Herman's Got Disc Brakes!

After losing my lunch and half my bladder too many times, I decided to take the plunge and install a front disc brake kit on Herman, my '71 Super.
The installation was a breeze, and WHAT A DIFFERENCE!
You can see my installation notes here:
http://www.i4putt.com/Herman/DiscBrakes.htm
Larry
--
'71 Super Beetle
"Herman"
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Thanks for taking the time to put this together. My wife has a 79 SB and could use disc brakes....I've been reluctant to tackle the job for fear of screwing it up, and brakes to me are like plumbing in that I know if it isn't done right, the results get ugly fast. You've shown the process to be pretty straight forward, to the point that I might consider doing it. GaryT
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I
Seriously, Gary, there was absolutely nothing to it. The SB shares front spindles with the Ghia, which makes this truly a bolt on affair. If you've got a 15mm socket, some screwdrivers and pliers, you're good to go!
Larry
--
'71 Super Beetle
"Herman"
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Larry- I'm only a *little* concerned with the mechanical part of the installation...its the brake bleeding part that would keep me up at night. Any tips? Thanks- GaryT
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you've
Gary,
That's the most tedious part, but not the hardest by any stretch. You will need your own able lab assistant to help if you don't have a vacuum bleeder.
Put a 7mm box wrench on the bleeder valve on the right, rear wheel. Put a length of clear tubing on the 'nipple' of the bleeder valve. Put the other end of that tubing into a jar of clear brake fluid (so that you can see the end of the hose submerged).
Have your assistant slowly press down on the brake pedal as you open the bleeder valve. As your assistant holds the brake pedal down, close the valve. Bring the pedal back up, and repeat this process until you don't see any more air bubbles coming out of the tubing ... you want to see clear brake fluid.
MAKE SURE YOU KEEP AN EYE ON THE MASTER CYLINDER RESERVOIR! Don't let it run out of fluid, or you'll have to start all over!
Once the right rear is complete, go to the left rear, right front, and then left front (as you're sitting in the vehicle) and repeat. You'll end up with a nice, firm, fully bled system!
Good luck!
Larry
--
'71 Super Beetle
"Herman"
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'preciate the lesson. I've printed this out to refer to if/when the weather gets warmer here in the Northeast. Right now, all I can do is **think** about working on the car.
GaryT

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Hey! Glad to hear you put those on. Doesn't the car feel so much safer to drive now? I replaced my front brakes with discs last summer. I've been very pleased with the results, but I have had alot of trouble getting rid of various squealing sounds from the brakes (didn't start right away, but got much worse progresively). I see that you have the same kind of ATE calipers (two pins) as I do. If you have any squealing problems, let me know and maybe we can figure it out together! I don't mean to scare you or anything, but just letting you know that if you get a squealing problem, you're not alone. Congrats on the install, looks great! ~Anthony

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take
Thanks, Anthony.
So far, everything's been great ... no squeeks, rattles, or shimmies! (Fingers crossed).
I made sure to really clean the rotors well before the first test drive. So far, the pads seem to be seating well, with no scuffing on the rotors. Brake pressure is very firm, but not hard, and stopping is greatly improved.
Larry
--
'71 Super Beetle
"Herman"
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How difficult is this to do on an older Beetle....like a '68?

So
Brake
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Peter,
I've never owned anything but Super Beetles, but it's my understanding that this cutover requires changing out the spindles, which isn't really that difficult. From that point, it's a bolt-on process just like I've outlined.
Larry
--
'71 Super Beetle
"Herman"
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On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 01:43:18 GMT, "Peter Cressman"
Pete, it is easy....if you buy a kit....ever taken the spindle off a bug? easy as that...you gotta separate the spindle fromt eh balljoints, and on a 68 you will most likeley have to buy the later(larger diameter) tierod ends...but still a "bolt on" affair... J
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Peter Cressman wrote:

