Idle Chatter | High Performance 101 | Reviews | Storing your Beetle | Tech Talk with Rick | Slades VW Beetles
BACK to Tech Talk with Rick index page Next>>

Brake Pull

Where do you look when your car pulls to one side when you hit the brakes? Adjustment? NO. The split second longer that it would take for the brake shoe to hit the drum would not be noticed. Alignment? Not likely. The car would pull all the time. Pulling brakes is either due to a lack of pressure on the brake shoes of one wheel or grease or brake fluid on the braking surface. The car will pull to the side that is working so the problem is on the opposite side. Sometimes you can spot the problem wheel by stopping quickly in loose gravel and noticing which wheel doesn't scuff. The sure way is to jack the car up and first look for signs of fluid leaking from the outer edges of the brake drum.

Grease will feel more slippery than brake fluid. In this case the drum will have to be removed and either the seal or wheel cylinder replaced as well as the shoes. If there are no leaks then spin the wheels one at a time as someone touches the brake to see if one is not stopping. You may find one that will hardly turn before you touch the brake. While the wheel might free up if you loosen the adjustment it will likely tighten up again when you use the brake again. The most common problem here is that the rubber brake line has swollen shut or nearly so inside and is restricting the fluid both going to the brake and returning
You may be able to determine this by opening the bleeder. If the wheel frees up the problem is the hose. If it does not free up then the problem is with the wheel cylinder sticking. The wheel cylinder can be replaced after the brake drum and brake shoes have been removed.
It is held the backing plate by one bolt on the rear.
The hose can be replaced by loosening either one or both of the metal lines that connect to it. The hose is held in place by a U shaped clip that just pries loose.
On the front the hose is threaded to the back of the wheel cylinder.
The other end has to be loose so the hose can be screwed out on removal and in when replaced. Whether the wheel cylinder or hose is replaced the brakes on that wheel will have to be bled.
As a word of advice if one hose is swollen it probably means the rest are close and the same is true of a sticking wheel cylinder. So when you replace one you may as well plan to replace them all. Everything you need to do these jobs or a complete brake job can be seen on our Vol.4 Brake Maintenance video. Hopefully this will help keep you going on the straight and narrow. We're pulling for you!

Rick Higgins and Crew
Bug Me Video, Inc

BACK to Tech Talk with Rick index page Next>>

About us | Contact | Events | History | Home | Images | Interactive | Links | Tech