Lotus Elan

Handbrake Calipers

PostPost by: aussieelan » Tue May 05, 2009 1:33 am

My handbrake calipers are loose ... so loose they rattle like a bag of bolts as you drive. The actual calipers have about an inch of movement in all directions ... up & down and side to side. Needless to say the handbrake doesn't work and this set up appears to be "not working as intended". Occasionally ... after hitting a bump, I get a rubbing noise from rear wheels ... and then after another bump it disappears ... the handbrake pads have almost worn away, and I assume this noise is them rubbing on the disc after moving into a "bad" position.

From looking at the diagrams of the set up, I assume the pins that hold the handbrake calipers to the main caliper have worn and need replacing. I assume these are available somewhere, and have found a few threads outlining how to remove them. Is this something I can do myself, or should I just remove the entire rear calipers and send them away?

How tight should my calipers be? Should there be any movement in the caliper unit? Are my assumptions above correct?

Any advice, hints or alternate diagnosis appreciated.

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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue May 05, 2009 6:32 am

From the "tone" of the above post I would send them away to be professionally overhauled and when they are returned have an experienced mechanic re-fit them??

John :wink:
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PostPost by: gerrym » Tue May 05, 2009 7:45 am

Aussi, (name??), the rear calipers include reasonably conventional hydraulic caliper assemblies and the hand brake mechanical linkages. The hydraulic side of things should be OK with new pistons, seals and dustboots. Note that contrary to the normal advice given, the caliper halves may be split but new internal square seals and very high strength fasteners will be needed to reassemble the calipers. Check availability of these in Australia before splitting.

The linkages are slightly more problematical. The issues are:-
A/ Dissassembly - the pins are internally threaded BA?? to allow for the pins to be withdrawn.
B/ Obtaining new pins and springs. - Lotus don't list these as spares but SJ Sportscars in Devon England have been remanufacturing these in Stainless. They are small parts so should be easily shipped.
C/ Checking for wear on the handbrake assembly castings. Due to corrosion or wear the holes may now be oversized. (This will require specialised repair).
D/ Some parts are impossible to obtain, eg the special knurled adjusting nut so don't throw anything out.

Check out the parts book, from memory it has some good drawings showing the above.


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PostPost by: jono » Tue May 05, 2009 8:31 am

Classiccar Automotive did a great job of rebuilding my rear calipers. The handbrake assy was all re bushed, new pins and adjuster mechanisms fitted along with stainless pistons, new cad plating and the HS 'black' bolts.

Just like new - ?120 each
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PostPost by: steveww » Tue May 05, 2009 10:45 am

Just had a set done by Classicar as well. Excellent job and just not worth the effort of trying to do it yourself. Shipping from Australia may be an issue though.
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