Depending on who you ask, the phrase "form before function" will draw mixed emotions. Some will say it's all about looks, while others will say it's all about handling. Although both cases hold water, neither will doubt the fact that such forms of function as brakes, stance, and driveability must not be ignored. When it comes to '73-87 Chevy trucks, looks are key to a build, but the square-bodied rides must be able to go down the road as well.

Classic Performance Products in Anaheim, California, is all about helping your hauler get down the road safely and stylishly. Their plethora of parts range from front to back and up and down for square-bodied Chevys, but as of right now, we're going to focus on just a few key products, their tubular controls with a disc brake/spindle kit and the new hydroboost braking system. The tubular control arms will help set the correct stance for lowered trucks in several ways, and they will also eliminate the scary factor of having to butcher stock A-arms. The new spindle/brake kits and hydroboost will solve all your braking needs, and the real kicker is the relatively easy installs that have more than adequate benefits, and they won't have you saving your lunch money for the next year.

The Classic Performance Products tubular control arms are designed to provide full suspension travel and minimal friction. The upper CPP arms are constructed from 1 1/4x.120-inch-wall, and the lower arms are 1 1/2x.120-inch-wall DOM tubing. The pivot barrels are beefy 1 1/2x.188-inch-wall DOM tubing that helps eliminate distortion from welding and hard use. The arms are lowered-truck-friendly since they are designed to increase ground clearance over the stock arms, and the upper arms have been designed with five degrees more caster than the stock arms. Instead of utilizing rubber or polyurethane bushings, CPP has designed a patented plastic self-lubricating non-squeak bushing that provides a comfortable ride and increased handling. The 4140-alloy steel cross-shafts and sleeves are zinc-plated for lasting performance. Along with that, the sleeves have an interlocking design that prevents the hardware from working itself loose. The original cross-shaft pivot was designed to carry either a forward or back load, however, the CPP cross-shafts are designed with both forward and backward loads. The control arms come preassembled for an easy bolt-in installation, and they can be installed as a full set, or mixed and matched with either factory upper or lower control arms.

Many truck aficionados think that as long as you have the latest and greatest master cylinder, booster, calipers, discs, etc., your hauler should stop on command, which isn't exactly the case. When designing brake systems, you have to start thinking about master cylinder bore sizes, booster sizes, valves, and especially vacuum. Vacuum is one of those things that is often an afterthought, but without it, no matter what parts you have, the truck won't stop. In the quest to rocket down the highway at the fastest speed possible, truck owners are running such hot cams that it's killing vacuum, and therefore killing braking. To compensate for the loss of vacuum, people install vacuum pumps that do help, but even then braking potential isn't at its fullest.

One of CPP's latest products, their hydroboost braking system, is designed to alleviate the problem. The hydroboost system, which replaces the power booster in a power brake system, is powered off of pressure from the power steering pump. Instead of running off of vacuum like a power booster, the hydroboost is powered by pressure from the power steering pump. The hydroboost taps into the power steering pump and uses the pump's pressure to deliver clamping force to the calipers. The CPP hydroboost delivers 1,300 psi at the wheels, and because it doesn't run off vacuum, the calipers will be given the same amount of pressure from the minute you hit the brakes all the way up until the second you let off them.

What happens if you lose your power steering pump or the motor dies? No worries. The hydroboost's accumulator stores enough high pressure for three full power stops. For instance, let's say you're cruising down the highway and you kill the motor; the first time you hit the brakes, the system will deliver 80 percent of the system's full potential until you let off the brakes. Once the brake is let up and pushed again, roughly 50 percent of the power is there, and if you let off the brakes and hit them for a third time, you're scraping the bottom of the barrel for the rest of the power. After three stops with no engine power, the system converts into what is called manual brake push through compliance, which means the system becomes a true manual brake system.

If all this sounds a little too space age for ya, consider this: hydroboost technology has been around since the early '70s, when GM equipped many of their 1-ton trucks and even some mid-'70s Cadillac Eldorados. In more recent years, all Ford Mustang Cobras from '96 on are equipped with a hydroboost, every Hummer ever made has a hydroboost, and since '05, GM has equipped every 1-ton truck with a hydroboost.

The CPP hydroboost system, which is completely bolt-in for specific vehicles and manufactured from all-brand-new parts, is much like a power brake system: it still uses a master cylinder, proportioning valve, and the like. The only difference is instead of running a power booster for power brakes, a hydroboost sits between the firewall and the master cylinder. But don't be fooled, a hydroboost system isn't just for trucks with low vacuum; it is also an excellent upgrade on trucks with manual brakes. Instead of opting to convert one's system to power brakes via a power booster, a hydroboost is also a viable option.

SOURCE
Classic Performance Products
175 East Freedom Avenue
Anaheim
CA  92801
800-522-5004
www.classicperform.com
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