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Brake Upgrade - junkyard or buy new?


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Planning on doing the 96XJ brake booster upgrade.  1996 model year is getting old (19-20 yrs), anybody have feedback on whether used parts from the junkyard could still be reliable or should I just buy new/reman?  

 

 

1991 MJ Base 4.0 AW4 30/35 on 31's. Daily driver, plan to keep it as long as the Michigan winters let me, no off-roading yet

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I used the diaphragm and master from a 98 ZJ I found in a JY. Looked for leaks, dirty fluid, signs of wear, all checked out. That was about 2 years ago, and my brakes are still very nice with 33s.  New is best, but that doesn't mean used is bad. 

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How is your stock 25 year old brake booster in your 91?  In my 1991 truck, the old booster is just fine.  So I think there is a good chance the 20 year old booster in a junk yard is OK also.  But, then again, you are getting it in a "junk" yard, right?

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WJ versus 95 to 96 XJ booster

 

Actually, the WJ booster is in some ways easier than the 95 to 96 XJ.

 

I've done both.

 

XJ, you don't have to mess with the firewall. No big deal anyway.

But, you have to move the washer reservoir. And, once the original booster comes out, the bracket inside the cab moves and makes it a bear to install the new booster.

 

WJ you have to bend or cut the firewall lip, but don't move the washer bottle.

As an added bonus, the mounting studs of the WJ booster are a bit smaller and it's easier to get in.

Another bonus with the WJ is that it has FLEXIBLE lines from the master cylinder that make putting things together MUCH easier.

 

And, WJ boosters are newer and easier to find…..
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I'm not opposed to junkyard parts, I guess the better question may have been:  Whats the average life span of a brake booster?

 

Thats a good point johnj.  The booster in my MJ seems to be in good condition, just underpowered.

 

Cruiser, those are great points, will have to look into the WJ swap

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I'm not opposed to junkyard parts, I guess the better question may have been:  Whats the average life span of a brake booster?

 

Thats a good point johnj.  The booster in my MJ seems to be in good condition, just underpowered.

 

Cruiser, those are great points, will have to look into the WJ swap

I have never replaced a booster due to failure. Only to upgrade.

 

They generally fail when a leaking master cylinder is ignored and brake fluid gets into the booster as a result.

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The booster on my 91 has failed. Brake pedal is harder to push but totally works. Obvious the booster had a fluid leak at some point in it's life (or the master leaking onto the booster, technically), the paint is gone and rusty. I have a 96 XJ one sitting there waiting for me to get off my lazy butt and swap in there.

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Talked to a guy at work who has a lot of cars from the 50's, said he's never seen one go bad and the only thing that could go wrong is if you get corrosion inside.  Talking with another guy we both agreed that I'd rather have a used OEM booster than a new Chinese one.  

 

So, junkyard it is, Friday afternoon - thanks for the feedback.  Will let you know how it goes

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The booster on my 91 has failed. Brake pedal is harder to push but totally works. Obvious the booster had a fluid leak at some point in it's life (or the master leaking onto the booster, technically), the paint is gone and rusty. I have a 96 XJ one sitting there waiting for me to get off my lazy butt and swap in there.

Not a bad swap. Make sure you have the aluminum spacer with it. 

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Talked to a guy at work who has a lot of cars from the 50's, said he's never seen one go bad and the only thing that could go wrong is if you get corrosion inside.  Talking with another guy we both agreed that I'd rather have a used OEM booster than a new Chinese one.  

 

So, junkyard it is, Friday afternoon - thanks for the feedback.  Will let you know how it goes

Keep us in the loop, and if you have any questions, post them up.

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