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Handbrake Stuff

Handbrake Turns

It's best on water or ice, but if you really want to spin it, turn a bit to
throw the weight, then handbrake sharp up. If you are an expert (like me! ;-)
then you can control the rate of spin using the steering, throttle, clutch and
footbrake to counter-act the spin.

It's tricky to get it spinning, but when it does go, it will always flip out
and go further than you think. Most times I handbrake into parking spaces I do
an emergency 'counter steer, power and brake' to prevent the rear wheel from
smacking the kerb or the car next to me.

Everytime it snows I get out and use the school carparks as skid pans. The
playgrounds are fun too, especially at lunch break!

Here is some theory:

- Turning first sends the car spinning better. If you handbrake then turn, you
just skew across the road, as the weight is dragged to the back and not to the
side. On ice, doing this may result in going straight on. Been there, done that
and crashed my Peugeot 205 into a lamp post!

- Once the back end goes, don't panic. Steering the front wheels if they are
locked/stationary will do nothing, so if you want to countersteer then the
fronts must be moving UNDER CONTROL. Gain this by using the peddles to get
drive to the fronts. Simply flooring the pants of the motor at this stage will
send you spiralling off the road.

Practice makes perfect!

Hydraulic handbrake with rear discs

You can use 2pots of a 4pot caliper with a hydralic handbrake. I've seen a few cars with this and they get MoT's ok. So long as it is a SEPERATE system and stays on when applied it should be fine.

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Handbrake Woes: bits inside the Drum......

The handbrake operating arm, one end of which is connected to the cable yolk , is very often seized at its pivot inside the drum.

This normally causes the shoes on that drum to drag on, but it could be the other way I suppose.

The item consists of two pieces of metal, the one you can see that is attached to the cable, then another piece, approximately at right angles, which engages in a slot in the lower brake shoe to operate it.

These items are joined by a large rivet, and should be free to pivot.

They often seize! The complete assembly can be withdrawn from the drum, as it is only held in by the shoe slot, then hammered until free.

I have seen these so tight, that you can't beleive that they should be free to pivot! Free this joint then lubricate with copper grease before refitting.

If you have the two piece cable, then first adjust both rear drums, as normal. (A good tip is to tighten both adjusters fully, then stamp on the brake pedal to centre the shoes before making final adjustment.)

Adjust both nuts at the cable ends located either side of the handbrake lever, to shorten their respective cable.

Ensure both shoes are engaging the same amount by jacking up until both rear wheels are clear of the ground, applying the handbrake to second 'click' then adjusting cable until you can just turn both wheels with equal difficulty.

Release brake and check for binding. Back off adjusters slightly until free.

Using this method, the handbrake on the third click should lock the wheels solid.

With single cable brakes, the yoke should take up any unbalance if both cables are free. Adjust this single cable at the rear of the handbrake lever. Always hold the flats on the cable adjusters with a suitable spanner, to prevent the cable twisting as the nuts are turned. Pete Kay.

From Pete Kay. added 29 12 02

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Handbrake Woes: Radius Arm Sectors & Sliding parts......

The handbrake problem will probably be the little rotary quadrant thingy on the underside of the radius arm.

You will spot the thing I mean. it is where the handbrake cable turns the corner to head from 'across' the subframe to 'back' along the radius arm to the hub.

They are terrible for seizing!

Release the hand brake and try to move it by hand, if it is tight, apply plenty of penetrating oil and 'manipulate' it back and forth until it is free, then apply some grease to the pivot area.

The 'proper' way would be to remove the split pin and washer on the top of the pivot shaft, remove the shaft and quadrant to free it up properly, but the shaft is usually now one piece with the arm ;-)

It will be either the quadrant, some of the pivots on the operating levers in the brake drum area SEE ABOVE (siezed I mean), or an outside chance.....the cable is not sliding through the compensator and pulling harder on one side. Either way, it's pretty easy to trouble shoot handbrakes.

From Drew 28 12 02

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