Monday, April 30, 2012

Fixing the rear brakes on Ed the Bug.

A couple weeks ago, I pulled out of the garage and saw a big puddle of fluid . It took me a minute to clear the cobwebs from my head because I wasn't fully awake at the time but I realized it was coming from the right hand rear wheel. I figured my wheel cylinder blew so I drove it back into the garage and drove the truck to work. I figured it was a good time to redo all the rear brakes on the bug so this hopefully won't happen again for another 43 years or so.  Here you can see my drum and how wet it is from brake fluid. Brake fluid is very hard on paint. The inner paint on my wheel looks terrible but it is what it is.

 Here are the new parts I purchased. I have actually done the other side already so this is just the stuff for one side. I got new shoes, wheel cylinders, a hardware kit that includes all new springs and I also got new flexible hoses for the rear.
The worst part of this job on an aircooled VW is getting the drum off. It is torqued on to 230 foot pounds or something like that and can be a real pain to get off, especially if they have been on for a very long time. I have said this a hundred times but I will say it again, This picture shows a torque meister tool that is used on vw's for rear brake drums and flywheel gland nuts. They cost 60 dollars and are worth every penny. I have used mine many, many times and have never regretted it.
 With the drum off, I found the forward puck of the wheel cylinder leaking. I had brake fluid all over the inside of my brakes and some on the outside also. I hosed it all down with brake cleaner and proceeded to tear out all the parts of the brakes. When doing drum brakes it's a good idea to take a picture so if you forget how they went together, you can look at it. (That's assuming that whoever did the brakes the last time did it correctly.)
The shoes are removed here. The emergency brake cable just unhooks off the pivot.
 The old wheel cylinder is in the upper picture and the new one is lower. It's also a good idea to look at all the old parts and compare them with the new ones to make sure you have the correct part.
I pulled the old cylinder apart and found a big pile of gunk in there. I imagine some of this stuff got between the cylinder wall and the seal and allowed fluid to leak past it. You can rebuild these if you can find a kit. You should hone the cylinder with a little hone to clean it up. I chose just to buy new ones and hope they are good parts.
You have to remove the emergency brake pivot off the old shoe and install it on the new ones. It's just a clip on the back.
 Here it is installed on the new shoe. The back clip is on the floor by the screwdriver.
Here's part of the hardware from the kit. One kit will do both rear brakes. I think it's a good idea to replace this stuff every brake change.
 Over half way there. I have installed the wheel cylinder and the brake shoe with the e-brake pivot.
Here is the brake all finished with new stuff. If I was restoring this car, I would of taken more time to powdercoat the backing plate and everything. I figure since it's my daily driver, I will just get it back together.
I chose to replace the flexible hoses also. Over time, they will break down and the inner surface of the line will collapse on itself. The problem is that the outside will look fine but you won't be getting all the pressure you need. I actually think that that's what all the crud is inside the old wheel cylinder. They are cheap and I really like to have brakes when I need them. I don't skimp on brakes or tires. It's just not my style.
 The hoses removed easily as everything does on this old bug. I am always really surprised about that. I just think he likes new parts.
Here's the new hose installed and ready for fluid to pass through it.
 I was looking at the brake drums and they really look terrible. I have a couple things to powdercoat at work, so I am going to take some time to clean them up and powdercoat them. It's suppose to rain tomorrow so I wouldn't be driving the bug anyways. This gives Dixie some time to exercise her leg for when she needs to come out and help me bleed the brakes. She said her leg was sore from when we bled the front brakes last year.

Hopefully in the next couple of days, I will get the drums coated along with my vise and some lug nuts for a buddy of mine. Then, I can get Ed back on the road and enjoy some of this awesome spring weather.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Work lined up out the door for the garage.

