Piston Slap: The FJ40’s restorative braking boost?


Daniel writes:

Brake boosters for 1978 FJ40s are hard to find … even rebuilt units. Any thoughts on replacement options? Thanks in advance!

Sajeev answers:

I’ve experienced this both personally (a proportioning valve on national backorder) and professionally when I saw a brake booster shortage upon researching a previous Piston Slap. A stunning lack of brake parts is likely the sad reality for many classic car enthusiasts in pandemic times. Classic cars don’t keep the world running like newer metal, especially the more uncommon examples (i.e. not a Mustang or GM product) that aren’t even a blip on the global supply chain for aftermarket automotive parts. Who knows if any factory is even remotely interested in making FJ40 brake parts right now!

The solution?  Get your booster rebuilt, or buy an engineered kit intended for a disc brake upgrade. If you have drum brakes and want to keep them, I found three brake booster rebuilders nationally (here, here, and here) and I’d recommend emailing/calling each to see their current workload and cache of parts for rebuilding. Not all companies are created equal, and odds are some are better equipped to work on your FJ40’s booster. Good luck in your hunt!

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