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Bit of a moment/F*** me I almost wrote the van off

sidepod

sidepod

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T4 PopTop
So, for reasons unexplained, we developed a sticky rear calliper overnight. Quite common apparently.

After four days pitched up trying not to die of heat stroke/dehydration, we opted to head for the hills in an attempt to gain altitude/loose temperature.

Anyway after 20k or so we pulled off the N road and into a town. After a few sets of traffic lights I went for the middle peddle only to discover it no longer affected the speed of the vehicle.

To avoid rear ending the car in front I mounted the pavement and grabbed a handful of hand brake. Thankfully that was enough to stop us before we nudged the traffic light pole.

Heart pounding, I jumped out to see smoke billowing from the rear right. How I’d managed to not smell it is a bit worrying.
I’d obvs boiled the fluid. 38 deg ambient probability didn’t help!

We gathered our nerves and parked up in the shade.
After 30 mins or so the pedal was back to hard so we could get back to the campsite.

Once I’d established what the issue was I could work out a strategy. With sufficient forward speed and low ambient it would stay cool so getting home to the UK was easily achievable.
Very frustrating, with a few of the tools I have at home I could rebuild the calliper and fix the issue.

As luck would have it I, jumped on the bike and cycled to the nearest garage, just 2km from the village.
With my crap French and the mechanics crap English we managed to establish a new calliper would be quite bon.
We spent 10 minutes trawling his parts website till we found the right part.

Next morning, 9am the bus was on his ramp. 10 am all done. Back in Le joux.
Fabulous. The advantage of a vehicle that’s so common/easily repaired.
 
ArunAlec

ArunAlec

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T5 SE 180
So, for reasons unexplained, we developed a sticky rear calliper overnight. Quite common apparently.

After four days pitched up trying not to die of heat stroke/dehydration, we opted to head for the hills in an attempt to gain altitude/loose temperature.

Anyway after 20k or so we pulled off the N road and into a town. After a few sets of traffic lights I went for the middle peddle only to discover it no longer affected the speed of the vehicle.

To avoid rear ending the car in front I mounted the pavement and grabbed a handful of hand brake. Thankfully that was enough to stop us before we nudged the traffic light pole.

Heart pounding, I jumped out to see smoke billowing from the rear right. How I’d managed to not smell it is a bit worrying.
I’d obvs boiled the fluid. 38 deg ambient probability didn’t help!

We gathered our nerves and parked up in the shade.
After 30 mins or so the pedal was back to hard so we could get back to the campsite.

Once I’d established what the issue was I could work out a strategy. With sufficient forward speed and low ambient it would stay cool so getting home to the UK was easily achievable.
Very frustrating, with a few of the tools I have at home I could rebuild the calliper and fix the issue.

As luck would have it I, jumped on the bike and cycled to the nearest garage, just 2km from the village.
With my crap French and the mechanics crap English we managed to establish a new calliper would be quite bon.
We spent 10 minutes trawling his parts website till we found the right part.

Next morning, 9am the bus was on his ramp. 10 am all done. Back in Le joux.
Fabulous. The advantage of a vehicle that’s so common/easily repaired.
Blimey. Not a VW dealership then!
 
GrumpyGranddad

GrumpyGranddad

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Wendover
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T6.1 Ocean 199
So, for reasons unexplained, we developed a sticky rear calliper overnight. Quite common apparently.

After four days pitched up trying not to die of heat stroke/dehydration, we opted to head for the hills in an attempt to gain altitude/loose temperature.

Anyway after 20k or so we pulled off the N road and into a town. After a few sets of traffic lights I went for the middle peddle only to discover it no longer affected the speed of the vehicle.

To avoid rear ending the car in front I mounted the pavement and grabbed a handful of hand brake. Thankfully that was enough to stop us before we nudged the traffic light pole.

Heart pounding, I jumped out to see smoke billowing from the rear right. How I’d managed to not smell it is a bit worrying.
I’d obvs boiled the fluid. 38 deg ambient probability didn’t help!

