Question about 1998 Volkswagen Beetle

2 Answers

1978 VW super bettle brake problem

We have replaced the master cylinder 3 times and bleed the lines over and over and we are still getting air problems. My husband still thinks its the cylinder because we don't appear to have any leaks and when you hold the pedal down after pumping, it stays firm, but once you let up you lose the pressure again.
The first 2 cylindars were rebuilds but the last one was knew from napa.
Help

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  • t Sitton Oct 24, 2008

    My bug is to cute to go over a cliff but I bet my husband would like to ponder the thought for a min. Yes to all your suggestions. My husband has done everything you have suggested and that is why he thinks it has to be the master cyl. We don't see any leaks anywhere. We haven't changed the break lines but if there were any holes I would think we would see it leaking, thats why we haven't done it. We might just have to do the master cyl. again. At least its under warranty. Any other ideas?

    Thanks

  • t Sitton Oct 24, 2008

    Also...This is a 1978 Super Beetle Convertable...any issues with that year?

  • t Sitton Oct 26, 2008

    Unfortunatly its none of those things. There is still air in the line. There are a few more things my husband is going to try but it looks like the master cyl. we just can't get the air out.

  • Anonymous Feb 23, 2009

    i have a 1973 vw thing , replaced master after bleeding the first one, came up with,pumppeddle ok for minute ,then lost pedle. bleed all four wheel cylinders , same problema,even with new mater and brakes adjusted properly, going ******** with ******* brakes, bitten help.

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  • Volkswagen Master
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Sounds like u r ready to drop the beetle off a cliff. U seem to be doing everything that should give u a firm pedal. 1st- I've never done brakes on a 78 beetle, but have done many brake jobs on others, so in general here are some possibilities: A couple of things, did u bench bleed the master cylinder? (put in a vise, fill w/ brake fluid, using screwdriver, pump piston to remove air). Although u don't have to do this, it saves time trying to get the air out of the system. Did u bleed the brakes starting w/ the farthest from the master cylinder, 'til all air out, then to next farthest away, etc til u do closest brake cylinder last? Made sure the master cyl. never ran down while bleeding and sucked in air? Does your 78 have power brakes? If yes, beetle was running while u bled brakes? Bleeding procedure: Have helper pump pedal approx. half way to floor, 3 pumps, on 3rd pump, hold it half way down, while u open bleeder, when flow decreases from bleeder, close bleeder, then helper can let foot off of pedal and pump 3x again, repeat til fluid shows no air. You probably know all this, just hoping u are doing something minor wrong, and this could help. Individual wheel cylinders aren't leaking? Let me know if this helps at all, if not, I'll try to come up w/ something else. Stay away from the cliff.

Posted on Oct 24, 2008

  • Curt Downs Oct 24, 2008

    Good suggestion on adjusting the brakes, I was surprised to see vw drum brakes have 2 adjusters, one for each shoe. Never saw that on other manufacturers. I found some info that might be worth trying (if u didn't already), It mentions Type 1, 3, and 4 models (I don't know what that refers to, hopefully u do), here it is: Brake pedal free travel, type 1, 3 ,4 models adjust length of pushrod to 5-7mm free play before pushrod contacts master cyl piston. On type 2 free play is properly adjusted when length of pushrod measured between ball end and center of clevis pin hole is 4.17 inches (interesting the same info gives one mesurement in metric, one standard. Let me know if this helps.

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  • Master
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You need to adjust the brake drum shoes so that you have heard them skimming on the drum.You can adjust them from a slot behind with a screwdriver Pays to take drums off to see which way you have to wind the adjusters

Posted on Oct 24, 2008

  • tony yeatman
    tony yeatman Oct 24, 2008

    Also readjust your hand brake cable

  • tony yeatman
    tony yeatman Oct 24, 2008

    Pull your hand brake on do your test to see if brakes stay hard

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1 Answer

I have replaced 3 disc brake calipers on my 2001 pt cruiser. after bleeding all 4 brakes 3 times, I started the car and brake pedal goes to floor. is my brake booster shot?


