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Volkswagen Beetle brakes
The brake system on your classic Beetle may be straightforward compared to those on modern cars, but it’s no less important, and care should be taken at all times to keep it in the best condition possible. That includes periodically checking it over and replacing your VW Beetle brake fluid every couple of years. Though classic Beetle brake parts can basically be broken down into Beetle drum brakes and VW Beetle disc brakes, there is a lot of variety in the VW Beetle parts that were fitted over the years, and with so many cars having been modified it is important you know exactly what is fitted to your car before ordering any replacement parts. If in any doubt as to what sort of Beetle brake system you have, consult one of our knowledgeable sales staff who will be happy to guide you in the right direction.

VW Heritage offer a huge range of VW Beetle brakes for every age and model of Beetle, as well as a comprehensive range of Beetle brake upgrade parts and performance items. We stock everything from standard Volkswagen Beetle drum brake parts to high performance Beetle disc brake conversions from CSP, CB Performance and EMPI in a variety of stud patterns to suit all requirements. We not only sell our products online but our expert team can provide free advice on compatibility, fitting and the different options available. Browse and buy the parts you need from our links above, or read on for further information about our air-cooled VW Beetle brake systems.

Looking to buy VW Beetle brakes?
Prior to 1967 all air-cooled VWs had five-bolt wheels and Beetles were fitted with drum brakes all round. In 1967, Beetle front disc brakes and vented four-bolt wheels were introduced on the larger engined 1500 Beetles. In 1968, four-bolt wheels were fitted right across the range and, although some models were fitted with disc brakes at the front (Beetle rear disc brake kits were never fitted from the factory), others kept drum brakes at all four corners. If you have a later model Beetle, always check which types of front brakes are fitted before ordering VW Beetle brakes and parts.

Naturally, we here at VW Heritage stock a complete range of service and replacement parts for both VW Beetle disc brake and air cooled drum brake systems, including Beetle brake shoes, Beetle Brake calipers, pads, brake backing plates, Beetle wheel cylinders, hoses and drum brake fitting kits, plus a wide selection of Volkswagen Beetle drums and discs in different bolt patterns depending on the wheels you want to use.

We also supply a large selection of aftermarket brake parts and Beetle disc brake conversions, included uprated VW Beetle Goodridge hoses, EMPI, Tarox, CSP and CB Performance VW Beetle disc brake conversion kits, and a wide range of classic VW Beetle discs and drums with different wheel bolt or stud patterns, making this the simplest way to undertake VW to Porsche / Chevy / Jag wheel conversions. Add in stock and performance air-cooled Beetle brake master cylinders, replacement Beetle brake fluid reservoirs and, while we’re on the subject of brakes, don’t forget we also hold stock of everything you could need to overhaul your classic air-cooled Beetle handbrake system.

You can buy with confidence from the leading suppliers of VW Beetle Brake parts, VW Beetle Engines, Air Cooled VW Engine parts, Beetle Restoration parts, Volkswagen Exhaust parts, Volkswagen Genuine Parts and VW Spare Parts UK. So, if you have questions about your VW Beetle brakes – or if you can’t find the parts you require – just click on the ‘live chat’ button or call our sales team on 01273 444 000 at any time during UK business hours.

Buy your VW Parts online today and ask about our Express Delivery options!

VW Beetle History

History of the VW Beetle

Initial testing began in 1938, with successful results, and continued in Poland in 1939. The resulting tests had the German military request some important changes. Whilst the vehicle had impressive off-road credentials, even when compared to some of the existing 4x4s already in service, it was felt it could still be improved, and the vehicles slowest speed of 5mph needed to be reduced to that of marching troops, around 2.5mph.


Porsche responded to these requests by installing “reduction boxes” (effectively a 2nd gearbox, resulting in more torque), larger wheels, and revised suspension. The reduction boxes alongside the self locking ZF differentials increased the vehicles off-road ability, as well as allowing a lower speed to stay level with the troops. Kubelwagens were mass produced as soon as the factories in Stadt des KdF-Wagens had been completed.


The second vehicle produced during the period was the Type 166 Schwimmwagen, based on prototype 4x4 Kubelwagens, the Schwimmwagen was produced as an offroad amphibious vehicle, utilizing an extended crankshaft to drive a folding propeller mounted to the rear of the vehicle.

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