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disk brake ID

professor229

New member
Hi.... problems with the front brakes after three years in storage.... car pulled hard to the left when the brakes were applied... felt like I had a flat tie on the right front... jacked up the front... left side is fine.... passenger side brakes are almost locked on tight.... stuck there... it all makes sense..... I have sprayed penetrating oil on the two 17 mm bolts holding the pad assembly on.... and will remove the assembly and see if the piston is corroded that pushes on the pads.....

But, I am pretty sure these brakes were probably installed at the factory in the early 70's.... and would like to identify them.... here is what I found....

a number stamped on the casting..... 2712..... another number..... 79-9.... and then I am sure the company name that LOOKS LIKE the letters Fttc with the number 50.... BUT... I cannot be sure about the Fttc....

Can anybody put two and two together on this and make some suggestions/recommendations about either cleaning the pistons or what company made these?

Thanks...

Dennis

PS... Please contact me with your answers or if you need pictures or more info...

msra601@gmail.com
 

frodoz737

Member
Pictures would help. ;) If all else fails, just take the caliper down to your VW Dealership with your chassis VIN. Irregardless your opinion of VW Dealerships (or any for that matter), the "Parts Guys" usually go out of their way to help if you treat them right. Ya never know...they might even have something in stock to eye-ball. That's what I would do anyway.
 

letterman7

Honorary Admin
Dennis, the only brakes available for the Beetle chassis at that time were VW from the Ghia. You can purchase two new calipers and pad assemblies for low money from a variety of outlets. Even the aftermarket assemblies will fit the spindles. Save time, get new stuff.
 
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professor229

New member
update

Hi guys..... update..... I went after the problem this morning, and started in doing a few interventions, hoping to get lucky..... I made a lot of progress and got it down to two possible solutions... I did free the caliper enough to remove it from the disk, and this, to remove the brake hose leading to the caliper. The symptoms of a collapsed hose fit this scenario to a tee.... Getting to the metal brake line to get a wrench on it was the worst but it could be done and I eventually got the hose off... and took it to my local NAPA to get a replacement. They said they needed the old hose to find a suitable replacement... Even if I bought a new aftermarket set of front brakes, this would still be an issue.... The guy behind the counter was very good, and screwed in fittings on both the male and female end of the hose, and shook his head.... one end metric, one end standard.... Long story short.... they were busy and I told him I would come back on Monday or have a local company make one.... and as long as I am at it, they could make two... might as well do both. But that was no guarantee that I found the problem.... just an educated guess... a start... a possible solution..... It could be a gummed up caliper too....

That is when I contacted the owner of Further Performance who did the motor work on this car and did a phenomenal job; they are located in Minneapolis and have an A+ rating with the BBB.... He alerted me to the brake problem starting, when I got the car from the shop and he wanted to keep it one more day to fix that, but I needed the car on the road for a show so I declined... Now, I wish I had left it.... So the car will be picked up on Monday. I offered to just bring the caliper and hose to their shop, but he said they would rather have the entire car.... and do it right.... so that is where it is headed....

By the way... if you saw the pads and the disk, you would know how few miles are actually on the brakes.... which could be part of the problem... non use and three years in storage take their toll..... This car did spend ten years languishing while the owner tried to do the fiberglass work on the car... managed to get it apart, and gave up.... That is when a friend of mine bought the dismantled basket case, and he too, did nothing with the car, for another ten years although, he did keep all the dismantled parts stored in a greenhouse... It took me four years to finish the car.... mostly winter work... I did drive it for about five years, and then other projects needed to be done (trailer, boat, '27 Chevy)..... so it was not insured for those years... and here we are. I like to do things myself... but on Monday, I have my choice.... work on this some more, or go fishing... Guess what I am going to do? And yes, I will try to remember to write back to let you all know what actually was the culprit, but I think generally, storage is hard on cars.... even if you do it right.
 

professor229

New member
1971

Letterman7.... you were right... I googled 1971 Ghia brake parts and found several sets identical to mine; you don't see a lot of calipers with dual bleeders.... a pair of new calipers for $80 including shipping.... on Ebay... but I still have a hose problem and to be honest, it's been a long day... but I would need to look to see if the brake hoses were stock as well.... and it raises another question.. could the donor car for this Sterling possibly have been a Ghia???? or do you suppose they just did a quick install of Ghia brakes on this car? I would be willing to bet, it was done at the factory.... I know MOST of the history of the car from the day it was built and I am the fourth owner.... the first owner might have done the conversion too... but I doubt it... I know the second and third owners, did literally nothing to the car... thanks for your help.....
 

letterman7

Honorary Admin
The common "performance" swap was all Ghia parts on the front end, which really just amounted to the disc brake portions - the discs and calipers. Everything else was basically the same as a Beetle with ball joint front ends. The hoses, too, are universal - any aftermarket hose or stock Beetle hose will work. Whether the brake swap was done at CCC is unknown, but I imagine if the person doing the ordering asked for a disc kit to be installed, they would have done it. And no doubt it was from the Ghia.

