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123GT--handbrake cable after rear end swap

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Old May 13th, 2021, 09:15   #1
dcthompson
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Default 123GT--handbrake cable after rear end swap

I am nearing completion of a 100% restoration of my 123GT. I have made some discrete improvements along the way, including replacing the original rear end assembly with one from an 1800ES. My handbrake cable is now too short. Can anyone tell me whether the cable from a different Volvo (e.g. an E or ES) will fit? If I can't find something I will simply have to weld extensions onto the original cable. Has anyone out there performed this modification?
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Old May 14th, 2021, 14:45   #2
Quarterless
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https://speedycables.com/heavy-duty-cables/
These guys could make a new one.
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Old May 14th, 2021, 16:52   #3
Derek UK
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123GT had drums. ES has discs. Therefore different cables.
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Old May 15th, 2021, 07:13   #4
dcthompson
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Default Thank you, Derek and Quarterless

Derek and Quarterless: Aside from the differences in the required length of the cable, are there any insurmountable obstacles to making the handbrake function with ES brakes? The subject vehicle is not close at hand at the moment, and I don't recall the details of the ends of the cables where they attach to the ES brakes. A sketch, or better yet a picture, would be very helpful. Dan

P.S. Yes, I know that the ES rear brakes are disks, and the 123GT uses drums. Why did you think I swapped?

Last edited by dcthompson; May 15th, 2021 at 07:15. Reason: clarification
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Old May 15th, 2021, 12:15   #5
Derek UK
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IMO, swapping to get rear discs doesn't gain you much even if you are racing the car. For even hard road driving, there is no advantage if your standard brakes are set up well and are in good condition. An extra big negative is that the disc axle takes wheels with a different PCD. Yes you can do a lot of parts swapping at the front to fit the later hubs with matching PCD but it's not just a bolt on. If doing that you might as well go the whole hog and swap to dual circuit brakes. I'd rather not have to carry 2 spare wheels.
Ref the cables, I'm guessing that you might be able to reposition the brackets, or make new ones, where the single front cable meets the yoke for the 2 seperate ones. You will need to use the disc axle cables.
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Old May 15th, 2021, 13:23   #6
Vintagewrench
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Derek, you are correct about the swap not being needed for regular use. However one of the most important reasons to do this swap for racing, rally or hi-performance use is safety and extra strength that comes from the use of bigger diameter, safer, one-piece flanged axles and wheel bearings used on 1800E/ES and 140 series vehicles. Re-drilling the axle flanges to the earlier 5 x 4.5" bolt pattern eliminates having mis-matched wheels and can often be done by drive axle specialists at a reasonable cost.

The original tapered and keyed axles can and do break under hard use, and racing, with the resulting loss of a wheel and tire and the brakes (wheel cylinder pistons can pop out or leak). Breakage is usually followed by a crash or often a roll over caused by the axle housing minus a wheel and brake drum digging into the track or earth.

Back in the day racers were forced to replace the early axles after 5 or 10 races and and usually had them crack tested in-between races. A number of cars were damaged or wrecked and drivers injured due to broken tapered and keyed axles.

One other benefit is axle, bearing, and brake repairs and service takes much less time because of not having to deal with the axle nut, and a puller to get the hub and drum off.

Volvo actually had the disc brake axle homologated with the FIA in 1969 for the Amazon so it could be used in completion.

Last edited by Vintagewrench; May 15th, 2021 at 13:43.
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Old May 16th, 2021, 01:22   #7
Derek UK
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Higher quality and much stronger axles are available as direct replacements that go a long way to reduce any breakages that might occur. Rallying would benefit most from fitting those. Redrilling the flanges back to the early PCD would, I think, severely compromise their strength in that area. I think they usually break where the spline meets the plain shaft? I've never actually seen one. Point taken about slightly easier servicing but that is more useful for competition where those with ocd might take everything apart after each event or at least with some regularity. Now days brakes are lucky to get checked every 10k miles. Normally if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
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Old May 16th, 2021, 08:03   #8
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I went with disks for a host of reasons, but in the end it came down to one thing: I prefer them. I like their look. I like never having to adjust them. But there are more advantages to swapping rear ends with an ES than just the brakes; the entire rear end assembly is stronger, the differential is compatible with a multitude of ratios, and a variety of limited slip systems are readily available. The change in rear wheel bolt patterns? Exchanging with the front brakes from an ES is trivially easy. I was only hoping to find someone who has made the same swap to give me some advice on the best way to activate the handbrake.
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Old May 16th, 2021, 09:32   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcthompson View Post
I went with disks for a host of reasons, but in the end it came down to one thing: I prefer them. I like their look. I like never having to adjust them. But there are more advantages to swapping rear ends with an ES than just the brakes; the entire rear end assembly is stronger, the differential is compatible with a multitude of ratios, and a variety of limited slip systems are readily available. The change in rear wheel bolt patterns? Exchanging with the front brakes from an ES is trivially easy. I was only hoping to find someone who has made the same swap to give me some advice on the best way to activate the handbrake.
On the subject of the handbrake which seems to be your main concern, you not having to adjust them may appeal but you might find the handbrake(which is a drum) inferior to the original drum and in need of regular adjustment and occassional cleaning out. This is something I have found on my 145 with the same system. The lack of handbrake performance is inevitable due to the smaller diameter and only just adequate when working perfectly, just like most modern FWD cars with rear discs.
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Old May 16th, 2021, 11:45   #10
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I did this many years ago, and the handbrake solution is very easy. You need these parts: handbrake cable from 1800 70-73, and the pullrod (680913) and the retainer (680909) from either a later 1800 or a 140. Bolt on!
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