How to set up front brake calipers/handbrake operation

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rutter123
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How to set up front brake calipers/handbrake operation

Post by rutter123 » Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:11 pm

One of the last jobs to complete the rebuild of the t/d is setting up the front brake calipers and new handbrake cables...i believe there is a procedure for getting it right so both sides bite evenly on the handbrake, previously i found i needed a lot more adjustment on 1 side than the other, is something to do with the initial position of the caliper pistons, any guidance appreciated. I have recon calipers with new discs new handbrake cables and bendix pads and fitting kits. Non ABS.
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Re: How to set up front brake calipers/handbrake operation

Post by Defender110 » Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:00 pm

Treat the foot brake and hand brake as 2 different independent systems (which they are) Once you have fitted your new pads and discs and the brakes are bled apply the foot brake hard down several times to adjust out the callipers equally before fitting the hand brake cables, once they are adjusted then fit the cables and adjust these separately to take out any slack so they have equal free play without them applying any working pressure to the operating arm when the hand brake is fully off. You will probably need to adjust the cables again when they have bedded in.
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Tinkley
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Re: How to set up front brake calipers/handbrake operation

Post by Tinkley » Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:27 pm

The above is sound, but I like to get the handbrake to take up automatically and you need to adjust the cable a little tighter than you might think, but it works fine. If it doesn't you won't be far out and a turn orso will bring itin, though pumping the brake (engine running) and hand brake cable together usually gets a 'tightening' so the car is within the 7 clicks the MOT testers so love.... :wink:

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Re: How to set up front brake calipers/handbrake operation

Post by rutter123 » Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:55 pm

Good advice thanx for that Def110 and Tink, dont think my handbrake has ever been within the 7 clicks but always ok come MOT time. Maybe all the new bits will bring it up to speed.
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ken newbold
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Re: How to set up front brake calipers/handbrake operation

Post by ken newbold » Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:59 pm

Once you're happy with the setting, put the wheels back on and apply the handbrake one notch at a time and try turning the wheel by hand or with a wheel brace. You may find one side is tighter than the other, so you can easily adjust.
I used to like them to lock up solid on 3 notches.
When you take it out on the road, you WILL find the brakes are crap and you'll need to stand on the pedal a few times to get your new discs and pads to bed in.
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Re: How to set up front brake calipers/handbrake operation

Post by Way2go » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:37 am

When the handbrake cables are adjusted, you need to ensure that the quadrant arm where the two cables attach to the handbrake lever is evenly perpendicular to the longitudinal line of the car when handbrake is applied for good balance.
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Re: How to set up front brake calipers/handbrake operation

Post by tim » Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:37 am

I put up a post a while back about this but never got a satisfactory answer. (View my old posts if you are interested...). On the White One the handbrake goes up to the very top of its travel. It only passed the MOT yesterday because the tester is used to it! Yes, obviously any genuinely 'free' play should be adjusted out. But beyond that there is still a huge amount of movement on the levers to get the handbrake to come on at a satisfactory number of clicks. However, when I suggested the obvious which was to take up the remaining 'slack' until the brake came on where I wanted it to, I was told sternly that I must not do this. WHY???? Of course, you don't want the brake to bind or be on the edge of doing that; but surely lessening the lever travel is common sense, and indeed necessary, and with that amount of travel to take up there shouldn't be an issue with it getting anywhere near the binding stage. The idea of spinning each wheel in turn to check for problems seems like a good one to me. (PS, MOT now has 289,000 miles on it, we'll get to 300,000 this year).

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Re: How to set up front brake calipers/handbrake operation

Post by ken newbold » Sat Sep 05, 2015 1:14 pm

whoever told you not to adjust the slack out of the cables is the guy you should be asking WHY.
I always used to put the handbrake on 3 clicks, then adjust the cables till the wheels locked and couldn't be turned by hand or with bar.
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Re: How to set up front brake calipers/handbrake operation

Post by Tinkley » Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:56 pm

That sounds a bit better Ken, I've been told 4 clicks.....at least at that, the pads should be definitely touching the disc(s). BTW this is the rationale behind the 1mm adjustment gap set in the Haynes etc etc.

The main reason it works is because the automatic take up from the hydraulic system correctly 'tightens' after due pad wear. No doubt every other car manufacturer has something superior now.... :lol:

If you still struggle to get it to take up, just press hard on the brake pedal )engine running and system pressurised) and work the handbrake lever. After a few good pumps on both, the slack should be gone. As MOT guys just go '7 clicks mate' it's not working, it's a fail. You leave garage (or not) do the pumping and return - It's alright now mate!.

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Re: How to set up front brake calipers/handbrake operation

Post by rutter123 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:21 am

All done and pulling up fairly evenly at about 5 to 6 clicks, feels much more "positive" than before, took two attempts to get it right but happy with the end result.
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Re: How to set up front brake calipers/handbrake operation

Post by Tinkley » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:39 am

Good, glad it's working OK. Only other thing to note is that the later hand brake cables have PTFE coated cables which do not freeze in position with ice in the winter, which the origianls do...... :lol: