Handbrake issue, failed MOT

Shocks, springs, anything to do with the running gear

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
Ivan495
1.6 8v
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:13 pm

Handbrake issue, failed MOT

Post by Ivan495 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:05 pm

Just yesterday, I went to MOT with my 406 2.0 HDi 2002.
Everything is fine except handbrake.

Handbrake difference between right and left side is above 30%, 36% in my case and that is the reason I failed. Right 1903N, Left 1213N.

So there is some difference. Guy that is working there said that this could be easy fix, just spray some WD40 or something. I lifted my car today, and tried to spin the wheels freely. When I pull the handbrake to 7. notch, I can't spin it by hand anymore (wheels are locked) , at 6 notch, there is some resistance and at 2-3-4 notch, I don't notice any resistance.


Should I tighten handbrake cable? Where is it, under the car? What should I spray with WD40, can I lubricate handbrake shoes without removing disc calipers?

GingerMagic
3.0 24v
Posts: 3229
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:02 pm
Location: Bournemouth

Re: Handbrake issue, failed MOT

Post by GingerMagic » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:51 pm

Hi, sadly the 406 handbrake isn't the best design and it's a bit of a weakness of the car, but once adjusted correctly it works fine.

It sounds like you just need to turn the adjusters inside the rear drums - basically pop the rear wheel off, remove the little bung that covers the access hole and turn the disc so the hole is opposite the caliper.
You can then insert a small flat blade screwdriver into the hole so it sits inside the teeth of the cog on the adjuster, and lever the cog left or right to push the shoes closer to the disc ( you'll need to do all of this with the handbrake off - so you might want to chock the front wheels.. )
Once you have turned it enough so the shoes are touching the drum enough to gently grip, you slacken the cog a tiny amount so the disc will turn freely.

Put the bung back in and repeat on the other side.

There is a useful guide in the knowledge base on the home page - it's way more in-depth than I have described and will certainly sort your handbrake out - have a look.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=13956

Edit: I'm not sure I would spray WD-40 anywhere near the rear brakes as it won't help - maybe a touch of grease on the pivot adjuster but I've never had to use any

Good luck.
1999 T4 family wagon
2005 Vauxhall Meriva
1998 406 V6 Coupe - Midlife crisis..!
PP2000 user, can help with faults / diagnostics in the Bournemouth area.

PeterN
3.0 24v
Posts: 1527
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:04 pm
Location: Charmouth, Dorset

Re: Handbrake issue, failed MOT

Post by PeterN » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:01 am

I have also found (just after I got rid of my last 406) that adjusting the cable length central adjustment will improve the hand brake, adjust it as tight as you can without it binding, that brings the handbrake lever nearer the floor. Whether it actually improves the efficiency or its because you can get more purchase on it I don't know but its definitely better.

Peter

Ivan495
1.6 8v
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:13 pm

Re: Handbrake issue, failed MOT

Post by Ivan495 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:57 pm

I just spent about 2 hours working on this problem and still nothing.
Like i expected, there is some rust on cables under the car. I sprayed it with WD40 but I still can't seem to loose lock nut. Because of rust, feels like it's welded on cable.
Tommorow I will try again.

Anyway, when I pull handbrake hard when going downhill, I feel the right side is engaging, left not so. Will just tightening cable under the car solve the problem?

dirtydirtydiesel
3.0 24v
Posts: 1389
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:02 pm
Location: Coalville, Leics.

Re: Handbrake issue, failed MOT

Post by dirtydirtydiesel » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:06 pm

Sounds like a frozen cable,
Replace the whole hand brake cable & adjust following the advice in the knowledge base.
2002 110 HDi estate, Rapier in monaco blue! ( found quite a bit more power :cheesy: ) for sale
1999 3.0 V6 SE coupe in Diablo Red ( my baby ) sold
2006 206 1.4 16v sport in Aegean blue ( wife's shopping trolley :roll: )

2006 BMW e61 535d m-sport :supafrisk: run's for cover :lol:

GingerMagic
3.0 24v
Posts: 3229
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:02 pm
Location: Bournemouth

Re: Handbrake issue, failed MOT

Post by GingerMagic » Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:42 am

There is no harm in replacing the cables, but I should imagine the outer cable sleeve will be rusted to the back plate which holds everything together - not easy to remove.

