Brake repairs -- mechanical side


jerepowers

New member
Thanks. I didn't realize until you mentioned it that the parking brake only operates the rear shoe. The linkage is clear and the springs were installed correctly. (Digital cameras and the Bentley made sure of that.) The shoes came with parking brake levers installed and they were painted, but loose enough. After a week of driving, the brakes have adjusted themselves pretty good and now the parking brake holds pretty well. (Wouldn't want to rely on it in San Francisco yet.) I think the adjustment combined with the new drums and shoes to made for an initially poor system.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred to consolidate same topic.

vw-traveller Super Member Posted October 16, 2005 02:14 PM

How does one remove/change the rear Wheel Studs, on a 79' westy? I can't find any refrence to that in Bentley. My tire came loose a while ago, and it rode on the studs for a short time. So the threads are screwed up (no pun intended) and it requires a lot of torque to get the Lugnuts on at all. Anyway, do these Studs turn out or must they be pulled off?

Also, is it viable to get used ones from a wreaking yard, or should I get new ones?
thanx thomas

Type 2 T2b driver
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
The studs press in & out. A press is usually required. There is a pretty good description in the Bentley for Vanagons section 42.6.

The studs are splined near the head. When you install new, be sure the splines line up with the serations that will now exist in the old hub. You don't want to wallow out or damage the hub holes.

Never attempt to reuse studs -- not worth it. They will have undergone stretch and stresses from the old application, removal and reinstallation.

Caution; once you've installed NEW studs, you must retorque your wheels every 25-50 miles 2 or 3 times for them to bed. It's the torque on the wheels that will eventually pull them in permanently.
 

JWPATE

New member
BRAKE HARDWARE
In one of the post Capt. Mike mentioned the so-called shim plates which are in most disc calipers to reduce noise. VW lists them as anti-rotation plates or anti-noise plates. They used to be part of the hardware in disc pad sets. No more.
They are also no longer available from VW as a seperate part. It would appear that if those plates are missing, they are going to be difficult to replace. Used parts perhaps......ugh. If anyone has a source I would appreciate it.
James Pate
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
There are now a number of disk brake 'lubes' and anti-squeal products on the market. The shim was basically a buffer to prevent the pads from vibrating and causing the high-pitched squeal. Many pad kits come with a small packet of a lube paste that can be applied (very thinly) to the back of the pad and to the pad slide areas. There are also products in spray cans -- I use Permatex Disk Brake Quiet -- that puts a tacky film on the metal backing plate.

I also polish the edges of the backing plates where they slide in the caliper housing. Wire wheel on the bench grinder is usually enough. Sometimes rough edges have to be filed or ground down. It's not unheard of to have the stamping machine that punches out the backing plates leave feathers or bevels so as to be oversize. I also bevel the edges of a new pad slightly to give the pad other than a 90° profile until they've had a chance to bed. The wire wheel on the grinder (use an air filtering mask even though most pads are now non-asbestos) or a file.
 
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mclemann

New member
After purchasing our '87 Westy, I drove it home 350 miles. This is the 4th vanagon westie vehicle we've owned, however the last one we sold in 2000. So we're pretty familiar with how the van should operate... but its been awhile since I'ver driven one. I have all the records on this vehicle from both two previous owners. The brakes were done 10k ago at 79K.

At the beginning of the trip, I accidently left the emergency brake on for about 5-10 miles at freeway speeds. Didn't realize it until I used the brake pedal to slow down, and found there was no pedal! The brake pedal worked after I pumped it a few times, and that and the emergency brake barely got me off the freeway to a rest spot. I read the manual, which seemed to indicate this brake fade might happen when the emergency brake is left on while driving and things heat-up. As per manual, I let the van cool off, and the brakes worked again. However, I notice that driving the van that it does not come to a stop as easily as I think it should based on past experience. I don't remember how it felt before this happened because I didn't drive it enough, and its been a few years since I've driven a vanagon.

I thought maybe the front brakes didn't work so:
I pulled the front week and checked the calipers and find they do operate.
The pads are in great shape ( 0.5 inches).
The rotors are too at 16.65 mm.
There is no brake fluid leak from the cylinders (or anywhere else).

Could other brake components be bad? The master cylinder does not leak. The pedal retracts and the brakes do not seem to drag.I plan to bleed the brakes today because I want to make sure the fluid gets changed over... I don't think that has been done.

Could it be that I am too used to driving newer cars and the slower braking is the nature of the beast?

