Your classic trucks 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 arent 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 todays 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 arent trustworthy enough to handle the stresses of braking at modern highway speeds. And most pre-60s brake systems are single-reservoir designs. If theres a failure in the master cylinder, in just one of the wheel cylinders, or in any brake line, youre 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: Wilwoods swing-mount brake pedal and composite dual master cylinders. Wilwood offers a similar setup with both hydraulic clutch and brake pedals. We didnt 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.