Michael:

You must start bleeding the brakes at the wheel farthest from the master cylinder (usually the right rear), then the next farthest from the master cylinder, then the next, then the closest. If your master cylinder is at the left front of the car, start with the right rear, then the left rear, then the right front, then the left front. If you don't bleed the brakes in the correct order, you are just shifting the air in the lines from one line to another. Make sure that you close the bleeder before letting the brake pedal up, and the engine should not be running when you bleed the brakes... Make sure that the emergency brake is off. Make sure that the master cylinder does not run out of brake fluid at any time that you are bleeding the brakes.

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1990 jeep wrangler bleeding breaks


Hi there:
I suggest to check this procedure, when the hydraulic brake system must be bled whenever a fluid line has been disconnected because air gets into the system.

A leak in the system may sometimes be indicated by a spongy brake pedal. Air trapped in the system is compressible and does not permit the pressure applied to the brake pedal to be transmitted solidly through the brakes. The system must be absolutely free from air at all times. If the master cylinder has been overhauled or a new cylinder has been installed, bleed the cylinder on a bench before installation. When bleeding brakes, bleed at the wheel most distant from the master cylinder first, the next most distant second, and so on. During the bleeding operation the master cylinder must be kept at least 3 / 4 full of brake fluid.


The ABS bleeding procedure is different from the conventional method. It consists of the following three steps:
Step 1: Conventional manual brake bleed.
Step 2: Bleeding the system using the DRB scan tool.
Step 3: An additional conventional manual brake bleed.

The recommended ABS bleeding procedure is as follows:
  1. To bleed the brakes, first carefully clean all dirt from around the master cylinder filler cap. Remove the filler cap and fill the master cylinder with DOT 3 brake fluid to the lower edge of the filler neck.
  2. Bleed the master cylinder first. Have a helper operate the brake pedal while bleeding each master cylinder fluid outlet line. Do not allow the master cylinder to to run out of fluid,as this will allow additional air to be drawn into the cylinder.
  3. Bleed the brake system in the following sequence:
    1. Master cylinder
    2. HCU valve body (at fluid lines)
    3. Right rear wheel
    4. Left rear wheel
    5. Right front wheel
    6. Left front wheel
  4. Clean off the bleeder connections at all four wheel cylinders. Attach the bleeder hose to the right rear wheel cylinder bleeder screw and place the end of the tube in a glass jar, submerged in brake fluid.
  5. Open the bleeder valve 1/2 - 3/4 of a turn.
  6. Have an assistant depress the brake pedal slowly and allow it to return. Continue this pumping action to force any air out of the system. When bubbles cease to appear at the end of the bleeder hose, close the bleeder valve and remove the hose.
  7. Check the level of fluid in the master cylinder reservoir and replenish as necessary.
  8. After the bleeding operation at each wheel cylinder has been completed, fill the master cylinder reservoir and replace the filler plug.

Do not reuse the fluid which has been removed from the lines through the bleeding process because it contains air bubbles and dirt.


  1. Perform the "Bleed Brake'' procedure with the DRB II scan tool. This procedure is described in the DRB II software information and diagnostic guide.
    1. Attach the DRB II scan tool to the diagnostic connector.
    2. Run the Bleed Brake procedure as described in the DRB II tester guide.
  2. Repeat the conventional bleeding procedure as previously outlined.
  3. Fill the master cylinder reservoir to the proper level.
  4. Check the brake operation.


Hope this helps.

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I have a 1994 GMC Serra i had a brake line that started to leak for the back brakes so i replaced the whole line from the front to the back and i went to bleed the brakes for the back i had a helper pump...


If you have replaced the line from the front to the back, there is a lot of air in the line. The proper way to bleed the brakes (for the average guy with no shop) is to;

#1, OPEN the bleeder screw,
#2 THEN have your friend push the brake pedal down fully to the floor and HOLD IT DOWN. Then you
#3 CLOSE the bleeder, so no air can enter the line from there,
#4 THEN have your friend let the pedal up after you have closed the bleeder screw.

