Well I am still new to working on these cars, but figured I would share this so we can all learn together or you can laugh at my rookie mistakes and lack of knowledge, either or. Now there IS a lot of info out there that has been given by other members, but I felt it was disjointed and not well compiled in one place. They were all a great help though and some info was used in this directly from their contributions.
I originally was just going to replace a busted brake line and call it a day, but while bleeding the brakes the driver side drum bleeder broke off. So, why not upgrade?
11mm brake line or box wrench
15mm socket and small extension
MKIV Calipers (You want the MKIV because they are less likely to seize due to their aluminum casting)
B5 Passat rear brake lines (BECK/ARNLEY 0731825 #8E0611775E, 8E0611775J, ARINA)
0.875” Bore master Cylinder from a GLI/GTI (optional but recommended)
Wheel bearing kit (Beck/Arnley 0514165 #191598625) This comes with both wheel bearings you will need, along with the dust seal, new nut, cotter pin, dust cap, and nut crown you will want to replace.
Parking brake cable – you will have to determine the type you need by the location and year of your build. Here is a helpful guide to determining which one you need:
Rear brake cable info!
There is an early (fully welded) and late (bolted to a welded bracket) handle style. Early has a plastic cover, late has a soft boot. The reason this matters for cables is because the early style mounts up front, and the late style mounts at the rear of the handle, thus requiring very different cable lengths. There are also two rear caliper styles, the underhanded (early) and overhanded (late) cable mount. These also affect the routing and length of the cables. Swapping in rear discs to different cars produces different requirements for which cable you use. Here is the info:
Golf Mexico: to 3/89 production (VIN >>K-005781 Golf/GL, VIN >>K-003837 GTI 16V)
Jetta Germany: to 1988
Golf USA: all
Jetta USA: all
Golf Mexico: from 3/89 production (VIN K-005782>> Golf/GL, VIN K-003838>> GTI 16V)
Jetta Germany: from 1989
Jetta Mexico: all
Early caliper style (shared with Scirocco):
GTI 16v Mexico: to 1989*
Jetta Germany: to 1988 (VIN >>J-462562)
GTI 16v USA: all
Late caliper style (shared with Mk3, B3 and B4):
GTI 16v Mexico: from 1991*
Jetta Germany: from 1988 (VIN J-462563>>)
*- for some reason they skip 1990 completely. Perhaps because there was no GTI 16V and thus no rear disc Mexican cars that year.
Early handle/early caliper (1800mm 191609721A):
Jetta Germany: to 1988 VIN >>J-462562
Golf USA: all
Early handle/late caliper style (1845mm 191609721D):
Jetta Germany: from 1988 VIN J-462563>> to end of 1988
Late handle/late caliper style (1625mm 191609721F):
Jetta Germany: from 1989
GTI 16V Mexico: all
I will put this here since I don’t cover it in this DIY, master cylinder securing nuts are 15 lbf-ft and brake line unions are 11 lbf-ft
Ready, set, go.
Before you start working, it’s a good idea to hit the brake line in the rear of the drum with PB plaster or some type of penetrating fluid to help prevent rounding anything off.
First step is to remove the cap from the middle of the drum, might take a little banging to get it off if you are lucky like me and live in the rust belt.
Which will reveal the nut, crown, and cotter pin. Snap/bend/break whatever you need to do to get the pin out
Then the crown, nut, washer, and bearing.
Now using an 11mm brake line/box wrench, loosen the brake line going into the rear of the drum.
My drum was just a tad bit rusty, so I had to use a pry bar to get the drum off. Maybe there is an adjustment screw that makes this easy, but I wasn’t planning on keeping/selling any parts so I just pried it off. Left with this:
Disconnect the parking brake cable by prying the silver arm towards the front of the vehicle will using pliers/screw driver to pull the spring cable out of the retention slot. Lots of rust in here.
