Project Rabbit GTI: Rebuilding the Rear Brakes

Our job was to get our 1984 VW Rabbit GTI survivor back up and running. We were not trying to strip down this original paint, two-owner car to bare metal and restore the entire thing. Think refurbishment, not restoration.

While we body required a few small touch-ups, the chassis didn’t need much. One area that did need attention, though, was the rear brakes and wheel bearings. While the shoes were in decent shape, our GTI had a noisy wheel bearing and a leaking rear wheel brake cylinder. The right way to make this repair was clean up the drums (they were easily within spec) while replacing both wheel cylinders and rear wheel bearings.

The process is pretty straight-forward and inexpensive. For less than $100, we found everything we needed at Techtonics Tuning and got to work.

We disassembled the rear brake system and refurbished the drums: media blasting, turning and then paint. We then pressed in new wheel bearings and installed new wheel cylinders and shoes. Then we reassembled the assemblies.

We did come back in later and paint the rear axle beam. The Bilstein shocks and aftermarket springs were working well, so we left them alone.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more project updates.
View comments on the CMS forums
noddaz UltraDork
8/26/20 1:29 p.m.

 We then pressed in new wheel bearings and installed new wheel cylinders and shoes.

Pressed in new bearings?  Surely your joking.  wink

sir_mike New Reader
8/26/20 7:22 p.m.

What i did to my 78 Golf/Rabbit was use rear brakes from a VW Dasher or maybe it was a pickup...hard to remember exactly since 1988...they are larger but use the smaller Rabbit wheel cyl.or you have way to much rear braking....they will lock up really quick with the larger cyl.

Sponsored by

Classic Motorsports House Ad

Our Preferred Partners