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BaronArron

Variable Handbrake Travel

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Hello.

Just bought a 2009 Titanium Focus which I'm really chuffed with. First Ford and I'm impressed :).

Anyway, I have a small niggling problem. Around 20-30% of the time when I engage the handbrake, the lever travels almost to the top of the arc range. The rest of the time it only travels about 4 ratchet clicks. I did a search and found this post from 2013: http://www.fordownersclub.com/forums/topic/49363-handbrake-travel/#entry304663 but there weren't any useful replies. I can't see it just being 'out of adjustment' because then it should always pull up the same distance? As with the other post the handbrake is fully working in either position as I can slip the clutch and give it some revs and it remains solid. It's just a bit disconcerting.

Forgot to add: it has rear disc brakes.

If anyone has any ideas it would be appreciated!

Arron.

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I have exactly the same issue which is easily fixed with the application of the the foot brake followed by the handbrake.

I have discs on the rear but the proceses for the handbrake is the same for drums, I don't have any loss of performance in foot brake or hand brake, just the amount of travel on the cable..

The cable pulls a leaver which compresses the brake fluid in the cylinder which moves the piston and applies the brake

The only ways it can have longer travel is if the cable is slack, this would tighten up before applying the brake, as far as I know tho that wouldn't explain why it doesn't always do it or why applying the foot brake will fix it,

It could also do this if the brakes are leaking, but I've inspected the lines, pistons and the overall brake fluid level and all is fine.

Which leaves air, if air gets in to the cylinder it will compress allowing a greater level of travel on the hand brake and would also help explain why applying the foot brake can help fix it. I'd have thought though that this would also show with the foot brake in normal travel but they feel fine.

I've inspected my cables and I can't see any room for slack to come and go which suggests, however unlikely, its air in the lines someplace, which is a little odd as they were blended fine, might need to do a full flush tho to be sure no air has worked its way up.

Beyond that I'm a little stumped so I eagerly await others suggestions! :)

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See it quite often, its the handbrake mechanism in the calipers, normally fix is to undo the calipers, windback the piston, then windout piston 1/4-1/2 turn if pads allow it, refit caliper , pump brake pedal a few times. Job done, but make sure the handbrake cable hasnt been tightened to compensate for the travel by a previous owner.

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The cable pulls a leaver which compresses the brake fluid in the cylinder which moves the piston and applies the brake

That's not quite right btw, it's illegal to have hydraulics in the 'emergency' hand brake due to the risk of failure. The lever acts directly on the piston which is why the footbrake isn't affected. It has to be the caliper mech itself at fault. :)

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ah, i didnt know that, when i reconed my rear calipers i couldnt get access to the rear section of the caliper so just assumed it was like a little mechanical hydraulic pump.

Cheers, thats good to know, im going to pop off all the calipers once the weather is good to paint them again so will try the above method :)

I don't suppose anyone knows if hand brake travel is apart of an MOT? I thought it used to be, as a sign of poor shoes but I thought it was now all about the effectiveness of them?

Be just typical if the strange amount of travel to coincides with the test!

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No reserve travelnis a mot failure, that means if it goes all the way to handbrake stop, ie vertical. Lol other than that no, but if your having issues due to calipers then the handbrake performance will probably be failure on which ever side is faulty

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thats the weird thing, at least on mine, on both sides the hand brake once engaged is spot on, she will probably drag her wheels behind her if i tried.

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On some focus You will find if you apply handbrake slowly it will work ok but apply quickly and handbrake comes up a long way.

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Thanks for the answers guys. I'm not in a position to do the job myself but next time I'm at the garage I'll see if they can take a look at it.

Glad it's not just me.

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