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Parking brake/Rear drum sticking on Rabbit



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 2nd 06, 06:08 PM posted to rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled
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Default Parking brake/Rear drum sticking on Rabbit

Hi everybody,
I've got an '84 Rabbit L that I believe has a problem with the
parking brake/rear drum on the right rear wheel. I purchased the car
about two months ago and have noticed what sounds like a scratching
sound (that I thought was coming from the front wheel). This led me
to think I had a wheel bearing issue because the noise would vanish on
a right turn. However, I replaced the front right wheel bearings this
past weekend and this scratching sound has continued.
After doing some more research last night with the rear wheels
jacked up off the ground, the right rear wheel doesn't spin freely.
With the parking brake off, the wheel will rotate, but only with me
gripping it forcefully and rotating it by hand. The left rear wheel,
to the contrary, spins freely. I only need to pull up the parking
brake one click to prevent the right rear from moving at all.
So, I loosened the right side parking brake cable (almost to
the point where the 10mm nuts were about to come off the end) but this
hasn't fixed my problem. Furthermore, I noticed on my drive into work
today that if I gently tug on that right parking brake cable with my
fingers while driving down the road, the scratching noise I hear
changes in pitch.
I'm feeling pretty confident that the problem is my parking
brake. Is the parking brake mechanism completely independent of the
regular rear drum braking system? Or is pushing in my brake pedal
doing the same thing mechanically as pulling up on the parking brake.?
Given that I have loosened the parking brake cable as much as I can, I
don't think the problem is the cable being to tight, right? I'm
guessing that something isn't adjusted correctly on the wheel.

Thanks in advance for your reply.
Bryan

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  #2  
Old March 2nd 06, 07:00 PM posted to rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled
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Default Parking brake/Rear drum sticking on Rabbit

Bryan K. Walton wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> I've got an '84 Rabbit L that I believe has a problem with the
> parking brake/rear drum on the right rear wheel. I purchased the car
> about two months ago and have noticed what sounds like a scratching
> sound (that I thought was coming from the front wheel). This led me
> to think I had a wheel bearing issue because the noise would vanish on
> a right turn. However, I replaced the front right wheel bearings this
> past weekend and this scratching sound has continued.
> After doing some more research last night with the rear wheels
> jacked up off the ground, the right rear wheel doesn't spin freely.
> With the parking brake off, the wheel will rotate, but only with me
> gripping it forcefully and rotating it by hand. The left rear wheel,
> to the contrary, spins freely. I only need to pull up the parking
> brake one click to prevent the right rear from moving at all.
> So, I loosened the right side parking brake cable (almost to
> the point where the 10mm nuts were about to come off the end) but this
> hasn't fixed my problem. Furthermore, I noticed on my drive into work
> today that if I gently tug on that right parking brake cable with my
> fingers while driving down the road, the scratching noise I hear
> changes in pitch.
> I'm feeling pretty confident that the problem is my parking
> brake. Is the parking brake mechanism completely independent of the
> regular rear drum braking system? Or is pushing in my brake pedal
> doing the same thing mechanically as pulling up on the parking brake.?
> Given that I have loosened the parking brake cable as much as I can, I
> don't think the problem is the cable being to tight, right? I'm
> guessing that something isn't adjusted correctly on the wheel.
>
> Thanks in advance for your reply.
> Bryan
>


I had a similar problem on my '84 GTI and it turned out to be the left
side parking brake cable was stuck in the housing (had the same issue
but on the left side.) Pull the RR drum and manually pull the e-brake
cable full loose, then see if the problem goes away. (obviously don't
use the e-brake until you've verified that the noise went away) You
will probably want to repack the bearings as VW rear wheel bearings are
marginal anyway and all that heat isn't good for the grease.

good luck

nate

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  #3  
Old March 2nd 06, 07:05 PM posted to rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled
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Default Parking brake/Rear drum sticking on Rabbit

Bryan K. Walton > wrote:
> Is the parking brake mechanism completely independent of the
> regular rear drum braking system?


Yes, otherwise it would be pointless as emergency brake. The regular
brake system is hydraulic, the parking brake is actuated by cables.

> guessing that something isn't adjusted correctly on the wheel.


Somebody didn't follow directions when installing the new brake pads?


  #4  
Old March 2nd 06, 07:26 PM posted to rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled
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Default Parking brake/Rear drum sticking on Rabbit

On 2006-03-02, René > wrote:
> Bryan K. Walton > wrote:
>> Is the parking brake mechanism completely independent of the
>> regular rear drum braking system?

