My '64 Cadillac DeVille had been sitting for awhile while I was travelling this summer and when I came home it had some issues starting. After replacing the plugs and the ignition coil, it was running better than it had in a long time but the brakes were sticking. I noticed the brake pedal was traveling a little farther than usual when slowing down. Soon after I noticed a hissing noise coming from around the brake pedal. Then I lost the brakes pretty much completely. I couldn't find any leaks from the brake lines or the master cylinder when I took a look around. Is my master cylinder the culprit, or does anybody have any ideas on what to do next? Is it possible I cracked the brake line removing the plugs?

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Comment by Jason Edge on August 31, 2018 at 8:52am

Hopefully it is just a busted check valve. The availability seems cyclical as Delco's are available then Bendix, and back and forth but with diminishing windows of availability. It seems they wait until they have a batch for rebuilt then become available for a short duration. The old stock to rebuild is of course becoming smaller and smaller.  I remember when replaced my brake booster/mc some years back you go on the AutoZone site and they had a plenty of rebuilt original Delco Morraines. I remember buying maybe 3 or 4, installing one and selling the others. It is one of those items where I could have bought 50 and demand would have eventually exceeded supply.  We will have to keep our eye on what is available. I do have a good stock of cores for rebuild if anyone finds a source or whats to take on rebuilding these. 

Comment by Christopher Codd on August 31, 2018 at 8:38am

Just a little update on this. It seems that nobody is selling the Delco brake booster/master cylinder anymore. I went ahead and bought the Bendix master cylinder since that was the only one I could find. Could not find a Bendix booster. I bench bled the master cylinder and installed it and the brakes are still going to the floor with the loud hissing noise coming from the brake pedal area when the brakes are pressed with the car running. I took the hose going from the booster to the carburetor off and plugged it and the noise went away. I am going to replace the check valve and if that fails, I guess I'll be sending my booster out for a rebuild. I just figured the master cylinder was the problem since the brake pedal wash mushy. Brake lines are stainless and look ok. Brake hoses to each wheel look bone dry. Guessing this is all a vacuum issue. 

Comment by Christopher Codd on August 10, 2018 at 2:50pm

I'm trying to keep this cost efficient as possible, but I also don't want to cheap out on something as important as brakes. Tony, I think you're right about going with the Delco. It was hard enough trying to find the rebuilt Bendix. Another few years and they'll probably all be gone. Dave, thanks for the tip about the rebuilder, but I'm in Maryland and that shipping to California would probably cost as much as some brand new parts here on the East Coast. I'll keep y'all posted on what I get and how it turns out. 

Comment by Dave Schneider on August 10, 2018 at 1:33pm

Karps Brakes (909) 985-0800 rebuilds M/C and boosters.  He rebuilt both my 62 and my son,s 61 M/C and booster. One 6 years ago and the other last month. 

Comment by Tony and Ginny 429 on August 10, 2018 at 11:20am

Above post should read 

I do not think - the bendix brake booster is the problem 

Sorry for my double posts 

I cannot be sure the first post is recorded as my old computer is not notifying me that it has posted the thread as it should —the first time 

takes  moment for me to correct the problem on the actual thread but it takes a little while for it to come off the Dashboard after that has been done 


Comment by Tony and Ginny 429 on August 10, 2018 at 11:04am
Replacing the bendix MC will be the easier job and less expensive fix as you found one --unless the booster needs replacing after that which will still be in question but i do think the booster is the issue
I would check the cost of a bendix brake booster and availability in case you may need that to determine that total expense if needed

The delco MC and booster will be easier to aquire parts for in the future due to more availability of those parts
If you find the costs and availability are similar go with the delco for ease of replacement in the future
New parts - are always a good thing in these cars to improve overall reliability

Comment by Christopher Codd on August 9, 2018 at 11:11pm

Thanks for all of your input. Jason, I found the parts number on Cardone's website and after a lottttttt of searching, found the only reputable place with a rebuilt Bendix master cylinder to be O'Reilly Auto Parts.  The part number is 10-1236. I really didn't want to replace the booster because it looks like a serious pain, but I guess i'll go ahead and pick one up as well. Now since I'm replacing both, I guess it doesn't matter if I go with Bendix or Delco. 

Comment by Tony and Ginny 429 on August 9, 2018 at 7:00pm
Does look like a complete change over of MC and brake booster are in order in this case due to avaiability of Bendix MC parts
Always good to have new fresh parts when the need arises especially when you have no other options
One thing that should not need attention in the near future --and thsts a good thing !!

Comment by Russ Austin on August 9, 2018 at 6:09pm

The hissing is probably a booster leaking vacuum. Just order the booster and master cylinder I gave the part number too and be done with it.  The mount points on the firewall are the same.  You are not going to find a new Bendix master cylinder. You may find a rebuilt one on lie, but if you must have the original, then you will need to get it sent out to get rebuilt.

Comment by Jason Edge on August 9, 2018 at 1:27pm

I haven't looked at what is available in a while but they have not made the exact same Bendix master cylinder since 1966! (see illustration below of an original 1964 Bendix Booster and Master Cylinder) Both the Delco Morraine style and Bendix evolved over the years (e.g. 63's are very different from 64) generally going to the wire pullover master cylinders we have seen for the last 30+ years. 

So, unless you are looking for an exact 64 style Bendix master cylinder, go with a later style Bendix. If you cannot find the Bendix MC or MC/Booster Combo, look for the Delco MC/Booster combo. I know Autozone, Rock Auto and others had them in years past but went thru like a 2 year stretch where ther was nothing available but have seen some some stores restocking them.  I did a quick check and it looks like AutoZone is showing a Delco MC and Delco Booster.  

For references including shop manual illustration and actual pictures look on our Help Page under Brakes. If you want an original 1964 style MC like the one below I sell cores to rebuild for $50.  You can contact direct and see if they can rebuild a core if you send them one if they do not have one on hand or cannot point to a local store that has one.

If you just want a booster look for the newer type that will work with the Bendix, or again get the matched combo. Just remember Delco MC to Delco Booster, Bendix MC to Bendix Booster.


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