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Handbrake only holding on one side?

Chassis/Brakes/Steering/Wheels discussion
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Jackson Bondy
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Handbrake only holding on one side?

Post by Jackson Bondy » Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:50 pm

Hello!

So I've recently replaced both rear calipers and my handbrake had a huge amount of travel and barely held the car. I've now adjusted the cable and whilst it holds fine on the drivers side, the passenger side isn't holding at all. I can feel a slight resistance when turning the wheel but that's it.
The bracket that holds both the cables is at an angle, does that mean I need to replace the cable or just bleed the passenger Caliper again?
I need to bleed the whole system again anyway since the pedal still doesn't feel great.
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Post by vanzep » Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:39 pm

Ive been working on the handbrake on my 4th gen today and found that although i freed the cable up it is stretched and needs replaced. I had one cable replaced many years ago and i guess i should have done both sides. :)
Sounds like you have same problem. The equaliser can take up some small difference in length of the cables.

Your meant to check that the hanbrake mech on the caliper is right back and in contact with the stop pin.
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Post by wurlycorner » Mon May 01, 2017 8:00 pm

Jackson Bondy wrote:The bracket that holds both the cables is at an angle, does that mean I need to replace the cable or just bleed the passenger Caliper again?
Which bracket are you talking about?
Pics would help.

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Post by Craig_85 » Mon May 01, 2017 9:58 pm

wurlycorner wrote:
Jackson Bondy wrote:The bracket that holds both the cables is at an angle, does that mean I need to replace the cable or just bleed the passenger Caliper again?
Which bracket are you talking about?
Pics would help.
I guess he means under the centre console where it meets the hand brake mechanism. Bleeding it will make no difference I wouldn't think.

Couple of things to consider, rightly or wrongly when I have changed rear calipers I have backed the handbrake equalising nut right off then applied the footbrake on and off a few times before tensioning the handbrake nut to be tight after around 8 clicks. Any self adjustment required has then happened first.

What I would try in your situation is to get a friend to pull the handbrake cable on the affected side from inside the car with a pair of pliers and see if it works then. If it does you know it is a stretched cable, if it doesn't then your problem is at the caliper.
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Post by vanzep » Mon May 01, 2017 11:32 pm

wurlycorner wrote:
Jackson Bondy wrote:The bracket that holds both the cables is at an angle, does that mean I need to replace the cable or just bleed the passenger Caliper again?
Which bracket are you talking about?
Pics would help.
its the equaliser - it pivots to allow for some minor difference in length between handbrake cables
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Post by wurlycorner » Sun May 07, 2017 11:57 am

Ah, ok.
Well rather than being a stretched cable, check that the clevis pin on the end of the cable where it attaches to the handbrake arm on the caliper, is free to move, not stuck/corroded seized. That can have a big effect on an imbalance of force from one side to the other and can cause the equalising adjuster to be well out of balance.

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Post by Jackson Bondy » Sat May 13, 2017 4:06 pm

Thanks for all the info guys, I do indeed mean the bracket under the centre console, see attached picture.

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Where is the handbrake equalising nut? Do you mean the adjustment nut? Can't see any references to one in the service manual.
I shall give the pliers trick a go and then investigate the caliper itself if I don't have any luck with that.

Cheers for your all the help.
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Post by wurlycorner » Sat May 13, 2017 4:30 pm

What you have in the picture there, is the handbrake equalising nut.

The problem won't be at that end, the problem is either in the cable (tbh this is usually not the cause, although normally the first thing blamed) or at the caliper end (normally the problem - due either to incorrect set up on one side from last time the pads were changed, or the reasons I have mentioned above).

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Post by Jackson Bondy » Sat May 13, 2017 5:06 pm

wurlycorner wrote:What you have in the picture there, is the handbrake equalising nut.

The problem won't be at that end, the problem is either in the cable (tbh this is usually not the cause, although normally the first thing blamed) or at the caliper end (normally the problem - due either to incorrect set up on one side from last time the pads were changed, or the reasons I have mentioned above).
Ah I see, my bad :lol:

Interesting, so is there a method for setting it up after a pads change?
In the manual it just says make sure the mechanism on the caliper works properly, loosen the adjusting nut, pump pedal, then do the adjustment which I did. It's fine on the drivers side and after checking the cable it seems to move freely.

Time to take the wheel off and have a nosey around.
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Post by Jackson Bondy » Sun May 14, 2017 5:17 pm

So had a chance to get the car off the ground and have a proper look today.
With the handbrake off there was still resistance to turning on both the back discs. I've now tried loosening the adjusting nut as far off as it'll go and with the handbrake off there is still resistsance on both sides which to me suggests either the handbrake is getting stuck partially on or the brakes are set up incorrectly. Considering they've just been refurbished these are turning into another nightmare!
Then, still with the nut loose, if you apply the handbrake it applies on the drivers side and holds the disc (weird considering how loose it is set, surely it shouldn't hold at all?) but not on the passenger side. What I did notice is the equalising bracket pulls the cable tight on the drivers side and then has a huge amount of play on the passenger side. If you compare the attached photo to the one I posted before you can see the difference in the brackets angle between the handbrake being off and being on.

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Any ideas? I've never done handbrake stuff before so this is all new to me. The mechanism on the caliper seems to work fine, whether it's in the right place or not I'm not sure.
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