Lotus Elan

Handbrake (Yes sorry again)

PostPost by: Grizzly » Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:46 pm

Hi all.

I'm just about to set the handbrake up on my 2 seater and have spent the last few days reading old threads about it, i have set the handbrake on my +2 before now and it never seems to last long before it goes out of wack so i want to make sure i've not missed anything while i'm setting up the 2 seater.

So, i thought i'd list what i'm planning to do and see if there is anything i've missed.

New parts i have to fit...... Sue miller short cable, Sue miller Adjustable rods, new Handbrake Pads, new Disks (it has new Wheel bearings fitted too), new slightly oversized Clevis pins (drilled out pivots to remove wear), new original caliper return springs, extra caliper adjuster rod springs.

1. Check the disk run out and make sure the disk is centre of the caliper.

2. Make sure the Caliper arms are clean and move freely.

3. Reshape the Pad retaining springs (from recent experience i'd recommend replacing rather than reshaping for what they cost) fit the pads then adjust to 3thou clearance between disk / pad (fit the extra caliper adjuster rod springs during this stage and nyloc nut the adjuster when setup)

4. Check the handbrake tree is set to 2.5" and it's fixing bolt is not too tight so it moved side to side.

5. Fit the Cable and pull assembly inside the car making sure there is no grp Flex around it's mounting.

6. Adjust the Cable (under the engine mount) until the tree lever is 1/8-1/4" off the chassis tube making sure the handbrake is fully off inside the car, then tighten the adjuster Locking nut.

7. Put the car back onto it's wheels (move it back and forward a bit so the suspension settles) then adjust the new Rods until the securing bolt drops into the Caliper lever without moving it off the stop and keeping the tree as square as possible (not leaning one side or the other) and making sure the lever is still between 1/8-1/4 of the Chassis tube.

NOTE!! After recent issues with after marker brake disks it's worth checking the Disk is Central in the Caliper, as i found the handbrake pads drag badly if it's not spot on. Also make sure you have the correct Tree lever for use with the cut down Cable :roll:

All the pivots and Pull assembly inside the car will be well greased as it's assembled.

Does that sound about right? I'm hoping if i spend a bit of time getting it all set up correctly it might still work in twelve months :roll:

Thanks.
Chris
Last edited by Grizzly on Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:55 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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PostPost by: gherlt » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:04 pm

I have no idea, but if 7. states "Put the car back onto it's wheels", before that somewhere it should read "lift the car" ... it's obvious, but then many times the obvious things are forgotten ...
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:14 pm

It wasn't me going into detail as such but making the point it's important the rods are adjusted/fitted with the weight on the suspension as it would be when the handbrake is used.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:33 am

"4. Check the handbrake tree is set to 2.5""

what is this?

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PostPost by: gus » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:40 am

I have found step 3 is the most important for longevity

I don't car about the clearance, but keeping the pad retaining [non]springs so that they keep the pads off of the disk is very important.

My handbrake will stay functional for many thousands of miles and the pads last decades and many tens of thousands of miles.

If you hear the 'ching ching' of the pads rattling over bumps, they are wearing on the disk.

I also changed the adjustment nuts to nylocs so I can just put the car in neutral, reach under with a wrench and turn it a quarter turn or so and off you go. You can rock the car to feel for binding if you go too far
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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:58 pm

I may have shown this photo before, but I fitted an extra pull-off spring as you can see in the picture. It wasn't my idea originally - I stole it from someone else, but it seemed like a good idea.

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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Thu Jul 14, 2016 1:24 pm

Mmmmm, not too sure about that Mike,wouldn't it un-balance it ?

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:01 pm

Had a go at setting it up today, all went well until i noticed when i put the handbrake on and off a few times the inner pad on both rear calipers start to drag on the disk. I ran out of time a bit but noticed the original centralising strips didn't have any sort of spring to them, so i've just been up to Classic Automotive Brakes and got 4 of their strips. So i'll see if they help.

Some thing else i found a bit odd is the pad doesn't come off the disk square, i was using strips of 1mm card to set the pad-disk gap but found it was a little deceptive as i'd run the card under the edge of the pad and it would feel fine but when i turned the hub i could feel it binding.

While i'm here just for reference i found the best size Spring for the caliper adjuster rod to be 1/2" od x 2" long (13 coils) 1/16" wire thickness.
Last edited by Grizzly on Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:26 pm

Mike, i fitted pair of new caliper actuator springs (see pic) so with the adjuster rod spring too it feels about right inside the car, just a little viscous when trying to pull the caliper lever to adjust the handbrake with the pull rod off.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:30 pm

john.p.clegg wrote:"4. Check the handbrake tree is set to 2.5""



According to Mr Bucklands Manual (and i'm told the Lotus Workshop manual) the Handbrake tree lever must be 2 1/2 inches from the centre line of the fixing bolt.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:44 am

Chris
Yes,you're correct,I just screw it down and then back it off 1 turn to allow it to rotate 360 degrees,I'll check the height next time I'm in there..

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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:25 am

Mmmmm, not too sure about that Mike,wouldn't it un-balance it ?

I don't really see why John. All the spring is doing is making sure that the the tree returns to the fully off position. I have used a longer clevis pin than normal so the spring is attached to the bottom of it. The handbrake is not at all hard to pull on, and is very effective as a parking brake, holding the car easily on hills. I was present at the MoT test and actually sat in the car operating the brakes while the car was on the rollers. The handbrake showed satisfactory efficiency and similar readings on both left and right.

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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:32 am

I don't know Mike,the tree is such a simple thing ( on the surface ) but when you delve into it,it's rather more complicated with angles , planes, etc. and has caused more posts , I suspect, than anything else on the forum.
Someone suggested a spring " winding up the tree trunk " and I rather prefer this , but if you're happy,that's good enough for me..

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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:09 pm

john.p.clegg wrote:I don't know Mike,the tree is such a simple thing ( on the surface ) but when you delve into it,it's rather more complicated with angles , planes, etc. and has caused more posts , I suspect, than anything else on the forum.
Someone suggested a spring " winding up the tree trunk " and I rather prefer this , but if you're happy,that's good enough for me..

John :wink:


You are right, the spring illustrated doesn't just rotate the tree, it also pulls it left as you look at it.
http://images.lotuselan.net/lel/41868/0/20160116_122223.jpg
May be what you meant by the winding spring, and it produces torque only, no side load.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:00 pm

Is there supposed to be a spacer washer between the caliper and the hub? i ask because my 2 seater came in boxes so i'm not sure if it's supposed to have one..... but one thing is very clear the disk isn't central in the caliper (Handbrake mech)

I fitted the new centralising strips (that work great, i can see it springing the pads back off the disk) but the guys at Classic Automotive told me i need to apply the hand brake a few times just for every thing to settle, the problem is if i want the rear pad to stay off the disk it means the front one is quite a way out of wack...... So i put the elan on the ramp and had a closer look to find the issue with the disk not being central (on both sides) my guess is if it was in the centre it would work spot on.

So i'm tempted to just fit a few spacers but as these things go the only washers i can find in the work shop are WAY to thick.
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