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Thread: Brake booster conversion

  1. #1
    1956 190sl + 1967 Sedan Andre Hudon's Avatar
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    Brake booster conversion

    I am driving my 190sl for 2 years ( 5000 mi. ) without a brake booster working properly. It is a complicated and expansive unit to repair, especially the earlier model. I want now to get rid of smoke at idle and improve safety when braking. Does anyone of you having made a conversion to a more modern power brake booster from Mercedes or hot rod units ?
    I will be pleased to find somebody telling me it is possible !
    Thanks !
    Andre Hudon
    '56 190sl, '05 SLK 350, '07 ML 320 CDI

  2. #2
    Registered User Harold's Avatar
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    Andre,
    Do not know about a converson but this web site may be of assitance to you.

    Check some of our sponsors for refurbish prices.

    The T-50 manual can be found via:
    http://www.190slgroup.com/tech/images3/T50-manual.pdf

    I am attaching a photo of a refurbished Booster

    Harold
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Harold Hodnett
    "Is a restoration ever finished?"
    1955 190SL, Chassis #01247 - restored 2009 DB350/1068
    See Article In News Letter Nov-Dec 2004 Rarer Than Rare
    1965 Mustang Convertible - restored 2008
    1966 Mustang Coupe - In process of restoration
    1946 Chevy P U - In process of restoration
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    Mem: MB Club of America & Peachtree Section

  3. #3
    RonRapp
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    Why don't you check at the local auto parts store. I'm sure they would have some info to add to your idea.

  4. #4
    1956 190sl + 1967 Sedan Andre Hudon's Avatar
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    Looking the search icon, I found from Ed. Bertrand an address in Australia where they are supplying an upgraded brake booster. The problem is, I sent 4 emails to them and no answers. They are probably closed for vacation. The price is around $250.
    Waiting another week.
    Andre Hudon

  5. #5
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    upgrading brakes

    In my first posting to the forum, I brought up the issue of upgrading the braking system of the 190 SL. My concerns were similar to those of Andre. The basic engineering of the system is limited in its potential performance, even when restored. With no suggestions to upgrade the design itself, I proceeded with a total restoration of the braking system. This included new wheel cylinders, shoes, springs, adjusters, lines, master cylinder, boost, and new tires. The result was a system that performs in a satisfactory manner when all conditions are ideal, that is going slow on a dry, level surface. This is a rare condition in my city, San Francisco. Some 190sl owners have mentioned modifications including disk brakes. Andre’s question about an alternative boost and my previous question about double master cylinders must have been considered by other users. It would be very valuable to have a discussion of modifications to drivers that might make it safer to operate our cars. I am in basic agreement about the objective to not alter the car so it cannot be restored. For example, I have been using “utility” seats so I have something to sit on while working on the car and while the original seats are out for professional upholstery. They were just bolted in come right hour. They do have the potential to perform better than the originals in an accident with the headrests and 4 point seat belts. Improving the brakes will probably be my next project.

    Martin Chin
    1961 190 sl
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  6. #6
    RonRapp
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    With the original braking system in proper working condition, you can lock your brake anytime you chose. What would disc brake do differently? I have never in my life time had to turn brake drums. I have had to have rotor turned everytime I have new pads. PLEASE show me thje improvement!

  7. #7
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    Ron
    It Would Be Nice To Have Abs.
    Sal

  8. #8
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    Brake upgrading

    Maybe no improvement over four wheel drums is possible. Still, I would like to know what other 190 SL user's have done and what their experience is on modifications to the car. My other cars are (1) 1998 Mercedes E320 and (2) 2003 Porsche Carrera. I would not expect the 190 SL to brake as well as my other cars and it doesn't. I hope other 190 SL owners, who have tried other braking configurations, will share their experience. In a previous thread, one owner cited his frustration with brake boosters as a reason to sell his car. I feel that some practical, reversible modifications will prevent these cars from becoming just museum pieces. Driving around San Francisco in the 190 SL always results in positive comments from other people. I really think they enjoy seeing the car rolling along as much as I enjoy driving it.

