Hydroboost Conversion Questions

JadeMonkeyStang

TRs on the Brain
Hey All, I'm about to start a Hydroboost Conversion on my 1987 GN and am looking for any of your opinions or suggestions on things I might have missed. I've worked my way through a lot of threads and posts, many 5, 10, or more years old and with outdated info, missing pics, and other issues. My goal is to complete my conversion and put together an updated thread with a parts list, sources for the needed pieces, and a walk through. Would appreciate whatever tips any of you have on where I am at the moment. Thanks in advance.

So far I've purchased a new Hydroboost pump (Rebuilt 85' TR Pump from Advance Auto), master cylinder, power steering hoses, stainless flex brake lines, brass proportioning valve, and new DOT 3 brake fluid.

Is there anything I missed? I was going to do stainless brake lines as well (since I'm replacing just about everything else) but my original brake lines are in good shape. My plan is to do the stainless lines down the road along with a full disc brake conversion when / if that time comes. Anything else that you would do if you were taking on this project? Anything you see that I've missed or overlooked? Appreciate your help all!
 

TexasT

Texas, Where are you from
I'd have to do some research but I'm not sure an 85 pump works with the 86-87 setup. The 86-87 has a reverse rotation pump and a reservoir up on the fender well. Not sure what you bought.

That said the 84-early 85 hb unit is what I used but they seem to be in short supply last time I went looking. It doesn't have the "boost reservoir" like the newer style booster. I didn't worry about that as I wanted a bolt on. Though there was a place that makes a bracket to use the newer style booster.

I used lines from an 84 and made up a return line with trans cooler line from the part house. I also used a brass tee to tee into the stock return line.

A link to my thread on the swap http://www.ihadav8.com/forum/index.php?topic=4228.0
 

JadeMonkeyStang

TRs on the Brain
I'd have to do some research but I'm not sure an 85 pump works with the 86-87 setup. The 86-87 has a reverse rotation pump and a reservoir up on the fender well. Not sure what you bought.

That said the 84-early 85 hb unit is what I used but they seem to be in short supply last time I went looking. It doesn't have the "boost reservoir" like the newer style booster. I didn't worry about that as I wanted a bolt on. Though there was a place that makes a bracket to use the newer style booster.

I used lines from an 84 and made up a return line with trans cooler line from the part house. I also used a brass tee to tee into the stock return line.

A link to my thread on the swap http://www.ihadav8.com/forum/index.php?topic=4228.0

I meant the 84-85 TR Hydroboost / HB unit or booster, not pump. Unfortunately, I can't edit the original post at this point to correct that. I have the same unit (the Cardone / Wearever 52-7211, which Advance Auto now has in stock again) that you reference in your build thread. I've actually been through your thread many times as it's one of the best sources of conversion info out there along with the tech article from Cedar Crest Speedlab. I used the same master cylinder as you as well except I found the AC Delco version on eBay instead of the Cardone version.

Should I use DOT 3 brake fluid? Is going to DOT 4 or 5 worth it for a weekend street car?
Is there a specific power steering fluid that I need to use?
Anything wrong with sticking with the original brake lines for now?
What have I missed or what else do I need to know?

Thanks!
 

captndave737

Well-Known Member
It's good to see they're back on the market. I just rebuilt mine since it was leaking. I just use regular Prestone power steering fluid and DOT 3 brake fluid. I would suggest getting a PSC Hydroboost specific resevoir. The whine used to drive me crazy but with this much larger specific reservoir there's no whine. I added a cooler last year but I went years without one with no problems.
 

TexasT

Texas, Where are you from
Just make sure you have pedal as the first replacement I ended up bending the snap ring in the mc when the piston wouldn't go past it to actuate the mc. I forced it past and bent it. Ended up using a Wagoner I bought to replace the one I had originally installed went to leaking. I did the proportioning valve later on but if you have the coin and the car is already apart. Might be a good time for that too.
I'm not a fluid snob. I get what it cheapest on sale or added into a rockauto order . Dot 3 has worked for me though I did flush the pwr steering and all the brake lines out when I did the install.
Message me and I'll send my phone number if you have questions. I am happy to try and help.
 

