Finally got around to replacing the handbrake cables on my Brera Q4. I had a look before doing the job and found a thread for the job on a 159, but nothing for a Brera. Also, I've taken some pics of mine so thought I would make a quick walkthrough for anyone interested.
First step is to unbolt the front seats to allow access to the centre console fixings. Each seat is held in with 4 torx head bolts - 2 front, 2 rear. Once both seats are unbolted, slide them forward on the runners and remove the rear centre console bolt on each side. This is just below a plastic cap that needs to be prised off.
Next, slide the seats backward and then lift them away from the centre console, being careful not to strain any wires under the seat. Now remove the front cover and bolt.
Next, remove the rear seat backs. This can be done by lowering the seat backs and then lifting under the outside pivot on the nearside seat (larger side). Once this releases, slide the seat over to release the pivot on the other side. Repeat this step on the other side.
Next, remove the rear seat bases. Apparently, some are bolted down, but if yours are like mine, they will be held down with two spring clips. These can be VERY VERY stiff to remove - and while crouching in the back it's a recipe for putting your back out. I found the best way to do this is by prising the fronts up using a pry bar or the handle of a breaker bar. Picture below shows clipping points (rear hooks under the seat frame, whilst front two clip in to the floor.
Next, remove the centre rear plastic section. This requires the rear seats belt clips to be loosened (17mm socket) so that you can access the rear screws holding down the centre plastic (circled below).
Carefully lift the front of the plastic up, and place to one side. Note ... this piece has wiring running into the rear so don't pull it!
You should now be able to see where the handbrake cables meet the handbrake lever. Remove the plate holding both cables down (10mm nut).
At this stage, the centre console should be able to be lifted up, to allow the carpets in both rear footwells to be folded back. The carpets are held down by a single fir tree clip on each side. Once pulled back, the handbrake cable clips should be visible. Remove these (2 x 10mm nuts)
Next, lift the driver's armrest and remove the rear most rubber cover. This will allow access to the handbrake adjuster nut (13mm). Using an extension (being careful not to drop the socket), untighten the nut until it is on the last few threads.
You should now have enough slack to remove the cables from the metal guide.
Next, loose the wheel bolts, jack the car, support with axle stands and remove the rear wheels.
Next, unbolt both mounting points where the cable is attached underneath the vehicle - one is located on the trailing arm, the other forward of this next to the fuel tank. The bolts on mine where very tight and corroded, so I had to use Irwin bolt removers due to the rounded heads.
At this stage, I tapped both mounting holes in the body as they were very corroded.
Remove the cables from the rear calipers (there should be enough slack to pull them over the handbrake arms on the calipers). Pull the cables out of the brackets securing them to the caliper.
Now carefully prise the rubber grommits from the body and remove both cables.
Ensure new cables match old cables in length and design. As you can see from this picture, the sheath on my old cable was corroded and broken (hence the need to replace).
Route the new cables into the cabin and carefully fit the rubber grommits into the body. Be patient and methodical with this step as it does take some time! I found that pulling them through from inside was easier - but just do what works best. Once fitted, spray a small amount of grease around the cable entry to allow the cable to slide through the grommit easier. This will help later on.
Bolt new cables into mounting points. I would highly recommend using copper slip here to help if they need removing in a few years (hopefully not!)
Slip the ends of the cables over the caliper handbrake arms.
From here on out, it is simply a matter of working backwards to rebuild everything. Once the cable is connected to the caliper and both mounting points tightened, clip the front of the cables into the handbrake lever, then refit the footwell cable clamps, then the centre double cable clamp situated behind the lever.
Next, ensure the handbrake is fully slackened. Now start the engine and give the brake pedal 15-20 solid pumps. Now tighten the handbrake adjustment nut, until the handle has around 1 inch of freeplay.
Keep tightening this nut 1/4 turn at a time until the rear calipers begin to grab the discs. Once they do, back the nut off by 1/4 of a turn and ensure both
discs are free to turn. By doing this, I find it ensures the handbrake works from the first click without unnecessary drag at the wheels.
Now, refit rear centre plastic, footwell carpets, rear seats, and bolt in the front seats (I took the opportunity to give the car a good vacuum while the front seats were unbolted).
Ensure rear leg room has not been compromised by the interior re-shuffle
***Optional final step***
Refit awesome 19" Prodrive wheels. If you don't have these ... get some ... because they're awesome!
Remove stands, and lower car.
Check the handbrake holds adequately, and adjust (using the adjuster nut under the armrest) if necessary.
Hope this helps.