How to Replace a Power Brake Booster on a '97 Chevy Pickupby Russell Wood
The power brake booster on a 1997 Chevrolet pickup--in this case, a Silverado--uses vacuum created by the motor to assist the driver's brake pedal in pushing down the plunger in the master cylinder, which stops the truck. When you lose vacuum, you lose that power as well, and your truck won't stop as efficiently. The fix is replacing the booster, which can be done in about two hours.
Pop the hood. Locate the brake booster on the driver's side of the truck. It is a 1-foot-wide circular piece with the brake master cylinder bolted to the front of it. Pull the vacuum line off of the brake booster with your hands. Then unbolt the master cylinder from the brake booster using an open-end wrench. Do not pull the master cylinder off of the brake booster yet.
Crawl under the dash. Use the flashlight to locate the clip that secures the brake pedal to the brake booster linkage. Remove the clip using the flat head screwdriver and pull the booster linkage off of the pedal. Unbolt the brake booster from the firewall using the 3/8-inch ratchet, extension and sockets, and if necessary, use a universal joint to access the bolts with the ratchet.
Pull the master cylinder off of the brake booster with your hands, while pulling the brake booster off of the firewall. Remove the gasket as well. Install a new gasket onto the back of the replacement brake booster, then slide the booster onto the firewall. Slide the master cylinder onto the brake booster and loosely install the nuts on the master cylinder with your hands.
Go under the dash and connect the brake booster linkage from the replacement brake booster to the brake pedal using the original clip. Then bolt the brake booster to the firewall using the ratchet. tighten down the bolts between the master cylinder and the brake booster using the open-end wrench, and push the vacuum line back into the booster.
Things You'll Need
- Open-end wrench set
- Flathead screwdriver
- 3/8-inch ratchet, extension, universal joint and socket set
- Replacement brake booster and gasket
Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.