Repeat this process untill you have fluid coming out of the bleeder screw. Remember, after your friend has pumped the brakes a few times, the fluid level in the Master Cylinder's reservior will
go down, and you need to refill it as the fluid gets pumped into the line. Do not let it go empty, or you will have to start all over again. Every time the brakes get pumped, the fluid will only go down the line a few inches, so you will have to do this Procedure many times, like 15 or so.

Once you get the fluid coming out of the bleeder screw, do the bleed procedure a couple more times, until there IS NO AIR left in the system and all that is coming out is fluid with NO bubbles.

You MUST do BOTH sides, right AND left of the rear, as there is only a single line to the rear, which splits into two above the axle, and now there will be air in both sides. Then, tighten the screw, top off the master cylinder, and you are done.

If you simply opened up the bleeder screw, and then pumped the brakes with it open the whole time, the master cylinder simply pulled air back into itself every time you let the brake pedal up, resulting in no fluid being pumped into the line.

Also, if the master cylinder ever was EMPTY, then you may have to bleed the cylinder itself. This is done by disconnecting the brake line (rear brake, the one you just had off) from the cylinder, and putting a hose from the line inlet in a small loop back into the master cylinder's reservior. Then, pump the brakes. The cylinder will then pump the fluid directly back into itself. The idea is that you do not let the master cylinder pull any air back into itself, from the line inlet. So, as the cylinder pumps out the air, the only thing it can get back in is FLUID. Do this until there are no more bubbles coming out of the line.

Then perform the above-mentioned Bleeding Procedure. If you do the Bleeding Procedure correctly, and the fluid level in the master cylinder does NOT go down, and you are still not getting fluid to the bleeder screw, then that will tell you that you have to bleed the Master Cylinder.

Good Luck To You.

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did you bleed all of the air from the master cylinder before you installed it, this has to be done. also when replacing the master cylinder, all 4 wheel cylinders will have to be bled, in order to get all of the air out of them. while doing the wheel cylinder bleeding , you will have to make sure that the master cylinder doe's not run out of brake fluid, check it each time you bleed a wheel cylinder , add brake fluid to the master cylinder each time or when it is getting low. hope that this has helped you.

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I am trying to bleed my front brakes and I keep gettting air in the line. when everything is shut and I pump the brake I hear air in the master cylinder. does that mean it is the master cylinder? 1978...


you have to keep master cylinder topped up as you bleed brakes
start at the furthest wheel from master cylinder slow pumps on the pedal holding down as your companion opens open bleed nipple'if your doing it yourself open bleed screw and fit small tube over nipple and put tube into small container half filled with brake fluid and just pump pedal yourself goodluck

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The brake system bleeding procedure differs for ABS and non-ABS vehicles. The following procedure pertains only to non-ABS vehicles. For details on bleeding ABS equipped vehicles, refer to the ABS procedures later in this section.