We gathered our nerves and parked up in the shade.
After 30 mins or so the pedal was back to hard so we could get back to the campsite.

Once I’d established what the issue was I could work out a strategy. With sufficient forward speed and low ambient it would stay cool so getting home to the UK was easily achievable.
Very frustrating, with a few of the tools I have at home I could rebuild the calliper and fix the issue.

As luck would have it I, jumped on the bike and cycled to the nearest garage, just 2km from the village.
With my crap French and the mechanics crap English we managed to establish a new calliper would be quite bon.
We spent 10 minutes trawling his parts website till we found the right part.

Next morning, 9am the bus was on his ramp. 10 am all done. Back in Le joux.
Fabulous. The advantage of a vehicle that’s so common/easily repaired.
Glad it all worked out OK.

Reminded me of the time many years ago when staying in a rented cottage in La Roque-Gageac. I’d borrowed a Land Rover Discovery from a colleague at work for the trip. When in the Dordogne I became aware of squealing brakes and discovered the front pads were down to metal. Eventually found a garage and in my crappier than your French, explained what I needed. Next day went to collect the pads only to discover I’d order new discs! Anyway he had the pads in stock and the rest of my day was spent changing them. Enjoyed the red wine even more that evening :)
 
Velma's Dad

Velma's Dad

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Boiling the fluid can be a sphincter-tightener for sure. I did it (not in Cali) near bottom of a long mountain road, brakes went from slightly-fadey-so-stop-being-a-moron to totally gone, in just two bends. Sheer good luck I was able to grab a side road that went uphill a bit.
 
bob_summers

bob_summers

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Donosti
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Scary!

When I moved to Spain I drove down from London with all my worldy belongings in an aircooled T3 (the one in the avatar), going through Tours on a boiling hot day it developed a backfire and the engine cut out. Coasted down a hill and rolled to a stop at the bottom wondering what the hell to do.

I looked up, the van had stopped outside a garage full of Beetles and buses. An aircooled VW specialist, no less. Had to wait for the mechanic to finish lunch but he had it fixed in half an hour.
 
Velma's Dad

Velma's Dad

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I looked up, the van had stopped outside a garage full of Beetles and buses. An aircooled VW specialist, no less.
Old-skool Dub vans were designed to break down only when within 50 metres of a specialist workshop. From T5 onwards, they are pre-programmed to break down the day after the warranty expires. Anywhere will do.
:upsidedown
 
SteveSumnerSupercali

SteveSumnerSupercali

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Location
France
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
So, for reasons unexplained, we developed a sticky rear calliper overnight. Quite common apparently.

After four days pitched up trying not to die of heat stroke/dehydration, we opted to head for the hills in an attempt to gain altitude/loose temperature.

Anyway after 20k or so we pulled off the N road and into a town. After a few sets of traffic lights I went for the middle peddle only to discover it no longer affected the speed of the vehicle.

To avoid rear ending the car in front I mounted the pavement and grabbed a handful of hand brake. Thankfully that was enough to stop us before we nudged the traffic light pole.

Heart pounding, I jumped out to see smoke billowing from the rear right. How I’d managed to not smell it is a bit worrying.
I’d obvs boiled the fluid. 38 deg ambient probability didn’t help!

We gathered our nerves and parked up in the shade.
After 30 mins or so the pedal was back to hard so we could get back to the campsite.

Once I’d established what the issue was I could work out a strategy. With sufficient forward speed and low ambient it would stay cool so getting home to the UK was easily achievable.
Very frustrating, with a few of the tools I have at home I could rebuild the calliper and fix the issue.

As luck would have it I, jumped on the bike and cycled to the nearest garage, just 2km from the village.
With my crap French and the mechanics crap English we managed to establish a new calliper would be quite bon.
We spent 10 minutes trawling his parts website till we found the right part.