Don
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
The fact that you had the brake failure from heat indicates you have moisture or air in the hydraulic system which would create brake inefficiency. Since the Westy is new to you, you should flush & change brake fluid anyway and get on a 2-year cycle. See "Brake Fluid Changes" topic this forum. Also check your brake pressure regulator as per above this topic.
 

mclemann

New member
I agree that the fluid needs to be changed, and that is what I will be doing tomorrowg(got the Dot 4 fluid and tubing today but ran out of time). At least this is a task I have experience with unlike some of the other things... Not sure what you mean by "check your pressure regulator". Previous post under hydraulic seems to indicate testing is difficult. Perhaps if this bleeding does not solve the problem I should just replace the regulator?
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Testing the regulator is complicated but if you have good front & no rear, AND have done all the mechanical and hydraulic checks, that may be all that's left. They are quite trouble-free, but when I said check, I meant to at least visually check for damage, the 30° offset and that you are getting good proportional flow to the rear brakes. If a good pump of the brakes in bleeding gives a good squirt on the front and only a dribble in the rear, something isn't flowing. You'd be surprised how many times someone says "My brakes don't work. What's wrong?" and haven't done any of the preliminary, only to find a crushed line, a bleeder rusted or damaged, or something hanging on by one rusty bolt. Testing of the regulator per Bentley would be off in the "Brake repairs -- hydraulic side".
 
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bobCamp

New member
After reading some reviews of the Ate pads vs. other pads, I decided to spend the extra money on them. They are fantastic. No more squeaky stops, and they are smooth. I have Brembo rotors which I find to be nice quality. I was able to get the Ate pads from a local parts shop.

[11/27/10: It is my understanding that Brembro has bought Ate, but continues to market both brands and the Ate formulations are the original, so I plan to stick to Ate. I was told by one aftermarket parts distributor that Ate no longer existed -- but I found them at several of the more reliable VW parts dealer listed in our PARTS forum. I imagine his "not stocking" turns in they 'don't exist' in his mind or company policy. Wrong!]
 
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WestyDaniel

New member
Hi, I recently purchased a 1984 Westy and I need to replace the rear brakes and drum cylinders. Is there some place online that I can find the proper torque specs? Specifically for the bolts that hold the drum on and the bolt that holds on the rear brake cylinder?

Also, is there a clear diagram of the orientation of the brake adjuster? I have a diagram, but it is difficult to see the exact orientation of the adjuster. The reason I ask is that I am not certain it was istalled correctly by the previous owner.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Bentley, 46.6 (required for site use) gives cylinder mount bolt torques,

The two small bolts that hold the drum to the hub are only to provide secure placement and hold it in place when the wheel is off; the primary hold is the clamping provided by the wheel & lug nuts. 7-13 ft.lb. was the spec in the Type II manual but they had dropped torque requirments by the Vanagons -- just need to be 'snug'.
 

Bill Laleune

New member
BBop

:confused:I've just a registerd as member so I'm not sure whether it is acceptable to ask a question so soon, but here it goes.... I have a 1989 Westy of which I was preparing to do the rear brakes. At the time I wasn' sure if I had to remove the castle nut, so while trying to remove the drum by hand I notice it had a very slight "rock" to it. I didn't think this was right so I decided to check the other wheel and it did the same thing. I've tried in vain to find out if this is suppose to be like this or if both bearings are bad or if they can be adjusted? Help!
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
See above. Also see "Rear Wheel Bearings" topic this forum as well as "CV joints & rear axle" topic. Bentley §42.4-42.5 covers wheel bearings. Since the drum is attached to the hub and thus axle, it is not really attached to the bearings or housing. Bentley §46.6 discusses attachment of the rear brake drum. The drums are held to the hub via the little 6mm bolts, NOT the rear axle nut. These are for assembly and 'wheel off' operations. The drum is more securely held by the lug nuts when the wheel is on; many older vehicles only use a little tinnerman nut on a stud when without the lugnuts. The bearing housing is held tight to the rear trailing arm by 4 x 8mm bolts. The hub itself is held only by the axle nut. When all of the above are tight to specs, there is usually no discernable play beyond thd small amount ccaused by taking up the slack when changing directions that is in the rer differential. The rear axle, and thus the hubs & drums are attached direct so slack in the differential (required) is felt that way. The "Rear Wheel Bearings" topic discusses how to determine if bearings are bad. They are extremely reliable and rarely need replacement unless the seals are damaged or it's been submerged.
 
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Bill Laleune

New member
BBop

:)Thanks Capt Mike! I read the postings you suggested and intend to do the test outlined there. I don't know if this is helpful to other members but I bought a Mitchell "1991 Imported cars, light trucks, & vans Service and Repair" manual at a flea market for $5. It actually has several sections pertaining to the Vanagon. In it, 8-4 Torque Specifications Rear axle nut says
"369ft/lbs (500N.m)". Yet in, 8-2 Rear Brake Drum Installation it says to "tighten the casellated axle nut to 253ft/lbs (345N.m). What can I say...you get what you pay for! I intend to bite the bullet and purchase a proper shop manual.

