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Author Topic: Hand brake woes ... :(  (Read 882 times)

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Entwood

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Hand brake woes ... :(
« on: 21 June 2018, 21:55:58 »

Hand brake has been playing up recently in that it has been reluctant to fully release, such that as you drive away a "rubbing" sound has been obvious ... applying and releasing the hand brake 2-3 times whilst on the move has always resulted in a fully free, no noise, drive. Whilst ok as a short term fix this was not acceptable to me, so today I decided to strip, clean, lubricate and reassemble the rear brakes.

On stripping the internal levers for the handbrake were bone dry and quite stiff, so cleaned up and regreased with copper grease. Only hassle was one of the four handbrake shoe pins just did NOT want to play .. took over an hour just to get it on properly... now that WAS frustrating, why couldn't it be like the other three and pop straight on ??

As I have always done, once the shoes are partially adjusted, I activated the hand brake a couple of times to centralise the shoes, with the intention of leaving it on 3 clicks for the final shoe adjustment ... which is where it all went pear shaped......

On the second pull something went "twang" and the handbrake lever is totally free throughout its range , absolutely no resistance whatsoever..  :(  The cables at the drums are still under good tension, but the cable at the base of the handbrake lever is loose and floppy, although no visible breakage can be seen on the very small visible length... :(

Copious amounts of plusgas has been applied to all the heatshield bolts in the hope they undo tomorrow, if not the drill and self tappers might be getting a workout later !! I'm hoping that I can remove the heatshields without recourse to removing exhaust and propshaft as Haynes stipulates !!

I'm guessing that something has come adrift around the compensator bar... but what ... ???  :(

Any advice on removing heatshields or any guesses as to what I might find or have to do next, gratefully accepted ...
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Andy B

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Re: Hand brake woes ... :(
« Reply #1 on: 21 June 2018, 22:59:12 »

Sorry Nige .... can't remember how it worked & no idea where the Haynes went to.  :-\
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Diamond Black Geezer

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Re: Hand brake woes ... :(
« Reply #2 on: 21 June 2018, 23:13:27 »

Certainly you don't need to remove the exhaust!

Also, I believe you don't need to remove the heatshields for handbrake adjustment (though it does make life easier - it depends on the state of your aforementioned screws.) long extension on your ratchet is all you need to adjust it, as I recall. You have to do it by 'feel' to a certain extent. Oh, if the heatshields need to come off you don't need the propshaft/exhaust off, that I can guarantee!

Does sound like something's come adrift - I'd be tempted to get a new cable ordered and at your door to save your time stripping it all down again, to discover the cable's no good. Very cheap and readily available.

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Olympia5776

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Re: Hand brake woes ... :(
« Reply #3 on: 21 June 2018, 23:57:13 »

The outer handbrake cable runs through a sleeve attached to the trailing arm. The sleeve retains the sheath of the cable when the handbrake lever is pulled thus allowing the inner cable to move.
Check that the outer cable has not slid down into the sleeve.
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LC0112G

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Re: Hand brake woes ... :(
« Reply #4 on: 22 June 2018, 00:46:59 »

Any advice on removing heatshields or any guesses as to what I might find or have to do next, gratefully accepted ...

I replaced the handbrake cable on mine last weekend. The only 'special' tool you need is a deep 13mm socket to undo the balance bar nut.

Good news is no need to remove the exhaust or prop shaft.

Bad news is I did shear of 3 of the 10? heat shield retaining studs. Wear some eye protection when undoing stuff coz 15+ years of crud will be on top of the heat shields and it will all fall in your eyes.
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terry paget

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Re: Hand brake woes ... :(
« Reply #5 on: 22 June 2018, 09:24:15 »

Hand brake has been playing up recently in that it has been reluctant to fully release, such that as you drive away a "rubbing" sound has been obvious ... applying and releasing the hand brake 2-3 times whilst on the move has always resulted in a fully free, no noise, drive. Whilst ok as a short term fix this was not acceptable to me, so today I decided to strip, clean, lubricate and reassemble the rear brakes.

On stripping the internal levers for the handbrake were bone dry and quite stiff, so cleaned up and regreased with copper grease. Only hassle was one of the four handbrake shoe pins just did NOT want to play .. took over an hour just to get it on properly... now that WAS frustrating, why couldn't it be like the other three and pop straight on ??

As I have always done, once the shoes are partially adjusted, I activated the hand brake a couple of times to centralise the shoes, with the intention of leaving it on 3 clicks for the final shoe adjustment ... which is where it all went pear shaped......

On the second pull something went "twang" and the handbrake lever is totally free throughout its range , absolutely no resistance whatsoever..  :(  The cables at the drums are still under good tension, but the cable at the base of the handbrake lever is loose and floppy, although no visible breakage can be seen on the very small visible length... :(

Copious amounts of plusgas has been applied to all the heatshield bolts in the hope they undo tomorrow, if not the drill and self tappers might be getting a workout later !! I'm hoping that I can remove the heatshields without recourse to removing exhaust and propshaft as Haynes stipulates !!

