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 ¼” 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.