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Discussion Starter #1
Just about to get cracking on the Parking brake / handbrake on my S4 spider. Whilst the rear pads & discs are OK, the car nearly failed this years MOT test (roadworthyness) due to the strength of the handbrake. I'm assuming the drum pads/shoes are knackered.

I've got a manual for a 78 spider, but it has no details for a rear disc model.

I always like to know what to expect in a job, before jumping in feet 1st.

Are there any threads that cover this ?
if not
whats the procedure ?
what problems might I encounter ?
how long should this take ?
 

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There is an adjuster for the parking brake shoes. On the S3, there is a small drum brake set up inside the hub of the rear brake disc. Off hand I can't remember how to turn the adjuster but I do recall using a long screwdriver through a hole in the outside of the hub. I don't recall if I used the screwdriver to turn an adjuster screw or to move a star-wheel adjuster. (they say the memory is the second thing to go...) But if you look for it and peek inside it should be fairly obvious.

If the shoes are adjusted correctly but the handle won't stay in the 'on' position, you might need to remove the ratchet piece at the base of the hand brake lever and file the notches back to 'sharp'.

There may also be an adjuster for total cable length under the car.
 

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Hi Jamie:
Eric is absolutely correct. Both my 71 and my 92 have the same parking brake setup, brake shoes inside the disc rotor top hat. There are 2 access holes that allow you to use a thin screw driver to adjust the parking brake by rotating a toothed wheel.

I recently did this on my 71, here's what I did:
Got the rear end up in the air
Removed both wheels
Do not set the parking brake

The biggest PIA was finding the adjuster by peeking through the access hole. Especially if its very bright out, it can be difficult to see the adjuster. Just keep at it. I'm pretty sure that they are at either "3 O'clock" or "9 O'clock"

Once you find the adjuster you just need to use leverage on one of the teeth to turn it. (which direction? Damned if I can remember!) Try one way, if that doesn't work, reverse yourself.
Adjust till you can't move the wheel at all, then back off a turn so that it spins freely.
Repeat on the other side.

Eric is correct that another issue is that the parking brake cable may have stretched. You can crawl underneath, there is a turnbuckle that allows you to take up slack if necessary.

Hope that helps

John
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have no problem with the lever or the adjuster.
The lever notchs nicely over about 3-4 notches - I took up the slack on the adjuster last year.

its just the power of the handbrake that is lacking - pull the handbrake on & it barely holds the car on a hill.........not good

what exactly will this adjustment do ? just take up slack or improve the strength of the handbrake ?
 

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Jamie:
The handbrake works by pushing two brake shoes against the inner surface of the rotor top hat (just like drum brakes)
As the shoes wear you need to take up the slack in order for them to grip tight enough to hold the car from moving.
Hope I understood your question correctly.

John
 
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