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Re: [T3] Brake confusion

On 9 Dec 2002 at 10:51, Westfalia wrote:

> Teach a man to fish....ah well, you know the rest.

Don't worry, I don't take this the wrong way. I hope you won't either.

For most things I really don't mind passing on what I've learned, and for some 
of those things I've managed to write up a FAQ which I think is pretty 
exhaustive. The problem is that I just haven't had time to write everything 
down, and if I did, it would be a book that you would probably expect to pay 
something for.  

I'm afraid that it's just not easy to cover all the possibilities, and all the 
pitfalls to look out for. There are different caliper styles, different brands 
of kits, different lubricants. Ways to, and not to, remove broken bleed valves. 
The list is pretty endless, and that's just for brakes.  

These days I'm having more and more trouble getting the old calipers apart. I'm 
sure that part of the problem is that I'm getting more calipers that have been 
left out after they were removed from the car and that have really frozen in 
place. While I've made a number of tools that help me in this process, I still 
need to make a hand pump so I can generate enough pressure to get any of these 
apart. Once that is done, I have a PILE of old calipers on the basement floor 
that need to be worked over. Yours probably aren't this hard, but you may be 

I'll tell you this: Don't use a petroleum grease anywhere it can touch any 
rubber brake part. It will ruin the rubber part. That's the mistake I made the 
first time I did this job. Cost me a quart of brake fluid, 2 days of work, and 
the cost of 2 more caliper kits, and I THOUGHT I was following the helpful 
instructions from someone over the phone at the dealership.   

I guess brakes are also one of those things that I think I can do so much 
better than most people that I really think it's not worth their time to go 
thru the learning curve, with all its setbacks and disappointments. 
Speedometers are another example of this.

ALL these things could be done eventually by anyone here. At this point in 
time, I just doubt that most of you would care to destroy 3 speedometers, like 
I did, before you figured out how to do them successfully. Brakes aren't quite 
so bad, but the stakes are a lot higher.

I also had the advantage of being able to just run out to the junkyard to grab 
another one when I broke something. That was only due to timing; our local 
junkyards no longer have any type 3s, so replacements are harder to find now.
Jim Adney, jadney@vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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