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1987 Quad
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Discussion Starter #1
First let me say that I apologize for being a little “thick-headed.” I have read the appropriate section in the service manual and I have read through several related threads here on the bulletin board.

My handbrake action works as it should, but at 4-5 clicks the brakes were not holding the car. I adjusted the tooth adjusters on each wheel but still no joy, though I think I have those set properly. I have adjusted regular drum brakes plenty of times before. I “Messed around” (best way to describe it) with the cable which only resulted in a handbrake that would only elevate a couple of notches but not lock up the rear handbrake shoes.

I would like to jettison my current cable mechanism and install the new one I just purchased, but I would like a little guidance. First, when removing the old cable, the service manual says to “detach the cable from the bracket.” What does detach mean? Once one has pulled the clevis pin and disconnected the fork does the cable simply screw out of that bracket? If not, how is it “detached?“

To make the brake travel adjustment, the service manual says, “screw the nut until the axial clearance of the cable is zeroed.” Can someone explain that one to me. I think it means tighten the adjustment nut against the “bracket.”

Thanks for any tips on how to get this job done. I am slowly learning about my Alfa.

Lin
 

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1987 Quad
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Discussion Starter #2
Relative to my earlier post, if anyone who has a properly working handbrake has a photo of the cable adjuster installed that might give me a good baseline from which to start... again.
Thanks.
Lin
 

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You will have to get under the car and follow the handbrake cable up towards the lever part but before it and you will see what they are talking about. I removed my cable with the parking brake lever still attached and it mght be easier or not for you to do the same thing when putting on the new cable.There is a threaded piece and a nut before the lever under the car that must be removed first.
 

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1987 Quad
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. I am afraid that I need a little more. I have the car on my lift and have been working on it under the car.
 

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Follow the single cable up towards the lever bracket under the car. I am going by memory from a 1974 spider. There is a nut that you will have to loosen and then there will be a threaded piece that unthreads from the car itself. I believe that is the adjustment point and there should be a slit where the cable will come through after the treaded piece is removed or threaded all the way out but it will still be part of the cable. The threaded piece is part of the cable and stays with the cable. Maybe look at your new one to see what I mean.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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To make the brake travel adjustment, the service manual says, “screw the nut until the axial clearance of the cable is zeroed.” Can someone explain that one to me. I think it means tighten the adjustment nut against the “bracket.”
As zeds said, there's a barrel adjuster in the cable under the car behind where it attaches to the pull handle. When you're done adjusting the wheels you adjust this to take up any slack in the cable.

Before you mess with the cable, though, are you able to lock the hubs by turning the star adjuster? If that doesn't work then the problem isn't your cable. Turn the star adjuster until you can't turn the hub at all, then back it off a couple notches until it turns free.

Also if you've got a leaking axle seal that'll coat the drums with oil and the brake won't work very well, so check for any wetness around the bottom inside of the hub.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes. I locked up both drums and then backed off. No problem there. I still come back to “screw the nut until the axial clearance of the cable is zeroed.” Can someone explain that one to me.
Thanks.
Lin
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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That’s the first paragraph of my post, Lin.
 

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1987 Quad
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Discussion Starter #9
The only way that I am able to get the handbrake to move to the even the third click on the pawl is to completely free the drums and to have slack in the primary cable. If I have even the slightest friction on the drums I cannot get the handbrake up more than two clicks.

Does this suggest that I need to adjust the cable at the fork that connects to the handbrake lever?
sorry to be so persistent but I have to figure this out.

The car had no effective emergency brake when I got it, so I have now functional baseline from which to work.

Thanks!
Lin
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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No, you shouldn't have to adjust at the fork unless someone really messed things up.

I'd suggest you start over. Make sure the handle is down, then adjust the cylindrical adjuster so that there is some slack in the cable. See photo below: you want to screw that cylindrical thing on the right center inwards to effectively shorten the cable housing. This puts more slack into the cable. There's a locknut you'll likely have to loosen a bit first.

Then redo each wheel adjustment. Turn the star adjuster until the hub locks up, then release it a notch or two until it turns free.

Then go back to the adjuster and lengthen it to juuuuust take up the slack. You don't want tension on the cable, you just want to take out the extra slack so everything starts moving as soon as you pull up on the handle.


1672318
 

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1987 Quad
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for sticking with me Tom. I will start fresh tomorrow and try again. Keep you posted.
Lin
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Alfattaparts2,
Have not pulled the drums to inspect the shoes. I was prepared to do that, but I am able to turn the star adjuster and lock up each of the drums (rotors) and there are no signs of any leakage, so I think I am fine. I will start over and check things out again today. Perhaps with a fresh view of things it will all come to me. 😂😂
Lin
 

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Toms adjustment procedure is the correct one. If you don't have any luck, unbolt the caliper, back the adjusters right off and pull a drum. The shoes do wear out or the drum could be damaged which can result in the conditions you are experiencing.
 

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yes, Tom's procedure is the one to follow....however, do also make sure that the 2 handbrake cable levers on the rear axle housing are both moving freely
 

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yes, Tom's procedure is the one to follow....however, do also make sure that the 2 handbrake cable levers on the rear axle housing are both moving freely
And installed correctly. I have seen them inside out, upside down and so messed up its impossible to understand what the hell happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone for your directions/suggestions! I got back to the car this morning. I discovered that my problem was what Dom and perhaps others suggested could be the culprit. The levers at the diff were pretty much frozen on the pins. I had already ordered a new cable assembly. I removed the old and put in the new. The star adjusters were already correct. I slight adjusted the cylindrical adjuster and bingo. I now have a handbrake that works! Thanks very much.
Lin
 
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