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STAINLESS STEEL BRAKES CONTROL VALVE
This page deals with the differences in the control valve assembly made by Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation. While designed as a replacement control valve for the 1965-1970 Mustangs and other Fords, their valve has some several design and appearance differences that may be of concern for some potential users. This page shows some of the differences in the SSBC valve and how to identify one.
Stainless Steel Brakes Corp. came out with their own built and designed control valve in the very late 1990's and produced a version up until about 2001 when they stopped production and announced they were working on an improved replacement control valve. When I called them and asked if they would sell me some replacement hose seats for their valves, they informed me that they did not consider their valves to be rebuildable.
The easiest way to identify the SSBC valve from all others is to look on the valve housing and the aluminum end cap. Both of these parts have the SSBC logo cast into them in raised letters and have an unpainted, cast metal finish.The screws holding down the end cap have a slight gold tint. The cast finish on the cap is much rougher on the SSBC cap.
The Ball Stud Sleeve has a rough grooved/threaded look, showing the tooling marks where it was turned on a lathe, whereas the original had a smooth finish.
The grease fitting nipple has spot-welds holding it on where the original has no visible welds.
The sleeve is welded to the flange that mounts it to the control valve housing. The original has a beaded swedging and no visible welds. The bolts used to bolt them together are flat-headed cap screws, where the original Bendix units had a bolt head with a slight recess.
The control valve housing is machined quite differently from many original Bendix housings and used several unique parts.
The SSBC control valve has a 5/16" pressure port, which is correct for valves made starting in 1968. To use this valve on an earlier car, SSBC provides a brass adapter to neck down to the correct 1/4" fitting. This adapter is about an inch long and may cause alignment problems when used with correct application pressure hoses because of the extra length.
The tapers machined into the ports for the hose seats are made differently from the original Bendix housings. Because of this, the hose seats used in an SSBC housing are different from originals, will not interchange, and are not readily available if needing replacement. All SSBC hose seats are made of brass whereas most original hose seats are made of softer aluminum.
Original-style hose seats
SSBC hose seats
SSBC valves use a check-ball style valve assembly under the return hose seat like the early original Bendix units, the main difference is that it is made of brass instead of steel.
The SSBC uses reaction valve plugs that are machined very square in the o'ring groove. Original Bendix plugs are machined rounded and match the o'ring more closely.
Lately we have seen some SSBC Control Valves with original design style hose seats, only made in brass. All other pieces look the same as the first design, but this may be the replacement valve assembly.
The remainder of the internal components are pretty much identical to the original Bendix units and will interchange.
The metal spacer used, between the control valve housing and the ball stud sleeve, is brass colored on the SSBC valve instead of the bright steel of the original Bendix valves.
NOTE: It should be noted that Stainless Steel Brake Corp. did not intend for their control valves to be rebuilt. Because early models use a unique style of hose seats (different from the original valves), a standard rebuild kit may not completely and correctly rebuild their valves. We have found that the Reaction Valve End Plugs, which are prone to leaking due to different machining than Bendix valves, should be replaced with original style plugs. The Separator Plate (between the valve housing and the end cap) was also often warped during manufacture and caused possible leakage. This too should be replaced with an original piece during a rebuild. If the SSBC valve uses the unique hose seats as listed above, they will need to be re-machined because available original style seats may not fit correctly.