Installing Hydroboost

78_Elky

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Mar 9, 2005
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Well I haven't seen too much about the hydroboost systems online and I figured whatever I find out could help someone else with their swap! I'm going to be upgrading the front and rear brakes to 12" discs in the near future so I wanted to redo my braking system so it could make the most of the upgrades. The little 305 I have in the car doesn't have the best vacuum with the cam installed so I wanted something other than vacuum brakes.

First things first I pulled my hydroboost unit and master from a 1993 Astro Van in the wrecking yard. It was still all attached and the system held pressure :)


Next I went ahead and cleaned up the hydroboost and got a high ratio steering box, jeep steering shaft and a new master cylinder for my El Camino (mine was leaking so it needed to be replaced)


I've since painted the hydroboost and I think the stock master will fit just fine, I'm going to grab a caliper from work and measure it compared to the one off of the Astro Van.


I've also got a fluid cooler for the power steering system (not needed but it was lying around). I've got a good idea of how to plumb everything and also how it should work. I'm going to have the high pressure hoses made at a hydraulic shop and I only really need to figure out how to get a low pressure return into the back of the pump's resevoir.

I'm going to take the old system off the car and hopefully the rod that attaches to the brake pedal isn't a huge problem...I'll let you all know how it goes \:D/

So far I'm only into this project $25 because I already had everything but the hydroboost, but the hoses should add some to that.
Jess
 

RatMalibu

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May 21, 2003
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the best (imo) way to do the return line is just to steal the pump (just need the tank) off the astro van you got the hydroboost off of, you could also use a bulkhead style fitting and add it to your exsisting pump body. As far as the brake pedal I chopped the OEM eyelet off the end and used a die on the rod to thread it and then used a rod end I got from speedway (it's adjustable that way) to attach it to the pedal. As far as hoses go, just go to the parts store and ask for hoses for a hydroboost on a 83 diesel Malibu, they were OEM....it's what I'm using.
 

78_Elky

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Mar 9, 2005
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THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!
I was thinking I was going to thread the rod, I may take a look at the Astro pump. The yard hit me with an environmental fee the other day doubled all my prices, I'm not sure what was environmental about me disposing of their crap for them?

anyways I'll talk to the parts stores hopefully they are on their game, the salvage yard guy didn't know what a hydroboost was and was arguing with me that it wasn't off of a brake system :)
 

RatMalibu

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May 21, 2003
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Yeah the OEM ones for a diesel malibu didn't have the external reserve reservoir (the shiny silver or gold canister) so the lines will probably require a little finesse...I'm pretty sure I hand bent them a bit to fit the way I wanted them....also I mounted my hydroboost upside down because the clutch master cylinder needed to go on the outside of it...it doesn't matter to the unit which end is up, you just turn the brake master over...I think I actually have one for an Astro van someplace lol the one I'm using is from a late model GM P/U that I made a custom mounting bracket so I could mount the clutch master there too

btw that 90 degree return line fitting came from hydratech braking and with what they charged for shipping thrown in, was stupidly expensive for a couple little pieces of brass
 

1981Regal

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Mar 10, 2008
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Don't you need the astro pump for the hydro unit? I have heard that the stock steering pumps can't handle the additional volume for a hydro system.
 

RatMalibu

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no I'm using a pump off a 91 f-body with serpentine, the only part that is actually different is the housing itself....and the fitting for the line is an o-ring style instead of the flare style like our cars came with.....I'm pretty sure my housing is for a mid 90's C/K pickup with hydroboost
 

78_Elky

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Mar 9, 2005
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Well I was able to order the hoses at the parts store, pretty easy the guy knew what I was looking for (doesn't seem to happen often enough).

I was looking at the car tonight and I started to think I may add a line lock and adjustable prop valve as long as I have all the brake lines pulled apart. Any advice on that? I was reading you have to add the line lock after the prop valve, it looks like a pain to get to, comments?

Jess
 

rsh4364

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Aug 12, 2011
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im redoing the hydroboost on my m1009 blazer and it got me thinking about hydro for my malibu so it was big surprise to see this thread,i also have pwr. brake problems do to low vac. i no longer have pwr steering tho,but i think alan grove makes a bracket so i could add new style pump for brakes only...any advice or thoughts..great thread guys...
 

rsh4364

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Aug 12, 2011
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greensprings,ohio
have a buddy that has a monte diesel,gonna check out,I dont see any reason why you couldnt use hydroboost for brakes,and still run manual steering...
 

78_Elky

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I'll have some pics up as I do the swap to help people out, but it has been below freezing here and no heat in the garage so I'm not in a hurry to start tearing things apart.
Jess