>
> Yes, otherwise it would be pointless as emergency brake. The regular
> brake system is hydraulic, the parking brake is actuated by cables.


Ahh, yes. That makes perfect sense.

>> guessing that something isn't adjusted correctly on the wheel.

>
> Somebody didn't follow directions when installing the new brake pads?


Please forgive me if this is a stupid question. But based upon your
first answer, I assume that there are then two sets of brake pads on
each rear wheel? And therefore, you are suggesting I check the brake
pad set specifically operated by the parking brake?

Thanks!
Bryan

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  #5  
Old March 2nd 06, 08:07 PM posted to rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled
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Default Parking brake/Rear drum sticking on Rabbit

Bryan K. Walton > wrote:
> Please forgive me if this is a stupid question. But based upon your
> first answer, I assume that there are then two sets of brake pads on
> each rear wheel?


Nope. Cars with drum brakes usually use the same set of brake pads for
rear brakes and e-brakes. Some modern cars use drum brakes as e-brakes
in addition to the rear disk brakes. The 1983 Rabbit is not amongst the
latter

> And therefore, you are suggesting I check the brake
> pad set specifically operated by the parking brake?


Well, I'd say either somebody didn't put the assembly back together
properly, or possibly the rotor's warped, or one of the cables is stuck
somewhere.


  #6  
Old March 2nd 06, 08:23 PM posted to rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled
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Default Parking brake/Rear drum sticking on Rabbit

In rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled, Nate Nagel wrote:

>
>
>I had a similar problem on my '84 GTI and it turned out to be the left
>side parking brake cable was stuck in the housing (had the same issue
>but on the left side.) Pull the RR drum and manually pull the e-brake
>cable full loose, then see if the problem goes away. (obviously don't
>use the e-brake until you've verified that the noise went away) You
>will probably want to repack the bearings as VW rear wheel bearings are
>marginal anyway and all that heat isn't good for the grease.


When you replace the brake cable(s), you may find that the guide
tube(s) may not be reusable. They are available reasonably priced
thru the dealer.

Here is a writeup I made when I did my cables. Note I had disks, and
the car was newer, but I suspect there are some similarities.

================================================== ==================

Replacing Parking Brake Cables

I decided to replace the parking brake cables in conjunction
with some other work on my 1995 VR6 built June 95. The car has
Lucas disk rear brakes. Since I did not find a writeup on doing
this, I thought I would make one. Did I miss one? Much of what
applies to my car would probably apply to other models.

Parking brake cable seals tend to break and admit water. This will
freeze in cold weather, holding the rear brakes engaged. There is
not AFAIK a replacement seal that can be applied later. There may
be a way to inject antifreeze. As I unhooked rear of one of my
cables, water ran out. However I then saw that the plastic
covering on that cable was torn up at one area. Not sure how that
happened. I had given up on using the parking brake in winter; I
parked in gear. If you are doing the rear brakes anyway. I would
recommend replacing the cables, and perhaps the guide tubes. Guide
tubes are about $9 each from VW. Cables are about $22 from VW, but
Adirondack is cheaper if you can wait for shipping.

In replacing these, a 10 mm socket, a 10 mm open-end, and a
long-nose plier is useful to start. Remove the two plastic disks
on the side of the console from behind the front seats. Remove the
two screws under those disks. Lift the console up and forward. I
wish I knew how to separate the boot from the parking brake lever.

Under the handle are the 10 mm nuts. Put the open wrench on the
bigger nut and turn the outer nut with the socket. Remove the
little nut. Then unscrew the big nut. Repeat for the other side.

Put the rear of the car on jack stands. Removing the back wheels
is a good idea for access and visibility. You can attempt to pull
the cable out of the guide tubes from beneath. If you live in an
area that does not salt roads, you may be able to just replace the
cables. The cables and guide tubes were inseparable in my case.
So I just pulled and twisted the tubes and cables out from below.
Order those parts if you have not already done so.


The hanger bracket that holds the cable to the chassis via a dual
tinnerman stainless steel bracket was difficult for me to remove.
I ended up doing a lot of prying. Note the position with the brake
cables to the outer side of the mount. Note the cable routing to
the brake. Remove the cable.

Detach the bracket from the brake cable for reuse. Straighten the
bending you did as you were removing the bracket.

