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 Help With Ghia Brakes

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emmit
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PostSubject: Help With Ghia Brakes   Wed May 11, 2011 1:36 pm

Hey guys,

I'm starting to work on my 64 Ghia and the main issue that needs to be fixed are the brakes. I have a friend helping me who has a lot more experience working on cars than I do. The thing we're not sure of is what part of the brakes there's a problem with. The car has been sitting in the garage for at least eight years now, and when we rolled it out for the first time a few months ago, the front left wheel was locked up and dragged in the gravel. Although it loosened up and started rolling when we drove the car back into the garage, my friend who I'm working on this with thinks that it could be a problem with the master cylinder, if there is still pressure in the brake lines and it's not releasing. Also, the brake pedal is very stiff and can barely be pressed down. Hopefully this makes sense. What do you guys think is the issue?

Thanks.
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silvertonguedevil
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PostSubject: Re: Help With Ghia Brakes   Wed May 11, 2011 2:50 pm

It could be several things really. It's not uncommon for brakes to rust or lock after sitting for a while. The shoes will just "glue" themselves to the drum. They will usually work themselves free after some pulling like you did or sometimes you have to beat on the drum with a hammer to get 'er knocked loose. As far as the master cylinder goes, I've never really heard of one being stiff. If anything, you hear about the pedal going down too far or the pedal being completely limp which would indicate a leak in the system or no brake fluid at all. Given what you described I'd almost think it was possibly a combination of 1) the car sitting and 2) maybe the brakes are adjusted too tightly which could explain both problems. I'd say you might want to jack the car up and check the adjustment of the brakes. On your '64, you should be able to do this without even removing the wheels. Once everything is adjusted properly, it would also be a good idea to drain all of that old brake fluid out and put in some new stuff. Brake fluid can get a lot of moisture in it, especially after sitting for a long time and it brakes down. As we all know, brakes are possible through hydraulics and you want as much hydraulic pressure as possible. Anyway, check your adjustment, flush out and bleed out your system and then see what you have.


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PostSubject: Brake   Wed May 11, 2011 3:26 pm

Its your brake hose. The break down inside and will not allow the fluid to return back to mastercylinder. If its been sitting you will need to replace anything that is rubber that brake fluid touches. It is easier to do it all now
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PostSubject: Re: Help With Ghia Brakes   Wed May 11, 2011 4:31 pm

Okay thanks. Hopefully I'll be able to make it to this month's meeting and talk to some of you guys in person, maybe even get someone to come take a look at it who knows a lot more about VW's than I do. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Help With Ghia Brakes   Thu May 12, 2011 11:14 pm

I'm with David and the plugged hose idea. I've had that issue several times.
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emmit
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PostSubject: Re: Help With Ghia Brakes   Fri May 13, 2011 12:06 pm

Okay, thanks guys. Sounds like it's most likely the hoses. Is there a reason that only the front left wheel would be locked, or is it a problem with just that hose?

Also, if anyone here ever wants to come take a look at it, they're more than welcome to. My partner on this project has experience working on cars, but isn't too familiar with VW's, so any advice or help from any of you guys would be greatly appreciated. The car's in really good shape from the looks of it, I'm just a little lost on where to start.

Thanks Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Help With Ghia Brakes   Fri May 13, 2011 2:28 pm

If I was closer, I'd definitely give ya a hand.


(I know that doesn't help you much) Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Help With Ghia Brakes   Fri May 13, 2011 4:15 pm

Dude, the hoses are $12 - $17 each. Replace them all.
Just because that's the one that's showing the symptom doesn't mean it's the only one that needs attention.
They have a book stated lifespan of like 8-10 years. Do them all now. That way, you only need to fill and bleed the system once.
Even if it's the worst one, by replacing just the one, then you have one hose working correctly, and three old ones expanding. The three old ones left will begin to break down in short order with use, and you'll be in the same boat.

The brake system is your NUMBER ONE SAFETY SYSTEM. The parts to renew the system are very inexpensive.

You might consider replacing the wheel cylinders (maybe $80 -$100 for all) and the master, under $50.

ALL of this stuff is really easy to install, and then you have a VERY reliable brake system as long as the metal lines are good.

This is a really important lesson to learn, where NOT to skimp on stuff. If you want to drive a 40+ year old car, yo have to be willing to make sure all the safety things are in good working order. No manufacturer ever intended their cars to last this long, and replacing these components is general maintenance at this point.
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PostSubject: Re: Help With Ghia Brakes   Fri May 13, 2011 4:24 pm

X2!!

Brake system stuff is relatively inexpensive, easy to work on and can be a life or death matter. Nothing to f**k with. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Help With Ghia Brakes   Fri May 13, 2011 7:30 pm

Yeah I definitely won't cut any corners with the brakes. Very Happy I don't have much experience with cars but I want to make sure I do the brakes safely. Again, if you know of anyone in the area who might be interested in coming out to take a look at it and maybe give some pointers, any help would be greatly appreciated!
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PostSubject: Re: Help With Ghia Brakes   Fri May 13, 2011 7:33 pm

There's always next Saturday (tech day) and then the meeting on Sunday. I'm sure someone can run over and help ya out. I'll be there for the Sunday meeting. If you don't figure something out before then, let me know.
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PostSubject: Re: Help With Ghia Brakes   Fri May 13, 2011 7:38 pm

Awesome!

Yeah I'll definitely try and make it out to the meeting next week.
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PostSubject: Re: Help With Ghia Brakes   Fri May 13, 2011 9:52 pm

I am getting ready to do the brakes all around on the '69 (May).

New master cylinder, new stainless brake lines, rebuilt the the pedal cluster. I rebuilt the rear brakes themselves last month, I also have new lines for the master cylinder to the reservoir from aircooled.net

I think one or both of the front rotors could be shot and might need to be replaced as well.

I am also waiting on a modified clutch pedal shaft that extends the clutch over about an inch away from the brake pedal and gets rid of the hook and uses a bearing on a shaft. It is from Unique Parts.

Anyways, If it all the remaining parts come in, maybe we could get together and do them both...

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Ghia is a way of life............ (o)(=|=)(o)
- 2012 NASA Rookie of the Year
- '69 Karmann Ghia Coupe - May(hem) - "WIKED KG" Super Street
- '69 Drag Ghia - Kay(os) -"Wicked Sister"
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PostSubject: Re: Help With Ghia Brakes   Fri May 13, 2011 10:17 pm

Yeah man that sounds great. Any help would be terrific Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Help With Ghia Brakes   Fri May 13, 2011 10:25 pm

There you go! That would work out pretty slick!
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PostSubject: Re: Help With Ghia Brakes   Fri May 13, 2011 10:29 pm

What's your budget?

Are you buying new parts?

Have you disassembled anything to see where you are at?

Start here and read everything on brakes...

Rob and Dave's Aircooled Volkswagen Pages

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Ghia is a way of life............ (o)(=|=)(o)
- 2012 NASA Rookie of the Year
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- '69 Drag Ghia - Kay(os) -"Wicked Sister"
- Still looking for a low light
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PostSubject: Re: Help With Ghia Brakes   Fri May 13, 2011 10:48 pm

So far all I've done is jacked the front end up and taken both front wheels off. The front left drum is completely locked up, so I only opened up the front right one, just to see what I was dealing with. I just wanted to get an idea of how drum brakes work.

I spent some money on some parts from the GV Parts for Imports (before I took the wheels off): a full set of shoes, wheel cylinders, 2 front brake hoses, fluid, and an exhaust pipe (one was missing). I hadn't really figured out what was wrong with the brake system when I bought these, they were just the parts that the owner there recommended I get based on what I told him about the car.

He said I could return anything I didn't end up needing, and from the looks of it, the brake shoes look like they have a little ways to go before I need new ones. Any other parts you think I don't need I can probably return also.
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PostSubject: good luck   Fri May 13, 2011 10:55 pm

I hate to tell you what we had to do to get the drums off my bug. Hint a man going through a bad divorce a big hammer and two new brake drums. Mine were out in the elements for a while.
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PostSubject: Re: Help With Ghia Brakes   Fri May 13, 2011 11:01 pm

You went to the right place for parts! PFI is a great little parts house.
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