Emergency Brake Handle Adjustment

This has probably happened to all of us ’67 owners at one point or another. One of the early attractions to the Vintage Volkswagen (for me) was how easy everything is to fix; even for the compleat idiot.

Don’t you wish modern cars were this way? I don’t even change the oil in our daily driver. Kudos to Volkswagen of old for their innovation and the idea of keeping it simple.

Posted by Eric Shoemaker

Hello, I'm Eric. I started Air-Cooled Artifacts (previously, 1967beetle.com and Lane Russell). I drive a '67 Beetle daily and love to share vintage Volkswagen stories with the world.

  1. In my humble opinion, the part missing on more vintage VW’s than any other is the little wire clip that holds the pin in the parking brake lever. I’ve had a LOT of VW’s in my lifetime and one of those clips was always missing!

  2. Hi there, I am from Melbourne, Australia and have had a lovely old 1967 VW for around 15 years (it was my first car) however it has been dormant for many of those due to the fact it kept having break down issues and was costing too much for my student budget to keep repairing, especially considering many mechanics have no idea what to do with them so specialist’s would charge a huge fee, often without a long term result.

    I learnt how to do a few basic maintenance things myself though in the end had to invest in a more modern car which has since died funnily enough, and my little VW is still able to tick over. I cant bear to part with it and would love to have it up and going again though am worried whether it will be a cash eater again.

    At this stage the main issue i know about from the last service was that the brakes are gone, there is a bit of rust even though i had a bit removed. Just wondering if you could advise me as to how expensive getting her up and going again could be, she has been under cover for the entire time and maybe some tips on doing it myself or at least future maintenance to avoid issues.

    Any help would be hugely appreciated and I can’t believe i have stumbled across your site dedicated to this year and model! So cool,

    Kind regards,

    Sarah Cook

    1. Hello, Sarah from Down-Under! I am glad that you are considering conservation of your Australian 1967 Beetle! Here’s what I suggest first. If the engine is running and all seems to be okay there, the next thing that you MUST do is to go through the entire braking system. When a vehicle sits idle for a lengthy period of time, the brakes will fail–which you already know from your last service check. I suggest a complete refurbishing of the braking system. This entails a lot of work and a lot of expense–but, safety is VERY important to you as a driver and to all others on the roadways. The Braking System consists of: one Master Cylinder, 4 Wheel Cylinders, 4 Flex Brake hoses, cleaning the Brake Fluid Reservoir, flushing the Metal brake Lines to remove moisture and debris (which always is accumulating), 4 sets of brake shoes, two Stop Light Switches and a quantity of Brake Fluid. The 4 Brake Drums will need to be inspected to see if they can be “turned” on the lathe for trueing another time or, if they cannot, will need to be replaced. Some components such as springs, clips and so forth may need to be replaced if, as you comment, there is some rust there. There never should be any cutting of corners with the braking system! The car will need to be placed onto jack stands during the process. During the process, it will be necessary to remove all 4 wheels. The front wheels, once removed will allow for servicing of the front wheel bearings. Since your car (as an Australian model) may exhibit link-pin front suspension (sometimes called king-pin suspension) you may need to have the suspension components removed and rebuilt–this is the time to do that. The rear brake drums are difficult to remove since they are installed with at least 217 Foot Lbs. of torque. This likely is a job for a professional–not too many individuals have the tools and capabilities for removal and replacement of this axle nut. Here in my area, to have all of the above work done will cost me, at the outside, something towards $1000.00 USD. However, once all of this has been done…the brakes are going to last for some years.

      This is the best that i can tell you–not being able to see the car and its present condition. There are many other things to consider when restoring a vintage vehicle. I suggest that you find other VW people in the VW Community who can guide you to a quality VW repair shop. They still are around. Hopefully you can find the help which you need. Stay in touch with 1967beetle.com! jay

      1. Hi Jay from up there! :) wow thank you so much for all this information! So informative, it is a big task to undertake and i’m just thinking about it at this stage so this has been an excellent insight. I really appreciate it and will keep you posted what I decide to do.

        Thank you again!



        1. Hello, Sarah…I hope that I helped just a bit. I know that it is expensive. But, I feel that any individual who plans to resuscitate a vintage auto should have a long sit-down to asses the car, then to plan for the restoration and then to go about the restoration in a practical manner. Haste makes waste. There are 3 elements which go into the restoration of a vintage vehicle: Time, Money and Space. All three MUST be in place. Having only two of these elements will stifle or stop any attempt to be successful. There are no short-cuts. So, do your homework. We look forward to hearing more from you, Sarah! jay

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