powermaster failure....best replacement??

If the fuse bows the motor is shot.

The best replacement is hydroboost. Vacuum is second and a lot less money.

I am removing a brand new vacuum system with the bigger booster and new master. Shoot me a message if you are interested.

Rick
Please read my latest reply let me know what u think please
 

TurboBuRick

Moderator
Staff member
NOT true. A lot more motor running and switching is usually what blows the fuse. The motor and pump RARELY are a failure item although when they do fail it's the result of faulty maintenance or faulty troubleshooting.
.

Your right Dave but if the switch is bad and is blowing the fuse it's shorted to ground. In that case the fuse will just blow when replaced. If motor runs for a short time then blows fuse, the motor is over drawing.
 

TexasT

Texas, Where are you from
I have less than $300 in my hydroboost conversion. I like it. Bought the stuff cedar crest labs reccomended and went with the Cadillac aluminum mc. It stops better than new.

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Last edited:

TurboBuRick

Moderator
Staff member
Please read my latest reply let me know what u think please



A few things can render a switch bad.
1 leaking
2 will not kick motor on
3 will not shut motor off
4 shorted to ground

As far as the accumulator:
Should get 2-3 pumps of the brake before motor kicks on. If motor comes on every time you hit the brakes, the accumulator is bad. Another indicator would be the brake light flashing on for a sec when brakes are applied.

Rick
 

gsgnnut

Active Member
I strongly suggest you go vacuum. I had 3 near death experiences with fickle power masters and replaced 3 complete power masters through the years costing ridiculously stupid money. Sorry, Not willing to pony up 800 bucks for a Russian Roulette brake system , so I tossed in the towel last year and put in a vacuum system in my GN and honestly it was the smartest upgrade I ever made and the only real difference is not fearing for my life every time I take a ride. I scored everything I needed in a local bone yard regal for a whopping 50 bucks. Its a afternoon job and total bolt in. The power master is junk , unpredictable, fails with no warning and damn dangerous and GM knew it, and pulled it fast after short use in the GNS and Estate wagons. Hydroboost systems are safe and dependable, but expensive and hog up a lot of space and plumbing. Go with what has worked without hardly a failure for 50 plus years and go vacuum!
 

BEATAV8

The Engine Whisperer
if you need a brand new pump/motor assembly you can get one from oldbuickparts.com
if you need brand new master cylinder seals you can get them from karp's power brake parts.

the switch and accumulator are much easier to find. (kirbans, highwaystars, etc)

once you have a good / fresh setup it will last a very long time as long as you change the fluid once per year religiously. I think rebuilding it yourself with brand new stuff is the best way to go if your going to stick with the powermaster.
 

Bescurred

BOOSTED SHAMU v2.0
I've been emailing Dennis Kirban about his powermasters that are rebuilt by cardone. He told me they made some changes to the pumps now and they are better than there were factory.

My powermaster also just took a dump on me. I decided to go with a rebuilt one from Kirban since they have a lifetime warranty! We know kirbans isn't going anywhere. Hell my 87's PM has made it this far with just a switch and one acc ball. Not bad for almost 25+ years old.
 

GNONYX

Well-Known Member
I've been emailing Dennis Kirban about his powermasters that are rebuilt by cardone. He told me they made some changes to the pumps now and they are better than there were factory.

My powermaster also just took a dump on me. I decided to go with a rebuilt one from Kirban since they have a lifetime warranty! We know kirbans isn't going anywhere. Hell my 87's PM has made it this far with just a switch and one acc ball. Not bad for almost 25+ years old.
25+ years shouldn't be the issue, it's how many original miles is clock in that matters
I myself have 92,000 with original PM (replaced PM switch), and just recently replaced the all black accumulator with the yellow band type, that I removed from my complete backup powermaster unit.
 

nickygn23

Active Member
Go vacuum. Lost my brakes three times. Yank it out and sell it. People here buy them broken. Take the proceeds and buy a vacuum conversion
 

GNRick

Retired member
I had a rebuilt Cardone unit on my car. Pump was running with every push of the brake pedal. I planned on replacing the entire PM under lifetime warranty. Then one day the brake light came on and I was able to get one more press of the brake pedal until I smelled something burning. Yeah, the pump went south on me. Had a hard pedal. Luckily I was near home. Installed hydroboost and am very pleased. Sent the PM in to Cardone and sold the newly rebuilt unit for $350 at a car show.
 

TurboDave

RIP DAVE
Staff member
TurboBuick.Com Supporter!
I had a rebuilt Cardone unit on my car. Pump was running with every push of the brake pedal. I planned on replacing the entire PM under lifetime warranty. Then one day the brake light came on and I was able to get one more press of the brake pedal until I smelled something burning. Yeah, the pump went south on me. Had a hard pedal. Luckily I was near home. Installed hydroboost and am very pleased. Sent the PM in to Cardone and sold the newly rebuilt unit for $350 at a car show.

My question would have to be, since you heard the pump running on every push, why didn't you troubleshoot that issue instead of leaving it, and subsequently allowing the system to eat its self to death????
 

GNRick

Retired member
My question would have to be, since you heard the pump running on every push, why didn't you troubleshoot that issue instead of leaving it, and subsequently allowing the system to eat its self to death????
Because I didn't want to buy a new accumulator since I knew the whole PM had a lifetime warranty. I had planned to just remove the whole PM and get a new one under warranty.
 

Roger

Active Member
/tried the vacuum & blew the diaphragm twice - had a 1 way valve which probably leaked, changed it & still blew the diaphragm - fool me once & twice, but not 3 times. Many local owners like vacuum.
Hydro-boost resolved all issues & even gives more line pressure than any other type - HB is used on almost all new diesels (must be a reason).
Most simple brakes would be no a power assist "manual" system.
 

TommyV8

Member
I've been through this myself and am lucky to have never wrecked my car. Listen to gsgnnut and nickygn23, drop that Powerdisaster like a bad habit in favor of a cheap and simple vacuum system.
 

Wahoo

Well-Known Member
I just bought a cardone master cylinder and booster combo from advanced, used the $50.00 off online orders free shipping. $110

Its for an '87 Monte Carlo SS vacuum setup
 

tzque

Member
I have gone to vacuum and never looked back but take this advice . Before you go crazy changing parts but new brake lines to the calipers they . swell when driving and cause brake issues with these cars . Even if you switch change the brake lines
 

tzque

Member
I have gone to vacuum and never looked back but take this advice . Before you go crazy changing parts buy new brake lines to the calipers they . swell when driving and cause brake issues with these cars . Even if you switch change the brake lines
I wish some one had given me this advice vacuum conversions,new calipers , new pads and in the end it was the hoses . They are like arteries and clog my car only had 34 k when it happen to me . I should have bought stainless steel lines
 
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