1977 Bus - Brakes Drag & Pull

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Sluggo
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1977 Bus - Brakes Drag & Pull

Post by Sluggo » Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:26 pm

My brakes work and stop the Bus just fine. But I noticed a few weird things on the trip.

1. Sometimes I pull to the left when braking. Sometimes I don't.
2. Sometimes the pedal barely moves before it has an effect. Sometimes it goes halfway down.
3. E-Brake will travel sometimes 3, sometimes 6 or 9-10 clicks before grabbing.
4. Sometimes it feels like the brakes are dragging. Only really noticed this on the trip after long hauls.
5. Sometimes the brakes squeal at low speeds when I'm not applying the brakes. Only really noticed this on the trip after long hauls.
6. Brake warning light does not come on before start up. Only comes on with e-brake.
7. Right rear front adjusting star keeps backing out. Probably just need to tighten the spring.

No loss of fluid.

I already replaced the rear cylinders, drums & shoes. Brakes have been bleed thoroughly, twice. Will be replacing front rotors, pads, hoses & the rear hoses next weekend. Bought a Motive Power Bleeder to make my job easier and because my Wife gets really annoyed sitting there pumping brakes forever.
:vwgauge420:

1977 Bus with Sunroof - "Lucky '77"
2000cc Type IV w/Dual Weber 36s,
Aircooled.net SVDA w/Compufire,
Redline Weber Fuel Pump,
Holley Regulator,
Half Ass Brush & Roller Rustoleum Paint Job,
Incomplete Custom Interior,
Dual Batteries,
Crunched Slider Door.
------------------------------------------------------

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Amskeptic
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Re: 1977 Bus - Brakes Drag & Pull

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:44 pm

Sluggo wrote: 1. Sometimes I pull to the left when braking. Sometimes I don't.
2. Sometimes the pedal barely moves before it has an effect. Sometimes it goes halfway down.
3. E-Brake will travel sometimes 3, sometimes 6 or 9-10 clicks before grabbing.
4. Sometimes it feels like he brakes are dragging. Only really noticed this on the trip after long hauls.
5. Sometimes the brakes squeal at low speeds when I'm not applying the brakes. Only really noticed this on the trip after long hauls.
6. Brake warning light does not come on before start up. Only comes on with e-brake.
7. Right rear front adjusting star keeps backing out. Probably just need to tighten the spring.
1) Normal
2) Depends on shoe retraction, a variable.
3) Adjust shoes until wheels are hard to turn, both adjusters equally on both sides. Step firmly on brake pedal. Apply ebrake firmly. Release ebrake then pedal. Go back and see if wheels are easier to turn now. Adjust adjusters to 2 or 3 "clicks' back from dragging. Allow scraping sound for up to 180* of rotation.
NOW adjust ebrake cables for locked rear wheels at 8 clicks. Make sure they release when you release ebrake.
4) Dragging can be caused by ebrake cables rusted inside the sheaths that pass under the spring plates. Apply ebrake firmly with wheels off the ground. Slowly release ebrake. Go to each wheel in turn to check for drag. If you think you might have some drag, grab the cable sheath under the spring plate and pull downwards and snap back up. Does this help wheel rotate? Make it worse? Either is cause for disassembling rear brakes, removing retainer clip, and wrestling the ebrake cable out so you can lubricate the cable and sheath. Replace entire cable assembly if the rubber sheath has split or cracked and you can see the metal spiral underneath all rusted.

5) Typical.

7) If your star spring locks are busted clean off, get a flat chisel and whack the edge of the anchor at the hole where the adjuster goes in so you have two little raised grooves on each side of your chisel trench. These should help lock the adjuster in place under load, yet let you adjust the brakes with no resistance.
Colin

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Re: 1977 Bus - Brakes Drag & Pull

Post by Sluggo » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:54 pm

Amskeptic wrote:1) Normal
Never had that problem in my '72. Is there a way to correct it?
2) Depends on shoe retraction, a variable.
Makes sense.
3) Adjust shoes until wheels are hard to turn, both adjusters equally on both sides. Step firmly on brake pedal. Apply ebrake firmly. Release ebrake then pedal. Go back and see if wheels are easier to turn now. Adjust adjusters to 2 or 3 "clicks' back from dragging. Allow scraping sound for up to 180* of rotation.
NOW adjust ebrake cables for locked rear wheels at 8 clicks. Make sure they release when you release ebrake.
That's how I set them before the trip. Except I set them for 6 clicks. Then it started changing.
4) Dragging can be caused by ebrake cables rusted inside the sheaths that pass under the spring plates. Apply ebrake firmly with wheels off the ground. Slowly release ebrake. Go to each wheel in turn to check for drag. If you think you might have some drag, grab the cable sheath under the spring plate and pull downwards and snap back up. Does this help wheel rotate? Make it worse? Either is cause for disassembling rear brakes, removing retainer clip, and wrestling the ebrake cable out so you can lubricate the cable and sheath. Replace entire cable assembly if the rubber sheath has split or cracked and you can see the metal spiral underneath all rusted.
Cables look like they were replaced in the last few years. Still shiny. No rust or cracking. When I had the rear brakes apart for the shoe, drum, cylinder replacement I moved them back & forth in the tube to make sure they were good & free.
5) Typical.
Really? Just doesn't seem right.
7) If your star spring locks are busted clean off, get a flat chisel and whack the edge of the anchor at the hole where the adjuster goes in so you have two little raised grooves on each side of your chisel trench. These should help lock the adjuster in place under load, yet let you adjust the brakes with no resistance.
When I was in there I put some anti seize on the stars. Could that be my problem? Too lubed? Retention spring is in tact and well connected but the star on that shoe is too easy to turn. I think I should just bend it up a little.

