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    Thread: Intermittent grinding while braking?

    1. Member Alliegator's Avatar
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      02-27-2011 03:00 AM #1
      Today I found that my brakes intermittently make a grinding sound and feel. It sounds and feels like it's coming from the driver front.

      It's been awfully cold here in Oregon and the car has been sitting for over a week while I was out of town.

      Sometimes I'll brake and it won't grind at all, other times it will just grind when I come to a stop, or the whole time I'm braking. There doesn't seem to be any marks on the rotor but have not taken the wheel completely off yet.

      Does anyone have any idea what this could be?

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      02-27-2011 03:15 AM #2
      If it's not a wornout brake pad on the inside, or the splash plate rubbing on the rotor on the backside, then the cold has hardened what left of the grease inside of the wheel bearing, and the wheel bearing is signaling that it's time for replacement.

    3. Member EuroSportChicago's Avatar
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      02-27-2011 10:30 PM #3
      The Intermittent noise could be from the slide pins. If your pad that is not making contact is worn, and when the pins do slide, it would make noise, and when it doesn't slide it doesn't make noise.
      Quote Originally Posted by aphythiate View Post
      I don't understand what you said. I'm guessing you did a "dump'n'go" minus the go.
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      where are the muffler bearings and is that something i can change myself

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      02-28-2011 02:57 PM #4
      faulty ABS? mine did something similiar when one of my sensors went bad
      Quote Originally Posted by MahTrek=] View Post
      Oh and stop saying jolf

    5. Member nativebackup1's Avatar
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      02-28-2011 03:48 PM #5
      Im having a similar issue with my front brakes squealing intermittently when I brake. But the pads only have about 5000 miles on them.
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      **** meows at you
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      That is the Euro plate of a full out virgin. The owner of that car has never sniffed a snatch.

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      12-27-2011 01:22 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by germancarnut51 View Post
      If it's not a wornout brake pad on the inside, or the splash plate rubbing on the rotor on the backside, then the cold has hardened what left of the grease inside of the wheel bearing, and the wheel bearing is signaling that it's time for replacement.
      I am experiencing the exact same symptoms. The feel and sound of grinding ONLY when brakes applied, but I replaced the front pads (rears are still thick), and the grinding is still there.

      GCN51...so you think its the wheel bearing? I've never changed one on this car...I have to research.

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      12-27-2011 01:39 PM #7
      I say bearing.

    8. 12-27-2011 01:49 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by WhatSpareTime? View Post
      I've never changed one on this car...I have to research.
      Rears are easy. Fronts you can do with hand tools, but easier with a press. You can rent a slide hammer and puller attachment from autozone for free to get the old ones out (will most likely leave the inner race in the hub, so you need new hubs when replacing). You can get the new ones in with this from Harbor Freight: http://www.harborfreight.com/fwd-fro...ers-66829.html

      Don't bother trying the hammer and bearings/hub in freezer DIY unless you want to potentially buy parts and do the job twice. Depending on where in NEPA you are, I have the HF bearing tools, but you would need to rent everything else including I think a 28MM socket for the tool.

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      12-27-2011 03:13 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by zero. View Post
      Rears are easy. Fronts you can do with hand tools, but easier with a press. You can rent a slide hammer and puller attachment from autozone for free to get the old ones out (will most likely leave the inner race in the hub, so you need new hubs when replacing). You can get the new ones in with this from Harbor Freight: http://www.harborfreight.com/fwd-fro...ers-66829.html

      Don't bother trying the hammer and bearings/hub in freezer DIY unless you want to potentially buy parts and do the job twice. Depending on where in NEPA you are, I have the HF bearing tools, but you would need to rent everything else including I think a 28MM socket for the tool.
      UGH...the bearings are 'pressed' into the hubs and I'll need new hubs too...ugh what a PITA. Thank you VOLKSWAGEN! lol

      Zero...I appreciate the offer to borrow the HF bearing tools!! I might need to do that if you're close. I live in Kingston, PA across river from Wilkes-Barre.

      Before I get into this, especially in the cold, I'm going to have to make sure it's the bearing. I bought this car a month ago to use as commuter car to save gas $$ (instead of driving my F150 everywhere) Needless to say, the repairs are starting to add up. Basically I just want to get through the winter with minimal fixes and they revamp the whole thing in the spring. New rotors and brakes, clutch, shifter linkage, short shifter, complete tune up, all new window regs and sunroof. Clearly the list is long and expensive.

      If I drive this sucker with a bad wheel bearing till April/May what other damage, if any, could occur?

