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Handbrake Adjustment

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  • Handbrake Adjustment

    Just replaced most of the handbrake cable, did'nt do the bit into the car but did the rear and the 2 to the wheels. Alo replaced rear shoes.
    Ive set the cable as per the AR manual ie there is less than 1mm endfloat on the 2 plastic stops which protrude from each drum. They are also not tight.
    Trouble is the handbrake is crap. Comes up about 8 notches but wont lock the wheels , i set the shoes on the adjusters so they are just rubbing the drum but not happy with handbrake , any sugestions please?

  • #2
    Hi Russ.

    Our cars have been around so long now that I’m sure everyone has an opinion on the best way to set up the hand brake. Here is how I set the rear brakes when I was working, and it never failed me.

    This is the best way I find to adjust the rear brakes on the maestro. Make sure the cables are free, your cables are new so no problems there. The “most” important thing to do first is slacken the h/brake cable adjustment right off.

    I know with your experience Russ you know this, but for anyone who has ever struggled with vice grips and hammers & chisels etc. trying to undo the knurled adjuster here’s how.

    To turn the knurled nut, it should always first be levered away from its counterpart by inserting a large flat blade screw driver into the small gap between the knurled wheel and its adjacent body to release it from its taper lock, thus widening the gap. The cable adjuster is designed this way to stop the adjuster wheel turning in service.

    You will also notice the cable has what looks like a 6in long piece of large hose pipe around it, this is there to enable you to grasp hold of the rear cable and make it easier to pull it away from the adjustment mechanism to keep open the gap to prevent it relocking whilst you then turn the wheel by hand.

    Then take off 1 drum and release self adjuster mechanism right off, then refit drum. Press the foot brake hard a couple of times you should hear ratchet mechanism adjusting inside drum, if you can’t hear clicking just remove drum again to ensure the adjuster has moved. It is important to do one side at once so as to get maximum movement from the wheel cylinder to operate the self adjuster fully. Doing it this way always gives better results than opening the self adjuster with a screw driver manually. With one side done, just do exactly the same for other side.

    finally adjust h/b cable to pull up 5 to 8 clicks, with the age of our cars and general wear on the components involved it may not be realistic to achieve 1 to 2mm gap on the lever stop indicators, but with the h/brake cable adjusted to 5 to 8 clicks max they won’t be too far out, the most important thing is that the handbrake holds efficiently.

    Regards Gary


    • #3
      Thanks for the info Gary it was spot on as normal and now the handbrake is working fine. The stops have about 3mm of endfloat but if the handbrake works ok I can live with that.

      Interstingly the ARG manual says 2mm where as haynes says 1mm
      Last edited by SimonR; 9th September 2010, 21:34.


      • #4
        Glad that worked for you Russ. The question comes up quite a bit so if anyone is interested I could edit it to go in the FAQ section?