At this point if there are so many issues with the brakes, you may want to consider starting fresh. New master, new front calipers, new rear brake pistons. New rubber hoses at the rear and braided hoses at the front. You could probably do it all for $250 or under if you shop well.. and are willing to put in the time to change it all out. But like you discovered, they don't like to sit. You'll need to drive it a couple times a month to keep everything working.
 

professor229

New member
thanks

I just had a discussion with my brother about time and working on cars like we have done since we were kids.... now, it's just not that important to us... and fishing has replaced golf and cars as my "hobby"..... I know what you mean about shopping well, and doing it myself, but the older I get, the less that appeals to me... just me... The guys at Further Performance will do it right and I will pay too much, but this is the way I am going to go.... maybe.... just the idea of ordering off Ebay is not really appealing to me... although the installation of the calipers, brake lines, and bleeding is relatively easy.... and I am sure I would save $100 or so... but right now, time is more important than money to me..... If my son had room to store this car, he would own it now... again.... thanks for the information... always good to learn something. Over the years, I have done a lot of research on my car, and found out where it started, but never ever did really track down the first owner, in Detroit Lakes MN..... but I do know the second and third owners... The plan this summer is to wait for some rainy days, and perhaps update what is commonly called "an older restoration." That would includ a fairly new interior, a blue tooth radio with a back up camera, a new battery cable from the front to the back, and maybe even the limit setting deal for the actuators, although, this is already complicated... with a remote control unit.... which works well... I also may have to replace the linear actuators (SPAL) because they are older and seem to be getting slower. I also added a trickle charger to the battery.... as you know, Sterling's are never done.... and you are also right... they need to be driven... Thanks again for your help and information.... I might head to NAPA today and if a simple brake hose fixes it, then I have saved some money.....
 

ratrog64

Well-known member
The great thing (and maybe the only thing) about getting older is getting wiser. We choose our battles and spend our time how we want to spend our time. Your time happens to be spent fishing.

As much as I love working on my Sterling and air cooled VW's all together, I don't work on my other vehicles. If my truck needs brakes, a ball joint or anything else, I bring it to a friend who is a great mechanic. I look at it 2 ways, #1 - this is how the economy works, we earn / we spend and other people earn, #2 - I get to do what I want, when I want, while someone else does what I don't want to do. If I need to earn more money to pay someone else to do what I don't want to do, I just work my regular job a little more. The other good thing is I like my regular job too.

So don't feel bad about pushing your Sterling work off on someone else to go fishing. If that's what makes you happy at this time in your life I say go for it. At least its going to get the attention it needs!
 

professor229

New member
Update 2

Hey guys.... As far as working on my Sterling, it took me four long winters to get it "finished" although it is never done... that was quite a few years ago now and it needs a lot of updating. I also moved to the metro area from my nice small four car garage out in the sticks.... so space is limited and I left a lot of tools etc. behind.... but, I still enjoy puttsing with the car... but the last three years the car had not run all that well... until I spent some money and had the work done.... The recommendations of the place that did the work were the best.... simple as that... and they were right.... but, today, I had the perfect day... I can say that 100% of the projects I did today failed, culminating with the last intervention I tried with the Sterling... Usually, I find the information on forums, to be rather inaccurate or unreliable but once in awhile I find very useful information.... and that happened here a day or so ago when I was told what the brakes probably were.... and it was right.... 1971 Karman Ghia.... Now, I will call Further Performance in MPLS tomorrow afternoon to make arrangements, but I do know what is wrong with the brakes now. I went to NAPA this morning, with the old hose, and asked if they had a set of brake hoses for a 1971 Ghia.... they didn't but a store about 20 miles away did... and they would send a courier to get them and did.... This afternoon, I installed a new hose, on the offending passenger side, and we bled the brakes... and then tried to spin the hub.... and yes, they were locked on... I used the tapping method to release the glides from the bottom, and the hub would spin normally... then the brakes were applied again... and they locked on and would not release... That means only one thing; the caliper is "gummed up" and I am not sure it is worth arguing with... $80 will get you two on Ebay with free delivery and I could do this and installed them in a matter of minutes.... but the owner of Further Performance assured me that this will not be an expensive endeavor... so I am going fishing tomorrow early and will call him tomorrow afternoon... As far as future projects on the car... that is for rainy days now.... In the winter, it resides in an enclosed four place snowmobile trailer... and that is usually when I work on all my vehicles... you can never put enough wax on a good old fashioned single stage enamel paint job.... oh.... and part of the reason they want to take the car downtown to the shop? Attention..... and I am sure you know what I mean... thanks for all your help.... and advice.... it really worked out this time...
 

