Lotus Elan

My Handbrake Cable is .....TOO SHORT!

PostPost by: denicholls2 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:45 pm

There seems to be no problem with the pin not being there - no hint of the mechanism being compromised. So what the dickens was it there for?

The obvious answer would seem to be because that easy-wearing material had worn off the brake pads and the DPO wanted to take advantage of the much longer-wearing surface it was bonded to so as not to endure the expense of replacing the pads. See your reference to "shunt" earlier on... :)
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:06 pm

EH?? What?? :shock:

The pad material is bonded directly to STEEL !!! How's that going to work? Steel on steel (disc) is not a good idea. Not much friction at all there.

Somewhat stumped here!

Al '. ......
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PostPost by: Harvey » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:20 pm

I'm coming to this party late but I want to share my recent experience with handbrake cable length. Like Mike, the handbrake cable on my March '71 +2S was too short to reach the tree lever toggle when the lever was fully to the rear and up against the chassis drop bar even when the cable was fully extended. Like Mike, I also punched out the roll pin but got only an extra 1/2" of cable length which was still not nearly enough to reach the toggle. Worse, because i now could push the brake lever further into the square ratchet tube the lever no longer extinguished the brake warning light when the lever was fully depressed. I replaced the pin and looked for another solution.

Before cutting my cable and swaging an extra length of cable to it I emailed Brian Buckland who suggested I simply make an extension that would run between the brake tree lever and the toggle. I cut an extension from a piece of 1/8" aluminum flat stock that was 3/4" wide, drilled two holes in it, and spray painted it black. Bolting it to the tree lever and the toggle gave me the extra length needed to capture the toggle when the tree lever was back against the chassis tube. I now have a handbrake that will hold the +2 on the 15% grade of my driveway. Thanks to Brian for his quick response to my email and simple fix to my problem.

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PostPost by: davidj » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:36 pm

This web site is a wonderful source of info!

I am fitting the handbrake cable on my S3 and I have exactly the same problem as Mike above, the picture could be identical. I also have a Spyder chassis, Shorter cable and a roll pin in the handbrake lever!

Any further thoughts why it was fitted? It must be for a good reason. It occured to me that the original length cable would probably fit ok. Could it be fitted so the handbrake switch works correctly? Without the roll pin, the lever would move 2" before the switch is triggered.

Do later cars have the pin and a working hand brake switch?

Cheers,
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PostPost by: vstibbard » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:24 pm

Sorry if this is already called out, the roll pin is on all of the Elan's I've had, and acts as stop for the handbrake handle. It is not on the standard ford part as I've modified one previously.
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PostPost by: davidj » Sat Apr 04, 2020 9:00 am

Thanks for your reply but now I am very confused!

The general view on this site and the Brian Buckland book is the cable is 2" to short. This is without the rods attached. Consequently I purchased the shorter Mick Miller cable. However, as can be seen on Mike's message at the start of this thread, the cable is too short. Mike states he removed the rollpin to solve the problem.

I am guessing, but maybe the rollpin was fitted when the handbrake switch was fitted for the s3? This would also solve the problem with the original cable length. Again, guessing, but did the person who suggested the shorter cable have the earlier handbrake?

Has anyone with the rollpin version of the handbrake managed to use the shorter cable? As far as I can see, I have four options.

1. Make an extension piece like Lee. A bit more tricking in my case, because I have the bent style tree like Mike.
2. Shorten the outer sheath by 2". Will this work? It will make the cable radius in the engine bay tighter.
3. Remove the rollpin. However, this will result in the handbrake switch disengaging later, and maybe the light not illuminating?
4. Send it back and buy a longer cable.

Thanks very much for any suggestions. I know the elan handbrake has been flogged to death! Maybe the rollpin and different cable lengths is the reason for some of the issues?

Cheers,

David
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PostPost by: davidj » Sat Apr 04, 2020 9:47 pm

Opps. Typo. What I should have said is "The general view on this site and the Brian Buckland book is the cable is 2" to long" :D
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