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HYDROVAC: After overhauling the master brake cylinder, the now higher pressure was soon too much for the Hydrovac's servo cylinder. All brake fluid eventually found its way into the Hydrovac. Instead of repairing, we changed the complete Hydrovac unit (4535.21) for a good used one sourced from Jörn Haarmann. I just cleaned and rust-proofed it to keep its original appearance. The old servo will be overhauled and kept as a spare.
When the brake fluid had emptyed into the Hydrovac, the brake warning light on the dashboard didn't came on. Definitely something you want to have with a single circuit brake system. So I replaced the shot "Nivocode" cap for a new one (4643.05).
BRAKE BALANCE VALVE: Another 404 weak spot (as on most cars with a brake balance valve) - the valve seizes solid, causing the rear weels to lock when brakeing hard. Unfortunately the balance valves 4861.05 are as rare as hens teeth. Finally 404-guru Jörn Haarmann found an overhauled valve. It is important to fit a spacer (4875.01 for 0.5mm thickness, 4875.02 for 1.0mm) between valve and bracket for the correct function of the regulation valve. Naturally the brake lines where also seized in the valve body, so I made up new ones from original PEUGEOT steel brake lines - after sourcing the (non-standard-these-days) sockets from WÜRTH...
This is the old balance valve, kept for overhaul
RADIATOR I: The radiator was past its best, so I entrusted my local radiator repair shop (Kühler Kneesch in Hamburg) to fit a new mesh. The before/after photos show what a good job these guys did...
RADIATOR II: The top tank of the radiator was polished again. I know that this is not original (should be also black) but we like it that way. At least the radiator itself is still the original one...
THERMOSTABLE REAR BRAKES: While checking the brakes I found out that brake fluid was sipping past the rear brake cylinder seals. Instead of overhauling those, new ones were fitted (bought from Jörn, as you might have guessed) along with some new springs for the brake shoes. Rust-proofing was done with FERTAN (great stuff). As the front wheel cylinders were already replaced when Karen purchased the car, the only thing left do do was bleed the now completely renewed or overhauld brake system.
Again the 404 is ready to be enjoyed this summer!