What about #6? I'll be replacing the brake pressure warning switches too. They were cheap (less than $4) so might as well.

I'm replacing the rotors because they are thin (maybe not too thin), scored & original.
:vwgauge420:

1977 Bus with Sunroof - "Lucky '77"
2000cc Type IV w/Dual Weber 36s,
Aircooled.net SVDA w/Compufire,
Redline Weber Fuel Pump,
Holley Regulator,
Half Ass Brush & Roller Rustoleum Paint Job,
Incomplete Custom Interior,
Dual Batteries,
Crunched Slider Door.
------------------------------------------------------

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covelo
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Re: 1977 Bus - Brakes Drag & Pull

Post by covelo » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:53 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
Sluggo wrote: 1. Sometimes I pull to the left when braking. Sometimes I don't.
1) Normal
Can you expand on this? Mine does this too and it has actually gotten worse since we replaced my brake pads this summer. I can't imagine that the VW engineers actually designed it this way.
‘80 Vanagon Westfalia - 54,400 miles
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Amskeptic
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Re: 1977 Bus - Brakes Drag & Pull

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:42 pm

covelo wrote:
Amskeptic wrote:
Sluggo wrote: 1. Sometimes I pull to the left when braking. Sometimes I don't.
1) Normal
Can you expand on this? Mine does this too and it has actually gotten worse since we replaced my brake pads this summer. I can't imagine that the VW engineers actually designed it this way.
It is a quirk that I am finding with so many VW buses. Even the BobD has this little feint to the left. I think it is a weird little issue with the fact that the left brake line is shorter than the right, and the fluid is only properly pushed to the right caliper after the left is satisfied. I dunno. I think it gets more noticeable as the pads wear. Or something.

Your recent pad replacement, covelo, retires a notion I was entertaining, that the feint left would not be so noticeable when the pads were new, but would get progressively worse as the pads worn and the pistons extended further out of their bores. Aaaaadunno.
Colin

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Ritter
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Post by Ritter » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:23 pm

Probably not related but new rubber brake lines fixed the left brake lock-up/swerve that I was experiencing when I purchased the bus.... :blackeye:
1978 Westfalia 2.0 FI

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Sluggo
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Post by Sluggo » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:38 pm

Ritter wrote:Probably not related but new rubber brake lines fixed the left brake lock-up/swerve that I was experiencing when I purchased the bus.... :blackeye:
Those will be replaced on Saturday.
:vwgauge420:

1977 Bus with Sunroof - "Lucky '77"
2000cc Type IV w/Dual Weber 36s,
Aircooled.net SVDA w/Compufire,
Redline Weber Fuel Pump,
Holley Regulator,
Half Ass Brush & Roller Rustoleum Paint Job,
Incomplete Custom Interior,
Dual Batteries,
Crunched Slider Door.
------------------------------------------------------

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Post by vdubyah73 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am

most of your troubles are caused by the adjuster backing off. pedal travel, e-brake clicks, pulling to the left. #7 causes #'s 1,2 and 3, 4 is part of your problem as well.

1) you pull left because the right rear brake is lazy due to the backed off adjuster.

2) sometimes you don't pull left because the r/r wheel cylinder hasn't been fully retracted since the last brake application, it doesn't have to fill all that extra space in the cylinder with fluid before moving the shoes into contact with the drum.

3) the above can explain the difference in clicks with the e-brake handle, sometimes the shoes on the right rear wheel haven't fully retracted from the last brake application.

4+5) shoes aren't readily retracting after brake application and possibly affecting e-brake setting and release, as well as affecting foot brake release, compounding the adjuster problem.

6) one of the M/C senders is bad? maybe not.

my 77 does the exact same things. I am gonna do Colins flat chisel fix and also paint a little bit of grease on the backing plate where the shoes contact and slide a bit, as well as the pivot of the e-brake lever. I don't use my e-brake much in the cold wet weather, especially overnight. it tends to freeze or the shoes rust bond to the drums. I'm gonna live with it till spring, the rhododendron leaves are shriveled up to the size of a pencil most days here. afraid I'll just snap a finger right off, trying to work outside , in these temps.
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Post by Sluggo » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:37 am

vdubyah73 wrote:most of your troubles are caused by the adjuster backing off. pedal travel, e-brake clicks, pulling to the left. #7 causes #'s 1,2 and 3, 4 is part of your problem as well.