[Moderator note: That's because Mitchell just copies other material. That typo in the Bentley is covered in both topics referrenced. You got what you paid for; the Bentley is required for site use, Guideline #2.]
 
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marisol

New member
Rotors? Mexico?

I am in Mexico at the moment...far in the south and heading further south... Its been a great ride in my 82 Diesel Westy, with a bit of a hiccup half way through, but lucky for me I found Jesus (literally), who helped me through the rough times and got me back on track.

The honest truthj is that my mechanical expertise is extremely limited, but I am hopeful that with each "experience", i expand my education... The latest one has to do with the van pulling to the right. I had a suspension guy look at it, and from what I understood, the rotors are nearing their end and that aligning it would do me no good. Assuming that he is correct, I am pretty much assuming those parts may be hard to come by if not impossible down here in Oaxaca... So, before I go on a mission to locate the parts I need and have them sent down, I want to know if the bad rotors would be the cause of the pull.... Any advice for a single gal travler in the lands of the south?
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
You do have the Bentley, right? A requirement of the site. Bentley §46 deals with your front brakes. Read posts above, especially #11. It is very rare that brakes cause a pulling when driving; it's usually only at braking. It's almost always alignment, suspension wear or tires. Unless he's checked suspension alignment on a machine, to declare that it's not in the suspension or alignment would be a dumb assumption. Tires that have a belt separation beginning may not show external signs. A tire pro should be able to determine that via inspection for true or out-of-round & balance.

That said, if it pulls when driving, post #11 above explains the probably causes. Rotors won't help.

If it pulls on braking only, the chances are you have a leaky caliper, oiled pad or air in the system on one side. Again, rotors won't help. Start with a bleeding, cheap. Next pull pads and look for uneven wear, oiling, glazing or damage. If so, o'haul any leaking calipers, clean rotors (fine sand with emery cloth) & replace pads. If not, replace flex hoses & rebleed, again inexpensive.

Rotors that are not damaged (cracks or grooves) are replaced on two criteria per Bentley §46.2: The first is rotor thickness -- wear limit is 11mm. The 2nd is warp or runout -- limit is .004mm. The latter will be felt as pulsing, not pull, and is more irritating than dangerous. Even a glazed rotor can usually be cleaned up without turning; minor circumferal groves are not a problem.
 
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Bill Laleune

New member
BBop

Well I finaly got the right rear wheel bearing changed on my '89 Westy. As per Capt Mike's suggestions, I purchased a "stethascope" and listened to the bearings on both side, and the right one definitely had a "grumble" to it. I tried in vain to get the drum off (Mitchel manual says to loosen the castle nut and then use a "drum puller") I bought a 3/4" drive 50 to 300 ft/lb torque wrench with a 36" in handle and I set it to 300 and literally had to stand on and bounce up and down until it brock loose. I tried to borrow, rent or buy a drum puller but to no avail. So I removed the castle nut and pulled the flange off with the drum attached. I then used a block of wood and hammerd on the wheel studs to break the drum free. I then went to the local VW dealer to to get the bearings and bumped into a Service Tech, so I asked him about the slight play on the hub. He said a slight amount of play is normal, expecially if the bearings are not repacked occasionly. He also said that if the race has a brown band it means the bearing has overheated (mine did).

Anyway, Happy New Year to all the members, may 2009 be more camping and less pulling wrenches on our Westys
 
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andrewvevers

New member
hot rear brake

I asked this on another forum and seem to have exhausted all the possibilities so maybe somebody here can help.

My rear right brake drum gets very hot on a run. It's a '79 Westy Berlin.

When I first noticed it the handbrake adjuster bar was way out of alignment and the tube which takes the cable to the left hand brake was bent - I think a garage had jacked it up in the wrong place. Note the bend was on the opposite side to the hot brake.

I straightened it and adjusted the balance bar but no change. I then gave it new cylinders, brake hoses, shoes, brake springs and handbrake cables. Still no improvement.

I then swapped over brake drums from one side to the other to see if the right hand one was warped. No. It only gets hot on the right.

It seems that every time I adjust the shoes it's OK for a short while but then they tighten up. i don't believe it's the hand brake since I've adjusted everything and driven off without touching the lever. 10 miles later the brake is hot.

I don't think the wheel bearings are faulty. There's a tiny bit of play but it's no different on the other side.

My method of adjusting the shoes is to tighten up one shoe at a time until it's firm against the drum then back off three notches until it's free. Then repeat on the other shoe. Then press the pedal and check again.

One thing that might be relevant is that the shoes aren't bedding in smoothly yet. This is after 3000 miles.

I guess if it came to it I could swap all the remaining components - back plate, hub and bearings but I can't help thinking it's something simpler than that.

Anybody got any new ideas?
 

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