[Vwdiesel] drum brakes

H.Hagar h_hagar at prcn.org
Thu Jul 1 11:49:31 EDT 2004

Hello all,

I'm discovering that I really hate drum brakes.  The retainer springs 
and the lower tension spring are the bane of my existence.  The Bentley 
is less than helpful when wondering how to get these back together with 
the skin on my hands intact.
Does anyone have any tricks for getting these parts back together?  I 
replaced everything except the backing plate, and I was able to get one 
of the retainer springs back on.  The other one is refusing to 
cooperate.  The lower spring is of REALLY high tension, and if you 
install it beforehand, moving the pad into position is near impossible, 
especially with my muscle challenged body.

Answer :  I love those VW rear drum brakes and here is the reason.

When I had to do the first 1980 rear brake --- I did not have a Bentley 
Thank you Lord.  ----- No special tools are required ---no strong fingers or
nothing ---a piece of cake.   So you are doing it the hard way  Matt Lisa.
After having done a few ---just for curiosity I read the Bentley ---good thing I did not read it first
because I am a by the book type person--- at least the first time.

I am working an a small video to show how easy it is.   -- may take a bit of time.

Basic procedure goes like this.     Remove back-plate complete with parts.

Remove cylinder first --and install last.        Look fore more details in archives.

Tools ?   Long nose pliers (not for pulling springs) Rubber mallet and vice grip.

If we were nabors I would do it for you for free. ----and let you film it.

The procedure remind me of doing the Rubik's cube ------the sequence is important.

To remove cylinder --push cable lever as far as it will go towards front of car --
that spreads top springs so there is no pressure on cylinder.
The lever will lock in place --if done right. --watch you don't trip it with fingers in nip.

Yes I learned here how to push wedge up in order to remove heavily rusted drums.


PS:  Can be downright fun to do.  by the way the long nose --is for getting bottom
of shoes up on pad -- no muscles needed.

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