Now undo the four 15mm bolts holding the drum and axle spline to the hub. PB plaster and scrubbing the area to not slip or round these off is a good idea. Once this was off, I had to use a pair of channel locks to turn the parking brake cable a bit to break the corrosion welding that took place. Just grab the metal piece where it enters the drum with the channel locks and twist, it should pop free.
And yay, you are halfway there. I took a wire wheel and cleaned the surface up a bit. Nothing drastic.
Now put the new splines on along with the dust shield, dust shield goes in front, not sandwiched.
Now onto the rotor itself, you need to either press or tap the races in and pack them really well. I used Valvoline fully synthetic grease because it is what I had and says it’s good for it. Here is a video that explains a lot of this process really well. Can skip to the bearing packing (beginning shows inner and around 14 minutes for outer) if you are nervous about this, good explanation of how to snug down the rotor too. Its pretty straight forward, either press in or use a socket to tap the into their homes and then really lube up the bearing. Then install the washer nut and crown/cotter pin.
So after watching/replicating that video, you should end up with something like this. The carrier bolts are 8mm hex head and require 48 lbf-ft.
Next, fit the pads and caliper. The caliper bolts are 13mm and require 26 lbf-ft. These are self-locking and should be replaced. Attach the soft line to the caliper point upwards and torque down with 15 lbf-ft. If you need to undo this banjo bolt for any reason, inspect the crush washers and mating surface. You will most likely need to replace the crush washers when you retighten.
With the dust cap on and everything secured, you have this! Looks complete doesn’t it? Well almost. Besides the whole not having any brake fluid or emergency brake thing, small details.
You have a couple of options here, you can replace the hard line with one from a GLI, or you can try to bend the original one around a bit. Or just make your own from appropriate tubing. I elected to just bend the original hardline, but may change this in the future. The soft line is secured to the hardline with a 11mm brake line/box wrench and 11 lbf-ft. You should also get the soft line securing bracket for peace of mind, but I have found these near impossible to find, so I bent mine down and out of the way behind the dust shield (not how its shown in this picture). Fingers crossed.
Ok, home stretch. First, use a dead blow or small hammer to smach this bracket towards the exhaust (center of car) to free the parking brake line.
Now undo this one by prying down away from the car and pushing the brake line up and out of the hook.
Be careful with this guy, can be brittle. Just push it up out of the clip easy peezy.
Now my old parking brake line got corrosion welded into the chassis tube that goes up into the car, so I had to pull the whole thing out and carefully drill out the rubber that was welded in there. Not bad, but that’s your solution if you are in the same predicament. I really wanted to replace these parts, but again couldn’t find replacements. You can see the line on the right with no chassis tube.
No idea why some of these pics came out so blurry, but you need to remove the retaining nuts on the parking brake cable inside of the car. Look down under the hand brake cover, you will see them. I think they were also 11mm.
Reverse this process with your new cable and attach the new one like so on the caliper.
Tighten the retaining nuts on the hand brake lever until it is snug enough that there is some force required to get the ball on the caliper side to lift, but not so that it is trying to engage down. You will have to readjust after you bed in the pads most likely, so keep that in mind.
Now bleed the brakes working from the furthest wheel from the master cylinder to the closest, right rear, driver rear, front right, and driver front last. Using the partner method worked perfectly for me, but if you have a pressure bleeder more power to you. If you didn’t replace the master cylinder, keep in mind the extra travel from bleeding can compromise the seals on older master cylinders since they will enter an area of the piston tube they haven’t contacted before.
Test drive! BE CAREFUL! You just potentially compromised the whole braking system of your car if anything wasn’t done correctly, you did this at your own risk and I am not liable for any damages caused by you, to you, or anyone else. Let it roll a couple feet in neutral with someone ready to stop it if needed, and apply the brakes until it stops. Do a couple tests like this and then check for any leaks under the car or in your wheels (that’s where the banjo bolts on the caliper would most likely leak). Hopefully any leaks appeared during bleeding and you corrected already if you have them.
Enjoy and feel free to contact me with questions.