Next morning, 9am the bus was on his ramp. 10 am all done. Back in Le joux.
Fabulous. The advantage of a vehicle that’s so common/easily repaired.
Thanks for sharing
 
BikerGran

BikerGran

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T5 SE 174
So, for reasons unexplained, we developed a sticky rear calliper overnight. Quite common apparently.

After four days pitched up trying not to die of heat stroke/dehydration, we opted to head for the hills in an attempt to gain altitude/loose temperature.

Anyway after 20k or so we pulled off the N road and into a town. After a few sets of traffic lights I went for the middle peddle only to discover it no longer affected the speed of the vehicle.

To avoid rear ending the car in front I mounted the pavement and grabbed a handful of hand brake. Thankfully that was enough to stop us before we nudged the traffic light pole.

Heart pounding, I jumped out to see smoke billowing from the rear right. How I’d managed to not smell it is a bit worrying.
I’d obvs boiled the fluid. 38 deg ambient probability didn’t help!

We gathered our nerves and parked up in the shade.
After 30 mins or so the pedal was back to hard so we could get back to the campsite.

Once I’d established what the issue was I could work out a strategy. With sufficient forward speed and low ambient it would stay cool so getting home to the UK was easily achievable.
Very frustrating, with a few of the tools I have at home I could rebuild the calliper and fix the issue.

As luck would have it I, jumped on the bike and cycled to the nearest garage, just 2km from the village.
With my crap French and the mechanics crap English we managed to establish a new calliper would be quite bon.
We spent 10 minutes trawling his parts website till we found the right part.

Next morning, 9am the bus was on his ramp. 10 am all done. Back in Le joux.
Fabulous. The advantage of a vehicle that’s so common/easily repaired.
I think it also has a lot to do with the attitude of French garages. Many years ago I came off the ferry in Cherbourg (in a car not a campervan) and on the way to our campsite we developed a problem with the accelerator pedal sticking. It was evening and the only option I could think of was to keep going carefully, using my foot to lift the pedal when needed, and hope it got to the campsite which thankfully it did.
Next morning I took it to the local garage which happened to be a big posh Citroën one and the car was a (tatty old) Citroën, which may have helped. In my pathetic French I explained the problem and the girl on reception fetched the boss who said all the mechanics were busy but he'd have a look. So he boss rolled up his sleeves, got under the bonnet and diagnosed a sticking accelerator cable which then removed, freed off using WD4O and a cleanup with a rag. Put it together again, lubed and refitted it as he didn't have one in stock, and told me it should be OK for our holiday but to get a new one when got home.
All in all, about 45 minutes of the boss's time and he charged me - 6 francs!
It wasn't just because he was a nice man, he was gruff and fairly rude! But there was a problem and his job was to fix it, so he did!
 
calibusje

calibusje

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716
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T6.1 Coast 150
I don't know if you have a T4 but we had this with our westfalia with rear drum brakes: in the mountains and somewhere between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius I could press the brake pedal all the way (normally much harder) and almost didn't break. It came gradually and we were driving for about 6 hours in the mountains-on and off. So, you couldn't touch the side and the right rear wheel because of the scorching heat and everything behind it was red hot. After fifteen minutes there was a little more pressure on the brake pedal and we drove on to the next village and entered a camping municipale; let the brakes cool down (goes fast) and after some cool rosé wine and a good night, in the morning to the village garage where they checked the brakes and everything stated ok. They didn't even want money for it but I made a donation.
After we got out of the mountains, we visited Île d'Oléron for a few days and then the French VW bus meeting, then returned home to our VW dealer for a post-travel checkup and everything in order. Due to the heat, the density of the brake fluid becomes different -thinner/not stable anymore- and cannot give the same pressure as in more normal conditions. Only occurs with: great heat, mountains and a lot of descending and -although you try to brake as much as possible on the engine - use the brake too much.
Glad everything worked out fine with you and your van.
 
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