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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I've just been told my GTV has failed on the handbrake, it's at 13%, not for the first time.

I've made it pass before by loosening off the lever completely, stamping hard on the brakes a few times and tightening the lever back up. It has always gone through on the second attempt.

I have a very busy day at work so apologies for not doing a detailed search before posting but I have a couple of questions:

1. Are new cables easy to fit, any how to guides?

2. Is there anything else I should try?

Cheers for any advice, might buy cables this aft if I get time.
 

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This happened to mine for the second time a couple of weeks ago and necessitated new discs and pads. Apparently getting them warm by using the handbrake on the way to the MoT centre helps as well :)

The last time I did it myself and a little adjustment on the cable under the handbrake lever seemed to help a bit too.
 

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More than likely that the calipers are partially seized. Are the inner faces of the discs rusty and pitted? The sliding parts of the calipers really need cleaning and greasing every service - under the concertina rubber covers.
 

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More than likely that the calipers are partially seized. Are the inner faces of the discs rusty and pitted? The sliding parts of the calipers really need cleaning and greasing every service - under the concertina rubber covers.
+1, but if there is a lot of slack in the hand brake lever and you can pull it up a long way, undo the gaitor around the lever and tighten the nut. If the spring on the calipers are old, replace them with brake springs for a Lambretta on ebay about £3.50, did the trick for my Spider.
 

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Just changed my handbrake cables today. Easy job to do and only £12 each off eBay for pagid ones. The cable clip to the subframe had broken but I just welded it back together.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys, great stuff, plenty to try tomorrow.

I don't suppose there are any instructions knocking about for servicing the callipers? The discs are rusty top & bottom so it's looking like that could be the problem.
 

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Remove both rear wheels and loosen bolts holding calipers to hub. Remove brake pads and pull back dust seals on piston liberally spray +gas into piston recess. Remove sliders and using scrotchbrite pads clean sliders until all dirt and dust removed, generously coat sliders in grease and set safely to one side.

Now, go to back of caliper and liberally spray +gas on spring and handbrake cable mech before taking wire brush to clear crud from spring and handbrake mech. Once done done coat spring and mechanism in grease.

Now return to piston and this is wound back into caliper using a pushback and rewind tool. It may take some force to get this piston to begin its rewind but once it un-seizes it should easily be pushed back home. Take scotchbrite pad to visible surface of piston and continue spraying +gas as lubrication to clean. Once piston is fully home, reinstall brake pads and slider and remount caliper.

Do the same on other side.

Once both sides are cleaned and unseized, stamp on brake pedal a few times so that pads are in contact with discs, now concentrate on handbrake by removing cover so that adjuster screw is visible. Tighten screw , and pull on lever, continue until you are happy with bite on handbrake.
 

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I also had a parking brake that just scraped through the MOT, had it rectified by my indie.

rear brakes pdf

On page 18 the bottom right drawing, the lever was too far to the right, resting on something. Lever was adjusted to put it further to the left, brake then working far better. Sorry I can't be more specific, I wasn't paying much attention, I seem to remember there there was some dismantling involved.
 

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My car has failed last 2 tests on the handbrake, in preparation for the next test I'll be doing exactly what Eaurouge suggested as I've had to do that to get it through the test each time. Not much fun but does the trick.
 

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yep I'd agree with Eau Rouge - typical seized caliper, rear handbrake disc calipers are good for it the world over. They're pretty much like any seized bolt you'll ever come across with the wind back tool - they're a bugger to start with but one you get them 'cracked off' they should wind back and be just fine in 99% of cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Once again thanks for all the help!

I took everything apart at the weekend, the sliders are moving freely & the pistons wound back in easily. The springs are fine & working well. The discs were pretty rusty top & bottom and the pads had uneven wear, I've ordered new pads & discs, was gonna get the days discs skimmed but that's £15 each & new ones are only £5 more. The cables are only 2 years old so I doubt that's the problem.

I read about the compensator but my car is a late 2001 series 2 so I think that's done by the ABS. Can anyone confirm/deny that? Also where would the compensator be if it has one?

I was also wondering where the self-adjust mechanism for the handbrake would be? In my other half's Punto they're inside the brake drums but obviously not on gtv's.

Can anyone think of anything I might be missing?

Cheers again
 

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The compensator is located on the rear sub frame on the near side. You'll see four rigid brake pipes in the unit. The handbrake adjuster nut is on the handbrake. Remove the handbrake gaitor and it's there. Think it's a 13mm nut from memory.
 

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I only cured my handbrake issue on the Cup with a new cable.
Before I did so it was really frightening boarding a ferry at Calais which had a queue of cars on a really steep ramp. At full lock the handbrake would not hold the car and I had to use the foot brake. My fear was accompanied by a strong smell of clutch.
 

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I also had a parking brake that just scraped through the MOT, had it rectified by my indie.

rear brakes pdf

On page 18 the bottom right drawing, the lever was too far to the right, resting on something. Lever was adjusted to put it further to the left, brake then working far better. Sorry I can't be more specific, I wasn't paying much attention, I seem to remember there there was some dismantling involved.
Did you look at the lever as I suggested, I am pretty sure that the cable was pulling at the lever at nearly 180° so obviously giving little or no leverage, when adjusted to pull at near the optimum 90° there was a vast improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well I put the new discs and pads on, checked everything was moving ok and tightened the handbrake back up. It flew through the re-test on Monday and all is ok.

Thanks to everyone for the help, much appreciated
 
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