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1965 GTO Hardtop 389 tri-power (WS), close ratio M21, 3.90 posi rear (ZK)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am an originality buff with a '65 GTO (389 tri-power, M21 close ratio 4spd, 3.90 posi) restoration project. My brakes are manual, but I'm torn about how to handle the old-school single fluid system (single chamber master cylinder). How do I try to maintain as much originality as possible, while having some level of redundancy (or do I just rely upon the cable parking brake with handled pulled in the event of an emergency fluid loss)? I'm sure I'm not the first to face this issue. Thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Hi Crybaby,

As a purest, and at the time rebuilding the entire car including the brake system, I elected to keep the drum brakes with the exception of using GM aluminum rear drums. Car stops well, no issues.

No argument though that discs are superior and a smart modification choice for something as vital as the braking system.
 

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A lot of judged shows accept replacing the single MC with a dual just for the safety aspect. Same reasoning for seat belts in cars not originally equipped.
I have manual drums in my 68 but have upgraded with Muscle Car Brake shoes. I don't deny that disc brakes are superior but don't feel they are a necessity.
 

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I am an originality buff with a '65 GTO (389 tri-power, M21 close ratio 4spd, 3.90 posi) restoration project. My brakes are manual, but I'm torn about how to handle the old-school single fluid system (single chamber master cylinder). How do I try to maintain as much originality as possible, while having some level of redundancy (or do I just rely upon the cable parking brake with handled pulled in the event of an emergency fluid loss)? I'm sure I'm not the first to face this issue. Thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated.
Spend some time thinking and being honest with yourself about how you will be using the car: How much time will you spend driving/enjoying it vs. showing it at "concours level" shows?

For example, If it's going to be mostly a trailer-queen show car that's rarely driven, then keep it original. Otherwise, I'd vote for safety.

Bear
 

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The plan for my 64 GTO is to convert front to discs, upgrade rear to Muscle Car Brakes complete drum kit and dual MC, of course. I'll clean, bag and tag original parts to pass on to next owner because those parts may be hard to find in the future.
 

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1965 GTO Hardtop 389 tri-power (WS), close ratio M21, 3.90 posi rear (ZK)
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Spend some time thinking and being honest with yourself about how you will be using the car: How much time will you spend driving/enjoying it vs. showing it at "concours level" shows?

For example, If it's going to be mostly a trailer-queen show car that's rarely driven, then keep it original. Otherwise, I'd vote for safety.

Bear
Really good feedback, Bear - Those are good questions to ask myself. At the end of the day, I believe that I want it to be a "driver", so maybe I need to explore "least intrusive" options for converting to a dual reservoir system. I'm restoring it as though it will be "shown", but that is due to the fact that I am a bit OCD. In reality, I know it will never be a show car - and that my primary goal is to drive/enjoy the end-product.
 
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