    Martin Chin
    San Francisco

  9. #9
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    I think getting good performance from the 190SL brakes is very attainable. The problem is that you have a very hard time finding somebody willing to read the manuals, follow the procedures exactly, and do the job right. More and more I just do the job myself. There are probably a combination of 6 things that could easily be the source of your problem.
    Dave

  10. #10
    Administrator JimVillers's Avatar
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    Marin ..... Try relining your brake shoes with carbon-Kevlar linings. Increases the co-efficient of friction from 0.35 to 0.45. This is the normal material for racing brakes and will give you one third more stopping power without major modification.
    Jim Villers
    1961 190SL, 230SL 5-speed, MGB 5-speed, Boxster 'S'; Porsche 356C; 1967 Porsche 911

  11. #11
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    Jim,
    thank you for the suggestion about the brake linings. I will send out my cores for the kevlar linings and give it a try. In my past post, I wanted to know if anyone has installed tandem master cylinders to provide a backup should hydraulic pressure be lost. I wonder if anyone has a solution to this potential problem.

    Martin Chin

  12. #12
    of the West Walter's Avatar
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    Although I am happy with my 190SL brakes, others have not been. They have added 190c front discs. That is so, so as it results in no greater swept surface and hence no extra stopping power. BUT, what I did do for my 5000+ pound VW camper was to add ML320 rotors and bigger calipers. THAT helped a lot. See the trick was that the ML 320 rotor slips right over the VW hub. That made it easy.

    Go to the brembo.com website and look at all the rotors you can play with! Then it is a matter of selecting parts. In the case of the VW Vanagons others have used all sorts of parts to upgrade the brakes. Mustang Cobra calipers seem to work well. I used Girling G60 twin pots myself. You end up making an adaptor bracket.

    It is tough to find modern rotors that will fit a 14 in wheel, though. I ended up with 16 inch S500 wheels and spacers. Now the van can really stop and not warp rotors.

    Go have fun!
    Walt in the West says: Don't ask: "Use the SEARCH Luke"
    1959 190SL DB050 with 333 leather blue ("It's Alive!" - 653 miles) Chassis 14445
    1961 300SL Roadster DB608 with red - fresh brakes and rebuilt engine hung in - more work coming!

  13. #13
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    brake upgrading

    Walter,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. Before planning a project like disk brake conversion, I was trying to collect as much information/experience as possible. I just don't like repeating too many steps. Conceptually, the conversion doesn't seem too difficult. I was trying to limit the number of obstacles I might encounter like getting rotors to fit over the hubs without doing too much machine work or ending up with a stack of parts that are not usable. My intention would be to create a bolt on system that did not alter the car itself and could be reversed back to original. I understand that the limits of space may make this objective impossible.
    Martin Chin

  14. #14
    of the West Walter's Avatar
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    Martin,

    Without fail, you will have to remove the backing plates. Those are riveted on. Your best bet, and this is what I did for the VW Westy, was to mock it all up on some used suspension bits. That way I could play and not rip and tear into the recipient. Any old ponton front end will do it for you.

    Find Fritz Wallner's website and lurk around. He shows the 190c conversion. He offers it as a kit too.

    If you were very crazed, you might fit the W113 brakes as some have done.

    You could also fit 300 sedan brakes, but need to use all the EXPENSIVE bits and wheels. But, that is a long shot and not to easy to reproduce setup.

    There are options. But, most of use are quite happy with our brakes.

    The main reason I did the VW was because the brakes are so woeful for the camper and I kept warping rotors. Now I have a setup I can get parts for easy. The only "real" work was making the caliper brackets. The hubs are made from Vanagon hub / rotor assemblies using a brake lathe.

    Be safe and have fun!
    Walt in the West says: Don't ask: "Use the SEARCH Luke"
    1959 190SL DB050 with 333 leather blue ("It's Alive!" - 653 miles) Chassis 14445
    1961 300SL Roadster DB608 with red - fresh brakes and rebuilt engine hung in - more work coming!

  15. #15
    Registered User
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    brake ideas

    Dear Walter,

    Thank you for the info. I am thinking this will be a future project, maybe after I finish restoring the upholstery and the steel top.

    Martin Chin

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