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Thread: Mk3 Spongy Brakes - Normal?

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    Default Mk3 Spongy Brakes - Normal?

    Hi all,

    I'll keep it short as I am pretty dumb and feel annoying asking all these silly questions.

    I have just changed my front pads and discs, bled the entire system, and the brakes still feel like crap, very spongy and you have to really press down hard if you want to stop quickly, they do work if you press down hard, but feel sloppy.

    I am wondering is this normal behaviour for Mk3's, or do I still possibly have air in the system and/or other problems? I haven't driven any other Mk3 so don't really now how to compare. Compared to the mrs Mk5 (std with drum brakes on the rear), the difference is HUGE, about 4x less travel and 4x as sharp, should this be so?

    Thanks

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    sounds like they need more bleeding or theres other issues

    what method did you use to bleed it?
    91 G60 ed1 , 89 16v gti , 88 breadvan

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    MK3'S HAVE A LONGER PEDAL AND MORE 'PROGRESSIVE' feel than a MK5 but spongeyness = air in the system

    What MK3 is it? you should only pressure bleed VW's, especially if it's ABS

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    It is a 1.8CL, OBD1, I used a gunsons eezibleed to bleed it @ 25PSI, I am going to have another go at it tomorrow, though I did it in the correct order and used about 2L so I think it should have done it. Would you reccomend I try the two man method at the same time (with a block of wood between the pedal and the floor to ensure I don't hit rust), or just have another go with the eezibleed?

    It's definately spongey though, it feels like I could press the pedal down almost down to the floor if I pushed really hard.

    Thanks for the replies

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    So why did you need to bleed brakes if you changed discs and pads? just curious really as you dont need to
    Ta ever so,
    Craig



    R32T.........wow when did that happen!!!

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    They have been feeling spongy for as long as I can remember so I thought I would change the pads/dics as they needed doing (the pads were not far off the metal) and bleed the whole system while I was doing it at the same time, hoping I would get a more firm feel to the brake pedal. Also the fluid hasn't been changed in god knows how many years.

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    ok, just wondered really. When I had my 312mm brakes put on midland VW had to bleed them a couple of times to get em right. But still wasnt right but worked, they got better over about 3 days. That might of been down to brand new calipers tho. But now they are sharp as hell
    Ta ever so,
    Craig



    R32T.........wow when did that happen!!!

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    312mm mmm nice

    I guess the nackered rear drums probably aren't helping things though I was definately expecting them to feel better (considering the fluid hasnt been changed in 5+ years), but they feel just as naff as they did before, they didnt feel very sharp when I first got the car to be honest, but they have certainly got progressively worse over the years, as you'd expect?

    Ill let you know how it goes

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    Brakes will take about 100 miles (at least) before they work at their best, a sort of bedding in period I guess... Give it a bit of time, that's what I say.

    I changed my brakes and discs on my driver recently for GTI brakes and it took at least 100miles before they felt as good as the previous ones, now they are superb.

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    Just to add to the above, you don't need to bleed the brakes but it's always a good idea after changing pads as fluid comes out of the caliper back into the line and can often be contaminated, I usually bleed a bit thru at least even if i've done a full fluid change in the last year...

    Bleeding method and pressure sound fine, i'd bed the fronts in a bit more (500) miles and do another bleed...

    Rear brakes have a lot to do with pedal feel - check the adjustment on the shoes, the wear on the drums and the wheel cylinders for leaks - if the cars done over 100k it should have had the cylinders changed by now.

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    Thanks for the replies

    I did a full bleed again today but they still do feel a bit sloppy tbh, I think the pads need bedding in definately, but they still don't feel very sharp. I will get my mechanic to have a drive of the car to see whether he thinks they should feel like this...

    Ah well at least I changed the pads and discs, I had to drill 3 of 4 caliper bolts out then use bolt extractors.

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    irwing bolt grippers.... all you need for that job

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    Ah well at least I changed the pads and discs, I had to drill 3 of 4 caliper bolts out then use bolt extractors.
    Bloody hell!! - thats sloppy mechanics re-using bolts that are £1 for 4 from VW or Halfords!

