A couple weeks ago, I noticed that the brakes were hanging up on the Bug. It’s a 1972 Beetle and I’ll get a page on it up soon (just as the Comet and the F100 have their own pages). The Beetle was cheap transportation for me during college. Anyhow, I thought it was the rear passenger side and, indeed, it was. At first, I tried to back off the brake shoes by turning the adjusters but they were frozen solid. To fix it, here’s what we did:
- Jacked up the car. This lets you spin the tires.
- Once we realized it was the rear passenger side, we tried to adjust the brakes and back them off from the drum, but the adjusters wouldn’t turn. So, we removed the wheel. The tire could barely turn and took a lot of strength to do so.
- VWs have lug bolts, not lug nuts. So, we hand tightened two of them back into the drum.
- We then sprayed some rust break into the adjuster holes in the back of the drum.
- After letting it soak for a while, we took a crowbar, and ran it across the drum, diagonally between the lug bolts so that it could turn the drum by leveraging against them. We then turned the drum back and forth.
- While Micah turned the drum back and forth, I took a large regular screw driver and worked the star wheels (adjusters) from the back of the drum.
- Thankfully, the adjusters broke loose, first one side, then the other. So, I had Micah go back in and press the pedal so I could get the brake adjusted.
- After that, I adjusted the handbrake cables, too, as the brake handle had been pulling up too high even before this.
Although Tasha is still not big and strong enough to help with something as physically intense as this project, we had her watch and had her tighten down the lug bolts initially when we put the wheel back on (Micah then tightened them fully):