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1964 Volga 21 problems

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New User

Oct 4, 2021, 2:27 AM

Post #1 of 4 (136 views)
1964 Volga 21 problems Sign In

Hi All,
I am an Englishman living in Ukraine. I bought a 1964 Volga 21 to restore and enjoy. I have done a lot of work to it and I am now ready to drive it.
One problem, the back brakes are locked, even on the lowest adjustment. It was very difficult to get the drums off. They went on easily when i fitted the brakes, and they shoes are on the lowest possible setting, but the drums are rock solid.
I managed to coax them off with a hammer and socket extension, and I made sure that the shoes are still on the lowest setting, but I cannot get the drums back on.
This problem appeared after I bled the brakes, having also fitted new cylinders and some pipes.. I also fitted a new master cyliner. Bleeding was straight forward, but now this.
This is not the only issue. With the drums off I cannot spin the wheels at all, they are also locked. the clutch is fine and works well, i just cannot get the wheels to turn. Could it be the diff ?
I have spent many, many days on this car, finding parts and working things out for myself in absence of English manuals. I love it but this has foxed me.
I would class myself as a 6 if 1 is Total Amateur and 10 is a Pro mechanic.
This car is simple 1950's technology. It is built like a soviet tank and weighs as much as a museum. It driv4es wonderfully, when it wasn't locked up. There is no finesse in this car, it is all CCCP brute force.

Happy to make videos or photos if someone can help.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Oct 4, 2021, 4:55 AM

Post #2 of 4 (123 views)
Re: 1964 Volga 21 problems Sign In

Quoting you ">Could it be the diff ?<"
I'll get to that just know this is a US based site this now totally antique thing would be as far from anything made for N. American use of anything that's been here.

Anyway - for the diff= differential? Is it even meant to "differentiate" or just a locked axle? I wouldn't know so if we are talking a rear drive only AND it is in neutral the wheel should spin both rear wheels or both an the driveshaft into a standard trans. That or other side wheel spin the opposite direction. No telling what was thought of in 1964 for this?

If anything like so much as a riding lawnmower it would do as I said or serious problem with differential?

Take some pics of what things look like and or make video that's just yours not someone else's and post it.

There's high chances it's a copy of something else completely or a feeble attempt to do so I'm surprised there are many around at all for parts or help?


New User

Oct 4, 2021, 5:17 AM

Post #3 of 4 (114 views)
Re: 1964 Volga 21 problems Sign In

Hi, thanks for the response.
I did mean differential, sorry for the confusion, we call it a "Dif"in England.
Anyway, I understand that this is a US site, but mechanics are mechanics and I generally find that American mechanics are some of the most inventive and able, but also I need English speaking people.
This particular car is very basic in mechanical terms, so the fact it is Russian is not important.
I am hoping for some heads up or advice based on general experience here.
My next move is to disconnect the prop shaft and try to spin the wheels.
The car idles in neutral, but has a problem when I put it in gear, it cuts out. It is currently wheels off at rear, and drums off.
This problem materialized after I fitted new brakes and cylinders.
Again, thank you for your reply. I have to go out now, but will try and do a short video when I get back later.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Oct 4, 2021, 6:05 AM

Post #4 of 4 (101 views)
Re: 1964 Volga 21 problems Sign In

I did just lock the other post - it's the same site that just complicates the topic already ongoing.
Language issues: English isn't all near the same, best to spell it out to avoid mistakes.

This car vs any other to me, just speaking for myself. I recall LOTS of cars new in 1964 and older! None would be from so called "Russia" of all non N. American vehicles the air cooled VW bug was it. Some Mercedes, some Rolls Royce, some British cars of unique interest but not many.

I may be wrong but I didn't think the USSR I would have called it was making lots of vehicles at all and ones they did failed miserably vs other things to concentrate on. Close but not exact was a Yugo (Yugoslavia {sp?} )sold here new few made it off warranty before being bought back and junked. I haven't seen another since parts fell off, smoke pouring out, oil leaks BRAND new!

So I wouldn't know this car if a belt or chain drove wheels and never knew of it.

Pics and so on will help I expect lots of designs like VW perhaps older than 1964 for brakes that are hydraulic. Engine in front, drive wheels rear with a shaft - we got that far or did we?

Need to know if drum brakes are splined to drive axles or how to diff. as you put it I get that.

How it runs right now can't be job one if not used let's take that on separately. Carburetor (carb) of some sort expect issues till later just put up with it.

BTW (by the way) I'm in Eastern Time Zone so is about 9am here doesn't matter expect it's late day to evening for you doesn't matter if you don't care.

Onward lets get some pictures,


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