Volkswagen Front Wheel Drive 1974-1989 Repair Guide

Brake Shoes

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INSPECTION




CAUTION
Some brake shoes may contain asbestos, which has been determined to be a cancer causing agent. Never clean the brake surfaces with compressed air! Avoid inhaling any dust from any brake surface! When cleaning brake surfaces, use a commercially available brake cleaning fluid.

  1. Check the shoes for contamination from brake fluid or axle grease.
  2.  
  3. Minimum allowed lining thickness is 0.098 in. (2.5mm). This can be checked through the inspection plug on the backing plate without removing the drum.
  4.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1, 2 and 3

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle, then remove the rear wheels.
  4.  
  5. Remove the rear brake drum.
  6.  
  7. Remove the spring retainers by holding the pin behind the backing plate, while pushing on and turning the retainer 1 / 4 turn.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Dasher drum brake components

  1. Remove the shoes from the backing plate by first pulling one shoe, and then the other, against the upper spring, and detaching them from the wheel cylinder slot. Detach the parking brake cable from the brake lever. The entire shoe assembly should now be free of the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Carefully note the position of each spring, as spring shapes and positions have varied from vehicle to vehicle and year to year.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Rabbit and Scirocco rear drum brakes

  1. Clamp the pushrod that holds the shoes apart at the top in a vise and begin removing the springs. Start with the lower return spring, adjusting wedge spring, upper return spring and then the tensioning spring and adjusting wedge.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Self-adjusting drum brake assembly

  1. On most vehicles, the parking brake lever must be removed from the old shoes and reused. When new parts are purchased, don't forget the clip that holds the parking brake lever pin in place.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Check the wheel cylinder for leaks. If any defects are found, replace the wheel cylinder.
  2.  


WARNING
DO NOT step on the brake pedal while the drums are removed!

  1. Inspect the springs. If the springs are damaged or show signs of overheating they should be replaced. Indications of overheated springs are discoloration and distortion.
  2.  
  3. Inspect the brake drum and recondition or replace as necessary.
  4.  
  5. Clean the backing plate and lubricate the shoe contact points with a suitable brake lubricant.
  6.  
  7. With the push rod clamped in a vise, attach the front brake shoe and tensioning spring.
  8.  
  9. Insert the adjusting wedge between the front shoe and pushrod so its lug is pointing toward the backing plate.
  10.  
  11. Remove the parking brake lever from the old shoe and attach it onto the new rear brake shoe.
  12.  
  13. Put the rear brake shoe and parking brake lever assembly onto the pushrod and hook up the spring.
  14.  
  15. Connect the parking brake cable to the lever and place the whole assembly onto the backing plate.
  16.  
  17. Install the hold-down springs.
  18.  
  19. Install the upper and lower return springs.
  20.  
  21. Install the adjusting wedge spring.
  22.  
  23. Center the brake shoes on the backing plate, making sure the adjusting wedge is fully released (all the way up) before installing the drum.
  24.  
  25. Install the drum and wheel assembly.
  26.  
  27. Apply the brake pedal a few times to bring the brake shoe into adjustment.
  28.  
  29. If the wheel cylinder was replaced, bleed the system.
  30.  
  31. Connect the battery cable.
  32.  
  33. Road test the vehicle.
  34.  

 
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