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Emergency Brake Adjustment Procedure Needed for the Syncro
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warmblood58
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:01 am    Post subject: Emergency Brake Adjustment Procedure Needed for the Syncro Reply with quote

Hello All, need to adjust syncro ebrake (1987) as it is barely holding. I remember a procedure where the brake handle was pulled up 5 clicks or so and then adjusting at the star adjusters until they could not be turned and then releasing the ebrake to ensure no dragging . . . I believe that the ebrake self adjusts but no doubt the star adjusters are gunked up and want to do this procedure first adjusting at the drum adjusters. I'll clean star adjusters later when I pull drums in the spring. Anyone have a procedure? Thanks!
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borninabus
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vans don't have star adjusters like all the VWs that proceeded them.
the rear brakes are "self adjusting" and they use a turnbuckle type thingy to do the adjusting.

the "right" way to adjust your e-brake is to remove the rear drums de-gunk everything in there--especially the adjuster.
put everything back where it's supposed to go and adjust the shoes out to 1.5mm less than the diameter of the drum.
put the drum back on and give em a few pumps; they should drag sightly.

if they still require adjustment after that then it can be done @ the cable adjustment under the van about mid way.

don't over-think it too hard Wink
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warmblood58
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, hope I still have my Bentley manual around somewhere. So no access to adjuster on the back side of the brake plate?
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are self adjusting brakes but there is an adjuster to set the shoes.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Hopefully these sites will help, besides the Bentley Wink

http://www.vanagonparts.com/brakes.html
http://www.vanagonauts.com/Rear-Brake-Adjustment233.htm
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6099719
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I remember a procedure where the brake handle was pulled up 5 clicks or so and then adjusting at the star adjusters until they could not be turned and then releasing the ebrake to ensure no dragging


Nope, on a van this old, it is a good idea to first back off the nut on the adjusting rod under the van, then adjust the rear brakes. There should be a plug top center above the spindle where you can get a screw driver or brake spoon and adjust up shoes till they drag and back off a click or two. Then go back underneath and tighten the nut you backed off in step one till you have 3 clicks on the hand brake. This assumes your rear brakes are done correctly. You will be amazed how good the pedal feels with properly adjusted rear brakes. I have seen better auto brake adjusters than what the Vanagon came with.
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warmblood58
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsxsr wrote:
Quote:
I remember a procedure where the brake handle was pulled up 5 clicks or so and then adjusting at the star adjusters until they could not be turned and then releasing the ebrake to ensure no dragging


Nope, on a van this old, it is a good idea to first back off the nut on the adjusting rod under the van, then adjust the rear brakes. There should be a plug top center above the spindle where you can get a screw driver or brake spoon and adjust up shoes till they drag and back off a click or two. Then go back underneath and tighten the nut you backed off in step one till you have 3 clicks on the hand brake. This assumes your rear brakes are done correctly. You will be amazed how good the pedal feels with properly adjusted rear brakes. I have seen better auto brake adjusters than what the Vanagon came with.


Exactly what I was looking for, thanks!
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Emergency Brake Adjustment Procedure Needed for the Sync Reply with quote

Actually your probably wasting your time. I've fixed dozens of vanagon rear
brakes and not one has ever needed a E-brake adjustment, if still
set at the factory specs. Many times, almost all, I find some idiot mechanics
was in there prior and messed everything up.
You need to check over the rear brakes, and all the hardware very carefully first!


warmblood58 wrote:
Hello All, need to adjust syncro ebrake (1987) as it is barely holding. I remember a procedure where the brake handle was pulled up 5 clicks or so and then adjusting at the star adjusters until they could not be turned and then releasing the ebrake to ensure no dragging . . . I believe that the ebrake self adjusts but no doubt the star adjusters are gunked up and want to do this procedure first adjusting at the drum adjusters. I'll clean star adjusters later when I pull drums in the spring. Anyone have a procedure? Thanks!


Last edited by 1vw4x4 on Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Californio
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While we're on the subject, my 1987 Syncro has a related e-brake problem--the cross bar where the brake cables split is way at an angle, as if the the rear cables are different lengths. So much so that one cable kept popping out of its hole until I put on a zip tie. The rear brakes were redone less than 10K miles ago but this problem predates that.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Californio wrote:
While we're on the subject, my 1987 Syncro has a related e-brake problem--the cross bar where the brake cables split is way at an angle, as if the the rear cables are different lengths. So much so that one cable kept popping out of its hole until I put on a zip tie. The rear brakes were redone less than 10K miles ago but this problem predates that.


