Fitting new handbrake cables - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
Thread Tools Search this Thread
(Post Link) post #1 of 9 Old 17-01-13 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: United Kingdom
County: Cambridgeshire
Posts: 66
Fitting new handbrake cables

New handbrake cables needed on my 2003 156 2.4JTD after offside rear brake froze on this morning. I'd rather replace both cables and do them now not try any temp cures. Two questions though...

Can anyone give me an overview of the steps needed to swap cables in just a few sentences... and any problems to avoid.

Also are the cables sold by GSF or Eurocarparts OK??

AlfaVeloce156 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Status: -
AO Member
gammakeith's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: United Kingdom
County: Nottinghamshire
Posts: 817

Member car:

156 JTD 2.4 20V

I'm clearly not the only one suffering at the moment I've been leaving mine off overnight and plan to change my cables in the Spring when its warm!

Straighforward fittings at either end so looks an easy job though I've never done it. Good luck!

gammakeith is offline  
Status: GTA facelift + engine rebuild. In progress
Club Member
Membro Premio
Joss's Avatar
Club Member Number: 1014
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: United Kingdom
County: Dorset
Posts: 18,898
Images: 14
Yep those cables are fine.

Jack up car
Wheel off
Hand brake cover off (clips)
Slacken adjuster 13mm
Undo 10mm bolt with rubber abble support (often broken off)
Now been a while so not 100%
I think you can see where both cables meet behind the handbbrake underneath . If nit it'll just be an exhaust shield to move out of the way. 10 or 8 mm. Bend down as no point removing at front
Cable hooks in either end

Could take 10 mins or be a pain and take an hour a side
Joss is offline  
(Post Link) post #4 of 9 Old 18-01-13 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: United Kingdom
County: Cambridgeshire
Posts: 66
Many thanks for that description Joss, I'll get the cables today from whichever place has them and fit tomorrow. If I can add any tips to the procedure I will.

Keith I'd like to put it off but after a lifetime of using the handbrake I can't remember not to apply it and and risk the 20mins faffing I had yesterday morning jacking up and taking the wheel off to free the caliper lever before I could go anywhere.
AlfaVeloce156 is offline  
Status: Enjoying a nice mug of tea
AO Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: United Kingdom
County: Bedfordshire
Posts: 1,752
Remember also to grease any exposed inner cable parts - there should be a small amount at both ends.
CJO is offline  
Status: age is only a number ;-)
AO Gold Member
rgwm's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 9,073
As Joss said, but once you've changed each cable, ensure that the lever on the caliper goes fully back against the stop. When you've changed both cables, pumpp the brake pedal a few times to ensure that pads are correctly adjusted, then adjust the 13mm nut at the lever end until you get the correct clearance - about 3-4 clicks to lock the rear wheels.
rgwm is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: North West of Ireland
Posts: 519
Images: 8
Before fitting new cables try getting some grease/heavy oil into them. Hang them vertically and let lubricant get right through. White grease or ptfe (bicycle lub) in an aerosol can should be fine. Also give the rubber bellows a lick of silicone or red rubber grease.
Leitrim155 is offline  
(Post Link) post #8 of 9 Old 21-01-13 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: United Kingdom
County: Cambridgeshire
Posts: 66
An update as I fitted the new cables on Saturday. Adding to advice given above and other helpful threads I've found. Cables were from GSF and about 25/pr.

Fitting handbrake cables to 2003 156 2.4JTD...

Lift car and support (I found lifting high at the rear onto axle stands at both sides worked best)

Inside car remove handbrake lever gaiter (flips out at rear & press stud at front) & slacken 13mm adjuster nut under lever (pull handbrake on a bit to get to nut & I used a ” drive socket)

At rear caliper use water pump pliers to compress caliper lever and flip out cable nipple

Release cable hanger (10mm nut) and clip under fuel tank (flip open with flat screwdriver)

Unclip plastic “bridge” that holds inner cables parallel right at front

Finally wiggle t-nipple from yoke at front end of cable and it’s free from car

Check replacement cable beside old one. My (GSF) new cable was same length outer but inner was 10mm longer – see note at end. Wiggle rubber hanger to same position as on old one.

Pull back rubbers and grease ends of new cable.

Under car fit front nipple in yoke, clip on plastic “bridge”.

Fit tank clip and cable hanger.

Compress caliper lever with water pump pliers and push cable nipple into place.

Pull on handbrake a few times to settle cable.

Adjust 13mm nut under lever inside car to apply handbrake firmly when about 3 clicks on but making sure there is free play in off position so wheels will be free turning ( I made sure you could pull the caliper end nipple back a few mm from the lever with the brake off to show there was no tension and brakes wouldn't drag)

Note 1: I was worried the new cables being 10mm longer might mean the 13mm adjuster nut wouldn’t be able to take up the slack but it was fine with plenty of thread left to take up more in the future.

Note 2: On my car there was no need to move any exhaust heat shields or anything else.

Note3: The cables are different left and right. The left side one has some foil insulation where it passes exhaust.

Note 4: While I was doing this work I unbolted the calipers, freed and greased the caliper slides (one was almost seized), removed the pads and de-glazed then replaced with copaslip on the mounting contact points.

Last edited by AlfaVeloce156; 21-01-13 at 08:03.
AlfaVeloce156 is offline  
Status: Alfa-less :(
AO Gold Member
niallmoran's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Dundee
Posts: 6,287

Member car:

'02 156 1.8 TS

Good work AV - need to do one of mine but this weather is kinda hampering any tinkering
niallmoran is offline  

Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Supported Alfa Romeo Models > Technical & Vehicle Assistance > Alfa 147, 156 & GT

cables , fitting , handbrake

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome