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Inexpensive Front Disc Brake Kit
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thefladge
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 1:25 pm    Post subject: Inexpensive Front Disc Brake Kit Reply with quote

I recently installed a wide 5 disc brake kit from AC Industries on my Baja Bug.

So why am I posting this information here? My Baja Bug has Porsche 356B spindles and only some minor modifications had to be made to the kit to make it fit.

I figured this would be helpful to those who don't want to spend a fortune converting a 356. The kit costs about $380.

See here:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6054817&highlight=#6054817
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foamcar
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the great tip. As they claim these are stock vw parts possibly the right manual would show the pad installation. Need to know what model they are from.
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thefladge
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pads and calipers are VW Rabbit. Late 70's / early 80's era.
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Erik G
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thefladge wrote:
Pads and calipers are VW Rabbit. Late 70's / early 80's era.


Is this without question? The type 3 folks have lately been starting to use the AC Ind. or Empi ball joint wide 5 disc kit, as with a few mods it will work on the front of a type 3, and the wide 5 type 3 parts are pretty much non-existant.

We have been trying to narrow it down to exactly which caliper and pads the kit uses. I have heard rabbit, GTI, but never the exact year or model. Suppliers have been contacted with not much for results yet.

Thanks
Erik
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MoPor Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks pretty cheap as compared to $1100 for this however the Wilwood stuff should be great
http://airkewld.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemar...Itemid=252
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dawerks
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have that kit on my 356. EMPI makes it. Basically you can use any 'king and link' pin bug disc brake kit.

Personally if I had to redo the brakes, I would go with Vdbubengineerings kit;

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1124224
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MoPor Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another one http://www.autoatlanta.com/Porsche-Bolt-on-Ball-jo...22880.html
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dawerks
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 'wide 5' disc brake kits have one huge drawback in that they are insanely heavy. The rotors are bricks! Smile Well about 5 bricks each.
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MMW
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don't see the need for disc brakes on a street driven 356. If your drum brakes are adjusted correctly they should stop just fine. These cars are light weight.
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MoPor Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought people generally upgraded to front discs because it is easier and less expensive than refurbishing drums. If you have to send your drums out for relining and possibly replacement due to bad splines it isn't going to be cheap or quick. Perhaps I'm wrong here. Non-power discs are great.
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MMW
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MoPor wrote:
I thought people generally upgraded to front discs because it is easier and less expensive than refurbishing drums. If you have to send your drums out for relining and possibly replacement due to bad splines it isn't going to be cheap or quick. Perhaps I'm wrong here. Non-power discs are great.


Didn't think of it that way. You are right that a disc kit is cheaper than buying new drums or a refurb.
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1965 fenderless beetle
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Jacks
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MoPor wrote:
I thought people generally upgraded to front discs because it is easier and less expensive than refurbishing drums. If you have to send your drums out for relining and possibly replacement due to bad splines it isn't going to be cheap or quick. Perhaps I'm wrong here. Non-power discs are great.

Often times "upgrade" can be confused with "change". The two are quite different. As is the constant in life, everything is a trade-off.
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jacks wrote:
Often times "upgrade" can be confused with "change". The two are quite different. As is the constant in life, everything is a trade-off.

I imagine a disc brake "change" is an upgrade for some and a downgrade for others. Smile Each to their own.
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356JAEGER
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For my money, the original drums work very well when properly maintained.
Attractive as discs may be, the gain in weight, the cost, replacement cost for the hub/disc unit and, for myself, the clincher, longevity. I also use type 5 silicone brake fluid. Some cite failed brake light switches and soft pedals using it. I have never had an issue in 10 years and when performing a bleed of the system, after 10 years had zip to purge. I think many of the 'problems' that seem to occur, are caused by the failure to replace any component that can retain trace of the old fluid. The pedal is a little softer than the discs in my 912 but that makes them easier to modulate, at least for myself. Just one more set of opinions from a 28 year owner/driver.
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dawerks
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much do new 356 front drums cost?

I tried to find an online supplier but I didn't really see anything listed (but I didn't search too hard).