    10. 12-27-2011 03:45 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by WhatSpareTime? View Post
      If I drive this sucker with a bad wheel bearing till April/May what other damage, if any, could occur?
      Worst case scenario your wheel falls off and you have to replace the hub, brakes, fender, control arms, etc. If it's not too bad, you'll probably be fine and get away with just having to replace the hub, rotor, and pads. I'm like 20-30 minutes North, have VAG-COM and most specialty tools for Mk3s.

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      12-27-2011 04:25 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by zero. View Post
      Worst case scenario your wheel falls off and you have to replace the hub, brakes, fender, control arms, etc.
      LOL...that's all? lol

      Waiting till spring is a gamble...I know. decisions decisions




      ...Sent you a PM.

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      12-28-2011 05:00 AM #12
      You can save the wheel hubs (give they aren't already bent, and the lugbolt holes are not damaged) by removing the old inner race using the same tool/s you use to pop the wheel hub off the car so you can remove the wheel bearing (HF large bearing separator, HF bearing puller set, and a 3/4" iron pipecap).

      Using the HF FWD Bearing Adapter Set to remove and install the wheel bearings is 1000X easier IF you use a high torque air impact wrench (the 1st one I did, I used a Nikota 550 ft.lbs 1/2" impact wrench, the 2nd one I did I used a Craftsman 1/2" (got it off eBay for $12 including shipping and paid additional $16 for the parts to fix it) 725 ft.lbs (went easier) to turn the pressure screw/nut on the tool. The next wheel bearing I replace I will be using a Craftsman 3/4" 750 ft.lbs. impact wrench that paid $39 for off eBay.

      Quality aftermarket parts are actually fairly inexpensive if you order over the Internet. Do not buy any house-branded or no-name parts. Odds are that will be poorly made Chinese Junk Parts. You can get quality plated stock 10.1" rotors for $50 a pair with free shipping. Rockauto.com often has major-brand brake pads sets at closeout prices for less that $10 a set (I've paid as little as $5 a set from them). Shipping is $8, but you can get about 6-7 brake pads sets shipped for the $8.

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      12-28-2011 12:17 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by germancarnut51 View Post
      You can save the wheel hubs (give they aren't already bent, and the lugbolt holes are not damaged) by removing the old inner race using the same tool/s you use to pop the wheel hub off the car so you can remove the wheel bearing (HF large bearing separator, HF bearing puller set, and a 3/4" iron pipecap).

      Using the HF FWD Bearing Adapter Set to remove and install the wheel bearings is 1000X easier IF you use a high torque air impact wrench (the 1st one I did, I used a Nikota 550 ft.lbs 1/2" impact wrench, the 2nd one I did I used a Craftsman 1/2" (got it off eBay for $12 including shipping and paid additional $16 for the parts to fix it) 725 ft.lbs (went easier) to turn the pressure screw/nut on the tool. The next wheel bearing I replace I will be using a Craftsman 3/4" 750 ft.lbs. impact wrench that paid $39 for off eBay.

      Quality aftermarket parts are actually fairly inexpensive if you order over the Internet. Do not buy any house-branded or no-name parts. Odds are that will be poorly made Chinese Junk Parts. You can get quality plated stock 10.1" rotors for $50 a pair with free shipping. Rockauto.com often has major-brand brake pads sets at closeout prices for less that $10 a set (I've paid as little as $5 a set from them). Shipping is $8, but you can get about 6-7 brake pads sets shipped for the $8.

      Hey bud...here we are again. I have a feeling my 2.slow DD is going to spark a lot of these convos. lol

      A few things:

      *How can I determine if the hubs are already bent? I don't think the lug bolts are damaged...I removed then and reinstalled Monday with no probs. They seemed smooth, but outside of obvious damage, how would I know?

      *ROCKAUTO.COM = AWESOME prices!! Thank you. I checked it out today and was pleasantly shocked. I might be able to get new rotors, hubs, bearings & pads for around $140 for the front.

      *(I have to email them tho cause they list a few of the parts in the bearing section as a 'Wheel Race', but the pic shows a bearing with it?? Its a little confusing. Don't races typically COME with the bearings? Anyway...I'll ask them.)


      I have a 750 ft.lbs. gun, so that should work to remove and install these suckers
      Last edited by WhatSpareTime?; 12-28-2011 at 12:22 PM.

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      12-28-2011 12:56 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by WhatSpareTime? View Post
      Hey bud...here we are again. I have a feeling my 2.slow DD is going to spark a lot of these convos. lol

      A few things:

      *How can I determine if the hubs are already bent? I don't think the lug bolts are damaged...I removed then and reinstalled Monday with no probs. They seemed smooth, but outside of obvious damage, how would I know?

      *ROCKAUTO.COM = AWESOME prices!! Thank you. I checked it out today and was pleasantly shocked. I might be able to get new rotors, hubs, bearings & pads for around $140 for the front.

