406 handbrake

4 Jan 2006
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United Kingdom
been having problems with my handbrake, not just the travel, but the whole thing is rather stiff, and not smooth to pull.

would just adjusting the shoes help (changed the rear pads today, couldnt figure out the handbrake thing, Ive never worked on rear discs, now found via the web, it has a drum as wel for the handbrake)

if not adjusting, how much work is stripping it to clean, do the calipers need to come right off?

now I come to think of it, there was a rubber bung, for the adjustment I now believe, and a torx or 2.
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As you are finding out, these cars have two type of braking systems on the back wheels.
When you press the brake pedal, the disc is grabbed by the pads in the calipers, as per the norm.
However, the disc on these also incorporates a brake drum behind, and this is where the handbrake shoes lie.
If I remember correctly, the caliper has to be removed to release the disc to inspect the shoes, which may or may not be self adjusting, depending on the age. However, as the handbrake is only used to park the vehicle, wear on these shoes is minimal anyway.
However, your problem does seem to suggest that the handbrake cables themselves are stiff, due to water ingress into the cable....again, quite common.
Once you expose the rear shoes, tug the handbrake on gently. the shoe springs should be strong enough to pull the cable back again. If they can't, then the cables are starting to seize.
John :)
If it makes you feel any better I have the same problem on mine but its different on either side.

The cable on the n/s does not seem to be seized but it does sound as if the shoes are worn down to the backing.

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The problem with these bonded shoes is that water gets between the shoe and the lining material - this causes rust or expansion due to freezing.
Either way, the lining parts company from the shoe.
It didn't happen with rivetted shoes!
John :)
well, had it all apart, the cables are not at their best, removed and lubed them up best I can for now, the inside of the drums was a bit corroded, so cleaned that up, roughed up the shoes.

all seems ok for now, still plenty of meat on the shoes, not really suprising seeing as the never get really used.
What do you have to remove to get to see the inside of the drums and the shoes?
The caliper has to be removed and tied up out of the way.
Then the caliper carrier bracket is unscrewed to allow the disc / drum (one machined unit) to be pulled clear. 2 torx screws here, I think.
John :)
Thats what I feared!

I always find removing droms/discs a potential problem as so many are rusted/stuck in place.

In Zim last month I wanted to look at the shoes on a mazda pickup but did not have any info on which direction to turn the adjuster to loosen the too tight shoes to anable me to remove the drum.

As the owner, an ex police superintendent, was driving home the next day I did not want to risk any problems when I had no tools!

I agree - disc / drum securing screws can be really tight. I use a windy wrench to shock them out more often than not.
However there's no problem drilling the screw heads off and leaving them that way - they are there purely for location as the disc or drum is held in place by the wheel studs / bolts.
After the job is done, coppaslip grease prevents a reoccurrence in the future.
John :)
When I can get them off I use silicone grease which seems very good for the task.

I had to use an impact driver to get mine off, they slid off easy enough, there very little wear on the drums, they only ever hold the vehicle whist stationary, unlike proper rear service brake drums.
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