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  View original topic: Seeking Feedback for Upgrading Brakes
2067Bug Sun May 28, 2023 3:43 pm

Iím thinking about upgrading my 57 Oval front brakes from 30mm to 40 mm (58-64) brakes. I have a nice set of correct backing plates and priced everything else out as new from WW. The plan is to go with new German drums, wheel cylinders, bearings, etc. For those of you that made the conversion, did you find that braking noticeable improved Ė was it worth it? Any regrets?

Thanks

Jacks Mon May 29, 2023 12:24 am

Yes, noticeably improved braking. Also added the Ď58/Ď65 front sway bar

AlteWagen Mon May 29, 2023 1:30 pm

Not sure if you are upgrading the rear as well but in the past the only repro rear drums were the 65-67 wider drums which fit and work but leave a lot of unused friction area when using 58-64 shoes. Id upgrade to the 65-67 backing plates, wheel cylinders and shoes to maximize what is available. Type III and Thing rear brakes are even bigger, still offer the wide 5 pattern and also help a ton of stopping power if you need it.

I agree on the sway bar, Id use a empi HD bar and paint it black to look stock. If you have more than 80hp and drive freeway a lot a HD rear sway bar is also a must. Even if driving slow on the freeway sway bars help from being tossed around by fast moving trucks passing you.

Jacks Mon May 29, 2023 2:27 pm

The brake bias works well with the 58/64 front system and the original 57 rears, which, if I am not mistaken, are the same diameter and width as the 58/64 rears. Of course, if power and speed modifications are in place, further brake mods may be required.
Regarding sway bars, back in the days when almost no speed equipment was available, we would weld two sway bars together at the ends, one on top of the other, and hog out the rubber mounting blocks to accept them. Worked quite well

sunroof Mon May 29, 2023 7:36 pm

I have done this as well and it is a good upgrade also Jacks idea of an antisway bar has a large impact on handling.

Don

pig-pen Tue May 30, 2023 3:05 am

I did front and back. Works great. Looks OG ish.

2067Bug Tue May 30, 2023 4:26 pm

Iím upgrading only the front brakes and will move the 19mm front wheel cylinders to the rear. Does anyone have a picture of the correct stock front antisway bar that fits a stock 57 beam? Highway speed is not a factor since Iím still cruising with the original 36hp engine. Thanks everyone for the feedback.

AlteWagen Tue May 30, 2023 10:09 pm

No factory sway bars for pre 60 beetles but the double dip ghia sway bar would be the era correct add on

Here is a thread from a year ago with some info

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=774258

EVfun Wed May 31, 2023 7:58 am

2067Bug wrote: Iím upgrading only the front brakes and will move the 19mm front wheel cylinders to the rear. Does anyone have a picture of the correct stock front antisway bar that fits a stock 57 beam? Highway speed is not a factor since Iím still cruising with the original 36hp engine. Thanks everyone for the feedback.
To me that would make the most sense as Bug '58-'67 brakes were 30mm wide in the back and ran a 19mm bore wheel cylinder.

It has been hard to get the correct wheel cylinders for '58-'64 brakes. If they claim the front wheel cylinders are '58-'77 they will certainly have wide brake shoes slots. Often when they claim they are '58-'64 they will have wide slots. The correct shoes for '58-'64 would have narrow slot wheel cylinders while '65 and newer have wide slot wheel cylinders and wide slot adjusters, and 3 resting spots for each shoe on the backing plate.

Using the wider front brakes will increase front track width 15mm (7.5mm per side). If the stock oval brakes are large enough for your driving needs you could just switch to the '65-'66 17mm master cylinder to reduce pedal effort. The smaller wheel cylinders on oval Bugs certainly increases the pedal effort compared to later Bugs.

The standard sway bar and clamps from any 40 horse era Bug should fit on an oval.

2067Bug Wed May 31, 2023 11:49 am

Very useful information. Thanks everyone for taking time to respond.

tcoop1100 Wed May 31, 2023 12:16 pm

I purchased a stock anti-sway bar and mounting kit from a later Bug for my '57 Sedan and it fit perfectly. I think the bars for link pin and ball joint cars are shaped differently, though, so you want to make sure you get one for a link pin car.



I like the idea of using the later front brakes- I may look into that for mine.

petrol punk Wed May 31, 2023 3:03 pm

I always had issues with rear axle leaks after installing 58-64 brakes. They have a different thickness backing plate. I replaced my 56 axle tubes with 58-60 axle tubes and haven't had a leak since.

2067Bug Fri Jun 16, 2023 1:56 pm

Just received all the parts to make the conversion from 57 front brakes to 58-64 brakes. However, I forgot to order the wheel cylinder bolt (now one bolt and formerly two). Can some tell me the correct size of the bolt and what type of washer goes with it. In the Gallery there are pictures, but the size is unclear. Thanks.

esde Fri Jun 16, 2023 4:04 pm

It's a short M8-1.25, maybe 20-25mm long. I would guess it's a flat washer, but possibly a "wave" type lock washer.

2067Bug Mon Jun 26, 2023 10:18 am

The conversion to 58-64 brakes went well. I had to bleed the new wheel cylinders for quit some time but they came around. Itís a nice improvement and definitely noticeable when stopping the car.

The brakes work great and the only thing I noticed was that the brake pedal goes down about an inch further than is used to before engaging the brakes. I did not change the MC or make any adjustment to the pushrod or the brake pedal stop plate.

Question: Does the upgrade to 58-64 brakes change the toe specification. Iím scheduled for an alignment and was going to bring the specification cited in my 52-57 workshop manual. Thanks

esde Mon Jun 26, 2023 5:10 pm

Toe is unchanged.
Congrats on getting it done! Did you get new drums or use old ones?

2067Bug Tue Jun 27, 2023 12:48 pm

I bought the German drums, wheel cylinders, bearings, etc., from WW. Expensive, but not as expensive as not being able to stop when needed. Thanks for the feedback.

Albertoprop17 Wed Jun 28, 2023 1:26 am

If you want to improve even more the front brake performance, use superbeetle brake cylinders, as they are bigger than the non super ones.

Also, as mentioned before, you can install 68 and later brakes with csp conversion drums (I'm running those on my 54), which have the 40mm shoes, but maybe need to be machined down to fully thighten on a short axle car.

In addition, a 19mm dual circuit master cylinder is a good upgrade for both performance and safety.

sunroof Wed Jun 28, 2023 6:18 am

Quote: The brakes work great and the only thing I noticed was that the brake pedal goes down about an inch further than is used to before engaging the brakes.

Try my method of adjusting brakes: Tighten all the adjusters as tight as you can. This takes a bit of doing, you have to adjust one side till the drum rubs, then adjust the other side until it is a little tighter and go back and forth with each one until they are so tight you can barely move the wheel. Do all 4 wheels this way. Once all 4 are as tight as you can make them, get in the car and step on the brakes as hard as you can several times then go back to the wheels and adjust any that have loosened off. Repeat this until everything is tight and doesn't change when you step as hard as you can on the pedal. Now go around adjusting everything so the shoes barely rub and the wheel spins freely. Again you will need to go back and forth to make sure each adjuster is just right. This is the only method I have found to get a high firm pedal every time. This will also show up any warped drums.

Don



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