Insert the new guide tubes. Note left and right differ. Check
from inside to see if they are inserted correctly. There is a
little flat on the forward end to position the tube on its axis.

Push/pull the new cable metal center to the rear. I lubed the
rubber boot with liquid soap, but it may not be necessary.
Carefully hook the brake cable to the brake assembly. Pull the
cable forward in the tube once the rear end is in its position. I
then used a clamp to hold the end of the cable and the little arm
in the forward position to make putting the nut on easier. Shove
the free end of the cable into the guide tube. Check that the
screw comes thru the plate that the brake handle actuates. Screw
the big screw on so that its thread are engaged, putting the
rounded end of the big nut to the rear. Do the same to the other
side.

Push the stainless steel bracket onto its two screws from beneath.

Adjust the brakes per the Bentley book.

Pull the brake handle up as far as you can. Confirm the plate that
connects the two cables with the handle is fairly square. Tighten
the jam nuts with a pair of appropriate 10 mm wrenches.

While the console is loose, its a good time to vacuum.

Put the console back, and put the wheels on. .






  #7  
Old March 7th 06, 04:58 PM posted to rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled
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Default Parking brake/Rear drum sticking on Rabbit

Thank you to everybody that replied to my question. I've
unfortunately had to postpone looking into my brake issues on the
right rear wheel -- waiting for the recently arrived snow and ice to
melt away. Then I'll dive in.

Thanks again,
Bryan

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  #8  
Old March 7th 06, 05:04 PM posted to rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled
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Default Parking brake/Rear drum sticking on Rabbit

In rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled, Bryan K. Walton wrote:

>Thank you to everybody that replied to my question. I've
>unfortunately had to postpone looking into my brake issues on the
>right rear wheel -- waiting for the recently arrived snow and ice to
>melt away. Then I'll dive in.


Until then, I would avoid engaging the hand brake. Also, when you
get in there, don't be surprised if your brakes need other service.

  #9  
Old March 7th 06, 10:06 PM posted to rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled
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Default Parking brake/Rear drum sticking on Rabbit


On 2006-03-07, Tom's VR6 > wrote:
> Until then, I would avoid engaging the hand brake. Also, when you
> get in there, don't be surprised if your brakes need other service.
>


Thanks for the tip. And I'll prepare for things to be worse off than
I might have initially expected.

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  #10  
Old March 19th 06, 12:44 PM posted to rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled
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Default Parking brake/Rear drum sticking on Rabbit

On 2006-03-02, Bryan K. Walton > wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> I've got an '84 Rabbit L that I believe has a problem with the
> parking brake/rear drum on the right rear wheel. I purchased the car
> about two months ago and have noticed what sounds like a scratching
> sound (that I thought was coming from the front wheel). This led me
> to think I had a wheel bearing issue because the noise would vanish on
> a right turn. However, I replaced the front right wheel bearings this
> past weekend and this scratching sound has continued.
> After doing some more research last night with the rear wheels
> jacked up off the ground, the right rear wheel doesn't spin freely.
> With the parking brake off, the wheel will rotate, but only with me
> gripping it forcefully and rotating it by hand. The left rear wheel,
> to the contrary, spins freely. I only need to pull up the parking
> brake one click to prevent the right rear from moving at all.


Hi everybody,
Here is my followup. I'm sure this will make me seem pretty
ridiculous to most of you. But I want to tell everybody what I found
out in case anybody ever has a similar situation. When I actually
started taking the right rear wheel apart yesterday morning, here is
what I found. The guy that I bought the car from last December had
all new brakes put in (or perhaps did it himself -- don't know for
sure). But, whomever did it likes to over tighten things. My first
clue was I needed a cheater pipe to loosen the lug nuts! Then after
getting the rear drum opened up, every thing looked great. The brakes
looked fine and weren't stuck. The hand brake cable wasn't sticking
at all. As it turns out the nut that holds the outer wheel bearings in
was WAY TOO TIGHT! We repacked them with grease and put everything back
together, following the directions in the Muir manual, and the wheel now
spun freely, and still not rocking back and forth at the various clock
positions. I put the tire back on and the grinding noise is gone. I
wish I had thought of this originally when I noticed that the wheel
wasn't spinning freely.
So, moral of the story when doing car repairs: FOLLOW RECOMMENDED
TORQUE SPECS!!! :-)

Cheers,
Bryan




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