I wasn't really sure where else to put this, but I'm on an information gathering mission right now.
The issue is the clutch in my 1985 G20 is all mechanical. There is a pedal, then pivot shaft, to a linkage pulling up, then to another pivot shaft that attaches to the frame on one end and the engine on the other end (because that's not sketchy at all), then another shaft that goes back and pushes on the clutch fork. As you can imagine, this is overly complicated and there are tons of joints and pivot points that are stressed hundreds of times during a drive. It's a system set up to fail. Not to mention the pedal is super heavy and doesn't really have a good "feel".
Ever since I first bought it, I have been trying to wrap my head around how best to to convert it to a hydraulic clutch, but as of yet, the hang up was where to mount the clutch master cylinder. There just isn't enough room on the firewall between the brake booster and the battery tray for any master cylinder to properly fit or the rod to get to the pedal. I couldn't figure out a good solution... Until the other day. I was browsing Facebook van groups and came across someone who was claiming to to be doing a manual swap in a G van and there were pictures showing a master cylinder (evidently from a pick-up or something) mounted very close to the hole for the brake booster (which was not installed at the time). Some comments later it was mentioned that the booster would occupy the same space as the Master cyl for the clutch. The op then said that there was no large vacuum booster because it was a Hydroboost setup. I was aware of what Hyrdoboost was, but has never given it a second look. I just figured it was a diesel thing and didn't apply to me. Well after a bit of research, I am intrigued to say the least. From what I am finding, our vans even came with it as a factory option on some models. Unfortunately I lost track of the FB post that had some of this info...
So... From the info I am finding, I can most likely convert the van to Hydroboost. I just need the booster unit, various hoses and "T"s, and the master cyl. The lines should be able to be plumbed into the existing steering system from what I'm finding, etc.. It sounds like this mod should result in better/easier braking, as well as freeing up valuable space for a proper hydraulic clutch master cylinder. Unfortunately that's where the good info ends..
I can't tell if I need to find a Hydrobooster specifically from a G van, or if others will fit and work. Supposedly they are all pretty similar as long as the vintage is close to correct, but I cannot find any info to confirm. Also, what about the master cyl? The vans have that special stepped master cyl to clear the hood. Not sure if I can re-use that, or if I need to find a different solution. Since supposedly some G vans came setup with Hyrdoboost, I should be able to find one. I don't know..
Anyways. That's what is banging around in my head now. However I do not have much experience with GM trucks, and literally zero experience with Hydroboost. It sounds great on paper, but what if any drawbacks are there? What should I know before diving into this head first? Most importantly, has anyone done this swap on a G van that would care to chime in?