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timwood Oct 16 '17
I just recently purchased an 82 vanagon. My first VW of any kind. Since then I have fixed all problems that kept it from being road worthy. I have been using it as my daily driver for a week now, just to make sure that things are good with it, and all seems well. Except 2 things. No matter how much I bleed the brakes I have to hit the pedal twice to get a full pedal. It does however stop fine without doing that. Is this normal for these? I have been considering installing residual valves to combat this issue. Also the clutch lets out almost at the top. I have not messed with the clutch system other than new fluid, and bleeding the system.

 Also as a note every part of the brakes is brand new except for the steel lines, and front calipers.
 I have also been wandering about maximum highway speeds. I have only been driving in town where I live and the most I have pushed was 55mph. And, it was humming pretty good, but it seems like it wants to do more. I want to try to drive her easy, and not be abusive though. Also as a note every part of the brakes is brand new except for the steel lines, and front calipers.

Snoopy Oct 17 '17
On a stock 2.0 motor i try to keep it between 65-70 tops on interstate
mdwdrw Nov 8 '17

On a vanagon, oddly enough a good pedal comes from the rear brakes being properly adjusted. What you are feeling on the first pedal stroke is the shoes moving out to make contact with the drum. The next stroke seats them and the pedal feels "up". 

My suggestion would be to crawl under the van and back off the handbrake adjustment rod so both cables are relaxed. Hard to see, but there is a small hole top center of the backing plate where you can get in with a flatblade screwdriver or brake spoon and adjust the rear shoes up some. Once you get them close, if assembled properly should be self adjusting from that point on. Unfortunately, the replacement shoes don't often match the radius of the drum which also contributes to a vague pedal. 

With a proper sealed engine compartment, correct timing and fuel, I'd run it flat out all day long. No reason not to. The load and drag will keep you from over reving it. 

Clutch pedal not so easy to diagnose. Short of bleeding the clutch hydraulics, it is self adjusting and depends on the clutch to determine how it engages and disengages. If it is grabbing at the top, you might try seeing how much pedal is required so that you can shift it into gear without it grinding at a stop. You might find, it does not need to be on the floor to disengage the engine. 

edit: I forgot, once you have the rear brakes properly adjusted, you can tighten up the parking brake adjuster. I like 3 clicks for the brake to secure the van. 

The Forum post is edited by mdwdrw Nov 8 '17
timwood Nov 12 '17
Thanks guys. Mdwdrw the brake problem worked it's self out. I am not really sure what it was, but the pedal is perfect now. I have not had any problems with the clutch. The shifter is worn out. I plan to fix that as soon as the holidays are over and I can afford to buy the parts.