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Vacuum Servo


Freshman Member
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I have a 1965 3000 BJ8 Ph 2. If I need to replace the current aftermarket servo what would you recommend. OEM rebuilt (I have 2) or aftermarket (which one?)

Thanks for your help with this, it is appreciated.
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You have 2 rebuilt OEM servos? This question kind of answers itself ;)

But seriously, folks; FWIW I have heard the replacement (Lockheed?, Some AUS company?) aren't as effective as a good OEM (note: hearsay). Unless some serious mods were done to fit the aftermarket unit you have, in which case an identical aftermarket unit would be more of a 'drop in.'


Freshman Member
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I have 2 OEM units that could be rebuilt. Sorry for not being more clear. I also have the original brackets for mounting. I have seen ads in Hemmings for rebuilding the units if that is a viable option.


Great Pumpkin
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I have 2 OEM units that could be rebuilt. Sorry for not being more clear. I also have the original brackets for mounting. I have seen ads in Hemmings for rebuilding the units if that is a viable option.

Have one rebuit try Healey Surgeons for the rebuild


Darth Vader
Hi All,

In the early '90s, I rebuilt the Girling brake booster but could not comlete the task because I could not find a replacement for a broken air valve. As a result, I purchased a Lockheed unit and designed brackets to allow the original mounts to be used. Although the unit performed nicely, I was never as satisfied with the Lockheed as I was with the Girling Booster and, when finding an air valve replacement, finished the rebuild and reinstalled the unit. The Lockheed is on the shelf waiting to be called if the Girling fails.

I would suggest considering the rebuild of the Girling unit before you evaluate a replacement. I feel a rebuild is not that difficult and can be done by following the posts of a number of owners. Take a look at (https://volvo1800pictures.com/docum.../Girling Hydralic Servo unit MK 2A and 2B.pdf
All the best,
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Yeah, that's it. Couldn't think of the name off the top of my head.

Stateside, if you refer to 'PBR' most will assume you're talking about Pabst Blue Ribbon, a cheap lager that, for some reason has acquired cult status among the young'uns.
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Just heard from them and they no longer do these re-builds. Any other suggestions? Anyone?

A servo rebuild is do-able by a decent shade tree mechanic; read the shop manual and understand how they work, but it's only a little more complex than rebuilding a MC. The seal in the vacuum canister can be problematic and there are a couple other 'gotchas' so if you want to try it ask the Forum for help. I rebuilt mine years ago and it's performed well for many years, but if you'd rather have a shop do it I have experience with Power Brake Exchange in San Jose, CA: https://www.pwrbrake.com/

They rebuilt a booster for my dad's '46 Chevy 2-ton truck, and after we installed it my dad* said he 'almost went through the windshield' the first time he tried the brakes. I delivered and picked-up the booster; the shop is a mess but the crew is friendly and honest. I visited the work space of the tech who did our booster and he had some Girlings disassembled on the bench. However, it's my experience that a servo rebuild is a crap shoot, even done at a competent shop, but AFAIK PBE stands behind their work. NFI.

* My dad passed away last Friday. Those who have been on this forum for a while know my dad was my hero and a 'car guy' through and through. After he gave me a little bit of grief for buying a 'foreign car,' after I finally confessed I'd bought my BJ8, he found a '56 Healey in the local paper and bought it; I only found out afterward that it was a factory 100M. It took us over 10 years to restore it, mostly due to Dad having to endure a couple rounds of cancer. And, we got the fire engine he restored donated to the Modesto FD just a few months ago, so that was fortuitous.


Jedi Trainee
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I'm very sorry to hear that your dad passed away. Seems like I knew him... through your posts. He was a wise and well grounded man.
Sincere condolences.
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Dad was 87 (he had hoped to make it to 90; he thought that just 'sounded good'). His first car, I believe, was a Model A which he started driving when he was 13 (during WWII, you were allowed to drive at that age due to most able-bodied men of driving age serving in the military). From what I hear, he had to maintain that car as well, which probably started his life-long love of cars (he owned 2 Model As in my lifetime, one of which I drove to high school and junior college). It seemed the major entertainment of his youth in his small town was going down to the fire station on Saturdays to listen to the firemen test start their engines.

His doctor forbade him from driving about a year ago--and he dutifully 'hung up his keys'--but I think that was the beginning of the end. Here is a photo of Dad, myself and my son Grant in better times, after we pulled the engine from our 100M about, oh, 10-12 years ago:


Bob McElwee

Jedi Warrior
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My condolences Bob, I too have enjoyed hearing about his projects over the years.


Darth Vader
Hi Bob,

Please receive my Condolences on the loss of your Father. I lost my Farther many many years ago but still think back to our time together. I know you will be doing the same and will rediscover many of the truths he casually provided and over by you at the time. Those are wonderful thoughts as he will always be with you.

All the best to you and your Family,
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Thanks to all for the kind words and condolences. The 100M will, of course, be my legacy with Dad; we didn't see eye-to-eye sometimes, but he was almost always more 'righter' than me (can't beat 70+ years of experience).
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