left front brake locks up

Asked by Apr 19, 2017 at 07:43 PM about the 1973 Volkswagen Beetle

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

When I put on the brakes, the left front brake locks up. After a minute or so, it releases. I have put on a new wheel cylinder and the spring has plenty of tension. I also recently replaced the master cylinder and bled the brakes. All other brakes work correctly.

12 Answers


So by the sounds of it, this is drum brakes. You may have the shoes on backward, look at the length of the shoe's liner, one would be longer than the other. The shorter side faces the front of the vehicle and the longer shoe faces the rear of the vehicle.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

don't think that's the problem never put new pads on

they are drum brakes

I just bought the car. I noticed that the brake shoes that are on there have a curve on the top edge where the wheel cylinder meets the shoe. All the ones I see online are flat along there. Could it be that someone put the wrong brakes on?

now that I look both brake shoes are the same size. one should be larger then the other?


The bonded brake pad, the stopping surface, the one facing the front of the vehicle should be shorter than the one facing the rear of the car. Where brakes done on this before you bought it? And that curve, that chamfer one the edge your talking about is just the design of the shoe, it always use to be flat like you say, that means nothing, just design to make it better. I would go around a measure the radius length of the pads on the shoes to see if there are any shorter pad lengths. Short one to the front, long one facing the rear.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I guess and they did not do it right I guess. going to buy all new brakes and do it right thanks


If the boded pad has a lot of wear on it on them yet, there is no sense in buying new shoes. Just take the drums off and measure from top it bottom like with a string, faster that way, and check the shoe pad lengths. You would like to know what the problem is at least. It may be there is just something on the pad making the shoe sticky, or just the opposite brake on the other side just be adjusted up more.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

they are not great so going to replace them. think they put the short ones on one side and the longer ones on the other side lol.


Just remember the short pad shoe to the front, the long pad shoe to the rear. Also get some brake clean to clean the drums up from any brake fluid, or grease, foreign matter that may left over on the drums and shoes before putting the drums back on. You will have to adjust each wheel so the shoes just start to drag on the drums on all the wheels, or you won't have a good brake pedal height.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I just checked my son was wrong all the pads are the same size? almost 10 inches


Who knows what somebody had done before you got this vehicle. I would go to the parts store and check out a new set of shoes. There should be a long one and a short shoe. In looking up the shoes for this, there is mention of the diameter of the drum, so make sure you know what the diameter of the drum you have on there.

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