BRAKES:  The brakes have been lousy ever since the project started. New rotors and pads were installed. The drums turned and new pads added. New brake lines were installed throughout. Still lousy brakes!! A new master cylinder was added - still lousy brakes. The system was worked on by 3 separate very competent people. Still lousy brakes!! There are a few things I will short cut on but steering, brakes and anything that will risk life or limb I cannot live with. If a solution could not be found then the Willys would be scrapped.

While it was in John's shop he installed the VANCO HydroBoost System. 

When the decision to use swing pedals was made I did not realize just how much pedal arm would have to be removed and what effect that would have. I had read about so many Jeeps with this conversion I did not foresee a problem. I new there were equations and theories about pedal stroke and throw, etc., but I thought my problems were surmountable.

The answer I hope is the VANCO Power Brake Supply HydroBoost System. The theory according to VANCO is that using a system like this means you never have touchy brakes. It works a lot like a power steering gearbox, easy stopping going slow and a little firmer as you speed up. It never has the super touchy feel that makes you jerk and has great stopping power when you you are going fast or have a heavy load. In addition to this VANCO was able to incorporate a 1-1/8" bore master cylinder to it. VANCO does not recommend putting such a big bore master cylinder onto a vacuum booster as you'll loose quite a bit of the boosters power doing this. The bigger the bore you use the more power you need to make it function, the hydraulic booster was made for a 1-1/8" master cylinder from a four wheel disc system, so it works perfectly. The bonus of a bigger master cylinder is of course more pressure, now you also use a smaller pedal stroke to stop the vehicle. 


VANCO Power Brake Supply HydroBoost System


VANCO Power Brake Supply HydroBoost System


VANCO Power Brake Supply HydroBoost System

The system includes new hoses, master cylinder and everything else you need to install it on CJs and YJs except for power steering fluid and brake fluid. It doesn't matter if you currently have power brakes; upgrading; or don't have power brakes and want power, this system will work. The system has been a complete success with every customer so far; they are reporting fantastic stopping power and control.

Time will tell and I will update this page with the results. The only problem now is that I need shoulder harnesses to avoid wacking my head on the cage if I brake too hard. Thus far the brakes are working fantastically although I have yet to test the brakes off-road or at any decent speed. 

Just got back from the off-road debut (September 3rd, 2001) - the brakes worked great as did everything else on the Flattie. I have had the Flattie on the highway at speeds of up to around 50 mph in the rain and in the dry. The brakes are phenomenal.

John also installed the rear Rancho 9013 shocks and mounting bar and fabbed an engine and transmission skid plate.

Back home it was time for some test drives. I wasn't sure how the Willys would steer and handle so it was caution and very short trips to start. So far everything is performing well. It looked pretty darned tacky with those rusty chrome wheels so it was of to Discount Tire and spend a hole $37.50 each for 5 new black "D" hole wheels. I got a spare tire while I was there. It is tough to beat there replacement policy even if you slash a tire while off-road. You have to admit they do look better. I will now have to start work on the hundreds of small details that will complete the Willys.


My son test driving the MB


My son test driving the MB

Test drives

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