MY72BUG
Hello VW world.  I wanted to compare notes with anyone else who has converted their Beetle to front disc brakes.  I took the plunge this year after I began to have stopping problems with the bug.  Every stop light became a game - gas or brake?  Around town it was not a big deal but coming down from 80 KPH one day became too much of a crap shoot and I ended up stopped in the middle of an intersection with people looking on with anything but amused looks.  Time for action.  I measured my front drums and noted that they were worn oversize and had gone bell shaped.  With new drums in the equation I began to look at a conversion system offered in CIP1.  With delivery all up it was about $360 Cdn for discs, pads, calipers, inner and outer bearings and the attaching bracket.  I suspected that the master cylinder was not up to par so out it went and in went a premium " German" one which was actually made in Denmark.  ( unless it was made from 1940-1945 in which case it would have been German )  New flex lines are mandatory as you need much more reach for the disc brakes.  Overall the job was not bad.  My youngest did the brake line bleeding with me and in no time I had a nice feeling pedal.  BUT ...  why don't I experience some real lock-em-up braking ?  It tracks sure and straight but I feel that there is something lacking.  They are not power brakes of course but I expected more.  I intend to replace the rear flex lines but the shoes and drums back there are really in good shape.  Anyone else been down this road?  Dan( MY72 BUG) in Goderich
I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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68autobug

Hi Dan,

Well, We don't have to put disc brakes on Our Beetles as they came standard in 1968, then when the Supers arrived in 1971, the non supers got drum brakes..

I have replaced the rear brake cylinders and all brake hoses.

I had the master cylinder machined to take a stainless steel sleeve and a kit was put in it... as New Master cylinders for 1500 Beetles are very expensive in Australia...

It took Me a long time to get the brakes to work properly...

I must have pumped about 3 -4 bottles of brake fluid thru the system,

but now I can lock up the front wheels very easily...

and in My driveway which is loose stones, If I put My Autostick into gear, with the brakes on, the front wheels lock up and the rear brakes make both rear wheels drive.... so I skid down the drive....

so its better to put it into gear with no foot on the brakes....

All I can suggest is to keep bleeding them....

 

I was told to put the rear brake cylinders above the master cylinder so any air will go to the highest spot.... the rear cylinders...

So You just need to jack the rear of the car up...

and leave the bleeders open for about 30+ minutes... I had a piece of clear hose on the bleeder and the other end was in a glass jar with brake fluid in it, as I pumped a couple of times...

I can't remember which one I did first...??

this did the job finally...

 

Lee Noonan  --- 68AutoBug --- Australia ---

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug

 

 

 

 

Lee Noonan
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MY72BUG

Thanks Lee.  Some good thoughts which I will put into action once I get my new rear flex lines next week.  I will keep you posted on the saga of the brakes.  Like I told my middle son; having a car that really goes is great - having one that really stops is priceless !!  Dan (MY72BUG) in Goderich, Ont.

I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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68autobug

Dan,

My Son had the opposite problem recently...

the front disc brakes were on all the time....

He replaced the calipers and hoses, but the problem still continued..

He tried bleeding the master cylinder , which was one that had been machined and fitted with a stainless steel sleeve etc...

It had worked for a couple of years OK...

He tried bleeding the master cylinder from one of the brake switch holes...

He then took it off, but He cannot get the piston up in the end out...

He tried a replacement master cylinder and finally got it to work...

I read on a website where a fellow in the US wore His new brake drums out with the same problem....

so, You can have lots of problems with brakes....

 

cheers

 

Lee Noonan       68AutoBug       Australia

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug

 

Lee Noonan
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Hello Big Wig, I have a 1971 Super Beetle and put discs on the front, made a huge difference, though I have never locked them up. Stopping distance seems to be about half as far as with drums and the car stays straight ahead. Then I put discs on the rear but improvement was minimal. I would highly reccommend front discs to anyone who doesn't have them. Be sure to check for leaks since doing a major brakeline changeover and any leak will affect the braking.

Topless_vw
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Wayne

Here's a copy of a review of the Top Line Parts Disc Brakes from http://www.superbeetles.com:

 

Front Disc Brake Conversion - By Ryan Ballou: For some reason we all seem so focused on making more power, being quicker, going faster, but what good is any of that if you can't come to a controlled stop? There are quite a few advantages to running disc brakes, some aren't even well known. The most obvious benefit is improved braking power and control. Discs are much less prone to fading as they heat up. Under heavy use, drums will dramatically lose stopping power as they begin to overheat.

To get my VW stopping on a dime I turned to the experts, Top Line Parts located in Anaheim, CA. Top Line has the well-earned reputation of being the 'go to' place for Super Beetle specific needs for over 25 years. My first impression of the front disc brake conversion kit was simply, wow, this has everything. My biggest pet peeve when taking on a project is having to stop because you need to make a run to the shop for parts. Not so in this case, the only things you'll need are normal shop supplies like brake fluid, brake cleaner, and wheel bearing grease. The kit includes Ghia rotors and calipers (pre-loaded with pads), making replacement parts a breeze to find. Top Line's trick billet aluminum caliper adapters indexed for right and left hand sides. Also included are a complete set of SKF wheel bearings, grease seals, stainless steel braided Teflon brake lines and pair of brake line holders to keep you lines clear of moving parts. Installation was easy thanks to excellent instructions that come included with the kit. I would recommend having the job professionally done since this is a safety issue and you don't want any problems when you need to hit that pedal hard.

I've had about a week now with the new brakes and I'm nothing but impressed with them. I did some driving in the rain and they worked flawlessly despite driving through some deep puddles. I've put them through their paces in some holiday stop and go traffic where I'd normally start feeling my old brakes fade a little, not even a hint of it with the discs. The pedal feel is absolutely great. It's like I'm driving a new car!

Top Line Parts (714) 630-8371

 

There's also a page on the install in the High Performance 101 section.

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68autobug

I can lock My front brakes just about anywhere....

if i hit them hard enough.....

on  gravel , unpaved roads, they lock up very quickly...

I'm very satisfied with them....

I thought with the modern fast traffic flow, I might have had a problem.

but they work great...

 

Lee -- 68AutoBug -- Australia --

 

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug

 

Lee Noonan
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