WARNING Make sure the master cylinder contains clean DOT 3 brake fluid at all times during the procedure.
  1. The master cylinder must be bled first if it is suspected of containing air. Bleed the master cylinder as follows:
    1. Position a container under the master cylinder to catch the brake fluid.
    2. Loosen the left front brake line (front upper port) at the master cylinder and allow the fluid to flow from the front port.
    3. Connect the line and tighten to 24 ft. lbs. (32 Nm).
    4. Have an assistant depress the brake pedal slowly one time and hold it down, while you loosen the front line to expel air from the master cylinder. Tighten the line, then release the brake pedal. Repeat until all air is removed from the master cylinder.
    5. Tighten the brake line to 24 ft. lbs. (32 Nm) when finished.
    6. Repeat these steps for the right front brake line (rear upper port) at the master cylinder.
WARNING Do not allow brake fluid to spill on or come in contact with the vehicle' finish, as it will remove the paint. In case of a spill, immediately flush the area with water.
  1. If a single line or fitting was the only hydraulic line disconnected, then only the caliper(s) or wheel cylinder(s) affected by that line must be bled. If the master cylinder required bleeding, then all calipers and wheel cylinders must be bled in the proper sequence:
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    3. Left rear
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  2. Bleed the individual calipers or wheel cylinders as follows:
    1. Place a suitable wrench over the bleeder screw and attach a clear plastic hose over the screw end.
    2. Submerge the other end in a transparent container of brake fluid.
    3. Loosen the bleed screw, then have an assistant apply the brake pedal slowly and hold it down. Close the bleed screw, then release the brake pedal. Repeat the sequence until all air is expelled from the caliper or cylinder.
    4. When finished, tighten the bleed screw to 97 inch lbs. (11 Nm) for the front, or 66 inch lbs. (7.5 Nm) for the rear.
  3. Check the pedal for a hard feeling with the engine not running. If the pedal is soft, repeat the bleeding procedure until a firm pedal is obtained.
zjlimited_349.jpg

Fig. 1: Loosen the front brake line in order to bleed the master cylinder

zjlimited_350.jpg

Fig. 2: Connect a bleed hose from the bleed valve on the front caliper to a jar of brake fluid

zjlimited_351.jpg

Fig. 3: Always follow the lettered sequence when bleeding the hydraulic brake system





Hope this helps to solve it; remember to rate this answer.

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The master cylinder supplies the pressure to the brake fluid that travels between the maste brake cylinder resevoir and the brake caliper pistons (through the brake lines. If the master cylinder fails there will be insufficient compression of the brake fluid to make the calipers operate as designed. Leaks in the brake lines and/or cylinders is a possibility, and unrelated to functionality of the master cylinder. Also, pistons located in the brake calipers can form a corrosion ring on their inside walls if there is breakdown in the brake fluid or moisture that gets into the lines. Operating the vehicle when there is insufficient brake fluid in the master cylinder resevoir can also lead to air getting into the brake lines, causing bad working brakes. Air compresses more than brake fluid, and the master cylinder isn't designed to compress air in the brake lines. Sounds like a bad case of "lack of maintenance", as opposed to bad advice from the mechanics. That said, there's no excuse for bad installation. But, it's tough to improperly install a brake line since they are nothing more than hollow metal tubes. There should be no rubber connectors installed in the brake lines. When bleeding the brake lines one must remove all of the trapped air before you will see any fluid appear. If the valves in the master cylinder are not properly operating the master cylinder will not allow the brake fluid to get into the brake lines.

Hope this helps.

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OK, 1st I'll start off w/ I've never worked on a 78 vw before, but have done many brake jobs,
Have u adjusted the brake shoes? If they are way out of adjustment, you won't have a firm pedal, it'll just go to the floor. You should bleed the master cylinder before installing, but I'm not sure if the vw would be different than other vehicles in that regard. Sorry to go over what u covered already, but I assume when you bled the brakes, u started at the bleeder that is farthest away from the master cyl, working your way to the closest last? U kept the master cyl reservoir filled enough so it didn't draw in air while bleeding? U pumped the pedal 3 times, approx. half way down, holding the pedal half way down on the 3rd pump, while someone opened the bleeder, then shut the bleeder before the flow stopped? Sorry to go thru all this that u probably already have done and know, just trying to cover all bases. Let me know if any of this helps. countrycurt0

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loosen the front brake line that goes to the master cylinder fill master cylinder up with fluid and bleed it first by attaching a flexible line from master cylinder front brake side submerge that line into jar of brakefluid keeping air from entering line get someone to pump brake pedal while ur holding line in a jar keep refilling the brake resivoir so no air gets in, once the master is bled front brake side then reattach the origional brake line then remove bleed screw from caliper and let fluid gravity flow down to calliper then bleed the normal way. more than likely your master cylinder has air trapped in the front portion good luck

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