Cryptic

Active Member
It's good to see they're back on the market. I just rebuilt mine since it was leaking. I just use regular Prestone power steering fluid and DOT 3 brake fluid. I would suggest getting a PSC Hydroboost specific resevoir. The whine used to drive me crazy but with this much larger specific reservoir there's no whine. I added a cooler last year but I went years without one with no problems.

I’d second the PSC reservoir. It’s a nice piece, avoids having to do the “T” fitting. I only get whine at full lock on the steering wheel. I might still get an upgraded PS pump in the end. I went the expensive way and bought one of the kits from Hydratech and love it. It looks great and Jim’s support was incredible. It even comes with very nice fittings and hoses.


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JadeMonkeyStang

TRs on the Brain
Is the PSC reservoir linked below the one all of you would suggest? If so, what size fittings should I specify? I assume that I would need a hose kit as well? Adding the reservoir helps to prevent the power steering pump whine due to backpressure caused by the T-fitting on the return lines, correct?

Is it possible to tap another return line on the factory power steering pump? I've seen someone do this on an aftermarket reservoir but I assume there's not a spot to do so directly on the factory pump. I haven't looked at mine close enough to determine for myself if that's the case or not.

I was thinking about doing a line lock at the same time as the hydroboost conversion. It seems like the GNS kit is what most folks recommend. I emailed Scot and he said it attaches to the front brake line on the master cylinder but I believe NHRA rules say it should be after the proportioning valve (I've heard this is very rarely enforced though). Does anyone have experience with that kit, and if so, is it possible to connect it after the proportioning valve?

@TexasT Rich, I will send you a PM and would love to talk with you about the pedal and master cylinder issues you ran into as I don't think I'm following you 100%.

@Cryptic I thought about that and honestly after all the time I have in this project so far I probably should have gone that route and just bought the kit from Hyrdratech. It looks like a great setup and there's an advantage to having a newer style Hydaboost unit with an accumulator and being able to just order a kit with everything you need and know will work. I should end up saving some money by going this way but if there's any value at all to my time I'm probably on the losing end. At least I can tell myself I'm learning.

Thanks again everyone!
 

Cryptic

Active Member
Is the PSC reservoir linked below the one all of you would suggest? If so, what size fittings should I specify? I assume that I would need a hose kit as well? Adding the reservoir helps to prevent the power steering pump whine due to backpressure caused by the T-fitting on the return lines, correct?

Is it possible to tap another return line on the factory power steering pump? I've seen someone do this on an aftermarket reservoir but I assume there's not a spot to do so directly on the factory pump. I haven't looked at mine close enough to determine for myself if that's the case or not.

I was thinking about doing a line lock at the same time as the hydroboost conversion. It seems like the GNS kit is what most folks recommend. I emailed Scot and he said it attaches to the front brake line on the master cylinder but I believe NHRA rules say it should be after the proportioning valve (I've heard this is very rarely enforced though). Does anyone have experience with that kit, and if so, is it possible to connect it after the proportioning valve?

@TexasT Rich, I will send you a PM and would love to talk with you about the pedal and master cylinder issues you ran into as I don't think I'm following you 100%.

@Cryptic I thought about that and honestly after all the time I have in this project so far I probably should have gone that route and just bought the kit from Hyrdratech. It looks like a great setup and there's an advantage to having a newer style Hydaboost unit with an accumulator and being able to just order a kit with everything you need and know will work. I should end up saving some money by going this way but if there's any value at all to my time I'm probably on the losing end. At least I can tell myself I'm learning.

Thanks again everyone!

I looked up my old invoice from them and the part numbers are:

SR146H-6-10-SA
Remote Reservoir Kit, Hydroboost, 8.25" OAH, BLK Anodized, 2X -6AN RTN -10AN Feed, BLK Street Cap (MR07 INCL)

HK2110-6-10
Hose Kit, PSC Remote Reservoir, Hydroboost, -6AN RTN -10AN Suction, Braided

The other benefits from the PSC are it features an inline filter which both filters out crap from your PS system but the larger aluminum reservoir and filter keeps your fluid cooler and reduces bubbles and turbulence that wouldn’t be accomplished by drilling out the factory piece.

