Boosters, Bushings, and a Heater Valve


I took the booster out of the SII 330 so it could be rebuilt. Finding a reliable and consistent rebuilder has been very hard, so I’ve resorted to learning how to do it myself. Through the generosity of a long time brake rebuilding mentor, I’ve been learning the tricks, problems, and traps to rebuilding these Master Vac boosters. Although they seem pretty simple in design, there are a bunch of pieces that can easily break and many things to watch out for when taking these units apart and putting them back together. I’ve been given a set of tools made specifically to work on these boosters that were designed by my mentor through trial and error throughout a 40 year career. I’m very lucky to have this insight, and hope I can make him proud of his teachings!


The process of rebuilding a Master vac starts with disassembly, but once the two halves are separated, they need to be stripped and sent out for gold cadmium plating. My plater has been taking 2-3 weeks to turn around a pair of cans, so the rebuilding process is not a fast one!


Before any of plating is applied, the old plating has to be removed. First, the parts need to be degreased and cleaned.


This booster was in decent shape, so the bead blasting didn’t take too long. I lightly bead blasted the surfaces to remove most of the plating, but will leave the rest of the stripping to the acid tank in the plating process.


I got down to work getting the rear transmission mount out of the transmission case. The sleeve to the bushing was very tight, so the easiest and least damaging method was to cut it out.


I started by drilling out the remaining pieces of deteriorated rubber bushings along with the inner sleeve.


I carefully cut two slots in the outer sleeve with a reciprocating saw to relieve the collar so it would push out. A little bit of hammer and chisel work and the bushing was out of the transmission case. We’ll make or borrow a insertion tool to put the new one in, but we’re waiting for the new bushing’s arrival in the mail!


The parts to rebuild the SI 330’s heater valve arrived in the mail, so I started disassembling it. Notice the broken tabs by the Phillips head screws. Two of them were broken, but a reasonably priced reproduction top cap is available to fix this problem.


The one part that is not available is the center shaft. It’s probably not hard to fabricate if you have some skills on a Bridgeport milling machine, but luckily ours was in good shape.


I was watching the clock as I started this little project and saw a little more than an hour burn away by the time I was finished. Matching screws needed to be found and cut down to length, the valve needed to be cleaned and bead blasted to clean up the dirt and oil, and gaskets needed to be made to seal it onto the engine block.


I’m trying my best to keep up with the work flow, but so another car was dropped off at the shop this week. The owner has been patiently waiting for a long time for us to rebuild his transmission. This car has been owned for many years by the same family and has now passed from father to son. Gianni has memories sitting in this car in a specially made child seat blasting down i95 from CT to Florida to see the races!


The condition of this car would be considered a “driver,” but that would be an understatement. After we sort out the worn synchronizes, there will be more driving to do! The tradition continues now that Gianni is the steward of this car, and it was only fitting that his 21 year old son was giving his dad a ride back from the shop. Next week, the trans-axle will be pulled.


May 2, 2015

The Radcliffe/ Car Show is this week!

I’m very excited to do this again, and look forward to see old and new friends at this annual event. Richard Garre and I have hosted this car show to celebrate all types of machinery, focusing on Italian Cars. There’s parking for about 100 cars and we will always try to accommodate late comers, but if you want a guaranteed  spot call Richard to preregister!

Radcliffe Motorcars

12340 Owings Mills Boulevard
Reisterstown, Maryland 21136
Phone: 410-517-1681

See you there!


 Monterey Car Shows

I’m all registered and ready to attend Concorso on Saturday 15th of August and the  FCA event on Monday August 17th. Please contact Concorso, or the FCA to register for their respective events.

We’re planning a tailgate party after the show at Concorso to avoid the traffic leaving the show. There’s nothing worse that sitting in bumper to bumper traffic watching the car overheat trying to leave Concorso at the end of the day, so since all the GTEs and 330 Americas will already be parked together, we can stay a little later and leave when the traffic dies down. As always, everyone is invited!

If you want more information, contact

David Wheeler:

Tom Wilson:

Here’s a rough schedule of events:


Thursday August 13th, Cocktail Party at Quail Lodge 6-9

Saturday August 15th, Concorso Italiano Gathering of the GTEs (and 330 Americas)

Monday August 17th, Ferrari Club National Show and Concours.