Brake repairs -- mechanical side


New member
cracked shoes

I bought a 84 vanagon a while ago and noted that the rear brakes shoes were cracked. I replaced the brakes and have been trying to get them working properly. Any idea what would have caused that? They were still quite thick.

I have all new parts (shoes, calipers, and springs). When I adjust the shoes so that they are just short of touching the drum, I have noted that the caliper does not touch the shoes (about 1/4" away from it.) Does that matter? I have trouble breaking. The pedal goes easily almost all the way with some slight braking action and then the last bit basicaly before the brake pedal bottoms out, I get the rest of the breaking action. Also, I can still turn the tire with my hands when I have my wife step on the pedal.


New member
breaking calipers on REAR brakes?

It's tough to answer your post- as your description is kinda *special.* REAR DRUM brakes have no calipers. The calipers ore on the FRONT disc brakes. Not breaks- but brakes, as nothing should get broken :) If the front calipers do not touch the rotors by a 1/4", when the rears are being adjusted you have major other problems. Can you better explain whatcha mean? I am guessing, but it sounds as if the star adjuster needs turning.
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Jason Rolfe

New member
Stuck Brake Drum!! Ugh!

I've got an '87 Westy, and I want to do a rear brake overhaul. But I cannot, for the life of me, get the drums off. Either side.

I have followed all the directions about easing off the self-adjustment arm, tapping the circumference of the drum, banging on the circumference of the drum, slackening the hand-brake cable--all to no avail.

If I kind of pry on it, it seems that it is seized to the hub within a half-inch to one inch of the center rim of the drum.

I am at a loss. Any suggestions? Does anyone have a good trick that I could try? Any tips at all. This is the first time I've ever done this, so I may be missing something. I know I can do the job once I get the drum off, but it just will not budge!

Any thoughts?



Jason Rolfe

New member
So, regarding my stuck brake drum.

Talked to my mechanic today and he told me I'm going to just have to take off the hub. So, think I'm going to get myself a striker wrench and take care of it hopefully.

Just wanted to put that out there.


Jason Rolfe

New member
Brake update.

got the striker wrench and the axle nut came off easily. Changed brake shoes and cylinders. Everything in working order. Just going to take it down the street to a mechanic to make sure the axle nuts are tightened properly. The striker wrench from bus dept, about 10 bucks, was a life saver.

All's good!



New member
I have an '84 westy, and the brake line has rusted. What the mechanic doesn't know if he can find, is, the flared 3 way flared splitter. Any suggestions? I am straned in Vancouver. Help!!!