1) you pull left because the right rear brake is lazy due to the backed off adjuster.

2) sometimes you don't pull left because the r/r wheel cylinder hasn't been fully retracted since the last brake application, it doesn't have to fill all that extra space in the cylinder with fluid before moving the shoes into contact with the drum.

3) the above can explain the difference in clicks with the e-brake handle, sometimes the shoes on the right rear wheel haven't fully retracted from the last brake application.

4+5) shoes aren't readily retracting after brake application and possibly affecting e-brake setting and release, as well as affecting foot brake release, compounding the adjuster problem.

6) one of the M/C senders is bad? maybe not.
This is pretty much what I was thinking. By the end of the weekend I'll have replaced everything on the front & rear except the hard lines, master cylinder, booster & front calipers. I know the MC and booster are good so if I still have problems I'll replace the calipers on the front.
:vwgauge420:

1977 Bus with Sunroof - "Lucky '77"
2000cc Type IV w/Dual Weber 36s,
Aircooled.net SVDA w/Compufire,
Redline Weber Fuel Pump,
Holley Regulator,
Half Ass Brush & Roller Rustoleum Paint Job,
Incomplete Custom Interior,
Dual Batteries,
Crunched Slider Door.
------------------------------------------------------

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Sluggo
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Post by Sluggo » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:13 pm

Didn't get to work on it this weekend. Other stuff came up. Next Saturday is my brat's birthday party so no go then either. Maybe I'll just do the hoses on Sunday. Leave the rotors & pads for the following weekend.
:vwgauge420:

1977 Bus with Sunroof - "Lucky '77"
2000cc Type IV w/Dual Weber 36s,
Aircooled.net SVDA w/Compufire,
Redline Weber Fuel Pump,
Holley Regulator,
Half Ass Brush & Roller Rustoleum Paint Job,
Incomplete Custom Interior,
Dual Batteries,
Crunched Slider Door.
------------------------------------------------------

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:19 pm

Sluggo wrote:Didn't get to work on it this weekend. Other stuff came up. Next Saturday is my brat's birthday party so no go then either. Maybe I'll just do the hoses on Sunday. Leave the rotors & pads for the following weekend.
To help us diagnostically, do one operation at a time and see which one gets rid of the pulling. I gots my ideas, others gots theirs, let's try to pinpoint this . . .
:cyclopsani:

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bretski
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Post by bretski » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:57 am

I'll throw this out there, for what it's worth. I had a problem with Klaus that, over time, gradually went from a slight pull to the left, to a downright dive.

It was a progressive deterioration of the right front caliper. Since replacement, the bus brakes nice and straight.
1978 Deluxe Westfalia - "Klaus"

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:49 pm

bretski wrote:I'll throw this out there, for what it's worth. I had a problem with Klaus that, over time, gradually went from a slight pull to the left, to a downright dive.

It was a progressive deterioration of the right front caliper. Since replacement, the bus brakes nice and straight.
That is a likely scenario. I had the slight feint left with the Road Warrior and ascribed it to the Vanagon caliper I put on the right side (the left, bless its little heart, was original to the day it was over). The BobD has a slight feint left too, and I ascribe it to its political leanings . .
Colin

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Post by Sluggo » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:58 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
bretski wrote:I'll throw this out there, for what it's worth. I had a problem with Klaus that, over time, gradually went from a slight pull to the left, to a downright dive.

It was a progressive deterioration of the right front caliper. Since replacement, the bus brakes nice and straight.
That is a likely scenario. I had the slight feint left with the Road Warrior and ascribed it to the Vanagon caliper I put on the right side (the left, bless its little heart, was original to the day it was over). The BobD has a slight feint left too, and I ascribe it to its political leanings . .
Colin
Mine would bee the downright dive. If I am holding the steering straight (fighting my misaligned wheels that pull right) I make a dramatic pull to the left when I hit the brakes and have to steer right to compensate. If I let go of the steering wheel and hit the brakes the steering wheel turns right on it's own and I stop straight.

I have noticed a click coming from the right caliper a split second after I hit the brakes. It happens about 1/3 of the time.

I'll replace the front & rear hoses on Sunday (checked and the old one are original dated 09-76) and then the rotors (with bearings) pads & calipers the following week. The current pads are good but the rotors are rough. Thick & shiny but rough.
:vwgauge420:

1977 Bus with Sunroof - "Lucky '77"
2000cc Type IV w/Dual Weber 36s,
Aircooled.net SVDA w/Compufire,
Redline Weber Fuel Pump,
Holley Regulator,
Half Ass Brush & Roller Rustoleum Paint Job,
Incomplete Custom Interior,
Dual Batteries,
Crunched Slider Door.
------------------------------------------------------

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bretski
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Post by bretski » Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:15 pm

Those were my exact symptoms, Sluggo. It became reflex for me to grip the wheel hard when braking, in anticipation of the dive to the left.

I have an extra caliper (rebuilt) in my spare parts stash should you end up needing it...
1978 Deluxe Westfalia - "Klaus"

"transcripts are overrated. hardware store receipts: those are useful." --skin daddio

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