And yeah, I enjoy wrenching and understanding how things work but I’ll also pay extra to save time and put a nice part on it!
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JadeMonkeyStang

TRs on the Brain
@Cryptic Thanks so much, that helps a lot! For some reason I wasn't thinking this would replace the factory reservoir but now that I see it the setup and the mounting makes sense. Do you remember if there's a reason you went with the -10an versus the -12an feed line? Does the -10an connect right up to the power steering pump? Is there fitting required to connect the PSC cables to the factory power steering pump?
 

Cryptic

Active Member
@Cryptic Thanks so much, that helps a lot! For some reason I wasn't thinking this would replace the factory reservoir but now that I see it the setup and the mounting makes sense. Do you remember if there's a reason you went with the -10an versus the -12an feed line? Does the -10an connect right up to the power steering pump? Is there fitting required to connect the PSC cables to the factory power steering pump?

I did my conversion a little over two years ago so I don’t recall some of the reasons I made some of those choices. As far as that particular reservoir goes I called PSC, spoke with and ordered directly from them and that was what they recommended.

I’ll see if I can’t get some better photos tomorrow but I’ll attach one as well as a diagram of how it all works (the original drawing I stole from someone else, the notations are mine).

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JadeMonkeyStang

TRs on the Brain
@Cryptic Thank you again. Nice to see it drawn out. I found a thread you (and @TexasT) commented in while you were doing your install that was helpful despite none of the pictures working for me. It looks like the -10AN fitting for the feed line (outlet of the PSC reservoir) is either the right size or close to the right size for the factory power steering box (I am still not sure if an adapter is required). I may have to give PSC a call on Monday. I'm getting closer to figuring this all out!
 

captndave737

Well-Known Member
I went the expensive hydratech route as well. I didn't like the braided hoses as the car was a daily driver and the hoses wouldn't clean well. I ended up turning it upside down in the bracket so I could use stock lines from an 84.

I just rebuilt it because it was leaking after 20+years. Most rebuild videos show replacing the power piston seal and the figure 8 seal but not the push rod seals because on most units the push rod can't be removed. With the adjustable push rod on the Hydratech unit I could remove the end and replace the push rod seals as well.
 

TexasT

Texas, Where are you from
When I say, make sure you have pedal(see pix), I mean push the pedal down and make sure you can cycle it. I went with a "new" mc when the one I originally had put on when I swapped years earlier was leaking. The first replacement had a snap ring that was protruding into the space where the actuator from the hb unit went. This made the brakes not be able to apply but I was able to push hard enough on the pedal to stop the car and get it in park. That snap ring is what I pulled out of the mc, kinda bent it.
Wagner is the brand of mc I got to solve the swap and work problem.
 

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1KWIKSIX

Well-Known Member
Send your PS pump out to Junior at Turn One Steering in Michigan for pressure output & gpm flow adjustments optimum for hydro boost. You won’t be disappointed
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JadeMonkeyStang

TRs on the Brain
Send your PS pump out to Junior at Turn One Steering in Michigan for pressure output & gpm flow adjustments optimum for hydro boost. You won’t be disappointed
Do you know what psi / flow he set your pump to? I've seen lots of different suggestions floating around out there.
 

1KWIKSIX

Well-Known Member
They have a form to download & fill out details of your set up : he asked me tire sizes , rim sizes , auto cross or road use, etc and comes up with his recommendations. Apparently mine is set up at 1800psi +/- & 2.9 gpm (they tried to get it as close to 3gpm as they could
 

Jerryl

Tall Unvaccinated Chinese Guy
Stock 84 HB conversion pic. The PM has a bad reputation, but actually works really well when maintained.
 

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conn84gn

Well-Known Member
Waiting on the new reservoir. Got a 87 remanufactured pump and 84 master cylinder
Looking for 84 Hydroboost to send out Cardone
Mines still Ok but 100,000 miles and want a spare
 

TexasT

Texas, Where are you from
You can buy a seal kit from a place called pirate Jack and probably do more than cardone would do to it.
 
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