VW Citi Golf Handbrake Failure due to Wear [Photos]

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VW Citi Golf Handbrake Failure due to Wear [Photos]

Postby bernarddt » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:34 pm

My wife drives a VW Citi Golf 2005 1.4. The handbrake has tremendous play on it's pivot point. I would like to know if any other person on the forum has this same experience, or have something fallen out?

If you release the handbrake, you can move it left and right with a lot of play (lets say about 10cm in both directions measured at the button). The problem is, these golfs don't have a lot of leverage on their handbrake pull up. You have to do most of the "pulling" with your muscle.

So the handbrake have a type of "guide" that keep it centered in the front near the switch. This guide has been grinding off since there is so much play and we normally use a lot of "pull" to engage it fully. (It also does not help that our house is against a hill and we always have to pull it to it's max).

Currently it has grind away so much of the guide that the handbrake moves far enough to the side so that the "half gear" with the teeth that keep it up, slips inbetween the guides.

So I'm curious if the handbrake should/does have a lot of play, or if I may be missing some kind of bushing or washer that should fill the gap on the pivot point. To be clear on one side there is a type of "clip" plate that keeps the stud (not sure what it is called) from slipping out to the side. On the other end, there is nothing similar, but about a 2-3mm gap between the stud and hole side it sits in.

I cannot see metal shavings that indicate that the pivot point has also weared off.

Is this play normal or could there have been another "clip" plate that kept it fixed in the center? I can take a photo of video to if I'm back home tonight if that will help you understand better.
Last edited by bernarddt on Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
VW Citi Gold 2005 1.4

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Re: VW Citi Golf Handbrake Failure due to Wear

Postby 2226cc » Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:53 pm

Sounds to be like you've left the cable for too long without adjusting it. The pivot pin seems to have worn out the mounting hole it goes into (the 2-3mm gap you mention). There's no bushing between the pin and the mount.

The cable is probably shot or your brake shoes are finished so you have to pull a lot harder on it. That probably put too much onto that pin mount and wore it out.

You could probably get someone to weld in a replacement mount. Then replace the cable and shoes/drums too.

Otherwise hack job it with some sort of tube big enough to fit over the pin and into the messed up hole on the mount. Will only get worse, I think.

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Re: VW Citi Golf Handbrake Failure due to Wear

Postby Supervan II » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:49 am

I take it that you are referring to the pin shown as #9 in the diagram?

Image


If I were you, I'd replace the complete lever (it bolts onto the welded bracket).

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Re: VW Citi Golf Handbrake Failure due to Wear

Postby 2226cc » Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:50 am

Is that a mk1 handbrake in the picture?

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Re: VW Citi Golf Handbrake Failure due to Wear

Postby bernarddt » Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:46 pm

Thanks for your replies and help. The missing word in my vocabulary was "pin". And it was the pin refered to by No. 9 on that image. Although my handbrake does not look completely like that nor do I have that round circlip on that image. But that is close enough!

I spend time trying to fix this this weekend, so I will post an update and pictures just now so that you can see what was wrong and that other Citi Golf owners can lookout for this kind of problem.
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Re: VW Citi Golf Handbrake Failure due to Wear

Postby bernarddt » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:27 pm

Executive Summary: Once I disassembled the handbrake assembly, I instantly noticed the problem. The pin (No. 9) that the handbrake should have pivoted on got stuck to the handle. It felt a bit rusty. This caused the pin to forcibly rotate a few degrees in each direction. This slight rotation in turn, caused the pin to grind against the sides of the holes it was inserted through. After a while this created a nice slot in the pin that caused handle to move to such degree that the gear that held it up to slip off it's anchor point and this caused the handbrake to fail and get stuck.

Details:
We have adjusted the handbrake cable a few times during the years we have used the car. So there was never a problem of it pulling to high or cables being damaged. My wife just phoned me on Thursday and said that her handbrake was broken and that it is now stuck.

Now after noticing the problem, some things immediately made more sense! Like I used to realise that there was a metal on metal grinding sound when I would pull up the handbrake sometimes, but I thought I was probably not pulling it straight up, and that this was not serious. Also a long time ago the handbrake light would not go out, and the fancy dashboard would sound and alarm to indicate that we are driving with the handbrake still engaged, and we would just push down on the lever, and later had to lift it slightly and move it a bit to the passenger side and push it down again to make it stop....

This weekend I removed the driver seat and stripped the handbrake. I took photos to show you guys what was wrong. You can click on any photo to see the larger version of it.

