Jump to content
Ecoboost Owner Forums

2010-2012 Brake Master Cylinder and Brake Booster Retrofit

Recommended Posts

This FAQ / DIY is being updated sporadically, some things may change. I may add pictures later, but honestly if you need pictures to do this, you shouldn't be doing it.




On my stock 2011 Ford Taurus SHO the brakes started to engage after depressing the brake pedal about halfway. Being such a heavy (and expensive!) car, this can be quite nerve wracking.


After the retrofit, brakes engage with less than half an inch of pedal travel. The pedal is still somewhat soft, but that is just a characteristic of the car. The pedal feel is exactly what it feels like on the 2013 MY SHO. This is a great supporting mod for a big brake kit, but makes a huge difference with just the stock brakes.


A few things to note:



  • The brake line farthest away from the master cylinder needs to be bent slightly in order to fit into the updated master cylinder. The fittings screw into the new master cylinder just fine.
  • The white plastic elbow connector that provides vacuum to the brake booster needs to be reused.
  • There is also an electrical connector on the new model master cylinder that is used for the park assist on the 2013 cars, but is not used for this installation.
  • The use of Ford High Performance DOT 4 LV is not required because the 2011 Taurus is not equipped with the torque-vectoring system introduced on the 2013 Taurus. The LV (for low-viscosity) fluid is used on many high performance cars that implement torque-vectoring through the ABS / Traction Control system. Any good quality (DOT 3, 4, 5.1 non-silicone) brake fluid will be adequate for this retrofit. I used Valvoline DOT3/4 because of price/performance and availability.






Its not my fault if you screw up your car. Follow these instructions at your own risk. This is the same exact procedure I used, and it worked out fantastic. Your results may vary.


The tools you need are:



  • An assortment of metric sockets (including deep sockets)
  • Metric crescent wrenches (ratcheting GearWrenches are your friend)
  • Metric flare-nut wrenches (also referred to as line wrenches)
  • A good work light
  • Vinyl tubing (with OD about the same size as the brake line fittings on the master cylinder)
  • Lots of old towels and rags
  • Screwdrivers of various lengths
  • Vise-grips (locking pliers)
  • A plastic bucket
  • Tube bender
  • A buddy to help you bleed the brakes.
  • A knife








  • BRMC167 (Master Cylinder)
  • BRB65 (Brake Booster)





Both of these are about $230 shipped from RockAuto.


Consumables you will need:



  1. At least 32oz good quality brake fluid (I like Valvoline DOT3/4, blue bottle sold at autoparts stores)
  2. Some form of vinyl cap to cover the brake lines, I used an assortment of vacuum line caps I had lying around
  3. Electrical tape





The procedure:



