ABS HydroMax Braking System - Vacuum Boost, It Sucks

Better Clamping With Hydraulics

Brandan Gillogly
Jan 1, 2010
Photographers: Brandan Gillogly
We've preached to you about the need to upgrade brakes when lifting a truck on huge tires, and here's an example where we do as we say. This '02 Ford F-250 Super Duty was in issue #11 of 2008 where we gave it a Rubicon Express lift and 37-inch rubber. The stock brakes were able to stop the 37s pretty well, but that's because the truck already had some decent brakes from the factory. The factory brakes are meant to stop the truck when fully loaded, and the larger wheels and tires probably took up a good portion of the safety margin built into the factory system. We didn't get a chance to really test the factory brakes while towing or while fully loaded, but we do know that they didn't have enough force to lock the tires up and cause the ABS to kick in. When we heard about ABS Power Brake Inc.'s new Hydro Max brake system, we were interested to see if this was the answer we were looking for. Once we pulled into ABS's shop in Orange, California, Junior took the wheel and had our Super Duty stopping like it never had before.
Photo 2/19   |   abs Hydromax Braking System abs Power Brake
From The Driver Seat
The truck now has enough braking power to cause the anti-lock system to kick in, but it's not a harsh application of braking. At half pedal pressure you've got the same brakes you had before, but when you really need it, the extra power is there. There are only two drawbacks to the system. First, the sound: It's not loud, but you can definitely hear the master cylinder, it's sort of a rushing sound. We bled the system, but maybe there's still some air in there. Second, at full steering lock, on either side, there's no brake power. We'll have to work on getting stops at either the spindle or the steering box, but since it's only the last 10-15 degrees of steering wheel travel, we won't lose any of our turning radius. When driving the truck in a parking lot we had to really crank the wheel to get it to full lock, but ABS is going to correct the steering of the Super Duty so that it’s not an issue.
Your Questions Answered
Time Spent Working: 8 hours
(most of the time was spent fabricating a mounting plate)
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate
(aside from crimping the proper length hydraulic hose and fabricating the mounting plate, the job was simple)
Tools Used:
Sockets and extensions, tubing cutter, flare nut wrench, pressure gauge.
Parts Used:
ABS Hydro Max booster $950.00
DOT3 brake fluid (one quart)
AFT fluid (two quarts)
Total $950.00
(labor not included)


ABS Power Brake
Orange, CA 92866



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