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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old June 14th, 2006, 17:45   #1
CapeCodTDI
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Default Hand brake Adjustment

I have a 96 Passat and not sure how to adjust hand brake. Pads and rotor are ok. Hand brake barely holds when pulled up fully. I have some ideas but don't want to make it worse.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 20:00   #2
LNXGUY
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If its anything like the MKIV's you'll have to remove the console and make the adjustments on the thread rod attached to the cables... Pretty self explanitory once you get in there and take a look.
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Old June 15th, 2006, 10:08   #3
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Pull rear ashtray out. Locate and remove two screws (A). Slide rear part of the console back and take it out - you may need to slide out plastic covers from brake handle first. This will give you access to adjustment nuts (B).

To adjust loosen counternuts and rotate nuts B. Do not rotate the cables.
When adjusted the bar connecting both cables should be perpendicular to them. The one in the pic obviously isn't - will have to look into it. After final adjustment tighten the counternuts. Reassemble console. Enjoy.

Last edited by Wypij; June 15th, 2006 at 10:56.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 08:28   #4
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The picture above is exactly what mine looks like - and it didn't look like adjusting that much was a good idea. If you find the issue, please report back.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 11:02   #5
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This looks simple enough. Thanks for the picture and taking the time to post. I do not think it needs much. It's my daughters car and believe it or not she really cranks on the hand brake every time she parks. I just think the cables stretched out. I'll let you know.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 15:59   #6
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Have been to a shop to check alignment, tie rods condition, etc. today.

Talked to the mechanic about my hand brake issue. Got lucky, as he turned out to be an ex-dealership technician knowing these cars quite well. He pointed to either partially broken cable (thus stretching) or more likely to a damaged caliper (problem with automatic alignment). When I suggested getting a caliper repair kit his answer wasn't very encouraging. He said: "on customer requests we tried to rebuild those many times, but never got satisfactory results with this kind of an issue. Better start looking for a replacement".

Oh well... will look into it anyway. When I find something I will report back.

-Marius
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Old June 16th, 2006, 16:27   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wypij
Have been to a shop to check alignment, tie rods condition, etc. today.

Talked to the mechanic about my hand brake issue. Got lucky, as he turned out to be an ex-dealership technician knowing these cars quite well. He pointed to either partially broken cable (thus stretching) or more likely to a damaged caliper (problem with automatic alignment). When I suggested getting a caliper repair kit his answer wasn't very encouraging. He said: "on customer requests we tried to rebuild those many times, but never got satisfactory results with this kind of an issue. Better start looking for a replacement".

Oh well... will look into it anyway. When I find something I will report back.

-Marius
I have a similar problem on my 1998 A3 Jetta. I didn't think there were A3 TDI Jettas with rear disc brakes (my Jetta has rear drums). Is the same adjustment mechanism that is prone to failure on the calipers also used on drum brakes? Just curious...thanks.
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Old June 17th, 2006, 15:54   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beowulf
Is the same adjustment mechanism that is prone to failure on the calipers also used on drum brakes? Just curious...thanks.
No, they are a completely different design.
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Old June 17th, 2006, 22:22   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wypij
No, they are a completely different design.
That's what I assumed. Thanks.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 09:21   #10
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I finally got the time to get in and look but there was / is no obvious adjustment. The picture posted doe not look like her hand break assembly at all. The cable is terminated with a barrel type fitting you might see on a bicycle hand break.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 17:10   #11
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Rebuilding B4 rear calipers isn't that difficult. I did my wagon's rears in PererV's driveway in a few hours one afternoon. The first time (previous sedan) took a bit longer due to it being my first time on the VW rears.
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Old June 28th, 2006, 05:02   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lug_Nut
Rebuilding B4 rear calipers isn't that difficult. I did my wagon's rears in PererV's driveway in a few hours one afternoon. The first time (previous sedan) took a bit longer due to it being my first time on the VW rears.
What issues did you have with yours? Parking brake related or plain leaks? Did you take any pictures worth posting? Is there anything special to watch out for when taking them apart?

-Marius
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