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Handbrake only holding on one side?

Chassis/Brakes/Steering/Wheels discussion
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wurlycorner
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Post by wurlycorner » Sun May 14, 2017 7:05 pm

Pics of the handbrake lever arms on the rear calipers when in the released position please :)

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Post by Jackson Bondy » Sun May 14, 2017 9:41 pm

wurlycorner wrote:Pics of the handbrake lever arms on the rear calipers when in the released position please :)
Sorry only just seen this, I thought it'd take me an hour to fix and I've just finished. Typical :lol:

After some investigation I decided to do the whole process from scratch.
Took calipers off, opened reservoir and rewound calipers. Then discovered that the top break pad shims only just sit in the Caliper and so unless you have them in perfectly they sit at an angle and rub on the disc causing the friction I was feeling. They'd gotten so hot over time the metal had discoloured! :shock:
Fixed that and everything seemed to move a lot more freely. Then bled again, pumped pedal and adjusted handbrake all as per service manual. Good as new now, no idea why it fixed it, very odd!

Thanks for all your help as always folks 8-)
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Post by wurlycorner » Sun May 14, 2017 10:59 pm

Excellent news, well done.
Yep, they can be very finicky things to set up and if they don't go right first time, the best option is to start it again from scratch.

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Handbrake only holding on one side?

Post by Jackson Bondy » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:20 am

Handbrake woes continue!
Had one hell of an MOT yesterday so got some things to sort now.

Handbrake was not perfect but fine, went in for the MOT and they failed it for too much travel and it wasn't holding properly on one side. Took the car home and now suddenly the handbrake pretty much doesn't work at all! :?

Have readjusted the handbrake as per the manual but it hasn't made any difference. Have checked the cable in the centre console and both move fine however the passenger side moves a lot more than the drivers (should be fine though because that's what the equaliser is there for no?). When you pull the handbrake up the cable moves but there's almost no resistance at the wheels.

I've dug through the service manual but can't see any suggestions of what to do next, can the return spring be adjusted on the caliper side and if so how do I go about it?

Four new tyres and a leaky coilover too :(

Cheers
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Handbrake only holding on one side?

Post by wurlycorner » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:51 pm

Almost certainly rear pads stuck in the carriers.
Remove caliper, remove pads and carrier clips, file/clean the carrier surfaces and the ends of the pads, re-grease all the flat/sliding surfaces, re-assemble and then fully reset the handbrake mechanism according to the manual.

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Handbrake only holding on one side?

Post by Scott560 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:07 pm

I was going to say this also - hand brake feel is mostly down to old calipers or pads sticking, and rarely anything else. Either the pads are not loose enough, or the caliper internal mech is knackered/piston seized.

I like my pads nice and loose - if with the caliper off and pads sitting in , squeeze pads by hand to make the disc drag, if the disc still drags when you let go then its not loose enough, i've never had a set of pads (ever) that just slid into the carrier easily, they always needed a light sanding on the locating tabs (or just rub them on the tarmac to remove some of the black paint).

Once they are loose and floating, everything will work much better. Make sure you take off the carrier and the fitting kit, file off any crust from the carrier, and lube it up with some copper grease. It needs to be a little on the loose side because it will not take long for the grease to solidify and road crap to take up the slack. you always want the pads to release, if they end up binding in the carriers, as you've found out - you end up with a very hot rear wheel (and worn pads, cooked disk, cooked off wheel bearing, melted tire bead etc etc)

Some rear pads have a locating nub sticking out. Make sure this engages in the slot in the caliper piston. The idea is that this stops the piston rotating so that the auto adjust mech inside the caliper rotates instead of the piston. Otherwise it never adjusts... Sometime only 1 pad of each pair will have the nub. you might need to rotate the piston to get this to line up - careful not to tear the dust seal if you don't have the tool and end up using a screwdriver.

