So now that I’ve had my old truck for over a year, I’ve decided to upgrade the brakes to a dual-reservoir master cylinder as a safety measure. I asked oppo a few weeks back about that, and got a lot of great feedback. I’ve been on the Ford truck forums and gained valuable knowledge there, too. I’ve talked with several local people and learned still more from them. But mostly what I’ve learned is that a) the job is a bit more complicated than I thought, and b) everyone thinks you might as well do X while you’re doing Y.

And the more people I talk to, the more I feel like I’m making a mistake for doing anything short of replacing every single component in the entire braking system, which isn’t happening. But where do you draw the line? Especially with something like brakes, where I don’t want to skimp on arguably the single-most important safety item in a vehicle my kids ride in.

Does this happen to you? When you have a project car, or even a driver (like my truck) that has some needed upgrades or just general attention due to age, then when you go around asking people about it, everyone has an opinion like, “Well, if you’re going to really clean the windows, you might as well pull apart the doors and replace all the weather stripping and also that windshield has some pitting so you might as well replace that and the rubber is cracked on the rear window, so... plus there could be some rust lurking in there behind the old rubber so basically you might as well strip down all the paint and do a frame-off resto... ” when all I wanted was an opinion on Beyond Glass brand window cleaner over regular Windex (it’s great, by the way).

This exact thing happened with my former truck. I went to the best local body shop to ask about some body work, and before I knew it the guy was saying, “well, we could get a bed out of, you know, down south they got a lot of ‘em down there in good shape... plus the hood I think I know a guy with one of those nearby... the cab I think we could probably get one from so-and-so outta Boston, probably... then I think the tailgate looks like we could maybe re-use it...” and I was like, wait. What? That’s a whole new truck. Never mind. I’ll just keep it as-is.

You know what’s ended up happening now? Nothing. I’m driving the truck with the brakes just like they are - which is perfectly fine, by the way - until I can figure out how far to go. Part of the problem is I don’t really have a budget. I have some money set aside for this kind of thing, and it’s waaaaay more than a complete brake job on this truck. But do I really need to spend $1,500 redoing every single component of this truck’s brakes? Because I don’t have the time to do it all myself, so there’s going to be labor involved.


Probably I’ll end up addressing things like brake shoes, wheel cylinders, etc. at home; if they’re OK I’ll leave them, and have my shop do the master cylinder and make up some new brake lines. I don’t have the tools and I hear they have a guy who makes beautiful brake lines. But oh yeah, finding the time to go over 4 drum brakes and ancient wheel cylinders, when I don’t really know what to look for, all my other vehicles have disc brakes... ugh.

I should really get back to work now. Or youtube to look up drum brakes...