      *(I have to email them tho cause they list a few of the parts in the bearing section as a 'Wheel Race', but the pic shows a bearing with it?? Its a little confusing. Don't races typically COME with the bearings? Anyway...I'll ask them.)


      I have a 750 ft.lbs. gun, so that should work to remove and install these suckers

      On wheel hubs it's generally easy to tell if they are reuseable before you remove them from the steering knuckle (bad lugbolt holes, excessive rust damage, or rotor retainer screw seized and broken off). But you may also damage the wheel hub while removing it, and there is a finite number of times the inner race can be removed before there is some metal stretch, and the inner race is no-longer held properly by the wheel hub. The only wheel hubs I've retired were rusty, and had thread problems, or broken-off rotor screws.

      New Meyle brand ABA wheel hubs only cost about $20 each, when the time comes.

      Rockauto has some really great closeout prices at times (they buy closeouts, clearances, and overstocks from manufacturers, importers, and other retailers). BUT you have to be aware of the quality of the part from the original source. I bought some BeckArnley rear rotors three years ago, and the quality was very inconsistent. It appears that they were made in Italy by numerous manufacturers to who knows what specs. The problem I had was with thickness. Ordering several pairs with the same part number at $12 a piece, they were all different thicknesses. Rockauto sent me several pairs for free after my initial purchase to try to get some matching pairs, but I will never order BeckArnley brake rotors again.

      Rockauto has like nine different warehouses all over the country. Closeouts always come from a warehouse in Texas, but other parts may come from anywhere. The problem with that is that Rockauto charges a basic $8 fee (and additional if the item is heavy or bulky) for each warehouse. For example: you might order some closeout brake pads, rotors, and wheel bearings. They end up coming from three different warehouses. You get charged $8 shipping for the brake pads coming from the closeout warehouse in TX, another $8 shipping charge to get the wheel bearings from say NY, and $12 shipping to get the rotors from CA.

      In thge past, I've purchased Deeza Brand complete lower control arms, PBR/Axxis brake pads, BeckArnley brake rotors, grease seals, wheel bearings, brake hoses, and power steering hoses from Rockauto. For the most part, the only problems I've had were with the brake rotors (although I had a problem with one of the many Deeza lower control arms that I bought).

      So, check the location of each item and the shipping charges before you complete a Rockauto order by paying. You might find that the final price is lower on better quality parts from an online Seller who offers free ground shipping on a minimum order, when you pay a little more for the parts.

      Make sure that when you order front wheel bearings that you get kits. Kits cost $3-$8 more than the bare wheel bearings, but you get parts that would be hard to find separately, and will cost you more than the additional cost of the kit (bearing retainer rings, axle nut, and other single use recommended replacement bolts and nuts).

      Yes, wheel bearings come complete with the races. VW front wheel bearings are one piece units. Rear wheel bearings are conventional taper bearing and separate races (bearing and race sold together).

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      12-28-2011 01:12 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by germancarnut51 View Post
      On wheel hubs it's generally easy to tell if they are reuseable before you remove them from the steering knuckle (bad lugbolt holes, excessive rust damage, or rotor retainer screw seized and broken off). But you may also damage the wheel hub while removing it, and there is a finite number of times the inner race can be removed before there is some metal stretch, and the inner race is no-longer held properly by the wheel hub. The only wheel hubs I've retired were rusty, and had thread problems, or broken-off rotor screws.

      New Meyle brand ABA wheel hubs only cost about $20 each, when the time comes.

      Rockauto has some really great closeout prices at times (they buy closeouts, clearances, and overstocks from manufacturers, importers, and other retailers). BUT you have to be aware of the quality of the part from the original source. I bought some BeckArnley rear rotors three years ago, and the quality was very inconsistent. It appears that they were made in Italy by numerous manufacturers to who knows what specs. The problem I had was with thickness. Ordering several pairs with the same part number at $12 a piece, they were all different thicknesses. Rockauto sent me several pairs for free after my initial purchase to try to get some matching pairs, but I will never order BeckArnley brake rotors again.

      Rockauto has like nine different warehouses all over the country. Closeouts always come from a warehouse in Texas, but other parts may come from anywhere. The problem with that is that Rockauto charges a basic $8 fee (and additional if the item is heavy or bulky) for each warehouse. For example: you might order some closeout brake pads, rotors, and wheel bearings. They end up coming from three different warehouses. You get charged $8 shipping for the brake pads coming from the closeout warehouse in TX, another $8 shipping charge to get the wheel bearings from say NY, and $12 shipping to get the rotors from CA.