    If your still having problems in a couple of weeks take it to VW and get them to bleed it on the proper machine, seems to make a big difference on problem cars!

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    I know, glad I did the job myself now, this way it will come off nicely next time round. One of the rotor hold down screws is snapped in place too, not sure how they managed that, it made things ever so slightly more annoying when trying to get the caliper on and those two metal strips, with the rotor constantly falling off and focing the pads out of position

    I will take to VW if they do not feel much better after bedding in.. out of intrest how does their machine work, is it just a pressure bleeder but a more stable flow and higher PSI?

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    Have you got a rear brake compensator valve on your car?

    If you do you will need to lock it in fully open position when bleeding rear brakes so fluid can flow easier


    Under rebuild........

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    Not sure . I got a really good flow though when using the pressure bleeder, the pads are definately biting sharper as I drive it more, but the feel of the pedal is still a bit "sloppy", ya know.

    It is quite possible they are working fairly normal for Mk3's tbh and I have just got too used to the mrs' mk5 and other newer cars, you only need a light tap of them and the car stops immediately

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    iirc MK3's with ABS don't have a brake bias valve, but I may be wrong.


    When I changed my pads i also changed the fluid and bled with an ezi-bleed and my brakes are superb, it was dead easy.
    Last edited by Jaundice; 24th September 2008 at 22:34.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaz8389 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edgeyboy View Post
    Hi guys, any ideas as to how to remove a front splitter on a mk3 golf?
    Cheers gang
    Pull it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaundice
    iirc MK3's with ABS don't have a brake bias valve, but I may be wrong.
    Correct......i have ABS and no valve as ABS unit does the brake biasing...if thats a word
    Ta ever so,
    Craig



    R32T.........wow when did that happen!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by craggsy
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaundice
    iirc MK3's with ABS don't have a brake bias valve, but I may be wrong.
    Correct......i have ABS and no valve as ABS unit does the brake biasing...if thats a word
    Thought so..

    Quote Originally Posted by shaz8389 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edgeyboy View Post
    Hi guys, any ideas as to how to remove a front splitter on a mk3 golf?
    Cheers gang
    Pull it.

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    I just noticed today, if I pump the brakes several times in sucsession, they feel more sharp. Any ideas what this suggests, or is it to be expected slightly for a car of this age?

    Btw thanks for all your help, it really is appriciated
    Last edited by Destroyer; 25th September 2008 at 15:50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Destroyer
    I just noticed today, if I pump the brakes several times in sucsession, they feel more sharp. Any ideas what this suggests, or is it to be expected slightly for a car of this age?

    Btw thanks for all your help, it really is appriciated
    Is that with the engine running or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by shaz8389 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edgeyboy View Post
    Hi guys, any ideas as to how to remove a front splitter on a mk3 golf?
    Cheers gang
    Pull it.

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    With the engine running, i'm pretty sure the servo is fine though, it behaves as it should when testing it. I heard incorrectly adjusted drums can cause this because on the first stroke the shoe is forced against the wheel from a distance (as it is wrongly adjusted), and it takes a few seconds for it to return, and if you pump them the second time the shoe has not had time to return to its incorrect position, so the travel is less on the second stroke, as the shoe is more near to the drum, would that figure?

    Anyway, I think my next call really should be renewing the rear drums and shoes before complaining too much

    Thanks again for all your help!
    Last edited by Destroyer; 26th September 2008 at 15:08.

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    If brakes get better after few pumps it means there is air in the system, i think


    Under rebuild........

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    Just to follow up (it annoys me when people don't post a follow up when they have took help), incase this is useful to anyone, it does seem it is the rear drums out of adjustment causing this. I did the adjustment procedure on the rear brakes today (pull the handbrake up, apply the brakes, about 10 times, so on). Then quickly took the car for a spin, the brakes felt really sharp, I was impressed! However they eventually returned sloppy again in a minute or so. The drums may have never been done on the car, making them 14 years old, so it would figure if the springs are worn.. I think, from what i have read

    Thanks for all your help

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