Difficulty of replacing brake components

I have an old 1971 ford f100. A gift from my grandpa as he is no longer able to drive or work on it. I myself am not very mechanically inclined but would like to start working on it. I first want to replace the master brake cylinder and add a power booster but have no clue how difficult this task might be and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

What state are you in? Rust? Ever looked under this thing? Does it have an underside left?

Colorado. And I am not sure. Before my grandpa got it it was used on a farm and the truck itself had quite of rust before he worked on it but as of right now not entirely sure

The web is your friend. Read about brakes. Search for sites that sell products for vintage or classic Ford trucks… Like CJ Pony Parts:


Notice THAT is the power brake booster you wanted.

I strongly recommend adding disk brakes at the front when you do this. The 1973 trucks had them, there likely are kits to add them.

Rockauto has a brake booster for your truck.

The firewall may have to be modified to mount the booster.

Other than that, it should be an easy upgrade.


I know the drum brakes on the truck are fairly new

Then why do you think you need power brakes? 4 Wheel drums, if adjusted correctly, are generally effective with just foot pressure.

Because they still take a lot of legwork to stop reliably. I’m not keen on my leg being run ragged before I get to work.

Not experienced + major brake system modification (the single most important safety system on the truck) = let a pro do it, to me.

If you were just asking about replacing existing components, that would be different.


I learned to drive in a Chevrolet pickup when I was 12 and weighed less than 130#. I had no problem stopping the truck and of course it had non power drum brakes.

Installing a booster and discs on the front is a major re-engineering job BTW.

I think your brake work alone will improve the stopping power and you won’t need power brakes at all. Without power brakes you can always use the brakes, not just with the engine running. I would always test my Ford products while going uphill because some of them would not give even one brake application with the engine off. The slower the better. Put the brake lines into the master cylinder before tightening the mount bolts.

My 115 lb Grandma used to stop her 57 Chevy with manual brakes. Same for her 70 Olds with front disks without power brakes.

Does that give you a hint that maybe your brake job isn’t quite all you thought it was?