Lotus Elan

Blasted handbrake mechanism!

PostPost by: JonB » Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:55 pm

But back to the handbrake. Took it out for a supermarket run and they are not working. Grrr. Must be the full droop. Or something. :roll:
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:08 pm

Yes - I think that you do need to adjust in running position.
The rear suspension is not parallel double wishbone and linkage is not parallel either.
Now you've got it all freed off readjustment shouldn't take long.
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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:48 pm

I usually just raise the back end enough to be able to see the adjusters & then lie on my side to do them up till they are tight then loosen them off a turn or so (determine once with feeler gauges & use that amount thereafter ).
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:18 am

JonB wrote:But back to the handbrake. Took it out for a supermarket run and they are not working. Grrr. Must be the full droop. Or something. :roll:

Hi Jon,
can you explain what you mean by not working please.
Not to tell you how to suck Eggs but. Remember the Handbrake on a Lotus is ONLY just for parking. Not to hold against the Engine or driving.
For me when i lift the car with the wheel dangling i adjust with the 2 Feelers both sides.
Then put brake on and try to turn wheel with my hands. if i can't turn with my hands it's good.
Job done.
You will never get the Parking Brake/Hand Brake on a Lotus to be like a modern car. It's even marked on the Dashboard "Parking" :wink: :wink:
Have fun
Alan
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PostPost by: JonB » Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:26 am

Hi Alan

"Not working"... I'd have thought that phrase is self explanatory: you pull the handbrake and the car can be moved by pushing it. There is no difference between handbrake on and off.

I have had it working very well in the past, and will adjust it again. I did it exactly as you suggested but with the arms at full droop. That's the error I made. So tighten the adjusters and all should be well.

Bear in mind that the car has a single braking circuit, so if that fails for any reason, you only have the handbrake (if you can reach it in time, which is unlikely) and engine braking. Didn't someone post to say that that is why the MOT handbrake test is more stringent on single circuit braked cars? I don't subscribe to the view that one should accept these compromised solutions as-is. It's a parking brake, sure, but also a safety feature. So let's try and make it as good as possible.

At the moment, mine's not capable of even being a parking brake!
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:47 am

Hi Jon,
please don't take it the wrong way.
when you said not working i thought perhaps you wanted to be able to stop the car when moving along with the Hand Brake/Parking Brake.
I've never heard of a difference in the MOT between single or dual braking Circuits before. Are you sure.They say you learn something new every day.
In 45 years of working on the 4 Lotus Elans i have had i've never managed to have a Hand Brake/ Parking Brake good enough to stop the Car when driving along. It would only slow it down.
Maybe some others on the Forum can give us details of their findings.
It would be nice to see what Rohan has to say on the subject, i'm all ears.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:49 am

MoT spec

Screenshot_20200416-104707_Chrome.jpg and
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PostPost by: JonB » Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:54 am

alan.barker wrote:Hi Jon,
please don't take it the wrong way.


Of course not, Alan. :D

when you said not working i thought perhaps you wanted to be able to stop the car when moving along with the Hand Brake/Parking Brake.


I meant "as an effective parking brake". Or, even without the "effective".

I've never heard of a difference in the MOT between single or dual braking Circuits before. Are you sure.They say you learn something new every day.


I was quoting another forum member who'd said it a few days ago, maybe on another thread. Can't recall, happy to be put right. Mark's screenshot seems to say that for a vehicle with a single line braking system after 1968 the handbrake must be at least 25% efficient. I guess that means the OP of the comment I referred to is correct.

In 45 years of working on the 4 Lotus Elans i have had i've never managed to have a Hand Brake/ Parking Brake good enough to stop the Car when driving along. It would only slow it down.
Maybe some others on the Forum can give us details of their findings.
It would be nice to see what Rohan has to say on the subject, i'm all ears.
Alan


Me neither, to be fair; but I've had mine to a state when you can feel it braking as you go along. AKA "better than nothing"!
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:06 am

So,
it looks like 25% in UK if your Car is required to have a MOT.

In France here with "Voitures de Collection" the tech control is every 5 years and as far as i know Hand Brake 20%.
"Little Lo" needs a tech control after the shutdown so maybe i'll have some fun :?
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:28 am

Technically the MoT requirements must be met regardless of paperwork.
A handbrake that doesn't work when a policeman pushes the car would be "dangerous" and risks a ticket and insurance invalid.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:00 am

Well i've only had a Policeman push my Car once to very kindly give me a Bump Start.
I was driving back from London in my 1970 Lotus Elan +2S to Waterlooville in very heavy Snow.
I stopped at the Traffic Lights at the Devil's Punch Bowl and the Engine stopped.
Not enough Juice in the Battery to restart so 2 Policemen gave me a Bump Start in 4" inches of Snow.
I said thankyou Officers and drove merrily off down the country Lane on the right because the A3 was blocked (snow drift).
It took me 4 1/2 hours London to Waterlooville in 2nd gear all the way all alone. Good job my Car had a Full Tank of Petrol :roll:
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:54 am

JonB wrote:
"Not working"... I'd have thought that phrase is self explanatory: you pull the handbrake and the car can be moved by pushing it. There is no difference between handbrake on and off.


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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:07 pm

The Elan and Plus 2 parking / hand brake is a mysterious thing and of great wonder :lol:

On my Elan I have rebuilt it many times and adjust it even more and checked all the run out and spring bar settings and other things and it still never worked for particularly long to any great effect

On my Plus 2 I have just adjusted it every 5000 miles to take up pad wear and it works perfectly., it will even stop the car reasonably quickly from 60 km/h.

One day I will discover the secret as the assembly is identical except for the longer lever arm on the tree on the Plus 2 which was used on later cars........maybe this is the secret.

cheers
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PostPost by: JonB » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:10 pm

Yes, the design doesn't have a lot of mechanical advantage built in. Chiefly because of the long cable (stretches I suspect) and the fact that you are not getting any leverage at the handle end. Or something!

Such a simple mechanism - shouldn't be this hard to set up correctly.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:23 pm

If one can pull it hard enough to stop the car rolling backwards on a hill there's no saying that you'll be able to release it again easily to effect a smooth getaway :D :D

I accept that I was being a bit pessimistic in my earlier post.
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