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Re: [T3] Rear brakes binding

On 30 Jul 99, at 13:24, everettb@prodigy.net wrote:

> Hello.  This in regards to my '63 Notchback rear drum brakes.
> I've noticed that after about 40 minutes of driving, the rear S>@egin
> to bind.  I was doing a bunch of errands this morning before work and I
> noticed that, by the time I got about a mile from work, the brakes began
> binding such that I did not have to apply the brakes when stopped at a
> stoplight.  By the time I reached work, both rear hubcaps were very hot
> and pedal travel had decreased.

I assume that you realize that this is dangerous. If it gets hot 
enough the fluid will boil in the sheel cylinders and you will lose 
your brakes. Since this is a 63 it only has a simplex system so this 
means that you will lose ALL your brakes. Don't be fooled into 
thinking that it will be hard to get things hot enough to boil the 
fluid. It's easy. And you can also ruin all the rubber parts in there 
as well: wheel cylinder seals and wheel bearing seals.

> I replaced the e-brake cables last weekend, along with all the rubber
> brake hoses.  I completely bled the brakes (i.e. changed the fluid) and
> adjusted all the brake shoes and e-brake at that time per Haynes.  The
> binding was evident before that work was done, it occurred after only
> about 15 minutes of driving so I did see an immediate improvement.

A mistake that is commonly made is to adjust the E-brake cables when 
the adjusters at the wheels are not adjusted. Always adjust the wheel 
adjusters first; if in doubt, loosen the cables, then adjust the 
wheel adjusters, then adjust the cable adjusters. Later brake 
adjustments only require that you touch the wheel adjusters; the 
cable adjusters only need to be touched when installing new cables or 
when fixing a botched previous "repair."

> I read the archives and it referred to either adjusting the master
> cylinder pushrod or replacing the rear wheel cylinders.  The pushrod seems
> to be correctly adjusted.

As long as there is SOME free play in the brake pedal travel, this is 
not the problem. There MUST be SOME free play. The brake pedal must 
also return freely, and on its own, all the way back to the pedal 

> Both rear brakes seemed to be binding eYc"ut there probably is no way
> to know that for sure.  There was no brake pull to either side when I
> applied the brakes, just a noticeable drag.

You have either adjusted the shoes too tight, or there is a problem 
with the free play, or the cable/wheel adjuster interplay. It is 
POSSIBLE that the wheel cylinders are hanging up, but this is less 

Jim Adney, jadney@vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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