  1. Start with a cool car that has been sitting for several hours. The intake manifold is metal, and gets really hot and you will have to lean over it.
  2. Move the drivers seat as far back as possible and tilt the seat back as far as it will go.
  3. Open the hood and place towels on the drivers side fender and front bumper. This is to keep from scratching your paint and getting brake fluid on it. Brake fluid eats paint. Multiple layers of towels are better.
  4. Disconnect the battery cables, negative first.
  5. Unbolt the battery and remove from car. Do not set the battery directly on concrete, preferably place it on a towel. (This is to prevent the battery from discharging).
  6. Wipe off your hands and grab your work light, a flathead screwdriver, some needle-nose pliers, and your small socket wrench. Position yourself in the drivers seat so your head is in the footwell looking up, and your feet are by the headrest (I would recommend taking off your shoes for this).
  7. After you are comfortable (hah) use your screwdriver and needle nose pliers to remove the pin that connects the brake booster push rod to the brake pedal. Basically you want to grab the clips that hold the pin in with your pliers, and use the screwdriver to leverage it out.
  8. With your small socket wrench, remove the 4 bolts that attaches the brake booster to the car. Ford was kind enough to use lock nuts, so they take forever to remove. Your hand will hurt after this.
  9. Climb outside of the car and remove the oil cap, then remove the cosmetic engine cover. Replace oil cap so you don't lose it or drop a socket into the engine.
  10. Pull the white vacuum fitting out of the brake booster. Leave it attached to the vacuum hose if you can. It should just pull right out.
  11. Remove the front strut brace making sure to unclip the attached wiring harness.
  12. With a flat-head screwdriver or appropriate nut driver, loosen the hose clamps on the flexible air intake hose coming from the air box. Remove this hose from the car.
  13. Remove the black, hard plastic air intake piping that was previously attached to the flexible air intake hose you just removed. This pipe goes toward the back of the engine and has one eye hole bolt securing it to the valve cover and one hose attached via spring clip. The other end of this pipe is secured by a worm gear hose clamp. This is where you have to lean over the engine. You will need a short screwdriver to get to this.
  14. Using a crescent wrench unbolt the master cylinder from the brake booster. It will become very apparent why you want a ratcheting crescent wrench here. After removing the nuts retaining the master cylinder make sure the master cylinder can be moved freely away from the brake booster.
  15. Pull the plugs out of your new master cylinder and have them handy
  16. Place as many rags as you can underneath the master cylinder. Brake fluid will come pouring out once you disconnect the brake lines.
  17. Disconnect the brake fluid sensor wire from the master cylinder. If you can unclip the wiring harness from the master cylinder, if not cut the electrical tape off the retaining clip to free the harness. You can salvage this clip later before re installing the new master cylinder.
  18. With your flare nut wrench disconnect the brake lines from the master cylinder (Do not use a regular wrench or you will round off the brake line fitting and be in a world of hurt). As quickly as possible plug the holes in the master cylinder with the plugs you pulled from the new master cylinder and use the vacuum line caps to cap of the brake lines. Place the master cylinder in a container (this is where the bucket comes in handy). With the rags mop up any spilled brake fluid.
  19. Pull the brake booster out of the car. This will require lots of wiggling and re-positioning of wires.
  20. Take your new brake booster and install it in the car. Make sure the foam gasket is in place on the backside of the booster. The hole for the vacuum line should be on the top right and the part number label should be toward the bottom. Again, this will require lots of wiggling.
  21. Attach the new master cylinder to the new brake booster.
  22. Separate the hard brake lines that go to the master cylinder from each other. They are secured with a white clip which holds them together.
  23. Take the brake line closest to the front of the car, and pull it several inches to the left. This should increase the angle of the bend closest to the ABS pump. Take your tubing bender and bend the other end of the brake line so that the fitting matches up to the new master cylinder.
  24. Get back inside the car and bolt in the new brake booster. Your hand will hate you after this. Attach the pushrod to the brake pedal with the pin you removed earlier. Its a ton easier to put back together than it is to remove.
  25. Attach your vinyl tubing to the brake booster. I had some vacuum line in my toolbox that was the right size. Basically just push the tubing into the holes on the outside of the master cylinder. Stick the other end of the tubing into the reservoir and fill the reservoir with your choice of brake fluid. Have your buddy gently work the brake pedal (in and out about 50-80% of the way in) until there are no more bubbles coming through the tubing. This is called bench bleeding and I have found that this is the easiest way to do it. DO NOT LET THE BRAKE PEDAL TOUCH THE FLOOR. Once there are no more bubbles have your buddy press the pedal halfway in, remove the caps from the brake lines and screw the brake lines into the master cylinder.
  26. I found it prudent to bleed the brake lines coming from the master cylinder to the ABS pump at this point. Similar procedure as before, but do not let the brake pedal come up if the fittings are open. You do not want to let air into the ABS pump.
  27. At this time you can go ahead and bleed the brakes from the wheels if you feel like it. I was tired, and the brake pedal felt really good at this point so I saw no reason to.
  28. Clean up any spilled brake fluid and top off the reservoir.
  29. Attach the vacuum line to the new brake booster. Remember we reuse the fitting from the old brake booster.
  30. Replace the air intake tubing coming from the back of the engine. Make sure the hose is in all the way and the clamps are tight. Boost leaks are bad.
  31. Replace the front strut brace. The studs on the struts have loc-tite on them from the factory. It is very important not to over torque these nuts. 10ft/lbs should be fine but will be hard to measure when there is dried loctite on the threads. Hand snug is better. Clip the wiring harness back to the brace.
  32. Plug the brake fluid level sensor back in and secure the harness with the old clip using electrical tape.
  33. Connect the airbox back to the air intake tubing. Make sure the hose clamps are tight and the hoses are fitted snugly.
  34. Replace the battery and decorative engine cover.
  35. You may or may not have to adjust the brake light switch. The switch is self adjusting once removed and is the blue module attached to the brake pedal. You will have lots of fun contorting yourself to gain access to it. Basically you remove the switch, rotate the locking tab on it, and reinstall the switch. Make sure your brake lights go off when nothing is touching the pedal. Skipping this step is a good way to kill the battery (ask me how I know).
  36. Start the car and make sure the brakes feel like they engage. Get ready to activate the parking brake just in case. Pump the brake pedal several times and make sure you are satisfied with how they feel. If not bleed the brake system again.
  37. Close the hood and go for a test drive, be gentle at first. Do a panic stop when safe to do so and make sure the ABS engages.
  38. You're done!





Things that can go wrong:


  • Boost leak (make sure to tighten all the hoses)
  • Brakes don't work (Check for leaks and make sure the system is bled)
  • Make sure the brake lights work correctly (You will kill the battery otherwise)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great write-up! Could you take a few photos of the new install and post them. Sent some rep points your way!


At some point maybe, but there honestly isn't much to see. The only immediately visible difference is a orange sticker on brake fluid reservoir. The location of the MC+Booster makes photography difficult. I didn't take pictures during install so I could avoid getting brake fluid on my camera. Like I said in the guide, if you need pics you shouldn't attempt this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awesome write-up. I think I will do this at the same time I install the stainless braided lines I ordered. Maybe finally' date=' we can get the 2010-2012's to stop without feeling like your brakes have failed....[/quote']


Probably a good idea to do both those projects at the same time. That way you will only have to bleed the brake system once. I haven't found brake lines that satisfy me in terms of quality, Goodridge doesn't cut it for me. The best option would probably be to contact a shop and have them make you a custom set.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What was wrong with the Goodridge lines? I ordered them' date=' but haven't laid eyes on them yet....[/quote']


I've had fitment issues (on several cars) in the past, and known people that have had them fail. Last time I dealt with them their customer support was non existant.


For my use, the factory lines are adequate. I don't want to worry about having to swap stainless brake lines out every two years. The exterior coating on them gets brittle and cracks, allowing moisture to seep in. This eventually leads to failure. Until someone can make a line that doesn't allow this to happen I will not run them on any car of mine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...