April 5, 2019 at 10:34 am #305977
With the good weather I decided to tackle the parasitic drain on the battery of my 1985 British Coach Works build. After exploring a while I found the horn relay was warm. Pulled the horn and tested it. Bad. Returned from auto parts store with new horn. Decided to pull relay before installing horn. Relay STILL warm after a couple hours with horn removed. Returned from auto parts store with new relay and installed. Promptly got warm. Must be horn contact switch problem. Pulled horn button only to find turn signal canceling cam was at 4:30 position on shaft. Book says it should be at 10:30 position. First owner installed turn signal idler upside down on shaft. OK I can remove and reinstall correctly and then install horn rebuild kit. Turns out the entire steering column was installed upside down by the original owner. The steering shaft has splines in it and there is one missing spline at 4:30 position. Had to file out a rib on the steering wheel adapter and drill a hole in the bottom steering column shell so the steering wheel would not be upside down. Put everything back together. In short: Horn works. Relay cool. Turn signal cancels out of a turn (didn’t before, I attributed it to worn parts). No parasitic drain! Case closed (for now). Happy spring!April 5, 2019 at 10:15 pm #305978
P.S. Tested car after babysitting with grandkids 36 hours later.. turned ignition to on 2X to prime fuel pump. Car started on first crank!April 6, 2019 at 8:38 am #305980
Ain’t it the truth:
So, we finally had a nice day and I decided to take my abandoned (in my garage) TDr for a ride after getting temporary “paper” plates. Pulled out of the driveway and got up to the end of our cul-de-sac. No brakes. Nada. Zip. Fortunately, I had relocated the emergency brake handle a few years ago and it did work. Got it home and then the fun started.
Looked under the car and saw no puddle. The reservoir was almost full. Pumped the pedal – nothing. Time for a good head scratch. Checked each wheel for leakage. Nope. I figured it must be the master cylinder but could’t imagine how a master cylinder could fail such as to have NO brakes or any resistance when depressing. Somewhat convinced that it must be the master cylinder, I sourced a new one. Boy, what a pita it is getting to it and getting the old line fittings off. And of course, on my Daytona, you have to remove the fuel tank to get to the bolts holding the MC on. Fortunately I only had about 3 gallons of gas in the tank. My good friend Happy Jack offered to come help and lend moral support. After bench bleeding the new master cylinder, we got it in and started to bleed the brake lines. My Daytona VW is up on jack stands and I am running around from wheel to wheel. I’m adding fluid and Jack is adding fluid. Jack is pumping the pedal. Finally, after no luck getting any pedal, Jack gets out and comments on how he almost slipped on my garage floor. Hmmm? Why. Reached inside and the carpet on the driver’s side was wet. Oh no! The line running from the master cylinder to the rears had sprung a leak. The good news at this point was that my driver’s side floorboard is capable of holding about 16 ounces of brake fluid without leaking. I had totally forgotten that the line runs inside the car. (I have had more cars than I care to share. But, does any other car have brake lines running through the passenger compartment under the carpet?) So, gotta replace the long line from the MC to the rear where it T’s off to each rear. Getting to each of these fittings requires a contortionist and a nice supply of odd wrenches. The builder had fiberglassed the old line to the floor of the tub so I had to do some cutting with my multi-tool. Finally it’s off. Our friend Dalton at Simmons VW Restoration is only about 2 miles from my house and he had a new brake line which he traded for a new set of front brake shoes that I no longer needed since I changed to front discs. Installing the new line is no walk in the park. I had an assortment of bending tools and needed them. Had to drill some new holes through the tub and assemble. Getting the flare fitting onto the T at the rear is a bitch. Clearance, long reach, dark. Can hardly see it, and not a good view. Finally, success. Bleeding went smoothly. All’s well.
My VW has a dual cylinder master cylinder and the front brakes come off the front of the MC. The rear of the MC supplies fluid to the rears (both of them). Now, I assumed that if you had a break in one of the lines, the other brakes would still work. The reservoir is also split into two halves and there are two supply hoses to the MC. I found out that if you have a leak in any line, the MC will NOT supply pressure to the other two brakes. This was a big surprise to me. So both the old MC (which was not bad) and the new MC worked the same way. ??? Later VW’s dual system braking system is NOT doubly safe (as I thought).
I know that the size of the piston in the MC is larger for the rears than the front which would apparently give some proportioning to the system.
One of (the only) good things to come of all of this was that brake fluid mixes quite nicely with water and so cleanup was not too difficult.
Gotta go and put the carpet back in the drivers foot-well. Sayonara, for now.April 6, 2019 at 9:14 am #305981
You wonder what was going through the minds of the original builders on some facets of the build. Maybe he thought by casing the brake line in fiberglass it would be forever protected and never ever a problem. Mine might have been a “Hold my beer. I’ll put that steering shaft in”. Sounds like you had it a lot worse. At least your floorboards will repel moisture for a while!April 6, 2019 at 3:59 pm #305982
Good on ya both tackling this though.
Roy, like you I was taught the dual master cylinder gave redundancy. It is supposed to, but it’s also supposed to be scary–like pedal goes to the floor scary. Fortunately I’ve never had to test the theory that you can still stop with one part of the system wide open.
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