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oh bother, said Pooh (brakes...)
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rudar
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 11:58 am    Post subject: oh bother, said Pooh (brakes...) Reply with quote

So I did get the brake drums off after 5 hours with the penetrating oil. That meant I ran out of time to bleed them, but drove down to get her AirCared anyway. That was a bit harrowing, because the brakes were, well, rather mushy. Then today, being but a mechanic of very little brain, I fu-bared on that whole righty-tighty thing and broke off one of the bleed nipples Sad

Is it likely that this is something I could recover from at my FLAPS? Or are the bleed nipples either some non-standard metric size, or would this necessitate replacing the whole slave cylinder? (I hope not....)

My plan of attack would be to remove the drum and shoes again to prevent contamination, apply penetrating oil to the remains of the nipple, use a screw extractor to remove the part in there (it already has a nice hole in the middle...), mop up whatever brake fluid leaks out, thread in a new nipple, clean and reassemble the brake, and then continue bleeding as per instructions. Does this sound reasonable? I kinda need this to go off without too many more hitches, as I am due to drive out of town tomorrow, and it took long enough to organise this trip, I really don't want to have to give it up...

Thanks for any hints y'all can share...
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you could go through all of what you described. Most auto parts stores have that "HELP" rack that usually has a selection of bleeder valves. NAPA has some as well.

I understand that you plan to leave tomorrow but if I had the choice, I would just replace the whole wheel cylinder instead of spending time toiling over a part of unknown condition. Besides, it will probably take exactly the same amount of time, if not less, to just replace it.
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yep like loogy said, If you can get it out, it's just a regular one, getting it out is the problem.
Wheel cylinders only cost me 10.00 each when I bought them, but that was through the mail, when you check the auto parts place for bleeder screws check their price on the cylinder to.
You know it shouldn't take to long to get it apart again. Wink
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r39o
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with loogy.

But, for quite a different reason. You ABSOLUTELY do not want to get any contaminates into your brake fluid. If you are extra cheap, you could take the cylinder out, repair and rebuild it. That means washing it all out with alcohol, blowing it dry, reassembling it with McKays silicon brake assembly lube and putting in a new bleeder. All the while being careful not to f up the rubber parts inside the $7 or so wheel cylinder.

Catch our collective drifts here?

Enjoy
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rudar
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points. I must admit I had not realised the cylinders were so cheap ($14 at CIP). Of course, in the meantime, I ran out to NAPA already, and while they didn't have any bleed valves, they're getting one in from the warehouse this afternoon. But maybe I'll see if they have the whole cylinder instead when I go back tomorrow morning...

And of course, while I'm at it, I did notice that the bleed valve on the *other* wheel was sticking out at a rather surprising angle, rather than straight out as on this wheel...

Now, would I be less likely to contaminate the brake fluid attaching a new cylinder than threading in a new valve? I suppose so. What precautions should I take to make sure of that, though? Spray brake cleaner all over where the hose connects, wipe it down, and work quickly but carefully? Or are there further precautions I should take?
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rudar
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and meant to add, on the off chance that NAPA doesn't have the cylinders, would it be sane to buy the bleeder valves (assuming they're a few bucks), put them in, and promise 'er that I'll put new cylinders from CIP in next week when I get back from this trip? Or would that risk breaking something else expensive, or risk *not* braking the van, and thus breaking *me*?
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it were me, I would first try to loosen that other bleed valve that's at the funky angle to see if you can actually bleed the brakes without breaking off another valve.

My opinion is that you would fine replacing just the valves and then, when you get back from your trip, either rebuild your old cylinders or replace them with new ones (the better option). Just do your best to keep as much crap out of the wheel cylinder as possible. I think that the biggest concern would be metal shavings and rust particles. Covering the Easy-Out with grease would help contain a bit of that. After you have the valve(s) removed and before you install the new valves, compress the wheel cylinder to force out any crap filled fluid that is is still in the cylinders.


If you have to drill out the old valve, well, Your on your own. That would put lots of metal shavings in the cylinder and your only hope of complete removal would be to disassemble the cylinder.


Just a quick note about CIP, I have ordered parts from them in the past and have not had good luck at all. Wrong parts, damaged parts, cheap Chinese parts, etc. Just a word of caution.
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rudar
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm. Most of the parts going into the van have been CIP, so far. Then again, I did just call NAPA, and they do have the cylinders in stock, but for $37, compared to CIP's $14...