Super simple. Spindles from a Ghia fit right in, so I have heard. Or spindles from a factory original 1500 Euro spec bug, they came stock with front discs :) (I had one, the only std bug to have discs in europe)
Jan
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If it has a ball joint front end, you can fit the factory front discs. For some dumb reason the USA never got front disks when the rest of the world did!
All 1500 and up euro beetles got front discs in 1968 with the ball joint front end.
Allan :-)

to
Super.
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"Larry St. Regis" wrote

take
Looks good, Larry ... seems like a pretty painless installation. Does SoCal have a website? I can't seem to Google up a site for them.
-- Scott
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Thanks, Scott. You can get SoCal at http://www.socalautoparts.com/index.html
I have to put in a plug for these guys, by the way. They were extremely easy to work with, seemed very knowledgable, and had the items shipped very quickly. Good luck!
Larry
--
'71 Super Beetle
"Herman"
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Larry - An afterthought here inspired by a friend's question...Does the master cylinder remain the same in this swap-out? Wondering how the system balances the tighter tolerences of the discs with the wider gap of the rear drums. IOW, the calipers on the front only need to move a very short distance to contact the rotors whereas the rear drums movement is considerably larger. How does the stock system balance the two so as to prevent only the front brakes engaging when you step on the pedal?
Thanks again- GaryT
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balances
Gary,
There was no change to the MC recommended, or needed. I don't believe the Ghia uses a proportioning valve of any type, either.
In actuality, you WANT the front brakes to actuate first, and foremost. Your rear brakes should be adjusted normally, and there should be no problem.
Larry
--
'71 Super Beetle
"Herman"
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Larry St. Regis wrote:

Sorry,
The front will LOCK UP too easily and the rear feels much weaker than before, in contrast, if you keep original rear drums in place. The stock master cylinder for disc brake models was different, and had proportioning valves for the rear cirquit for this reason, I seem to remember.
I had a original 1500 beetle with factory discs which I tore to pieces, and I currently drive a 68 bug with front converted to discs and it has a new "general replacement" master cylinder. The problem is noticeable, even with 88lbs of extra weight in the spare tire well. Drive carefully when wet, the front will lock up too soon, before the rear has time to come to play. Push the pedal even harder, and the rear kicks in if there's movement left in the pedal. Rear shoes muct be kept adjusted REALLY close to the drum, dragging half way through a full turn of the wheel. (The drums never seem to be 100% straight)
my other bug (67) has Talbot Horizon front saddles with vw rotors, and the rear uses stock drums and front wheel cylinders. While teh larger diameter wheel cylinder in the rear requires more fluid (more pedal travel) to push out as far as it used to, it's stronger when it does. I keep the shoes adjusted as above, and the front locks up WAY too easily for my taste. So they both need some work. Type 3 drums in th erear might be the best option, the shoes and drums are wider. So any movement you get to the shoes, the braking power is better.
You might also want to use std rubber lines up front, and replace teh rear rubbel flex lines with stainless steel braided teflon lines. They don't swell under pressure like the rubber lines do, but instead they deliver ALL pedal movement to the wheel cylinder.
One mistake I made was to do the opposite on the 67, SS braided teflon lines in the front and rubber in the rear. Yes you may call me stupid. But the Horizon saddles required this flex line modification and it just wasn't doable with std rubber lines. Would have meant an "interesting" bunch of connectors and lines. I may go that route however if I can't get the rear to behave otherwise.
Jan
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Your
..............A great post that's getting saved in my 'valuable stuff' folder.
..................Thanks for sharing your expertise with the rest of us Jan. This is the type of knowledge that needs to be shared because it might save one of us from getting into trouble while driving.
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drums.
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Jan,
This morning, it's pouring rain in San Jose, and I've gotta work ... so I figured it was a great time to test the new front discs. I had NO brake lockup, no "OH CRAP" braking, and really no adverse condition with the brakes at all.
Larry
--
'71 Super Beetle
"Herman"
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