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cressws1

Just A Handbrake Cable - I Wish!

14 posts in this topic

Got out the car last night to hear the horrible "Ger-Dunk" sound of the handbrake cable snapping, Turned around to see the car gently rolling down our hill. Luckily mananged to get to it before any damage could be done.

Took it in today to find that the reason that the handbrake cable had snapped is because the rear brake cylinders had been leaking brake fluid onto the cable every time i used the brake and this had also caused damage to the rear brake shoes!

So...Handbrake cable replaced, Rear wheel cylinders replaced, Rear shoes and kit replaced £255 all in inc' vat. I had no choice but to pay this but what are your thoughts on the price?

Also he quality tested the car and gave me 2 MOT Fails and a few advisories. The fails are the exhaust back box needs replacing and the rear drop links need to be replaced. I've found a guide on the net that suggests the car doesn't even need to be jacked up to do the drop links here: http://fordfocusworld.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1386

My questions are is the back box easy to replace? And what does anyone with a bit of knowhow think the cost of an independent doing these 2 jobs are?

Any help appreciated as always, All the best.

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first of all regarding the brakes, if the fluid had been leaking im suprised you didnt feel this in the pedal? i would expect it to bite but then the pedal to slowly fall to the floor. but then you aint said how much fluid was lost as a major amount will have put the handbrake light on the dash.

£255 sounds about right, was that both handbrake cables?

the backbox is easy but it will depend on the condition of the centre section that it clamps onto.

rear drop links are easy, just fiddly

oh and a top tip, park your car in gear, it wont go rolling away.

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I had the rear brakes replaced on my old MK1 due to leaking too and that was about the same price.

I think to do the drop links you'll need to jack the car up and then take the weight of the hubs with straps or bungees to avoid pulling the brake lines.

Read this for inspiration - obviously may not be exactly the same on a Ford but will give you a clue.

http://www.fiatforum.com/stilo-guides/96444-how-change-your-drop-links-anti-roll-bar-links-30mins.html

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My wifes '96 Clio Mk1 had new rear shoes/cylinders, brake pipes, front disc's/pads new lower suspension ball joints, exhaust mid section, winter service oil / filter and MOT all for £400 in January. This was a local garage which is highly recommended. Your price seems about right.

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Regarding the handbrake the way it was explained to me is that it is in 3 sections (one from each drum linking to one piece that goes to the handbrake itself) and yes all 3 of these were replaced. And to be fair you can tell, The handbrake only has to be pulled up 3/4 clicks now where as before it used to almost hit you in the chin!

I think the back box I will attempt myself as I've seen them on e-bay for under £30 inc' p&p and looks as though its a case of removing old bolts (with a bit of patience and a lot of whacking it if necessary) and then popping the old one on.

With the drop links I will have to see how seized these are.

One other thing, It says on the form that the O/S/F drive shaft is damp? Damp with water? Surely this is normal as its on the underneath of the car and its been raining? Or is this a technical term thats gone right over my head??

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Just been out in it and the handbrake is as loose as anything again. Going straight back in tomorrow morning. Slightly worried that the garage may find something else wrong. What else could possibly cause the handbrake to fail other than the handbrake cable 3 parts, brake shoes, and brake cylinders?? And also if its one of the parts that they replaced yesterday that has failed am I right in saying they should put it right FOC?

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Regarding the handbrake the way it was explained to me is that it is in 3 sections (one from each drum linking to one piece that goes to the handbrake itself) and yes all 3 of these were replaced. And to be fair you can tell, The handbrake only has to be pulled up 3/4 clicks now where as before it used to almost hit you in the chin!

I think the back box I will attempt myself as I've seen them on e-bay for under £30 inc' p&p and looks as though its a case of removing old bolts (with a bit of patience and a lot of whacking it if necessary) and then popping the old one on.

With the drop links I will have to see how seized these are.

One other thing, It says on the form that the O/S/F drive shaft is damp? Damp with water? Surely this is normal as its on the underneath of the car and its been raining? Or is this a technical term thats gone right over my head??

the old backbox will need to be cut off, the original system will be one piece.

drop links, if they are seized just cut them.

the damp driveshaft will be reffering to damp with gearbox oil probably. more than likely the seal in the gearbox needing replaced. only cost a few quid but you will need to remove the shaft to fit.

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Ok been out to investigate this bloomin' handbrake. Lifted off the gaiter and the adjusting nut was so loose it could be adjusted by hand (strange) so I tightened it up, Handbrake seemed to be fine...

...Until I parked on a hill the handbrake was noticeable applied but the car still slid on the hill. Removed the gaiter again and the adjusting nut was loose again.

Help!

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I dont have a nut the same size but I can get hold of one and try that. By the looks of it though the bolt comes from within the handbrake mechanism or does this have to be removed from under the car??

Do you think the garage will charge me to sort this given the 255 quid I handed over yesterday?

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The garage will sort it i'd have thought... Simple fix with an extra nut to act as a locknut. You may find the handbrake will need adjusting very soon as new cables have an initial stretch before they find they're own length.

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Took it back this morning. The cable had snapped just before the drum on the nearside! Brand new cable and he tried to imply that I'd used too much force when applying the handbrake!

He's replacing the cable again tomorrow FOC. Out of interest, How many clicks should be enough when applying the handbrake?

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It's better to press in the button when pulling the brake.

It saves the ratchet and avoids over tightening.

You can't really rely on clicks as it all depends on whether the cable is new or used.

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OK so an update:

1. Had the back-box replaced by my local independent, Cheapest I could find the part was approx' £30 and he only charged me £42 inc' VAT and that's with a 2 year warranty, Not worth getting the jack out for.

2. Replaced the rear drop links today, Boy were they broken, They were unrecognisable to the replacement ones. Offside one came off a treat didn't even need to jack up the car, Nearside one was so bent/corroded it was barely still a bolt, Took half a can of WD-40 and some serious smashing with a hammer to loosen that baby but I did it in the end and am quite proud now. Independent wanted £88.00 to replace them both and I did it for cost of the parts and a can of WD-40, Totalling around £15! One tip for anyone replacing this part would be to not tighten either side up until the weight of the car is on the suspension, Then tighten both bit by bit. I tightened one side all the way while the other side of the car was still jacked up and it made one side of the car stick up.

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