• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

99 Dodge 2500 Brake Master Cylinder Swap


97Ranger3.0

Active Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
175
Reaction score
67
Points
28
Location
Florida
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3.0
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
4"
Tire Size
33x12.5
I can't take credit for this, I originally saw it on Bill4's build thread, and the original article about it can be found here. There's a bit of info on this site about the F350 master swap, however there's some misinformation in the articles I've found regarding brake line fitting sizes/threads and some confusion between the old cast iron MC's vs the later aluminum/plastic MC's. I'd like to help clear some of these issues up along with discussing this other swap.

From my research, it looks like the stock Ranger MC piston bore size varied through the years. In my case on a 1997, the stock bore size is 1.06", older models seem to have even smaller bores. It also appears that 83-89 Rangers used standard flares & fittings on the master cylinders, and 90+ seem to have metric flares & fittings. So, to do the F350 master swap on a later Ranger would likely require some new brake lines to be made or some sort of metric to sae adapters. The ports for the brake lines on the F350 master cylinder are also on the wrong side when compared to a Ranger.

That's where swapping in a master cylinder from a 99 Dodge Ram 2500 gas truck comes into play. It has a 1.25" bore. It uses metric flares and the same thread pitches as the 90+ Rangers, and the bolt hole spacing is the same as the Ranger. The only thing that needs to be modified is the pushrod, it just needs to be ground down 1/8" and bottomed out. Other than that, this is as bolt-in of a swap as I believe there can be for a master cylinder upgrade.

I've borrowed some pictures from the original article to show this. Here's the stock pushrod.
1.jpg


And here it is with 1/8" ground off, and tightened fully.
2.jpg


And close up shots of before vs after.
3.jpg
4.jpg


Once you do that, the Dodge master cylinder bolts right up to the brake booster, and the lines bolt right in as well. Here's a picture of the master cylinder installed in my truck.

IMG_7182.JPG


The only other difference (and this would be the case with an f350 master as well) is that there's no brake fluid level sensor. To get rid of the light on your dash after the install, you'll need to jump the two wires in the brake fluid level sensor connector that are not the black wire - as shown here. This was my way of verifying that this would get rid of the light, I will do something less hacky to actually jump the two wires lol.
IMG_7183.JPG


Like I said, I don't think it can get any simpler than that for a master cylinder upgrade. Larger bore than the f350 master, much simpler nearly bolt-in swap. I've got 33's on my Ranger and this swap was well worth it. The stock master did okay, but I never felt like I was getting the full braking power anymore since going to larger tires. It definitely felt like I had to put a bit of effort into stopping even in normal everyday driving. After swapping the Dodge master in, the brakes feel much more responsive, and the pedal feel feels like factory, but firmer. I'm able now to lock up the brakes which I was not able to do with the stock MC.
 


alwaysFlOoReD

Forum Staff Member
TRS Forum Moderator
TRS Banner 2012-2015
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
13,738
Reaction score
4,912
Points
113
Location
Calgary, Canada
Vehicle Year
'91, '80, '06
Make / Model
Ford, GMC,Dodge
Engine Size
4.0,4.0,5.7
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD

ericbphoto

Overlander in development
TRS Event Staff
TRS Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
TRS 20th Anniversary
VAGABOND
TRS Event Participant
GMRS Radio License
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
14,984
Reaction score
15,971
Points
113
Age
59
Location
Wellford, SC
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3.0L
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6"
Tire Size
35"
My credo
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.
I should probably do this one.
 

Otis413

Active Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Messages
187
Reaction score
117
Points
43
Location
Cass, WVa
Vehicle Year
2004
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0 SOHC
Transmission
Automatic
My '04, (4.0 ohc, auto, CC and anti-lock) has the "Cruse control release switch" mounted in a port on the front of the MC, I'm guessing that you could just "T" that into the line near the MC, Rock Auto lists the switch as being mounted on the MC or in-line, so maybe there's OEM parts to do that if needed.
Also there's a bleed screw on the pass side of my MC, I assume it has something to do with bleeding the anti-lock system, (so far I haven't needed to use it) any thoughts on that??

EDIT: Rock Auto lists 2001 to 2006 as having the MC mounted cruse control switch, with 2007 and up not having the port for the switch.
 
Last edited:

Yotaismygame

Active Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
Messages
221
Reaction score
196
Points
43
Location
Oregon
Vehicle Year
1995
Make / Model
Splash 2wd
Transmission
Manual
Why did you feel like you needed to change the MC? Bore size needs to relate to the piston size in the calipers you're running. If you're still stock going with a bigger bore isnt going to help any. Bigger bore, softer brakes. Smaller bore firmer brakes.
 

Bgunner

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
1,717
Reaction score
993
Points
113
Location
Western Mass.
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford/Ranger XLT
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Tire Size
225/70/R15
My credo
If it's not broken Don't Fix It!
Why did you feel like you needed to change the MC? Bore size needs to relate to the piston size in the calipers you're running. If you're still stock going with a bigger bore isnt going to help any. Bigger bore, softer brakes. Smaller bore firmer brakes.
One would think that the bigger bore would firm the brakes as the there is more fluid moving when the peddle is pressed. Could you please explain why the bigger bore makes the brakes softer?

