The braking system on any car is important and, after a long time standing, I needed to renew virtually everything on this car. I obtained a new master cylinder from the Type 3 & 4 Club and have had the front disc callipers refurbished by my local motor factors. The rear cylinders are the same as those on the Beetle and I am renewing the pipework in copper.

Shortly after I posted this page in October, I received an e-mail from a reader in New Zealand telling me I was doing the wrong thing. It seams that copper brake piping is illegal in many countries around the world and I found a couple of forums expressing strong feelings for and against copper pipes. All I can say is that, in the UK, copper is now standard for replacement pipework and it is perfectly acceptable for the MoT (annual vehicle inspection). What we call copper here in the UK is not pure copper, it is a cupro-nickel alloy and is good for 3000 psi or more.


This is a view of the front of the car showing the brake calliper attached to a NOS strut. The callipers were refurbished through my local motor factor who has been very helpful in finding odd parts. The pads are yet to go in, those for the Passat fit perfectly. However, I was lucky to be offered a NOS set of pads, clips and pins to compliment my shiny callipers.

After so long out of use, the disks need burnishing to restore them fit for use. If I need new ones, they are the same as for the VW-Porsche 914-4.

The flexible hoses are the same as those specified for the swing-axle Beetle rear.
The set of pads I acquired didn’t include new piston retainers, the originals were rusted out so I made some new ones out of stainless steel sheet. This shows the new blanks after the rough-cut, ready for fitting into the callipers, with the sorry looking originals at the bottom.


A view of the underside at the rear (without the engine and gearbox) and the shiny new copper pipes can be seen running across the car. The sub-frame has been cleaned and repainted.

Here is a closer view of the swing arm and the rear hub. The flexible hoses can be seen if you look carefully, they are black with a white stripe. They are the same as the hose specified for the rear of the swing-axle Beetle. The brake shoes and drums are as for the Type 3. Also visible is one of the NOS dampers within the coil spring.

Pedal Cluster

The pedals and master cylinders are mounted on a subframe which I have had to refurbish. I have experienced problems on both my 412s with the pedals stiffening up and even squeaking in use. So I paid special attention to these bearings whilst I had the mechanism apart for cleaning and repainting.

Here is the subframe reassembled with the new brake master cylinder fitted with two-pin brake light switches as supplied. The clutch master cylinder on the far side is refurbished.
I installed it into the car along with the old steering column. This is the brake cylinder side, the front and rear brake lines are connected in and I have yet to connect the wiring to the three-pin brake light switches now fitted.


To be continued . . .