Question about 1998 Volkswagen Beetle

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I need to set the brakes on my vw beetle. I pump up to 3 or 4 times before my brakes take. Please assist me

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  • Passionxx Jun 13, 2008

    how do i adjust the screws on/in the brake drums to set the brake pads/shoes? evidently this could also be the problem as the car pulls to one side when braking


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You may also have a mechanically "frozen" brake caliper piston....must remove front calipers and "exercise" the pistons back and forth (careful to limit the movement-do not allow pistons to extract fully so use a block of wood!!!)

Posted on Jun 13, 2008

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Sounds like air in the hydraulic system.

On each brake cylinder there is a bleed screw with a pipe nipple on it. Buy fresh brake fluid for the specification of the vehicle (Dot3 or Dot4), and an EasyBleed kit. Attatch easybleed pipe to each bleed nipple in turn, and slacken it off 1/2 a turn. -put the other end in a large jam jar.
Once you have undone one bleed nipple, top up brake reservoir to maximum, and pump foot pedal twice - re top up and repeat.
Tighten up bleed nipple, and move on to another untill complete.

If this does not solve the problem, check the rear brakes for automatic adjusters. Sometimes they sieze- or bend.
If defective - reoplace as a kit on both sides. Do not just replace one. All brake work should be completed as axle pairs.

Hope this helps.

Posted on Jun 13, 2008

  • Richard Perkins
    Richard Perkins Jun 13, 2008

    Most rear drum brakes are self-adjusting thesedays. All components of the adjuster are within the drum.

    Remove centre of drum to access large staked nut.There may be a stake/ fold down of the nut into a groove on the stub axle. This will either shear, or can be knocked back with a thin cold chisel.

    Slacken this nut off about 1 turn before you even take the wheel off. It will be at 80+ftlbs so you need a knuckle bar.

    After jacking, & supporting on axle stand, remove roadwheel and then remove centre nut.

    The hub should then come off.

    If brake shoes have less than 1mm friction material - order new ones (axle pair) and also use new axle-nuts.

    Check operation of adjuster by applying handbrake - it should click each time (as there is no drum now).

    If it is not this type please contact me again.

    You would be advised to obtain new shoes and hub securing nuts before you start. If you can get a new set of adjusters too, it will save any problems later. Make sure you can return them for a refund if not required (most places accept this as the norm)

    If shoes are fine, but adjusters are not functioning, replace them on each side, and check operation.

    Work on one side at a time, but remove both drums so that you can see the correct fitting.

    If car veers when braking, it can indicate a stuck adjuster OR worn shoes/ drums. These need investigating.

    Hope this helps.


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