I'll try bleeding the left wheel (that I haven't broken yet, though it's the one with the solidly rusted-on drum and the valve at an odd angle), and then decide. I'm pretty sure the bleed valve on the right side did move a quarter turn before breaking as I brain-farted and turned it the wrong way, so it's probably not that seized up, and should hopefully loosen with an extractor; it already has a handy hole down the middle so shouldn't require any drilling... I guess I can shove the extractor in there and try loosen it before going to NAPA and making final decisions. If I break the extractor off in there, I'm *definitely* replacing the whole cylinder right now, even at $37 Smile
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riceye
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Rudar,

Don't forget that you need to remove the brake line as you replace the wheel cylinder. If the drum and the bleeder were that stubborn, I'm betting that removing the line will be equally difficult. Be sure you use the special wrench that bites on all six corners, but has a gap to go over the brake line. It is called - not surprisingly - a line wrench.

Be gentle. Go back and forth. Soak it well with pene oil first. Make sure that the end of the brake line DOES NOT cause the line to turn with it as you unscrew it from the wheel cylinder, or you will be replacing the brake line, as well.

Here in the rust belt, one bad brake line leads to two, then four, and so on. PITA! Evil or Very Mad

I'm hoping yours comes off really easily, but it may be better to prepare yourself for the worst.

Gluck auf,
Ric
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r39o
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EXACTLY!

In fact, when you do get the system open all sorts of fluid is going to run out too. What a mess.

It is basically time to flush / pump fresh fluid through anyways.

I know you don't want to deal with this now, but it is sorta a fact of life about brakes. If they don't work, you need to fix them NOW. Otherwise they can ruin your whole day when you have an accident because they were not working right.
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1990 Multivan EJ 22, Rancho trans 0.82 4th, Small Car front AC, CLKs w/ 215/65-16, homemade big brakes 303mm, Konis, Recaros, etc....

Click to see my ads for Cup holders, Subaru clutch fix and CLK wheels (no wheels currently)
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rudar
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, for an update, the reason the bleeder valve on the left was at an odd angle is that it was 90% shorn off. And while I had some hope that the one on the right maybe wasn't too badly fused (it did tighten a quarter turn before breaking), anything I'm going to want to do on the left will require lots of patience and penetrating oil. So this week's trip is off, and I've ordered two new wheel cylinders from CIP. I haven't had any problems with their parts, though they did forget to mail one order. They made good in a hurry when we figured that out, and it was on my doorstep 8 hours later, so I forgave them that, though Smile

Now, while I'm at it, part of the reason I started f****ing with the brakes in the first place is that I developed an odd squeal at stop-and-go speeds that was there when I *wasn't* touching the brake pedal, but that went away when I was. There was a *different* squeal once the brake shoes hit the drum. Now, on my short and hair-raising test drive to the AirCare place, I was still noticing the first of those sqeals, though the second one was less noticeable. So merely replacing the shoes appears to not have cured it. Any ideas what might be dragging where, and how to test it? Given that I can't see what's going on inside the drums until taking the drums off...
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riceye
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Rudar,

Based upon the persistent squeal, and your difficulty removing the drum, I would offer that you probably have a frozen wheel cylinder. Hydraulic pressure pushes the pistons out, but they cannot retract due to rust or some other obstruction. The shoes maintain contact with the drum, which causes the squeal. The same can happen (and more frequently does) with calipers on disc brakes.

You are on the right track by replacing the wheel cylinders. As you finish, be sure to completely flush the hydraulic system - front and rear. Here's how:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=187813&highlight=bleed+brakes

You may want to flush and bleed the clutch, as well, if it is a manual transmission.

Gluck auf,
Ric
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to find a local parts house speciallizing in VW's. Ask around surely there must be one near you. Napa will charge you 2 or 3 times as much for a part that is often inferior, while having to wait days for a mail order is frustrating. Save you sanity and find a good local source.
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jalopyjockey
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good call on replacing the cylinders...put a new part in there and save the seals/reuseable stuff from the old one for an emergency rebuild kit...ive tried to extract broken bleeders and its a royal pain with those crappy pot/white metal screws...its one them ole gumption traps...you watch the filings come out so you try and try to get the extractor to bite and then snap it off when you end up lodged in the steel...i did that to a brand new clutch slave....never again will i use vise grips on those screws
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rudar
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, unfortunately the VW parts dealer that had a local storefront closed that storefront. CIP is only about an hour's drive away, if the van is working, so that's pretty much local. Of course, usually when I need parts, I'm either not in a hurry and buying enough to qualify for free shipping, or in a hurry because the van won't work without them, so driving out there isn't really an option Smile
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