Refurbishing calipers is a waste of time, euro car parts do complete rear 5th gen ones for about 75quid each, with a hefty 35 exchange refund for the old one - not worth the time considering anything else really. If you need a rear rebuild kit for both side - i have one unused, i bought it before i realised the price of calipers + refund was not excessive.

sticking clevis pin where the cable meets the lever is common also - this affects the angle the mechanism is pulled... removing/cleaning/filing/re greasing doesn't take long.

Also, using high temp brake grease, redo to sliding pins, I've never seen them get really bad, but once they get really hot , the grease will have thickened up.

Once all bled, pump it hard a good few times before venturing out. Do some nice long light braking to get the surfaces mated up, and then after a while do the handbrake adjustment.
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Handbrake only holding on one side?

Post by Jackson Bondy » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:41 pm

Readjusted the handbrake and the handbrake would hold slightly but very little. Looked like the cable just had too much stretch in it and needed to be replaced.
Replaced the cable and of course that didn't fix it grrr. I would never recommend replacing the cable if possible, the bung is extremely difficult to fit (the nuts holding the cable on like to sheer off too which doesn't help), I've had to leave it for now as I think I will need to take the mid section of the exhaust out to get enough access to fit it properly, horrible horrible job.

Rear pads were loose in the carriers and all in good nick. The slide pins and pad backs were dry so everything has been given a good clean and greasing using Lithium based grease.
Locating nub is in the slot in the piston.

Yes sadly I wish I'd known that as I spent a fortune two years ago getting all the carriers and calipers refurbished because the brakes are so notorious on these cars and I wanted to avoid problems! Last time I make that mistake!

What do you mean about the clevis pin? I think this may be the issue, the whole mechanism rotates freely but it seems loose where it attaches onto the caliper and I'm wondering if it's set wrong and when it rotates it's only engaging the handbrake very slightly. I can't get a spanner or socket on it to tighten it due to the spring being wrapped around it. Am I correct in thinking the whole mechanism won't move if it's seized inside the body of the caliper?
Hmm I'm wondering if I should just drive it round a bit and then redo the adjustment instead of trying to set it by pumping the brake whilst stationary.

Apologies for all the questions, you've both been a great help already!
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Handbrake only holding on one side?

Post by Scott560 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:27 pm

the mechanism should rotate, at which point it should start to try clamping the pads to the disc , but you wont be able to do it by hand. They dont need adjusting...

you will need an assistant, when the handbrake is pulled/let off, you should notice the cable end where it meets the 'arm' on the caliper, it should pivot, it should always be pulled straight. If the pin is rusted, it wont pivot, and the angle goes to crap and it pulls unevenly. Easy enough to pull out with piers, clean up and grease it...

pumping the pedal is only one way to get it to adjust. You will need to do all sorts of pumping/wanging the handbrake to get the adjuster to take up any slack. My theory on why the calipers go bad is that the threads rust on the central post the piston screws onto, and then it can never auto adjust properly. This is why i prefer refurbed calipers because you know they got a damn good blast / chem clean, compared to just new pistons... There is a reason your supposed to replace brake fluid every 2 years, its to stop the internal adjustment mech from rusting up to buggery...

also make sure if you cleaned up the pins, equally important is the guide into which the pin goes. Solidified old grease can live in the bottom and prevent full travel (although this should only be an issue when your pads get low).

also make sure they are bled properly, otherwise you wont be pushing the pistons out via pedal action.

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Handbrake only holding on one side?

Post by Jackson Bondy » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:32 pm

Perfect cheers for the help!
Turned out the mechanism in the caliper had seized so needed replacing. Car is Mot'd and back on the road again. :thumbup:
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Handbrake only holding on one side?

Post by Scott560 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:07 am

Jackson Bondy wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:32 pm
Turned out the mechanism in the caliper had seized
The death of every rear caliper! No wonder some cars moved to a dual drum/caliper setup, or electric handbrake (no adjust mech to go wrong!)

Glad its all sorted!
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