Brake Check Please

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Brake Check Please

Post by 71_georgia_beetle on Wed May 13, 2009 5:00 pm

I contemplated if I should post this or not and decided that more good may come of it than anything. I consider this a personal issue so I will not use nor allow names to be mentioned unless the owner themselves decide to speak. We had a friend and member of the Athens club loose his beautiful 64 single cab during the poker run and they literally cheated death by mere feet. Down a fairly sizable mountain decent, he lost his brakes which resulted in an evasive maneuver that in turn caused a slide, roll and ejection of the passenger.

Both are doing well and recovering. Check those brakes, upgrade those brakes or if you can't, take them to some one who can. We have several members who are mechanics and/or restoration experts. Billie Fry said something that struck a chord in me, "people put a lot of money in making one go fast but not a lot in stopping it". I am in no way implying and know for sure that this was not the case here but often times it is true. I am guilty myself of pushing my vehicle during the run to points that were probable unsafe and this was confirmed with the blow out on the way home.

In short, check those brakes. Make sure the pads/shoes are within spec and in good shape. Make sure those lines are in good shape. Make sure the fluid level is correct.

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Re: Brake Check Please

Post by fluxcap on Wed May 13, 2009 6:08 pm

Wow, that's horrible. Glad everyone is recovering. If it is the single cab I'm thinking of*, I really hate it for the owner, because it was very nice. I've been behind the wheel twice when the brakes went out. Once in a 77 bug, and once in a 77 Ford Econoline. The time in the bug wasn't bad, I was on a flat road with plenty of room. The time in the van was about 1:30am coming down a small mountain in the rain. Came around a bend and found a jacknifed tractor trailer about 100 feet ahead. Hit the brakes and nothing happened. Went offroading down a ditch but luckily stayed on all four wheels. Terrifying Experience.

My disc brake kit actually arrived yesterday and I can't wait to get it installed!

*I guess the pic above is the actual crash and not just a random crash photo. That's not the single I'm thinking of, but that doesn't make the situation suck any less.


Last edited by fluxcap on Wed May 13, 2009 8:46 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarification)

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Re: Brake Check Please

Post by meinvw on Thu May 14, 2009 8:21 am

Ditto, the old school brakes are fine if they are right but when you add an extra 10-30 hp they degrade real fast! Knock on wood I have been lucky, worse scare was not in a vw but a fully loaded semi comming down 17 into Phoenix AZ. Lost my brakes but was able to whip into a rest area and throw front and rear on full and it stopped as I was exiting the rest area! Scared the crap outta me.
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Re: Brake Check Please

Post by Bugman114 on Thu May 14, 2009 11:25 am

aww man. Did the E-brake go out too? Damn. I had my brakes go out once while driving, but i was going down the highway when i noticed it, with bearly any traffic, so i just used my e-brake to slow down, and crawl home.

was the single cab a total loss? or is it reparable? if so, get that thing back on the road (preferrably with discs all around, lol). Get well soon
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Re: Brake Check Please

Post by Stockornaut Restorations on Thu May 14, 2009 1:51 pm

Sorry to hear that, I hope everyone recovers soon. A veh. needs to run but more importantly it needs to stop!
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Re: Brake Check Please

Post by 71_georgia_beetle on Thu May 14, 2009 2:56 pm

Bugman114 wrote:aww man. Did the E-brake go out too?
Not sure. It all happened within milliseconds. It's one of those after the fact question that you only think about, after the fact. One time I was attacked by a 100lb German Shepard and people told me, "I would have kicked the shit out of him" " I would have poked his eyes out" "I would have.................................." no you wouldn't, you would have run screaming like a bitch just like me. I thought the same thing but the truth is.................I would have rolled it as well. They were just ahead of me and really did happen so fast.
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Re: Brake Check Please

Post by Clyde on Thu May 14, 2009 3:04 pm

Thanks for your sensitivity, Scott. I almost spoke up at Jake's to say there's no need for any opinions or judgement until this couple is completely healed- physically and emotionally. The whole thing made me sick, literally.
Hindsight is 20/20. I'm ashamed of this happening to one of our own.

Every VW needs to be converted to a dual circuit system. Period. Authenticity or original specs do not count when you're driving on mountain roads. Safety first!


Last edited by Clyde on Thu May 14, 2009 3:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Brake Check Please

Post by Bugman114 on Thu May 14, 2009 3:43 pm

for my rail and dune buggy i plan to have those CNC brake pedal clusters, where it has two master cylinders, one for the front, and one for the rear. Can't really think of anything better then that. And i can't really see any way that could possibly fail on you, unless one fails, and your too lazy to fix it, and then the other goes, lol.
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Re: Brake Check Please

Post by bumblebuggy on Thu May 14, 2009 3:49 pm

My VW mantra is...

"Going is optional. Stopping is absolutely imperative."

The next upgrade to my bus will be discs on the front. Their brake system on the SC may have been fine but hills are rough on the system. It's possible to heat up the brakes so much that the fluid in the lines will reach ungodly temps and wreak havoc on the system. Drum systems are especially vunerable to brake fade.

Sorry to hear about the SC. That sucks.
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