Replacing handbrake cables. How difficult?

Suspension; Gearbox, Clutch and Driveshafts; Brakes; Steering; Throttle and clutch cable issues
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p in phcas
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Replacing handbrake cables. How difficult?

Post by p in phcas »

It’s been a year since posting in the running gear area and it is that time again. ‘URN’ failed it’s test on handbrake. I guess 32 years has taken it toll and they’ve seized The guy pulled so hard, something snapped.

So the question. How difficult is changing the cables? They seem to disappear above the exhaust. Haynes makes it sound easy.


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mark1gls
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Re: Replacing handbrake cables. How difficult?

Post by mark1gls »

It’s easy to feed the cable through the pipe into the car, I remove the pin that holds the hand brake on the car and remove the handle so you can pull the cable up.
Then it get’s fiddly, fitted the cable to brake shoes is a bit of an art as you have to remove the pins which hold the shoes to the back plate and not move the shoes to much in case they come of the wheel cylinder or bottom bracket.
Then pulling the cable enough inside the car to attach the bracket and nut on the hand brake handle is hard work.

I fitted the cable to the shoes 1st, then to the hand brake handle then fitted the hand brake handle in the car with the pin. The pin is held in place with a slide off clip on one end.


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p in phcas
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Re: Replacing handbrake cables. How difficult?

Post by p in phcas »

Update: As mentioned, replacing the handbrake cables is not that difficult.

What is difficult is dealing with other issues that surface during spannering! A couple of hours of handbrake cables has turned into 4 days of swearing.
After taking off the NSR wheel, I found the cylinder was beginning to leak. No biggy, I have a spare cylinder and shoes.

Oh, the pipe and union have seized and I rounded off the 11mm, OK! replace the pipe. The other end is seized, I rounded that too. Slowly moving further back past the flexible hose on the axle and the next union is the same, and I rounded that as well.

After dropping the axle to get access and sawing off each union / pipe connection I start rebuilding. 6 hours later (31 degrees - don't forget I am now in Slovenia and the south of Europe is having a heatwave at the moment) I get as far as bleeding the brakes.

Brake fluid making it way out of the new cylinder and into the drum - it seems I have a bad 'new' cylinder (or maybe a bad pipe flare, though it leaks on the inside, not the outside) and I have to strip down the NSR and start again. Waiting for parts now.

Hopefully I can finish it soon as I love driving a non-A/C car in this heat.


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mark1gls
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Re: Replacing handbrake cables. How difficult?

Post by mark1gls »

Oh no what a nightmare… I expect it’s a faulty wheel cylinder as the brake pipe fits into the wheel cylinder outside the back plate.

I know it’s a bit late but did you use a proper brake pipe spanner to undo the connection as a normal spanner will round them off, crows feet spanners also work well.

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GT_II
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Re: Replacing handbrake cables. How difficult?

Post by GT_II »

I don't envy you having to work on these components with a daily driver. In my experience, not only does the flare nut seize in the fitting, the flare nut seizes to the pipe. So after days of soaking with Plus Gas or similar, initial relief when the nut comes free in the fitting, only to realise you still can't undo it as it's also stuck to the pipe. It's satisfying in the end though when it comes apart and you are able to fit the shiny new parts.


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Re: Replacing handbrake cables. How difficult?

Post by PeteGLi »

p in phcas wrote: Mon Jul 17, 2023 8:49 am
Brake fluid making it way out of the new cylinder and into the drum -
I had this recently - brake fluid dripping out of the bottom between the drum and the backplate. It was not however a faulty new cylinder. The brake fluid was coming out past the threads of the bleed nipple. My solution was to wrap a thin strip of PTFE tape round the thread of the bleed nipple. No more drips when bleeding the brakes.


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p in phcas
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Re: Replacing handbrake cables. How difficult?

Post by p in phcas »

UPDATE on the Update...

Replaced the cylinder (managed to salvage the shoes) and it did it again. It turns out I had a micro-split in the bleed kit connecting hose and it, like seeping through the bleed nipple threads, allowed fluid to seep between the backplate and cylinder. I got a new bleed kit and everything was good again.

The technical test in Slovenia is not that different to the UK MOT except the testing staff are nicer and more flexible. The new shoes and cables made the handbrake work well on the new side but with the 1 years wear on the other side left the thing out of balance. The guy went round the block yanking the handbrake and managed to even things out to 1% inside the allowed tolerance. They allow 30% difference, he got it to 29%


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