      In thge past, I've purchased Deeza Brand complete lower control arms, PBR/Axxis brake pads, BeckArnley brake rotors, grease seals, wheel bearings, brake hoses, and power steering hoses from Rockauto. For the most part, the only problems I've had were with the brake rotors (although I had a problem with one of the many Deeza lower control arms that I bought).

      So, check the location of each item and the shipping charges before you complete a Rockauto order by paying. You might find that the final price is lower on better quality parts from an online Seller who offers free ground shipping on a minimum order, when you pay a little more for the parts.

      Make sure that when you order front wheel bearings that you get kits. Kits cost $3-$8 more than the bare wheel bearings, but you get parts that would be hard to find separately, and will cost you more than the additional cost of the kit (bearing retainer rings, axle nut, and other single use recommended replacement bolts and nuts).

      Yes, wheel bearings come complete with the races. VW front wheel bearings are one piece units. Rear wheel bearings are conventional taper bearing and separate races (bearing and race sold together).


      Races... what are these? Ive done my front bearings before but only got a bearing since i bought from the local shop. But i got my bearing kit from mjm for the bearing im replacing now that came with the extra stuff you are talking about. Im not sure where these bolts would even go though?! Also got two little metal rings, are those races? Not sure what to even do with them since i didnt use them last time.

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      12-28-2011 01:13 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by germancarnut51 View Post
      On wheel hubs it's generally easy to tell if they are reuseable before you remove them from the steering knuckle (bad lugbolt holes, excessive rust damage, or rotor retainer screw seized and broken off). But you may also damage the wheel hub while removing it, and there is a finite number of times the inner race can be removed before there is some metal stretch, and the inner race is no-longer held properly by the wheel hub. The only wheel hubs I've retired were rusty, and had thread problems, or broken-off rotor screws.
      Holy crap! I need new hubs then. The rotor retainer screw IS seized and broken off!!! WTH...I told some local guy about that and he said that was normal. Said the lug bolts hold the rotor on. I knew that wasn't right when I checked them out!!!

      This bill keeps getting bigger LOL

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      12-28-2011 01:34 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by WhatSpareTime? View Post
      Holy crap! I need new hubs then. The rotor retainer screw IS seized and broken off!!! WTH...I told some local guy about that and he said that was normal. Said the lug bolts hold the rotor on. I knew that wasn't right when I checked them out!!!

      This bill keeps getting bigger LOL


      The lugs will hold the rotor on, and the rotor screw is only there to hold things in place (and in alignment) when the wheel off. So, strickly speaking, you don't need the rotor screw. But it can be a pain to put the wheels on if the rotor screw is missing, the lugbolt holes won't stay in alignment, the the rotor keeps slipping off the center lip of the wheel hub (bad day).

      Which is why I would replace the wheel hub if you have it off the steering knuckle, and you can't get the broken rotor screw stub out.

      I have some spare steering knuckles from cars I've parted out, and it's easy for me to replace a wheel hub when changing wheel bearing, because I don't have to order (pay for and wait for) a replacement.

    18. 12-28-2011 01:48 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by WhatSpareTime? View Post
      The rotor retainer screw IS seized and broken off!!! WTH...I told some local guy about that and he said that was normal. Said the lug bolts hold the rotor on. I knew that wasn't right when I checked them out!!!
      Actually that's pretty normal and you don't have to replace the hubs just for a damaged set screw. All it does is keep the rotor from spinning when removing/installing wheels. Nearly every Mk3 I've owned had them stripped. You can drill the heads off or use an extractor to remove them if you want, but I've ran without them on several cars.

      SlzzyDzzy, you don't need to do races on the fronts. Bearings are sealed. The metal clips you got are retaining clips for the bearings. You should have definitely installed those as they "lock" the bearing into the housing. You could reuse the ones already there, but they are typically rusted and you usually have to break them into pieces or bend them to remove.

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      12-28-2011 01:56 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by SlzzyDzzy View Post
      Races... what are these? Ive done my front bearings before but only got a bearing since i bought from the local shop. But i got my bearing kit from mjm for the bearing im replacing now that came with the extra stuff you are talking about. Im not sure where these bolts would even go though?! Also got two little metal rings, are those races? Not sure what to even do with them since i didnt use them last time.
      >>>>see what ZERO wrote


      Quote Originally Posted by germancarnut51 View Post
      But it can be a pain to put the wheels on if the rotor screw is missing, the lugbolt holes won't stay in alignment, the the rotor keeps slipping off the center lip of the wheel hub (bad day).
      =MY WORLD each time I have to put my wheels back on (5X in past two weeks). My eye-hand coordination has been tested by this very issue and I'm getting better at it. But I would rather avoid it.

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      12-28-2011 02:24 PM #20
      Ah thanks, im thinking maybe this is why the bearing went bad so quickly. Did not have them previously installed. Making sure i do this bearing right!

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