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Brake problem
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BlissBignall
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:18 am    Post subject: Brake problem Reply with quote

Yesterday, when I left the office and swung past the grocery store, I noticed my brake pedal was hard - no play at all. I also noted that the Thing seemed to have the brakes partially applied, and wasn't free-rolling. Fortunately, I was only a mile-or-so from home, so got the car home and parked. This morning, the pedal is still hard, but the car can be pushed easily enough. Obviously, I'm not driving it till I get this fixed.

Doing some research, I'm thinking I may have a master cylinder problem, but am open to any ideas or suggestions. My front brakes (drum) were just redone a few months ago, but I've not messed with the rear at all.
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doublecanister
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: Brake problem Reply with quote

Hey BlissBignall,

From what I've experienced and from what you describe, almost sounds like
a mechanical stop of some sort, either in the M/C or the pedal assembly causing it to stick?

Esp if the THING will roll and the brakes are not on Full.

Funny, you'd think you'd want a "stiff pedal" for brakes right? Very Happy

Unless someone else has seen this, my best guess would be to try to bleed the brakes and see if you get any pedal movement, thinking if you open the system and it's NOT the M/C you would get pedal movement.
But how you describe it, it does sound like a pedal bind or M/C issue.

Ok, now I'm curious myself, please let us know what you find.

Good luck too, hope it's a simple fix.

T
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BlissBignall
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Brake problem Reply with quote

doublecanister wrote:
Hey BlissBignall,

From what I've experienced and from what you describe, almost sounds like
a mechanical stop of some sort, either in the M/C or the pedal assembly causing it to stick?

Esp if the THING will roll and the brakes are not on Full.

Funny, you'd think you'd want a "stiff pedal" for brakes right? Very Happy

Unless someone else has seen this, my best guess would be to try to bleed the brakes and see if you get any pedal movement, thinking if you open the system and it's NOT the M/C you would get pedal movement.
But how you describe it, it does sound like a pedal bind or M/C issue.

Ok, now I'm curious myself, please let us know what you find.

Good luck too, hope it's a simple fix.

T


I'm leaning more and more to a problem in the master cylinder, but I am going to bleed the brakes and see if that relieves some of the pressure. I also want to give the lines a look while I'm down there.

I don't mind a nice firm brake pedal, but when it won't move at all, I have to draw a line. Surprised
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BlissBignall
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Brake problem Reply with quote

We tore into it this afternoon, and the first thing we discovered was that the handbrake cable for the driver's side had gotten jammed up. I don't tend to use the handbrake, but my son drove the Thing back from lunch yesterday, and did. Once the cable was un-jammed (at the handle end), we bled the brakes all around (got some air out too!), and took it for a test run around the block.

I'm happy to report she seems to be back in running (stopping) condition.

I'm guessing what happened is when the cable jammed up, it was putting pressure on the left rear brake, and so the system brake pressure just kept mounting. Left to sit, the pressure would ease enough that I could push the car, but not enough to release the brake pedal. Kinda interesting.
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BlissBignall
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Brake problem Reply with quote

So...I'm back. After fixing the handbrakes and bleeding the brake lines yesterday, I thought the problem was fixed. I drove the car around some this morning (less than 10 miles total), with no problem. This afternoon, I went out to put the car away and discovered the brakes are seized up again, and the pedal is hard (solid...no play at all).

I know if I pop a bleeder valve the pressure will release, but I don't think I want to do that all the time. What do you think? Could it be master cylinder?
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Zylinderkopf
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:42 am    Post subject: Re: Brake problem Reply with quote

At this point I would lift it up and check each wheel to see if it spins freely. You may need to pull the drums and see if anything is amiss. One time I had my front wheel lock up on my '66 beetle and when I pulled the drum off I saw that a big piece of the brake shoe lining had broken off and wedged itself between the shoe and the drum.
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Q-Dog
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:04 am    Post subject: Re: Brake problem Reply with quote

The problem sounds a lot like improper brake push rod adjustment. If the rod is too long the piston inside the master remains over the compensation port and as the fluid in the system expands it can't get out, thus pressurizing the system.

You could try to loosen up the push rod a little, but the better idea would be to follow proper adjustment procedure in the service manual. It will guide you to proper way to adjust pedal freeplay and correct pedal distance from the forward bulkhead.

I know the procedure for a late beetle but have no idea if it is the same for a Thing.
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perello
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:33 am    Post subject: Re: Brake problem Reply with quote

^^ its the same
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ldj1002
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:35 am    Post subject: Re: Brake problem Reply with quote

Hummm, no one has mentioned the rubber line has gone bad. Fluid can't return right leaving shoes against drum so will drag too much and causing hard or high peddle because system is already nearly full.
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Q-Dog
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:26 am    Post subject: Re: Brake problem Reply with quote

On a beetle, set the pedal height (use the stop on the floor under the pedals) so there is 7 7/8" movement from the back of the pedal to the forward bulkhead. Only after this distance is set do you adjust the pedal push rod for 1mm free play at the master cylinder.

I've done these adjustments so many times I know when it feels correct and rarely measure any more.
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Q-Dog
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:31 am    Post subject: Re: Brake problem Reply with quote

ldj1002 wrote:
Hummm, no one has mentioned the rubber line has gone bad. Fluid can't return right leaving shoes against drum so will drag too much and causing hard or high peddle because system is already nearly full.


Not a bad idea to change the hoses if they are more than about 15 years old or if the system sat open or empty for a long time. But, bad hoses don't usually make the pedal hard when the car sits in a parking lot all day and don't usually affect all 4 wheels.
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:02 am    Post subject: Re: Brake problem Reply with quote

I would take a floor jack with me and then when it happens pull over and jack up the front and turn each wheel to see if one is hanging up and then do the same to the rear. See if you can isolate it to a certain wheel then work backwards from that by pulling the drum to check everything, the wheel cylinder, the flexible brake hose for that wheel...
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:45 am    Post subject: Re: Brake problem Reply with quote

Sounds like either the push rod adjustment or foreign matter blocking the ports in the master cylinder to me.

I have seen it as a summer problem where the push rod adjustment was just barely off and the pushrod would lengthen with the heat and cause the brakes to drag. Once the temperature dropped at the end of the day the rod would shorten and the brakes would work fine again.
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BlissBignall
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Brake problem Reply with quote

So, long story short, the problem was the brake line going to the right rear wheel. A little flap of the inside of the line was acting like a check valve and not releasing the pressure from the wheel cylinder.

It's fixed now though! And just in time to take a drive on a beautiful, warm February day too!
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BlissBignall
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Brake problem Reply with quote

Or...maybe not. Drove it to work, and after work, the rears were locked again (or at least the right side). I had to pop the bleed valve to let off pressure so I could drive it home.

My mechanic has taken this on as a point of pride, at this point, and is working on it on his dime. Personally, I'm thinking the problem may be the brake pedal needing adjustment so the push rod can fully extend. We'll see what he comes up with...
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BlissBignall
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Brake problem Reply with quote

Duplicate post somehow...
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Last edited by BlissBignall on Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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BlissBignall
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:44 am    Post subject: Re: Brake problem Reply with quote

It appears there were multiple culprits. I had a bad brake line going to the right rear AND my rear pads badly needed replacing (adjusted out so far they wouldn't return right) AND my master cylinder push rod was a bit out of adjustment.

Just goes to show, old cars can be interesting!
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1969 Beetle...That was fun!
1972 Beetle...Never ran right
1974 Thing....Fully restored and runs great!
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