink the line.
We grabbed a scrap metal bracket and hammered it into shape to hold our prop valve. Then we just welded the bracket onto the trans tunnel and ran some lines. Easy.
The important final step in any brake job is bleeding the system. We still need some new bleeder screws because ours can only be loosened with Vise-Grip pliers.

We were scared of the mysteries inside the old ATE master cylinder and its Reagan-era ABS voodoo.

We were scared of the mysteries inside the old ATE master cylinder and its Reagan-era ABS voodoo. We bypassed it, we thought, with some wiring trickery, but we couldn’t be sure if brake pressure was properly proportioned or if the system would even work if it lost electrical power. It had to go.

Some Internet sleuthing told us the Ford Mustang SVO had non-ABS brakes with the same four-wheel-disc system as our Lincoln. We nabbed a used vacuum booster from a junkyard and a new SVO master cylinder from our local parts store.

Next was brake bias. OE manufacturers usually bias their proportioning valves very conservatively, and anyway our car’s weight distribution is much different than when it left the factory. So we called up Speedway Motors and ordered an adjustable proportioning valve instead of using the street piece we pulled from a Mustang.

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Comments
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Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
2/23/12 5:19 p.m.

Why not just "bench bleed" the master cylinder on the car? Bolt it up, run your return lines, use the mechanical advantage of the car's God-given brake pedal. Throw a few rags underneath when you reconnect the brake lines. Easy-peasy.

fifty
fifty HalfDork
2/25/12 11:32 a.m.

What combination of adapters did you use to match the threads of the prop. valve to the threads on the brake line? Would you recommend steel adapters for brake line, or are aluminum, brass etc fine?

Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar Dork
2/27/12 9:48 a.m.

The prop valve came with brass fittings to install to the valve body. Those are required, because the fitting is NPT, not standard brake line thread. To those brass fittings, we attached the brake line with steel fittings.

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