November 18, 2016 at 12:17 am #302335
And maybe no relation between low fluid and lights, I couldn’t be sure.
I was going to take the car out today for the 2nd time this month, first yesterday. Realized no red light reflection in the chrome luggage rack when backing out of driveway. No idea about yesterday.
Fuses all okay so looked at brake pedal for a switch, not there. Checked reservoir inside false hood for a wire or wires, nothing, but also discovered the fluid extremely low. Was below the divider. Filled to seam around upper part of reservoir. Made no difference for lights, still off.
Under car (below reservoir) I found a pair of wires connected to the forward part of brake master cylinder, very loose. A second switch there (brake pedal end of MC) lacked wires. Cleaned and crimped the connections for a tight fit. Brake lights again!
Wondered how long those brake lights might have been off but more worrying is that I hadn’t noticed the fluid being so low either. I think it had been a year since I checked it, but only 800 to 1000 miles. No leaks seen on concrete under car, other than spot from engine oil (plastic with kitty litter contains that now).
Intended a year-end check of the car as well as the last drives before winter. I wasn’t expecting brake problems because there wasn’t any indication of abnormal braking at all. It drove and braked perfectly.
Wanted to tell this so anyone else like me might be more aware of this sort of thing. Not driving at night and not having turn signals since a short time after I got the car. Ignoring that, must get around to fixing! And instead using hand signals, I probably hadn’t been checking my lights better.
More importantly, I’m not going to be trusting my brakes (and what else…? hmmmm) unless doing inspections of things on a regular basis.
BobNovember 19, 2016 at 6:24 pm #302356Paul MossbergKeymaster
Glad you caught it all before something bad happened.
Old cars – check everything often!
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 https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)November 19, 2016 at 10:02 pm #302360John SimionParticipant
According to my research — and what my mechanic told me — the brake light switches in old VWs are pressure-operated. When they get old, they tend to go bad and either fail or require an inordinate amount of pressure to operate. If you were able to get yours to work with a reasonable amount of pressure, that’s fantastic. If they work but you still have to really squash the pedal, the switches are bad. Once the guy replaced my switches, they work well and the brake lights come on easily with hardly any pressure. Of course, my car also has a sonic warning that the brakes are being applied lightly — that is when they start squealing like a wounded pig.November 19, 2016 at 10:20 pm #302361
Somewhere during the process of changing my rear brake cylinders, the master cylinder, rear shoes and installing discs on the front, I must have misplaced my sonic warning – it no longer functions. But, I have noticed that if my head tilts slightly forward when driving, it usually means that my brakes are working.
A note on the pressure activated brake light switch: I have recent experience that showed two different brand new switches leaked brake fluid. One on my TDr, and one on Jack’s. (They are pipe threaded and one must be careful not to split the casting on the master cylinder by screwing in too tightly.) But, even knowing that, doesn’t ensure a good replacement since some of the new switches are very inferior quality. Unfortunately, I can not offer any brand name advice, either good or bad.
Jack??November 20, 2016 at 2:14 am #302362
Only sonic warning I have is from one of my truck brakes, and it’s more like a dog whistle. No squeal yet from braking, but been through that before so I don’t trust sounds to warn me when they don’t always do so.
No way of knowing if low pressure was ever a factor here since first thing I did was refill brake fluid. Those wire connectors were incredibly loose. I’m surprised wind while driving didn’t pull them off.
No signs of leakage on brake lines. Going to watch reservoir for now, maybe it’s a hose right there going into the carpeted hood interior.November 20, 2016 at 10:34 am #302364newkitmanParticipant
TheSamba site talks about this in there forums and they mentioned the MC sometimes leaking into the inside of the tunnel. One would never notice it unless it leaked out the hole in the bottom tunnel plate and that would drip on the road while driving. My dual brake MC is leaking at the top where the two hoses from the reservoir connect. I’m thinking of using a reservoir that connects directly on the top of the dual brake MC. Cost is something like $19.00.
VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
"If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The ShackNovember 20, 2016 at 11:03 am #302365
MC sometimes leaking into the inside of the tunnel. My dual brake MC is leaking at the top where the two hoses from the reservoir connect. I’m thinking of using a reservoir that connects directly on the top of the dual brake MC.
Food for thought.
I’ve loaded my hood compartment with so much stuff, I worry about the reservoir getting jostled by loose tools and container boxes. Of course it wouldn’t take much to enclose with a little protective shield either, just thinking about those short lengths of blue hose being possibly older than 32 years.November 20, 2016 at 12:53 pm #302369secretagentcatParticipant
Good Morning Gang
I’m so glad this subject came up. I recently replaced all the wires on The Penny Marie. I installed LED brake lights and they work fine so far. However, she sat in the garage for a while and though I started her weekly, I didn’t drive her for a while. Since I’ve been driving her daily with only the brake lights, I’ve developed a huge brake fluid leak. I’m having to completely refill the reserve tank each morning before I head out to work and its empty at the end of the day. I don’t see any leaking from the lines but I see a split in the rubber cover on the master cylinder. I think the leak is there. There are many brake fluid puddles on the street in front of my house. I should own stock in Kitty litter.
With that in mind, I’m going to replace the master cylinder later this month. Can anyone suggest the best brand to use as well as who makes the best brake switches as well. I’m going to replace all the brake lines while I’m at it just to make the project complete.
I had a guy tell me that my brake lights were very dim as I was driving down Beach Bl one afternoon. I thought he was just being fussy but according to this thread there must have been some truth to what he was saying.
Again thanks for addressing this important issue…
Safety Fast boys and girls!
RickNovember 21, 2016 at 1:52 pm #302377
Recent posting on Samba re losing brake fluid with no readily apparent cause for leak or where fluid was leaking reported that master cylinder was leaking into chassis and fluid was pooling in tunnel. Found that when car was accelerating fluid flowed to back of tunnel and leaked out at transmission area giving false impression of transmission fluid leaking. He removed the inspection cover at front and with light was able to see pool of brake fluid. Recommendation was to wash out tunnel with water and then repaint inside of tunnel as brake fluid is great for stripping paint. Something you may want to look at
David B Dixon
Port Perry ON CA
SabineNovember 21, 2016 at 2:51 pm #302378
Thanks David. Yeah, the “tunnel”… I will go looking when I can.November 21, 2016 at 2:57 pm #302379
…..and then “repaint the inside of the tunnel.” ?? The only way I can think of would be a bit like throwing a hand grenade??November 21, 2016 at 6:38 pm #302399
Here is a product that apparently can help to avoid throwing a hand grenade
David B Dixon
Port Perry ON CA
SabineNovember 21, 2016 at 6:52 pm #302400
Cool!November 21, 2016 at 8:59 pm #302402edward ericsonParticipant
That would be great on a pan-off refit. Better yet to have a stick of some kind with a remote trigger to feed the can all the way to the shift coupler area, start it spraying and slowly drag it through to the front port of the tunnel.November 22, 2016 at 9:28 am #302405
Watch the video at bottom of the page. They show a 18-24″ tube that is put into the frame and the rubberized material is sprayed in a arc from the nozzle on the end of the flexible tube. Only concern I would have in using product would be rubberizing gear shift mechanism which could hamper operation Could also be a challenge if you ever have to change any of the cables routed in the tunnel if rubber compound gets in the tubes
David B Dixon
Port Perry ON CA
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