On my '94 removing the fluid level switch connector on the master cylinder does not turn on my brake light on the dash so this must change some time after the '94 model year.
 
Last edited:

alwaysFlOoReD

Forum Staff Member
TRS Forum Moderator
TRS Banner 2012-2015
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
13,738
Reaction score
4,912
Points
113
Location
Calgary, Canada
Vehicle Year
'91, '80, '06
Make / Model
Ford, GMC,Dodge
Engine Size
4.0,4.0,5.7
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
If you press on the brake pedal with 100lbs of force and the piston in the MC is 10" of surface area then you have 10lbs per inch of force.
If you press on the pedal with 100lbs of force and the piston area is 1" then you have 100lbs of force.
So the 10" (bigger bore) seems soft in comparison.
 

97Ranger3.0

Active Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
175
Reaction score
67
Points
28
Location
Florida
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3.0
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
4"
Tire Size
33x12.5
Why did you feel like you needed to change the MC? Bore size needs to relate to the piston size in the calipers you're running. If you're still stock going with a bigger bore isnt going to help any. Bigger bore, softer brakes. Smaller bore firmer brakes.
When I went from 31" tires to 33's, I could feel a huge difference in the braking power of my truck. The truck could still stop fine, however if I needed to stop more suddenly I really felt like I was trying hard to get the truck to stop and I didn't feel like I was getting the full power of my brakes that I used to have. I haven't come across any upgrades for larger brakes for my year of Ranger, plus my 15" wheels don't have much more room for physically larger brakes even if there were options. I had read about the F350 master swap and it seemed that people swore by it, so I decided a larger MC must be what I needed, so that's why I decided to upgrade the MC.

I understand what you're saying, however I did personally notice an improvement with this swap. I do still have to put more effort into stopping the truck than when it was stock, but that's expected with larger tires. However, with the larger MC it doesn't feel like I'm as close to max'ing out my brakes just during pretty normal braking situations. With the stock MC and 31's, I could still lock up my brakes under hard braking. With the stock MC and 33's, I couldn't. With this MC and 33's I can. And yes I know that locking up the brakes isn't helpful to actually stop but my point is that I have obviously gained back some braking power.

I guess maybe saying that the brakes feel firmer now isn't the best way to describe it, as the brakes felt firm before too. It's more that they feel more responsive now especially under hard braking. Before the swap under hard braking, the pedal would firm up but I had to put a lot of effort into it to come to a quicker stop, and I didn't feel like it was stopping as well as it could've. Now, the pedal will firm up under hard braking but I can feel a bigger difference if I keep braking harder, the truck will slow down quicker and I can feel it starting to nosedive if I really step on it, which didn't happen before. So I guess in that sense, you're right that it softened up because it takes less effort in the pedal now. Like I said, I think a more accurate way to describe it is that they feel more responsive and safer now.
 

superj

Well-Known Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Oct 1, 2021
Messages
2,856
Reaction score
2,368
Points
113
Location
corpus christi, texas
Vehicle Year
2004
Make / Model
ranger edge
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3 liters of tire smoking power
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
none
Total Drop
none
Tire Size
235s
My credo
Grew up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s
I think that number comparison sounds weird because only one side of the piston area is being considered. If you pushing a 10" dia piston through a 1" hose and the other end is a 1" dia piston, it's a 10:1 ratio for fluid, right?


I need to go read my hand book again for those fluid laws. I have forgotten that stuff
 

superj

Well-Known Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Oct 1, 2021
Messages
2,856
Reaction score
2,368
Points
113
Location
corpus christi, texas
Vehicle Year
2004
Make / Model
ranger edge
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3 liters of tire smoking power
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
none
Total Drop
none
Tire Size
235s
My credo
Grew up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s
If you Google brake systems after pascal's law, this is what you find

"The diameter and length of the master cylinder has a significant effect on the performance of the brake system. A larger diameter master cylinder delivers more hydraulic fluid to the caliper pistons, yet requires more brake pedal force and less brake pedal stroke to achieve a given deceleration. A smaller diameter master cylinder has the opposite effect."

So what is noted about the larger diameter requiring more force is true, though it does move more fluid so you will feel it stops better
 

Sponsored Ad


Sponsored Ad

Staff online

Today's birthdays

Member & Vendor Upgrades

For a small yearly donation, you can support this forum and receive a 'Supporting Member' banner, or become a 'Supporting Vendor' and promote your products here. Click the banner to find out how.

Latest posts

Truck of The Month


Yotaismygame
February Truck of The Month

Recently Featured

Want to see your truck here? Share your photos and details in the forum.

Follow TRS On Instagram

TRS Events

Check Out The TRS Store


Sponsored Ad


Sponsored Ad

Sponsored Ad


Amazon Deals

Top