I have a set of NOS drums, but I went with discs because I wanted to lower the front of my car as well. Pedal pressure is slightly higher, but it's a good time to replace the master cylinder with a modified dual circuit one for disc brakes.
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why did you have to go with discs to lower your car? I put drop spindles on my 59a & kept the drums. Also the bars are adjustable.
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356JAEGER
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The front of a 356 can be lowered or raised easily using the adjusting screws on the torsion bars, disc brakes are not a requirement. A dual circuit master cylinder will work on a drum or disc system, discs however, require an air bleed to allow the pads to retract. A single cylinder will not fail if properly maintained, and you do keep your emergency brake adjusted I hope ? That is also a 'dual circuit ' system, albeit manually operated. True, good used drums or having them relined is not inexpensive, but you'll only do it once.
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MMW wrote:
Why did you have to go with discs to lower your car? I put drop spindles on my 59a & kept the drums. Also the bars are adjustable.


Free bonus! Smile The adjustment on the beam is 'not enough'.

I guess with how little 356's are actually driven, the drums should last forever.
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erik G wrote:
thefladge wrote:
Pads and calipers are VW Rabbit. Late 70's / early 80's era.


Is this without question? The type 3 folks have lately been starting to use the AC Ind. or Empi ball joint wide 5 disc kit, as with a few mods it will work on the front of a type 3, and the wide 5 type 3 parts are pretty much non-existant.

We have been trying to narrow it down to exactly which caliper and pads the kit uses. I have heard rabbit, GTI, but never the exact year or model. Suppliers have been contacted with not much for results yet.

Thanks
Erik


The calipers came in boxes with the following part numbers:
171-615-423B Left
171-615-424B Right

The 171 indicates a VW Rabbit origin, although when I do a web search using those complete part numbers, all I get are websites about Chinese made Beetle parts.

I suspect they have altered the part numbers to throw us off the trail. I believe the real VW part numbers should be 171-615-123B and 171-615-124B.

These fit numerous late '70's to early '80's water cooled VWs including the Rabbit.

As for the pads, there was no part number on the box.
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1957 Vintage Baja Bug.
2110cc engine, 40 IDF Webers, Engle 120 cam, Bugpack Street Pro Heads, 12.5 pound Flywheel.

Parts for sale: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/search.php?username=thefladge
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Erik G
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thefladge wrote:
Erik G wrote:
thefladge wrote:
Pads and calipers are VW Rabbit. Late 70's / early 80's era.


Is this without question? The type 3 folks have lately been starting to use the AC Ind. or Empi ball joint wide 5 disc kit, as with a few mods it will work on the front of a type 3, and the wide 5 type 3 parts are pretty much non-existant.

We have been trying to narrow it down to exactly which caliper and pads the kit uses. I have heard rabbit, GTI, but never the exact year or model. Suppliers have been contacted with not much for results yet.

Thanks
Erik


The calipers came in boxes with the following part numbers:
171-615-423B Left
171-615-424B Right

The 171 indicates a VW Rabbit origin, although when I do a web search using those complete part numbers, all I get are websites about Chinese made Beetle parts.

I suspect they have altered the part numbers to throw us off the trail. I believe the real VW part numbers should be 171-615-123B and 171-615-124B.

These fit numerous late '70's to early '80's water cooled VWs including the Rabbit.

As for the pads, there was no part number on the box.


Well, that's an awesome start. I suppose the easiest thing would be to buy the set, and take the pads in and start looking for a match in the 80's rabbit era

This is good news, because almost all the 80's jetta/golf based cars are upgradeable, G60 brakes could probably be used.

Thanks much for the insight

As to drums, again Im a type3 guy, and i have never had an issue with single circuit drum brakes. Type 3's are very similar to 356 in that its a much larger drum and shoe, twin brakes cylinders on each wheel, etc. I even run a semi metallic top shoe and organic lower, for a little better performance. But, alas, our cars are not so popular, parts are not made, and where it makes sense to do 100pt or at least correct as possible on a 356, not so much on a type 3...yet.
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