In this photo you can see the amount it was off-center where it started failing.

Image

Here you can see where the tooth that doubles to push the handbrake switch is sitting next to the switch, and you can see the gear that has fallen off its anchor point.

Image

As soon as I removed the pin from the mount, I noticed the problem...

Image

Here is the damage to the holes for the pin. You can see that it is worn out on the left side of the hole.

Image

This pin was not the reason why I could here a grinding sound, but it was caused by the handbrake guides grinding against the anchor point of the gear as is evident in the following images.

Image
Image
Image

So to fix this I had 3 points of failure to attend to:
  1. The pin.
  2. The pin hole.
  3. The anchor point.


The pin:
The pin would be the easy part. I just needed to buy a new one. But Goldwagen did not sell this part. So I went to the VW agents in Centurion, and they did not keep stock of that part (and it would cost R125 for the pin alone). I thought of going to a scrap yard, but there is none in Centurion and by the time I would get to Pretoria, those ones would be closed for business already. I didn't have time to fix it in the week, and my wife needs to use the car again. So I thought I would continue with the rest.

The pin hole:
Since I didn't want to literally grind off the bracket and re-weld in a salvage scrap yard bracket, I thought I would get a washer that is the size of the pin, and just weld that onto the hole. But because the pin had a specific length, I had to weld it in on the inside. There was a little bit of room available between the bracket and handbrake sleeve. So I went to Builders and Chamberlain to find this washer. To my amazement, you only get 12mm and then 16mm washers! I needed 13mm. So I thought I would then have to drill the 13mm. But after getting back home I realised I had no 13mm drill bit, and paying R60 for a drill bit only to drill one hole was a bit of a problem to me. Long story short, I found a 13mm washer at a family member's scrap pile. But when I wanted to see if it would fit, I realised that the gap that was available was less than what I needed to fit the washer.

The anchor point:
I thought I would add some extra metal piece to the bottom of that anchor point and then just weld-fill it back up. But never got to this point since I already had another idea in mind.

I finally realised that I could just turn the pin 180 degrees and then refit it, that would cause the other side of the pin that was not damaged to push against the back side/left side of that hole. Although the bracket was damaged, it seemed to not be enough and the handbrake handle was being held in position good enough so that the gear would not have enough room to fall off its anchor point.

So I used fine sanding paper to smooth the surface of the pin and the inside of the sleeve, and then greesed the pin before fitting it.

It is working perfectly now. And you don't have the grinding sound and the hand brake light would stay off now.

Well I hope someone will find this article interesting or just plain funny! If you would like more information, then just post and I will reply when I have time! Also I would like to hear from anyone who has advice or think they might have a better idea, or something I should have done, I'm always learning something new, and I would not take offence if you want to say I did something stupid :crazy:

PS. If someone wants to inform me that from the image they can see my brake shoes are worn and needs replacement... well the replacements are already bought, just need fitting!
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Re: VW Citi Golf Handbrake Failure due to Wear [Photos]

Postby 2226cc » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:19 am

Nice one. :)

I wonder if you could weld up the groove in the pin, grind it down and reuse it.

Fit a hydraulic handbrake with a massive vertical lever next to the gear lever... your wife can gooi rally-style / drift handbrake turns all day long!

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Re: VW Citi Golf Handbrake Failure due to Wear [Photos]

Postby bernarddt » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:32 am

2226cc wrote:I wonder if you could weld up the groove in the pin, grind it down and reuse it.


Haha, I had that exact same thought! My only problem is that there is this 2 punch marks that caused a raised edge to form to keep the pin from slipping through, and if I weld and grind so close to them, I may cause them to disappear.

I think if you would MIG weld it, you will have very good success, but I don't have access to a MIG machine. Just normal TIG welder.

Although it would be worth trying and if I fail I can always just buy a new one.

I will wait until it gives me problems again, so far the result is more than what I expected the play is so little that it does not even get close to grinding the guides. The gear is also staying put and even the switch stays pushed in (Previously it would slip past the gear catch that was suppose to keep it depressed.)
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Re: VW Citi Golf Handbrake Failure due to Wear [Photos]

Postby 2226cc » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:43 am

Weld a washer on the end to act as the stop maybe. But, yeah, buy a new one if it is cheap enough. Could probably graft something together with some round bar stock, but that'll probably exceed replacement cost very quickly.

That reminds me, have to call VW for my parts. Some of this mk1-mk3 stuff is taking longer to get hold of through the dealers.

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