I'm wondering why the front and back brakes aren't on separate hydraulic systems? I lost my brakes on this bridge recently and it was not fun. The rear brake line that runs on the rear axle got a leak and quickly dumped out all of my fluid. I'm wondering why the front and back brakes aren't separate systems, seems like as good idea to me. I have a 1997 2.3L Ford Ranger.

I'm researching how to set this up myself for my truck, because there is plenty of space under the hood for more hoses and a new master cylinder. I can't seem to find anyone else who's done this mod.

  • Welcome to the site. What is the year/make/model/engine of the vehicle you're talking about? Apr 11, 2017 at 18:02
  • Surely all vehicles since the 1970s have had dual-circuit brake hydraulics. I suspect your problem is something else.
    – Chenmunka
    Apr 12, 2017 at 7:07

1 Answer 1


It depends on the car - age and manufacturer - a dual circuit brake system was implemented many years ago Range Rover springs to mind (apparently it won several awards for the brake system...). One way to recognise split systems is the number of brake pipes leaving the master cylinder : very old systems had one that led to a 5 way junction (Comma van for example). Split systems have 3 or 4 - as in 2 for the front and 1 or 2 for the rear. Also, multiple cylinders in disc brakes mean that the pipes to the front can go to both sides etc.

The mod should be possible - I did a similar mod on a Landrover long ago, you just need to get the relevant master cylinder and sort the pipework.

  • 1
    Also, most master cylinders these days have a split chamber where the front and back are served by the same piston, but the fluid is isolated. Even with a single reservoir, it will maintain enough fluid volume to run the other system if one is damaged. See this (classiccarrestorationclub.com/article/…)
    – Hari
    Apr 11, 2017 at 18:25
  • Good point - meant to add that after I had posted, and it is a real improvement for safety...
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 11, 2017 at 18:44
  • That's interesting! Ill have to look at the master cylinder because I lost 100% of my braking power and the pedal went straight to the floor. Maybe there is another issue with the braking system. Apr 11, 2017 at 18:45

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