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So I went to a car meet last night and this gentleman admiring my speedster came to me and said “you might have a brake leak and it’s spreading all over your back passenger side wheel.” I went out to look and saw shiny oil-like substance all over my beautiful baby moons, tires and spots all over the back body. (See attached)

I’m posting it here because I don’t know if this is something I should bring directly to Greg @Vintage Motorcars Inc and if it’s even safe to drive 45mins away … or is this something relatively simple any vw mechanic can/should be able to handle. I know Greg is a busy man and didn’t want to ask such a newbie question, so might as well start with SOC  community. (if youre reading this Greg… hi 👋 )

appreciate everyone’s helpful feed back as I am lost when it comes to these things.

brian

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  • 74DEDFC5-82CF-4C36-9028-06184C6EE641
  • 104EB851-BCFB-45F6-A3A6-F892E410EE7D
  • 509AE64D-6493-49A7-B9FF-52A12608ADFF
Last edited by BETTYLU356Speedster
Original Post

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First things first: get it off of the paint ASAP!  If it is brake fluid that will damage or destroy your paint.

Next, if you aren't comfortable checking it out yourself, have it flatbedded to a mechanic you trust.  If it is a brake system leak you could suddenly find yourself without brakes.

It could be a leak of transaxle grease leak through a bad seal.  That would be messy, but not as damaging as brake fluid.  You can tell my the texture and smell whether it's grease or brake fluid, but if you don't know how to do that then have a professional look at it.

Last edited by Lane Anderson

First things first: get it off of the paint ASAP!  If it is brake fluid that will damage or destroy your paint.

Next, if you aren't comfortable checking it out yourself, have it flatbedded to a mechanic you trust.  If it is a brake system leak you could suddenly find yourself without brakes.

It could be a leak of transaxle grease leak through a bad seal.  That would be messy, but not as damaging as brake fluid.  You can tell my the texture and smell whether it's grease or brake fluid, but if you don't know how to do that then have a professional look at it.

thank you! Cleaning it off now!… and to your other point, no I do not know how to do it. Sorry I’m useless and more afraid of ruining it more or breaking something else if I touch anything. 😞

brian

Last edited by BETTYLU356Speedster
@jncspyder posted:

@BETTYLU356Speedster do a search on here concerning disc brake questions....i recently had to replace both rear brake calipers which are EMPI  e-brake style and are basically not rebuildable...you r situation may differ from mine....but the these leaks very rarely remedy themselves....ck out so cal imports in long beach for the parts

Same

Mine had less than 1000 miles on them.

Both leaked outta the return spring area.

Total garbage.

@thedak yep....that is where the fiddly little seals live that are not worth the time and effort to try to fix....cheaper to just replace with NON EMPI PRODUCT...i was a bit more fortunate...only right rear & made it to 6K miles...but end result the same....gotta do both...we gotta lobby willwood brakes  to design a e-brake caliper to fit our application on our e-brake  design

@BETTYLU356Speedster

You didn't say wether or not you have four wheel disc brakes or dry brakes in the rear? I'm guessing you have four wheel discs because it looks like you have wide-fives.

First things first though. Start with the most likely cause of the issue before you start worrying about replacing disc brake calipers etc. The most likely repair is a loose air bleeder valve or where the hard line connects to the soft line. If not that it could be something more involved like a bad seal in the caliper. But before you order a set of brakes and all of the other parts get a mechanic to look at it and advise you on what the issue is. If you need parts let Greg direct you on what you might need.

Update to those who are following:



Took it to a local shop to get it diagnosed and they said it IS a transaxle seal leak and not brakes so it’s possible to take to VMC (which I will do) they checked the master cylinder and also recommended a replacement of rotor and pads as it was saturated in the fluid.

you guys really know your stuff. Thanks again to you all so much!

🤙🏼🤙🏼🤙🏼,
Brian

oh man!!!

Now you got me thinking about it again @Troy Sloan. Is there really a possibility a professional mechanic could be wrong about something as simple as “it’s brake fluid or axle grease?“ especially after an inspection?

In other words, if anyone of you inspected it… you can 100% tell the difference between the two and find where the leak is coming from, right? Right!?

😕

Last edited by BETTYLU356Speedster

oh man!!!

Now you got me thinking about it again @Troy Sloan. Is there really a possibility a professional mechanic could be wrong about something as simple as “it’s brake fluid or axle grease?“ especially after an inspection?

In other words, if anyone of you inspected it… you can 100% tell the difference between the two and find where the leak is coming from, right? Right!?

😕

IMO, it would be pretty hard to mistake gear oil for brake fluid. Besides the smell, gear oils would remain slick in small quantities, brake fluid, not so much.  

.

OK, I’ll toss this out there - may be relevant, maybe not.

I’ve got EMPI disc brakes in the rear. These are available (or at least WERE a few years ago) with either stamped steel mounting brackets or (more expensive) cast brackets. (Guess which brackets were used on my VS.)

For the first few years, we had a lot of problems getting the rear axle seals to hold a seal properly - on both sides. I think we had two failures on one side, and one on the other.

Switching to the cast brackets completely solved this. The cast ones are a lot stiffer, and apparently the stamped ones can flex enough to monkey with the seal. You may want to ask Greg which brackets he used (assuming you’ve got EMPI discs).

The cast brackets are available as separate parts, but at a price that may surprise you.

There are eight million stories in EMPI city.

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