I have seen a number of different references to disc brakes being more fuel efficient and know that most new cars have them on the front if not all the way around. I see that has front end kits for around $230.

Are they more efficient? safer? other? Is the difference worth the price of the kit? how is access to repair parts after the conversion?

------------(0\ /0)-------------
74 Super Sun Bug (the partner's)
71 Super Cal Looker (mine)
the "Shade tree mech" for both...
Quote 0 0
I don't know how a brake could be fuel efficient, but I installed front discs on both of my Bugs. The Standard Beetle had a few more steps than the Super, but they were both easy. The standard will eventually have discs on all four corners. Haven't got the standard on the road yet, but the changes on the Super were super.  The brake pedal is more firm, it doesn't take as much leg muscle to come to a hard stop, and replacement parts and pieces are easier to change out.

I was worried about making the change to front discs because I was worried about the wheels locking up and skidding if I had to brake hard. Honestly, I haven't had that problem (yet) and I have had to slam them on quite a few times.

If you have the ways and means and are debating on going with discs or not, I would say go for it, dump the drums. Do you have a Super? For my Super front discs, I bought the kit from Top Line. Ryan gives a good step by step install and review in HiPo 101 using the Top Line kit. For my standard, I got a kit from MidAmerica Motor Works. The pieces were the same brand. The only difference for the Standard was that I had to also change my spindles.  
72 Super Beetle
Quote 0 0
If you have changed from drums to discs in the front and then had to use them on Ice for the first time... well it is definitely a OMG moment for sure. Other than that they are the best thing since sliced bread. I haven't on my 66 Ghia yet though as I would like to look at the wide five kits that are out there and check for offset. I have 165-15 tires on her and they are pretty close in the fender wells (even on the front)and if the disc's change the offset then I could be in trouble. On my Buggy though it will have front disc's on it when it gets back on the road.
66 Ghia, "Dexter" 76 flat window Beetle
It's not a Car it's a VolksWagon!
Quote 0 0
Not much to do with gas mileage but everything to do with stopping ability.  The difference is huge - disc brakes were one of the best automotive innovations to ever come along.  I did the conversion on my '72 Super in an afternoon.  This was easy work for an average shade tree mechanic.  Ease of maintenance afterwards?  No comparison.  First they need less routine maintenance and everything is still readily accessible - no problems.  I bought CIP 1's best overall kit and would recommend it to anyone.  Fronts yes, rears don't do as much of the stopping so I wouldn't get too hyper about sticking with drums at the back as long as they are within wear limitations and the drums have not gone bell-shaped.
     P.S>  Who out there knew that front disc brakes were MANDATORY on Australian and New Zealand bugs back in 1968?  Sounds like their governments were up on safety standards.

Quote 0 0

MY72BUG wrote:
     P.S>  Who out there knew that front disc brakes were MANDATORY on Australian and New Zealand bugs back in 1968?  Sounds like their governments were up on safety standards.

It always had Me beat why North American Beetles did NOT have front discs.
I always thought it must have been a requirement for US cars to have drums

I can't remember what drum brakes were like... lol

apart from them NOT working after driving thru water...

If Your front drum brakes are adjustable - then maybe they are More fuel efficient, as You cannot adjust disc brakes...

If they are rubbing [pad to disc] they will cause you to use more fuel..
but luckily mine work great and i can spin the front wheels when the front is jacked up..

Also- I have hit the brakes on My beetle [on tarmac- road surfaces]
and the front locks up...  regardless of speed...
I was taking My Son to a VW Show - and i was driving on a highway
probably about 80kmh and He said Stop...  so I hit the brake pedal..
and the front wheels stopped...   then he said - NOT Here -
down the road at the stop signal...   lol

I should look at adjusting My rear brakes as i can push the brake pedal down
when in My gravel driveway - locking the front wheels - but can still move the car by accelerating.. there seems to be enough braking on the rear wheels to keep both of them driving...

I Agree - Discs on the front are Good..
I wouldn't bother with the rear though..


68AutoBug - helping keep air cooled Volkswagens alive in Australia & around the World -
Quote 0 0