Re: Handbrake Question!!
If you've got doubts about working on brakes yourself, then get a brake place to do this. It's highly unlikely they'll need to replace any parts and dont let them talk you into new shoes or machining the drums. These just don't need it as the drum is only used while the car is stationary (unless of course... that's another story)
Here's the go:
1. the cable adjustment under the actual handrbake lever is really to take up slack in the cable as it stretches, mostly when new. Try not to adjust it unless you really have to.
2. The Exy has a tiny little drum on each rear wheel (of course) with tiny little brake shoes. There is an adjustment mechanism in there.
3. I jacked up the back of the car, used a couple of jack stands to keep everything safe, take off the back wheels. Better to slightly loosen the wheel nuts while the car is still on the ground. Chock wheels, handbrake off, car out of gear (or Park)!
4. The disk comes off! Undo the two bolts that hold the caliper on and prop it up so that there is no stress on the brake line. You can stick a big screw driver in behind the disk and apply pressure(carefully not to bend anything) and tap the centre (around the drum area) of the disc with a hammer. Don't hit the shiny disk surface and don't resort to hitting the lever or screw driver. You may have to work your way around some, but it will come off.
5. Clean out all the brake parts in there but don't dissassemble anything and don't adjust anything yet. Get some sandpaper and give the little brake shoes a good going over, it wont hurt them. Clean them again.
6. Next clean out the drum (inside the disc) being carful not to damage the disc surface or get too many greasy finger marks all over it. Metho will clean it up if you do. Give the braking surface INSIDE THE DRUM a real good clean and roughing up with sandpaper. I wouldn't let the sandpaper rub on the disc but I doubt you could damage it.
7. Check the electronic service manual, it shows all of this, but in near the shoes there is an adjuster, you need to turn it a notch or two to spread the brake shoes. Refit the drum and turn it (car out of gear) around a few times to MAKE SURE THE BRAKE SHOES DO NOT DRAG ON THE DRUM. Repeat this as many times as it takes to adjust out the shoes as far as they will go WITHOUT touching the drum. If they rub on the drum AT ALL the drum and shoes will overheat and get wrecked! Ours was only a click or two on the adjusters.
8. When you're happy with it, put everything back together. The big bolts that hold the calipers on have to be pretty tight, there's probably a torque setting in the manual. Locktight will help enormously here.
9. Jump in check the handbrake, it will be like you've adjusted up the cable, but now it should actually work even while on a slope. Go for a short test drive to make sure the shoes are not rubbing on the drum and that nothing gets hot or smells (sign of heating brakes).
10. One thing that a lot of people may notice when doing this, is that you can actually get at the adjuster from behind without taking anything apart. True, but that doesn't clean all the dust out! Maybe every second time you could just adjust the shoes.
This really helped our handbrake actually work.
Shawn and Belinda Eggins
2003 STR, K&N, Strut brace, Ground wires, Dunlop LM702's, Tint, Mud flaps, Tow, Nudge, Spots, Mats, Rear scuff plate
5/May/2007, 8:47 am