Lotus Elan

Sprint handbrake set up

PostPost by: gav » Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:05 pm

Hi

Are there any secrets to setting up the handbrake to ensure that it doesn't bind in use?
The calliper was overhauled by Classicar (and a lovely job they did) so I know that the installation is fine. However it does grab on every now and again which can make the driving experience somewhat interesting.

Thanks
Gavin
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PostPost by: ianf » Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:25 pm

I have a sprint and have been lucky to have had an operating handbrake from the outset. This may not be a recommended mod but when I bought mine the handbrake pads wore out very quickly when adjusted correctly. I think it may have been due to the pads not releasing properly (they didn't grab though). When I fitted re-con pads they were a very tight fit and didn't release at all, so I took an angle grinder to the "U section" and profiled it on each pad. They then sat loosely in the caliper and lasted about 25K even though adjusted at MOT pass rate.(replaced again last spring).
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PostPost by: elanman999 » Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:38 pm

Gavin,
The wheel bearings must be in good condition. If they are not this will allow the disk to float about and the brake will be impossible to set up.
The disk should be ckecked to make sure it runs true. It needs to be better than .004 inch total runout. Some times they need shimming under the disk mounting bolts.
Also make sure the centalising strips (item 17 in the parts list) are pulling the pads off the disk when the handbrake is released.
John
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:14 pm

Once you have the pads set up properly it is also worth putting a small compression coil spring on the rod operating the pads so that they are held off the disks by spring pressure.

This mod' makes the pads last much longer
John

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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:34 pm

"it is also worth putting a small compression coil spring on the rod operating the pads"

What a brilliant idea!

After my chassis change I managed to set up my handbrake to work perfectly, by not reading the manual- I just figured out how it was supposed to work and set both sides so that they applied the same amount of pressure. I can lock both wheel at 30 MPH and pull up in a straight line- don't believe it? Neither did I! Never had an Elan handbrake like it before- maybe the new cable, pads and discs had something to do with it?

I had to shim one of the discs to get it within .005" measured at the outer edge of the friction surface.

Pete.
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PostPost by: gav » Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:28 pm

Thanks for all your help

I'll start with the dial gauge and bearings and go from there.

Where do these springs that hold the pads off come from - any ideas?

Thanks again

Gavin
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PostPost by: patrics » Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:44 pm

Hi Gavin.
If you have just had the hand brake assemble overhauled and it?s been done properly you should check that the hand brake tree is free to rotate in both planes ie. Front to back (during the application) and side to side to allow for suspension movement. If it?s seized side to side ever time you load the suspension it will pull the hand brake on.
It?s a good mod to fit a coil spring around the tie rod and it?s what Girling did on latter versions of this type of hand brake assembly ? Jaguar etc. If you don?t want to do this, then tweak the two centralising trips to just hold the pads off.
Ianf, Grinding out the ?U? section of the pad is not a good idea as the close fit to the Pivot Pin is what stops the pin from falling out ? well assuming its not seized in there but originally there was 0.002? clearance between hole and pin and would have just push in easily. If you found the fit between pad and pin too tight it might have been because the pin had started to come out but was been held in by the pad as designed. The pivot pin has two diameters the central bit where the pad sits being smaller. Having said all that you have done plenty of miles without problems but when you next check the brakes make sure the pins haven?t started to move out of the caliper housing.
Regards
Steve
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:51 pm

Gavin,

The springs I used were nothing special, just some I had laying around.

Lots of automotive or hardware suppliers have boxes of mixed springs.

They obviously need to be big enough to go over the rod and sufficient length so that they are lightly loaded when assembled. You don't need anything too heavy, they only really serve to stop the pads from constantly rubbing on the disks
John

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PostPost by: ianf » Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:12 pm

Steve,

Thanks for the "pin" advice, I'll have a look this weekend (any excuse to grovel around on the garage floor) I'm pretty sure they will be seized in.

Brilliant site by the way I don't know how I've managed to run the Elan for 9 years without it.

Cheers,

Ian
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