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professor229

New member
Quick update

I have given up on hiring someone to do the brakes, and bought two brake hoses from NAPA, installed one, to see if it would fix the problem, bled the brakes but the problem remains. It does eliminate the brake hose as the problem; and narrows down the problem to, the caliper, the brake line, or the master cylinder. Calipers are reasonable as well as the master cylinder... so, I ordered a set of two calipers from what looks to be one of the main sellers on Ebay with a good rep and he did communicate well... it's always a crap shoot on Ebay.... but it was less than $100 delivered.... for the set... I will slap them on later this week as they are to arrive probably on Wednesday. I also plan to replace the brake fluid.... It is somewhat discolored... not good, but not all that bad either.... Then will hope this ends this and I can take the car down the road.... and start in on "the next project" on the Sterling.... Hope everyone is having a good weekend....
 

frodoz737

Member
...problems with the front brakes after three years in storage....

...I am pretty sure these brakes were probably installed at the factory in the early 70's....

If I may...

It's likely you need to repair/rebuild/replace the "whole" system....including the master. Brakes do not store well. DOT 3/4 Brake fluids are hygroscopic and once exposed the clock starts ticking. The absorbed water causes rust, corrosion, seizures, and flex line/seal deterioration. Address vacuum lines/components as well "where applicable".

Just my friendly...speaking as a career Mechanic. ;)
 
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professor229

New member
Final Post

I learned a lot. I contacted a VW Beetle restoration company in CA and their guy gave me some good advice that turned out to be perfect..... He directed me to a video on how to rebuild the calipers.... I watched it, and from what I have read, it is basically a lost cause before you begin.... and it is far cheaper to just buy new calipers... they are so reasonable in price... but I have to try this winter and bought the caliper repair kits off ebay... they were cheap.... and I understand the process but suspect the pistons are going to be worthless.... live and learn... I did install the caliper on the bad side, after just installing a new brake hose on that side; hoping that a collapsed hose was the issue.... it wasn't... the caliper was bad.. and I won't go into details, but it has to do with the return/release aspect of the gasket.... the fix is to just replace the caliper. After fixing this, and getting the brake on that side to function properly, we took it for a ride, and now, the brakes work, but unevenly... and it is noticeable..... it pulls slightly to the right now. As I researched this, I found several references to replacing BOTH sides at the same time.... so I have done this... easy...... and now will bleed the brakes on this side too.... I am in no hurry to do this.... but I am 99% sure this will finally solve all the problems, that weren't really problems.... live and learn again.
 

professor229

New member
restoration

There were actually two outfits that helped me, but the best advice on how to rebuild the calipers was "aircooled.net" and I believe the other was "J bugs" or something like that.... it is unusual these days to find a company willing to give advice, especially as quickly as aircooled did... and the advice was right on as far as specifically answering the questions about why the brakes would not release.... I am dragging my feet a bit on finishing the brakes now.... they are installed and I need to bleed them and find the time to do it, but I am also restoring a trailer that has to be done first, and then some landscaping work as well that is just sitting there waiting too.... and did I mention the fish were biting as well? Have a good one..... Dennis
 

professor229

New member
to be continued

Just an update to this thread..... I tried to hire a mechanic who moonlights, from a local forum. He agreed to stop over last Wednesday evening and take a look... he was a no show... and will not answer requests now..... So, I went to Harbor Freight and bought a one person vacuum bleeder tool.... I started with the rear brakes... and yes, they were adjusted drum brakes... I didn't like the solid dark line so added a four inch section of clear tube so I could see what was coming through the system and into the vacuum cup.... I saw too many bubbles, and finally figured out that the air was coming through the threads of the bleeder, into the bleeder, and then through the hole in the bleeder... That wasn't the case on the driver side rear... but still, I am not confident that the rear brakes are "right" and may, in fact, be the problem. Now I am not sure I ever had rear brakes working on this car.... I moved to the front brakes and they bled perfectly (new calipers).... I installed the wheels and went for a ride, gingerly at first.... and locked up the brakes and did a couple of quick stops... as predicted, the front disc brakes work extremely well.... "screech" ..... but the pedal travel is still too far, and too soft. So I will wait for some free time, and instead of using the vacuum pump to suck the fluid out, I am going to enlist the help of my son to bleed the rear lines the old fashioned way, using the brake pedal to push the fluid through.... I will also replace the bleeder screws.... if that does not solve the soft pedal, then I will have to pull the rear drums and take a look at the two rear wheel cylinder, and perhaps, replace them. The only other intervention would be to replace the master cylinder.... but one step at a time.. Can I drive the car? Yes.... but I do want it perfect....
 
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