Your classic truck’s up-through-the-floor brake and clutch pedals can cause major headaches when you swap in a modern engine and transmission. Pedal-travel arcs, under-floor mounts, and linkages have the most amazing habit of being in exactly the wrong place for clearance and for routing to modern components. And even if clearance and linkages aren’t problematic, only the most hard-line purists would say they actually like all the clatter, wind whistle, and even water splashes common to through-the-floor pedals at today’s cruise speeds.

There are safety issues, too, whether you swap in a pumped-up engine or keep the original. Early non-power-assist systems simply aren’t trustworthy enough to handle the stresses of braking at modern highway speeds. And most pre-’60s brake systems are single-reservoir designs. If there’s a failure in the master cylinder, in just one of the wheel cylinders, or in any brake line, you’re out of brakes, period. So upgrading to a dual-reservoir brake system is a top priority.

You have a number of good choices when you decide to upgrade clutch and brake pedals and master cylinders. We followed along as Clay Mullis of Full Tilt Street Rods installed one of the best: Wilwood’s swing-mount brake pedal and composite dual master cylinders. Wilwood offers a similar setup with both hydraulic clutch and brake pedals. We didn’t need the two-pedal rig because we swapped a TorqueFlite 727 automatic tranny as well as a Mopar 360 V-8 into the ’40s Dodge shown here. Mullis also replaced the ancient brake lines with new goods from Classic Tube. Of course, Mullis’ problem-solving processes for our Dodge apply to just about any through-the-floor conversion.

Classic Tube
80 Rotech Drive
NY  14086
Wilwood Disc Brakes
4700 Calle Bolero
CA  93012
Full Tilt Street Rods
2944 I-70 Business Loop
Unit 313
Grand Junction
CO  81504