Popping a wheel off and turning the adjuster can be done relatively quickly and easily - basically you are putting the shoe closer to the drum so it touches with fewer clicks on the handbrake lever - thus giving more pressure if you lift up by more clicks..

You could also try bedding them in a bit afterwards, as the shoes can get a glaze on them through lack of use..
1999 T4 family wagon
2005 Vauxhall Meriva
1998 406 V6 Coupe - Midlife crisis..!
PP2000 user, can help with faults / diagnostics in the Bournemouth area.

PeterN
3.0 24v
Posts: 1527
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:04 pm
Location: Charmouth, Dorset

Re: Handbrake issue, failed MOT

Post by PeterN » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:35 am

Sounds as though the l/h cable may be seized.

Peter

dirtydirtydiesel
3.0 24v
Posts: 1389
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:02 pm
Location: Coalville, Leics.

Re: Handbrake issue, failed MOT

Post by dirtydirtydiesel » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:19 pm

:arrowu: Thought I already said that, in the motor trade that's what a frozen cable means :wink:

You can adjust the mechanism all you want but if the cables frozen it will not operate
on that side properly.
2002 110 HDi estate, Rapier in monaco blue! ( found quite a bit more power :cheesy: ) for sale
1999 3.0 V6 SE coupe in Diablo Red ( my baby ) sold
2006 206 1.4 16v sport in Aegean blue ( wife's shopping trolley :roll: )

2006 BMW e61 535d m-sport :supafrisk: run's for cover :lol:

GingerMagic
3.0 24v
Posts: 3229
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:02 pm
Location: Bournemouth

Re: Handbrake issue, failed MOT

Post by GingerMagic » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:03 pm

Can I ask how the cable sticks?
I'm not being flippant, I thought the only place for the cable to stick was inside the backplate and that only the outer sheath, not the actual cable..?
It's not something I have had to deal with before... :supafrisk:
1999 T4 family wagon
2005 Vauxhall Meriva
1998 406 V6 Coupe - Midlife crisis..!
PP2000 user, can help with faults / diagnostics in the Bournemouth area.

dirtydirtydiesel
3.0 24v
Posts: 1389
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:02 pm
Location: Coalville, Leics.

Re: Handbrake issue, failed MOT

Post by dirtydirtydiesel » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:30 pm

Very common Ginger,

My estate & both Coupes had done this.

Where the cable passes through the round welded metal guide on the suspension arms,
When the handbrake is applied the cable goes rigid, this causes the guide to slowly chafe on the outer cable.

Eventually it cuts through the plastic outer sheath, this allows water to get into the cable assembly
This allows the outer steel spiral cable to rust onto the inner cable causing it to seize or (freeze).

You can soak the inner & outer & free it off, then cover the worn outer with heat shrink followed by
a piece of hose plpe or simlar cable tied around the repair where it passes through the guide.

But obviously this is not is good / efficient as replacement.

For the record, my estate one was so bad when I purchased it that the outer steel was nearly worn through
where it passed through the guide from years of being pulled on hard to try & get the handbrake to work.
2002 110 HDi estate, Rapier in monaco blue! ( found quite a bit more power :cheesy: ) for sale
1999 3.0 V6 SE coupe in Diablo Red ( my baby ) sold
2006 206 1.4 16v sport in Aegean blue ( wife's shopping trolley :roll: )

2006 BMW e61 535d m-sport :supafrisk: run's for cover :lol:

GingerMagic
3.0 24v
Posts: 3229
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:02 pm
Location: Bournemouth

Re: Handbrake issue, failed MOT

Post by GingerMagic » Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:00 pm

Cool, thanks for the explanation - and yes it makes sense.
1999 T4 family wagon
2005 Vauxhall Meriva
1998 406 V6 Coupe - Midlife crisis..!
PP2000 user, can help with faults / diagnostics in the Bournemouth area.

Post Reply