I'm guessing that something has come adrift around the compensator bar... but what ... ???  :(

Any advice on removing heatshields or any guesses as to what I might find or have to do next, gratefully accepted ...
I had the same problem recently. In desperation I found a box on a shelf, been there ten years, of handbrake repair spares. In it were spare springs and retaining caps. Not only did they fit, but they went on and engaged in 2 minutes.
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Entwood

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Re: Hand brake woes ... :(
« Reply #6 on: 22 June 2018, 10:10:06 »

Thanks for all the advice, glad to hear its doable without removing exhaust and propshaft ! About to goout and see what I can find ....   ???

If a new cable is needed where is the best place to get one ?? Dealer or elsewhere ?? and does it come complete ... ie front cable and compensator/rear cables ??

For some unknown reason my EPC won't run today ... :( ... job for tonight I guess :(
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Nick W

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Re: Hand brake woes ... :(
« Reply #7 on: 22 June 2018, 10:26:03 »

New cable is about 25 from ECP. It's complete from the clevises that attach to the brakes, and attaches to the threaded rod on the bottom of the handbrake lever.


I doubt you'll fit it with the heat shields in place, but removing the prop and exhaust would be a stupid waste of effort. You won't notice any difference if you don't refit the heat shields, which is handy as you're bound to break some of the fasteners.
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Kevin Wood

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Re: Hand brake woes ... :(
« Reply #8 on: 22 June 2018, 12:01:54 »

Handbrake cable is not too bad a job and mine was getting quite stiff, which may have been partly to blame for the brake sticking. Once it's done it will see the car out.. :y
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Entwood

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Re: Hand brake woes ... :(
« Reply #9 on: 22 June 2018, 13:52:51 »

WHAT A PIG !!!

Due to the fitting of a stainless exhaust - prior to my purchase (and its still in good nick after over 100,000 miles in my possession so I don't know how many actual miles its done) the centre box is right over the centre bolt for the heat shield. I've had to remove all the exhaust hanger rubbers and very gently, on a trolly jack, lower the exhaust until I could JUST get clearance for an offset spanner to get in there, then 1/8th of a turn at a time .. :(  I was actually hoping that one would shear !! of all the rest only 4 have sheared.

NOW .. looking at the system nothing appears broken at all, what there is, with the handbrake lever fully released, is a 3/4 gap between the adjusting nut and the compensator bar, with the handbrake lever fully up, the  nut barely touches the compensator bar.

Reading Haynes it appears that I should be able to tighten up that nut to the correct position for correct operation of the handbrake, however, having stripped it down this far I'm sorely tempted to put a new cable on anyway, after 170,000 it must have stretched somewhat.

Euro car parts have one for 33.49 made by Pagid, so ordered for collection tomorrow after 10.00  :)
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Fuse 19

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Re: Hand brake woes ... :(
« Reply #10 on: 22 June 2018, 14:22:05 »

Hi Nigel

Two quick things:

The cable is tensioned (returned) by the return springs that are on the rear of the back plates, are these fitted and still attached?



Also, the eurocarparts price should be 21.77 (with the standard discount that ECP have, this weekends code is SUMMER70) so it may be worth cancelling and re-ordering

« Last Edit: 22 June 2018, 14:32:22 by Fuse 19 »
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Entwood

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Re: Hand brake woes ... :(
« Reply #11 on: 22 June 2018, 15:07:28 »

Hi Mark, many thanks :)

Springs at the drums are connected and tight, pulling manually on the compensator bar I can just get them to move and they return OK, so appear to be working fine. The adjuster rod / nut is extremely rusty, as befits 17 years use !!  but it does move with the handbrake lever.

I've no idea what went "twang" and introduced the 3/4 inch difference, but starting from scratch with a new cable should work ... he said hopefully !! I have had the drums off and checked that everything is still ok inside .. all agrees with the pictures both in Haynes and the "how to" guide

Thanks for the heads up on the discount ... spoke to Swindon store, order cancelled and then re-ordered with the discount  :y :y :y :y
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Fuse 19

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Re: Hand brake woes ... :(
« Reply #12 on: 22 June 2018, 15:15:32 »

Excellent, its always best not to pay full price unless you have to.
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Fuse 19

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Re: Hand brake woes ... :(
« Reply #13 on: 22 June 2018, 15:17:11 »

You may have a broken cable (they are sleeved for most of their length so not easy to spot), I would expect the compensator bar to be at an odd angle of that was the case
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TD

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Re: Hand brake woes ... :(
« Reply #14 on: 22 June 2018, 17:24:15 »

Just leave it in P and don't use the handbrake....I never did...job jobbed  :y

Runs and hides  ;D
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