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Weak Handbrake

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Old Aug 1st, 2020, 15:36   #1
Lumpkin
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Default Weak Handbrake

At the beginning March I had to replace my rear section handbrake cable, so whilst I was there I replaced the rear pads too. I havenít used the car much for the last five months due to lockdown, but I have now put the car through an MOT and it has failed on poor handbrake performance. I have reinspected my work and checked that the callipers are wound back, guide pins clean and free, bleed the system and pumped the brake pedal before pulling the handbrake a few times. Doing all of the above has made no difference to the performance and has failed a retest on the same issue.i have also driven the car around a bit to get the pads bedded in. Any ideas
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Old Aug 1st, 2020, 15:55   #2
Simmy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpkin View Post
At the beginning March I had to replace my rear section handbrake cable, so whilst I was there I replaced the rear pads too. I havenít used the car much for the last five months due to lockdown, but I have now put the car through an MOT and it has failed on poor handbrake performance. I have reinspected my work and checked that the callipers are wound back, guide pins clean and free, bleed the system and pumped the brake pedal before pulling the handbrake a few times. Doing all of the above has made no difference to the performance and has failed a retest on the same issue.i have also driven the car around a bit to get the pads bedded in. Any ideas
fully depress foot brake hold it there then pull hand brake on this procedure is described in the hand book
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Old Aug 2nd, 2020, 01:47   #3
daniel84uk
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What was the MOT fail code? Cables can seem perfectly fine, yet under tension one will bind more than the other as the lining is shot. Had this on a few cars failing MOTs on handbrake performance. I usually jack the rear up applying it click by click and see if its applying evenly and firmly by x number of clicks.

Its also important both ends of the cable are located in the correct place and firmly so the liner doesn't move when applied.

Last edited by daniel84uk; Aug 2nd, 2020 at 01:52.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2020, 08:11   #4
IainG
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Hi
Had the same problem on mine.I was just about to change the cables however, did some more investigation.
As the handbrake lever had come up a bit far previously I had tightened up the cables, it became worse.
Then looked into how the system worked and stripped down a rear calliper to check things.
In the end realised you need a certain amount of free play on the lever that the cable attaches to the rear calliper on each side. Without that free play the self adjusters inside the rear wheel cylinders won't work. The levers have to move back and sit on the air stops,IIRC, i.e. Under no tension.
I set everything up again ensuring free play on the levers and all has been fine for 2 years now. The handbrake lever comes up a couple of clicks more than I expected, but it works lovely. This free play is mentioned in the Haynes manual as well. The auto adjusters have been working well since.
If you have wound the callipers back, the levers will need to return to their stops in order for the self ajjusters to take up the slack again.
The self adjusters only work when those spring loaded levers are back on their stops, the internal mechanism will then not be under tension, also check the levers are free to return easily.

Quote:
fully depress foot brake hold it there then pull hand brake on this procedure is described in the hand book
Are you sure? The self adjusters only work with no tension on the handbrake cable and the 2 levers are fully on their stops. The self adjusting is activated with the foot brake. The adjusters are just taking up pad wear when the foot brake is operated.
Unless the hanbrake going on after the footbrake centralises the cables or something?
Iain

Last edited by IainG; Aug 2nd, 2020 at 08:31.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2020, 20:55   #5
Lumpkin
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Thanks IainG, your instructions seem to have worked and now the handbrake performance is much improved. Fingers crossed, MOT retest this week. Iíll let you know if itís a 👍 or 👎. Many thanks.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2020, 23:15   #6
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yeps the manual /owners hand book does say "push foot pedal Then apply rear brakes"
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Old Aug 3rd, 2020, 06:19   #7
IainG
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Hi


Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_d View Post
yeps the manual /owners hand book does say "push foot pedal Then apply rear brakes"
Sorry, mis understood.
I thought you were saying that is how the adjusters work.

It is just the procedure for applying the handbrake for normal, general use.

It is to help apply more pressure to the pads when using the handbrake in case the discs are hot. As the discs cool and contract the pressure of the pads will decrease. Apparently it is to help overcome this by applying more pressure initially.

Iain
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Old Aug 3rd, 2020, 08:36   #8
Simmy
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some owners have had cars roll away by not following the foot brake first procedure
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Old Today, 10:19   #9
Shnmat
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My park brake was weak and felt like stretched cables and when I checked at the back wheel, I found the park brake lever had seized on. Freed it off pumped brakes and all ok now.
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