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Old May 24th, 2014, 11:43 AM   #1
Cutman
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Default UPDATE: Got it figured out!
Re:: I know this is where to get answers...   

This car is ready to hit the road for my, newly licensed, son... except it won't stop!
Here is my problem: in bleeding the brakes I get very little pedal (maybe 2” off the floor). I can bleed the rear but not the front. When front wheel cylinder bleeders cracked very little fluid flow from them and the pedal doesn't drop to the floor as you would expect with the line open. Here is what I have tried so far. I am hoping you guys might see something I missed because I am stumped.

1973 Standard Beetle:
1. Front: new wheel cylinders, soft lines, shoes (adjusted shoes)
2. Bleed the brakes. Able to get good fluid flow from rear but very little pedal pressure building. Attempt to bleed fronts: Pump brakes and hold, crack the bleeder, and pedal doesn’t move (did not drop to floor).
3. Since all is new up from think maybe master cylinder is bad. So, it is replaced. Bled master cylinder. Exact same result.
4. Disassemble the entire front of braking system and start working my way from the reservoir out.
a. Reservoir good no cracks and good cap. Nothing blocking down tubes
b. Tubes from reservoir to m/c: Freely blow air through them. Reconnected to m/c.
c. With all hard lines removed from m/c, a pump of the pedal and fluid flows from all ports.
d. Rear hard line reconnected.
e. Front hard lines inspected and free flow of air through lines, reconnected to m/c, pump of pedal had good fluid flow out hard lines, hard lines connected to soft lines and pump of pedal has good fluid flow, soft lines to wheel cylinders, crack the bleeder and minimal flow and pedal still doesn’t drop to floor.
5. At this point I assume the both new wheel cylinders must have issues. Maybe bleeder blocked or bad batch? Buy new ones from a local vendor and install. Same result.
6. Have a very mechanical buddy (extensive VW history) come over for a second set of eyes, just in case I am missing something. We come to the conclusion something might be wrong in the rear system???
7. Buy new rear wheel cylinders, shoes, and soft lines. Get all that installed and nothing… the same thing.
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Last edited by Cutman; May 31st, 2014 at 07:13 AM.
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Old May 24th, 2014, 01:51 PM   #2
Daddy o's 67
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

Is the brake plunger rod adjusted to tight? Loosen up the brake shoes, might have them adjusted to tight not allowing wheels cylinders to expand.
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Old May 24th, 2014, 03:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

Both are good. I can adjust the shoes all the way in and still get the same lack of response from the pedal when I crack the valve. Thanks.
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Old May 24th, 2014, 03:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

Given the symptoms I would have said the front soft line have collapsed internally. But if you get fluid through the soft lines and to the front cylinders but not through the cylinders and out the bleeders then it's the front cylinders. The rear system sounds fine. As do the master and all of the parts in the front system except the cylinders. It's never a good idea to adjust the pushrod. The freeplay adjustment should be made by adjusting the pedal stop bolted to the floor.
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Old May 24th, 2014, 04:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

My pushrod was not adjusted by me. I confirmed it was where it need to be based on the Bentley measurement and the "how to keep your VW alive" manuals. On the wheel cylinders... I took out the old ones and installed new... twice. Thinking about putting the old ones back in and see what happens. Thank you for your reply.
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Old May 24th, 2014, 06:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

Try this, lotsa info;


http://www.vw-resource.com/mstrcyl.html

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Old May 25th, 2014, 01:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

Try replacing the hard lines?
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Old May 25th, 2014, 02:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

Hard lines are clear. As part of my attempt to diagnose this I completely removed them and blew air through them. Additionally, after reinstalling them pumped fluid through them before attaching them to the soft lines. Good flow through soft lines after attached to hard lines. Problem occurs when connected to wheel cylinders. On my second set of new wheel cylinders since this saga began.
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Last edited by Cutman; May 25th, 2014 at 02:20 PM.
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Old May 25th, 2014, 04:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

I had same issue man, I got tired of it and through on a new master. Problem solved!
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Old May 25th, 2014, 08:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

Master is new after experiencing the same symptoms with the old original that was in it. Thought a new one might be the answer but no luck. Thanks for the reply.
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Old May 26th, 2014, 06:32 AM   #11
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

Single feed reservoir or dual feed?If its a dual try reversing the feed lines and see if the front come back. The silicone connector lines and the alloy feeder lines will plug. If its a single feed, check the Y assuming you're running a dual circuit.

Years ago I had one towed in with new brakes all around and a new, dual feed reservoir. On the nipple of the feed line for the rear was the remains of the plug. No fluid in, no fluid out.


I'm a little confused on what was done as far as flow, where the hardlines on the master and you were letting if gravity flow or just pouring fluid into the lines?
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Old May 26th, 2014, 08:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

The master cyl has one line goinig to the rear with seperate lines off it going to each side of the front.The flow was produced by slowly pushing the pedal to force fluid out master through the lines one piece at a time. Master flows with no lines hooked up, then with just the hard lines. then with soft lines connected... good fluid flow until connected to front wheel cyl.
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Old May 26th, 2014, 09:35 AM   #13
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

I also tried to run a hose from the bleeder into a can of fluid, with the bleeder cracked pump the brake. It seemed to help.
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Old May 26th, 2014, 10:19 AM   #14
Cutman
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

I have brakes!
Thanks guys. I have done several brake jobs on VWs in the past but never one that sat for 15+ years and had an open system the last 5 years. I removed the entire beam when I narrowed it so I was putting it the brake system back together from scratch.
The guys on thesamba called it... I hadn't adjusted the brakes out to max before bleeding. A little embarrassed that it was something so simple but, hey, won't make that mistake again. 45 and still learning.
On the bright side I found a leaky cylinder in the rear and replaced the rear soft lines and shoes(something I probably wouldn't have done).
My son gets home from camp today and his car is officially on the road (and stops). He is going to be ecstatic!
Thank you very much for all the input and help.
Rob
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Last edited by Cutman; May 26th, 2014 at 10:39 AM.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 01:28 PM   #15
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

No... opposite. Maxed them out to lock up drums then bled.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 05:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

I will be trying this.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 08:26 PM   #17
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

It's always dumb small shit that can fuck up the whole system. Glad you figured it out.
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Old May 31st, 2014, 07:11 AM   #18
Cutman
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Default Re: Brakes won't bleed! Completely stumped!

I had no idea and didn't really see how that would help but after 3 people asked if I had done that in the thread if figured, tried everything else, might as well give it a try. Been driving for a couple days now everything is working great.
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