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Previous Next Up Topic Public / General Discussion / Help identifying brakes? (4789 hits)
By Alan H 4369 Date 2015-04-06 17:51
Hello, I just bought an old sand rail and I need to rebuild the drum brakes. My problem is that I don't know what year VW Beetle the brakes are from. How do I identify the brakes so that I can order parts?
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2015-04-06 18:01
I believe the width of the shoes (in mm) will help. And maybe the diameter of the wheel cylinder as well.
By Jeremy N 3622 Date 2015-04-07 00:28
what about if it has a 5 on 205mm bolt pattern or the 4 bolt pattern
By Alan H 4369 Date 2015-04-07 12:49
I do have 5 on 205mm bolt pattern
By Paul G Date 2015-04-07 17:10
We are going to need some pictures to do this right. It is possible to make any year VW Bug brakes run 5x205 drums ('66-'67 front drums and VW Thing rear drums fit on Beetles up to 1977.)

If you have pre-1958 brakes you have more than one bolt holding the wheel cylinder to the backing plate. These cost quite a bit to work on so updating would be advised over rebuilding (plus the old parts have some value to restorers.)

The main VW brake systems in use are, 1958-1964, 1965-1967, and 1968-1977. The first 2 are 5x205, the late version is 4x130 bolt pattern. The only parts exclusive in the 1965-1967 system are the rear backing plates, rear wheel cylinders, rear shoes, and 1966-1967 front drums (ball joint spindle size but still 5x205 bolt pattern) so they are not a problem to work on despite being 3 year only.

With a clear picture of the backing plates you can tell if they are 1958-1964 or later (number of pad resting spots is 2 on the older and 6 on the newer.) If they are later the width of the rear shoes will tell you if they are 1965-1967 or newer (rear brakes where 30mm wide on the older cars and 40mm wide on the newer.) Pictures of the adjusters and wheel cylinders are also useful reference points to verify someone isn't mixing up parts from different systems (narrow slots go with 2 resting pads, wide slots go with 6.) 
By Alan H 4369 Date 2015-04-08 20:34
WOW! Thanks, that helps a lot! If it ever stops raining here i will tear apart one corner and see what's in there.
Previous Next Up Topic Public / General Discussion / Help identifying brakes? (4789 hits)

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