Master Cylinder for Disc brakes

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    Bill Gayler


     Please excuse me if this topic has been beaten to death, but I’m a new member and couldn’t find any information listed. As an ex-Street Rodder, I’ve converted several vehicles from front drums to disc. It’s necessary to change master cylinders because the disc will not release pressure like the drums. None of the kits mention changing the master cylinder, but I’m assuming it’s necessary. The car I just bought had front 4 lug drums and is titled 1979 but I’m not sure of the VW year model. I’d like to have all parts in hand before I start the changeover. Any help will be appreciated.





    Paul Mossberg


    Hi bgayler,

    All the sources I can find indicate the stock master cylinder will work fine. Here’s just one write-up:

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    Bill Gayler


    Thanks for you reply. I’m spoiled by the quick stopping ability of disc brakes. (A necessity not an option in Houston traffic.)

    Mark Hendrickson


    Bgayler…I’m a Streetrodder too (1940 Ford Tudor Sedan). Pics in my gallery.

    I put 4 wheel discs on the VW based TD now owned by Bill Collins when I refurbed it. The stock master cylinder worked OK, there is not a lot of weight to stop.

    However a few years ago, VW Trends ran an article on how to modify and mount a Vanagon master cylinder (disc/drum) in a Type 1 Beetle. The “squishy” feeling was totally eliminated because the higher volume/pressure for the front disc brake circuit was there. Of course a stock Beetle is 800 pounds heavier than a TD replica.

    Try to “google” that article…Maybe Hot VW’s has run a similar one?

    The VW front disc brake kits for the ’68 up (IRS/4 lug) Beetle is nothing more than using Kharmann Ghia spindles, rotors and calipers. They came with front discs.

    The rear disc kits are easy to install once you get the 12 million pound torque nut that holds the rear drums on off. Spend the $$ for the one with the e-brake cables included and you’ll have to bend two short hard lines.

    I’d also invest in stainless braided hoses for the front and rear too.

    Pink MG39947.5924652778

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