The cross-bar should at somewhat of an angle but that sounds like too much. Can you post a pic?
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Californio
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok I have a few pics, not great because I couldn't get in there with the driveshaft protectors on. This is best:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



If you turn your head sideways, sorry, you can see it's at about a 30* angle.

Also, the nut is adjusted almost as far up as it will go.
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warmblood58
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Emergency Brake Adjustment Procedure Needed for the Sync Reply with quote

Can the adjusters be reversed accidentally? Ive heard this can happen on the vanagon
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, they could be put on the wrong side. There is a left set and a right set. The one with a L on it goes on the passenger side.
Typically the brakes need to be adjusted with the star adjuster and then backed off a few turns to keep everything tight.
Adjusting the rear brakes does a good job of firming up the brake pedal feel as well.


Last edited by syncrodoka on Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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warmblood58
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

syncrodoka wrote:
Yes, they could be put on the wrong side. There is a left set and a right set.
Typically the brakes need to be adjusted with the star adjuster and then backed off a few turns to keep everything tight.
Adjusting the rear brakes does a good job of firming up the brake pedal feel as well.


thanks!
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Californio wrote:
Ok I have a few pics, not great because I couldn't get in there with the driveshaft protectors on. This is best:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



If you turn your head sideways, sorry, you can see it's at about a 30* angle.

The angle is normal, they are made to pull that way.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


That front brake cable looks fairly bent, might be worth replacing while the parts are still available. These parts have gone out of stock in the past and recently became available again.
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Californio
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for clarifying. Now to figure out why it slips out like that. Will post later if needed, don't want to hijack this thread.
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EL31415
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Learned something new today.
And saved me a trip under my van to try to "rectified" that ebrake cable angle.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The correct proceedure here is to adjust up the rear brakes properly, then, and only then if you do not have much e-brake application when you yank on the handle, then adjust the cable at the center cable union.
In this instance your front cable is stretched beyond correct adjustment.

Get a new front cable--then start adjusting.
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Last edited by Terry Kay on Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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warmblood58
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What makes sense to me is to simply adjust brakes via adjuster until locked and back off so wheel spins free and check ebrake. If still too much handle travel required then adjust under van at union/rod. I do agree that pulling drums and checking assembly on a new (new to me) vehicle is always worthwhile as you just never know . . . I have found the craziest things in my wrenching experiences with used vehicles not to mention houses . . . .kinda like the time I cut into an active black waste line with a sawzall and cut through paired 220 and 110 LIVE conduit . . . . almost used a hacksaw that day, thank god I got lazy at the last moment . . . Previous owner thought using an active waste line to run electrical was a good idea . . . .Nope.
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warmblood58
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Syncro Jael wrote:
They are self adjusting brakes but there is an adjuster to set the shoes.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Hopefully these sites will help, besides the Bentley Wink

http://www.vanagonparts.com/brakes.html
http://www.vanagonauts.com/Rear-Brake-Adjustment233.htm
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6099719


Thanks Jael, now very timely. The PO rebuilt the rear brakes and as I suspected based on brake feeling and lack of adjustment, he managed to swap r&l hand adjusters so time to take it apart and get it right, thanks again!
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, the Corter thread has detailed pictures of the rear assembly and the correct mounting of the adjusters.
Before any trolls chime in, YES, I mounted them wrong in the initial setup of the brake system.
They were changed immediately, no harm no foul.

As far as how to adjust....
Ken Wilfy / VanAgain has a great writeup from years ago.
Paraphrased, having the rear drums spinning but dragging a tiny bit on the pads is where you want the final brake adjustment.
The pads will wear in within a few miles.
You can radius pads, use lower shims or adjusters to help position the pads at the drum arc better.....all covered in other brake threads.

The emergency brake is very easy to adjust when the rear brakes are properly adjusted.
Take out any slack in the lines and adjust at the rod, midway to the cabin.

Using a split piece of vacuum line over the cable/rod where it passes threw the chassis cross members is a great way to limit any noise that the rod may make over rough terrain.

I prefer two clicks to hold and three to hold on a slight incline.

As with rear disc brake conversions, if you want amazing offroad holding power, custom cables that adjust is the answer there.
Again, other threads have the info and part numbers if one wishes to purchase.
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