Diagnosing vacuum leaks & the brake cylinder vacuum valve

I know from experience that the mity-vac is invaluable for diagnosing component-level problems with the vacuum system, but one project for the
summer will be to get my locks working again which will require more vacuum than I particularly want to maintain by hand.
Has anyone got any suggestions for a solution that I can plug into the wall? I've thought about trying to rig something up with my vacuum cleaner but I'm a little wary of attaching arbitrarily-strong sucking things to my vacuum system.
As an aside, I'm pretty certain that I need to replace the valve on the "main" vacuum hose between the pump and the master brake cylinder; at least, on my '79 TD I suspect it's leaking, and on my '85 D one of the nipples broke off (and is now super-glued into place) so I'd like to replace it for sure. Two questions: which way is it supposed to allow vacuum flow? I only know that when the vacuum runs out in my car (e.g. I lock the doors and leave for a while), the brake pedal is much stiffer when I get back in than it normally is when the car is not running. Second, how do you get it out of the hoses? I've tried twisting both of them, and they aren't budging. If I had more hose to play with I might just cut the hose as close as possible, but I don't know if it'd reach anymore after such an operation. Finally- the guy at the dealer's parts counter was more untelligent than normal and was unable to locate the prat numbers, and I can't seem to turn this part up at Autohaus or Performance Products. Any tips on part numbers (the two are different between the MYs)?
Thanks a lot, -tom!
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