At long last, I’ve fixed the Golf’s rear brakes. I even found what was causing the incessant whistling that nearly drove us mad on the trip to Devon.
That wear really shouldn’t be there. It all stems from my initial attempt to check the condition of the rear brakes. When I was refitting the drum, I over-tightened the wheel bearing nut, as I hadn’t realised that this actually needs to be set fairly loose. I knew something was wrong immediately as the hub was hard to turn. I slackened it off after taking the desperate measure of reading the manual, but the damage was done – whatever it was. The drum was now running too close to the backplate and was rubbing merrily on the nuts that hold the backplate in place.
Having had to pull everything apart again, I opted to overhaul the rear brakes entirely. I’d need a wheel bearing for the nearside, but they are so cheap that I decided to replace both. Then I decided that the stub axles looked a bit scored, so I replaced those too. Annoyingly, I don’t think any of this work was really that necessary, had I not ballsed things up in the first place, but the brakes feel more positive now, which is nice. It was at least fairly simple to work on, though I needed professional help tackling the shoe springs and knocking in the new bearing outers. I farmed that job out for a few quid – a wise move!
I also treated the car to a fresh oil filter and new oil, in the hope that it might cure the occasional-clattery hydraulic tappet. It doesn’t seem to have sadly, though it always quietens down after a while. A new heater bypass valve has been fitted too, so all-in-all, it’s in far better shape than it was a few weeks ago. Hopefully, expenditure will now decrease somewhat, though I’ve just discovered that the heated rear window isn’t working – a faulty switch I reckon. There’s always something!