The garage is finally coming around to being functional again. It is none too soon because I have 3 of my own cars lined up for work to be done on them. I have been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing and it's amazing how much space I gained. I hung some cabinets up on the wall and I think it looks pretty good. It's amazing how much brighter the garage is and it's even more comfortable to work in.  Dixie has been sweeping non stop and that has been helping a ton. I bought some new lights for the shop area today and they will replace the older light I have hanging here.
Ellie still hangs out with me now and then. She never passes up a chance to play in the garage. I guess it's like father like daughter.
 Dixie's car came first today for some regular maintenance. Her van needed a oil change. That went quick and it then was moved back out of the garage. Both the bugs are down for the count. Ed blew a wheel cylinder on the left rear brake and Tugger needs a clutch cable or something else that's more in depth. I haven't had time to work on anything so I have been driving the truck.
 I was able to start on Ed this evening. I am changing out both wheel cylinders and putting new brake shoes and flex hoses for the rear. I did all that on the front brakes when I had the beam out. It was time for the backs to be done. I am just glad they held up for my trip to St. George last month.
Ellie was taking off with a bag of chips. She was in heaven being outside and having chips to eat. Those are 2 of her favorite things.
 Here's the garage with a view from the door. It's almost done. I have plans to hang some shelves that will go around the garage door and paint some more trim. I also have to hang my ladders and paint some flames on the one wall. If you are artistic, live by me and can tape out some flames for me on the wall, let me know. I need all the help I can get because I don't have an artistic bone in my body.
 This is the good side but I am changing out all the brakes so I don't ruin a new set of shoes if this wheel cylinder blows like the other one.

I guess my next few posts will be about the brake rebuild and how to troubleshoot a clutch issue on an aircooled VW. Should be some interesting reading.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What's old is new again!

Well, Ed's odometer flipped over this Monday on my way to work. I wonder how many times this has happened in Ed's life. I think it's at least the 2nd time but who knows. It has been awhile since the zeros have seen the daylight. I thought it was a cool picture so here are the 2 shots. I should of let it go a little longer so the 99999 was more centered but oh well.

Here it is. Now it's just like I'm driving a brand new car! I was hoping to have him painted for this occasion but that hasn't happened yet.
Here's an update on the garage. I am done mudding and painting it and am in the process of getting things put back together like the lights and switch plates etc...  In this picture I am just ready to spray the ceiling for the texture. I covered the walls and everything else with plastic to keep things somewhat clean.
 I installed a plastic wall that went across the shop area before I started any of the mudding to keep the dust from getting in there and in the house. It seemed to work fairly well.
Paint day was Saturday. Steven helped me a little. Here he is painting the attic access panel. He was super excited to help and even had an apron saved for the occasion.
So I ended up working 12 hour days Friday and Saturday on the garage but I think it has turned out pretty good. I am taking my time hanging the lights up and then I have to tackle cleaning out and organizing the shop area. Here is the final paint job.
It looks good in the pictures but is far from perfect. I really don't think I would do this again. It took a ton of time and still looks like an amateur did the work. I could work a couple of days of overtime and have a professional do it in a 1/4 of the time and it would look a lot better but oh well. It is done and I am still pretty happy with it.
I am still working on restoring my old vise at work. I have it all taped off with high temp tape and I am just waiting to get enough motivation to powdercoat it and then I can begin to start polishing the parts that need it. It should fit in nicely with the garage. No new ghost sightings this week. Maybe it got bored and left. Dixie claims it's a friendly ghost and keeps me from hurting myself in the garage. She's probably right.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New Garage Decor and I think we have a ghost?

Had a super productive weekend. I was able to finish all of my wife's honey do's and I was able to get 2 coats of mud on the garage walls. I think I could be done with one more light coat of mud and then texturing the ceiling. I can then slap some primer and paint on the walls and sign up to be on the show hoarders so I can get my garage cleaned out so I can walk in it. My Brother-in-law gave me the coolest poster for my garage wall. It will fit in perfect when I get the garage done and it's just so cool I had to share it here. It's an original poster from a movie theater that was showing Herbie goes to Monte Carlo. Here it is:
 It's going to look awesome on my newly painted walls when they are done and it will help cover up my crappy mud job.

Now on to the next thing I have noticed in the garage. I have taken lots of pictures of the garage at many different times and the last couple of pictures I have noticed something weird. I hear that when people see ghosts in photos they show up in a form of an orb. Check out these 2 pictures and check out the orbs in them. I looked at my camera lens and I don't have anything on it but they are there. You may have to blow up the 2nd picture to see them in that one.
This 1st picture was right after I painted the shop and this 2nd one was taken a couple weeks later after I moved all the stuff to the shop.  
I told Dixie we had a ghost and She looked at me like I was crazy and then laughed. Saturday the door from the garage to the house opened twice on it's own also. It couldn't of just been the 60 MPH wind gusts we had that day. There is only one thing left to do.

Anyone know their number?