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mk2f front hand brake cable advice - 867609721


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mk2 polo power

I need to replace the front hand brake cable (as opposed to the rear left / right)

 

How do I do it?

Any top tips?

 

And could someone confirm this is the right part no: 867609721

 

Much appreciated

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^ you can use a long screwdriver as a prybar to move the lever on the brake shoe enough to hook the cable in , no shoe removal needed , did mine last week  

no dont paint it ...it relies on the small serrations on the edge to work properly  

Nice photo of cleaned adjuster wedge - showing all important micro serrations.

Posted Images

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image.png.cf17eed8a86da8ff6b72d20cf7dc8b92.png

 

If you're ordering parts off the reg number, make sure you get the parts for a 1986-onwards car. 

 

You could just replace the one cable, but I'd personally replace the all 3 if they're age unknown, as the new front cable can mean that bits of the rear cable that are getting a bit rough are having to go through the end of the plastic sheath and start binding. It's worth having your rear drums off and give them a clean and inspect while they're apart. Also re-adjust the rear brakes by tapping the wedge upwards.

 

Give all the fixings a wire brushing and a good soak of your favourite release spray the night before you attempt the job. You don't have to take the bracket (6) off, but it can help to loosen it a little if it feels like it's going to play ball. 

 

Not everyone will agree, but I give the bare bits of cable a spray with some white grease to held keep the crud off them (same sort of stuff you'd use on mountain bike cables). 

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mk2tastic

Yeti makes a good point re the cables, especially the rear ones, which are the ones most likely to cause problems, and also it being a good time to inspect the condition of the rear brakes(shoes & wheel cylinders for leaks or seizing).

 

I recently purchased  a QH brand one for my 89 MK2 from eBay for £5, part no BC2236

 

If you do just the front one then it should be easy enough to get off, getting it back on in my experience, is a bit trickier.

 

At the handbrake end there is a 10mm nut which needs undoing, which you’ll need a small spanner or a socket for .Also something to grip onto the cable( small adjustable)to hold it whilst you undo the nut.There should be 2 flats on the cable end to help do this.

 

Underneath the car there is a plastic cable clamp(8 on the diagram Yeti has provided)that holds it to the body, hopefully this just needs a waggle to be able to pull it off the stud on the floor panel. Be careful with it though as they can break.There should also be a cable retainer(9) that the cable needs unclipping from that guides it around the petrol tank. You should then be able to free the other end of the cable from the connector(4), which it shares with the RH short cable that goes to the brake drum.

 

To get it back on I found it easiest to connect the handbrake end first and put the nut back on just until the threads start protruding through it.I did it this way as I found by connecting it underneath the car first it left me with no slack to get the nut on the cable.

 

Next, you won’t get enough movement on the drum cables to be able to reconnect,  so I found that by removing the RH brake drum and taking the brake shoes off the backplate(you don’t need to disconnect the H/B cable from the shoes) you can then get enough movement to reconnect the cables.

 

Once all back together you will need to adjust the handbrake on the nut to give a couple of clicks, but this is best achieved after the rear brakes have re-adjusted themselves by going for a run, as the movement in the handbrake is dependent on the rear shoes being adjusted up correctly.It’s worth having the back of the car up off the ground when you adjust it, to make sure the wheels are not binding when the H/B is fully off, and that they apply evenly.

 

This was my experience as a 1st time DIYer, so there may be easier ways/suggestions to what I have described.

Edited by mk2tastic
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steveo3002

^ you can use a long screwdriver as a prybar to move the lever on the brake shoe enough to hook the cable in , no shoe removal needed , did mine last week

 

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mk2 polo power

Thanks, top advice so far - its was a 10mm - I used a ratchet with a flexi extension to get under/around lever/carpet.

Only front cable has gone (left and right were changed a couple of years ago)

The front cable has rusted and started to split into strands - almost broken.

 

New oem genuine ordered - will be getting greased.

Item 4 and 5 of diag are in citric acid derusting!

 

Hopefully I won't need to adjust the cables and I'll get it to all clip back together - fingers crossed.

I'll try to get the nut (no3) on first and hope to have enough cable left to clip - feel free to advise if that is pie-in-the-sky

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mk2 polo power

Thanks everyone for comments so far - I did manage to clip the front cable all in - couple of turns of nut inside car easily gave me enough play to hook up with left/right rear cable.

Tightened nut up and got hand brake to engage well - or so I thought.

 

Neverthless it failed it's MOT...

Garage said it's all a symptom of rears not working well (like 30kg of force) - they were completely rebuilt 25k ago (5years) albeit car has stood for 6months.

I think i'll need to follow some of your advice and take it apart and lube/clean.

There is also a nasty rattling noise at low speed.

Image preview

 

 

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steveo3002

possibly adjusters a bit sticky and need a clean up , can also poke something through a wheel bolt hole and manually move the wedge to fine tune the adjustment

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mk2tastic

Was it the foot brake at 30kg or the handbrake?

 

If the footbrake, it could be seized wheel cylinders, especially if it’s been stood so long.The handbrake would still work, as it’s operating the shoes independently.

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mk2 polo power
7 minutes ago, mk2tastic said:

Was it the foot brake at 30kg or the handbrake?

 

If the footbrake, it could be seized wheel cylinders, especially if it’s been stood so long.The handbrake would still work, as it’s operating the shoes independently.

Footbrake!

Although handbrake is still a bit pants as you can see - it feels like a lot of friction when I lift handbrake up even though it grips and holds my car parked on a slope.

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mk2tastic

I can’t see the image for some reason, so apologies if it shows an answer to a question I asked.
 

Think you’ll need to bite the bullet and remove the drums to see what’s going on in there. We could probably go round all day speculating what’s possibly wrong, but seizure of something or other seems the favourite, especially if your foot brake is reading low and the pedal feels ok, ie: hard and not spongy.

 

The handbrake also needs the rears properly adjusted to work effectively, so it’s important that all is well in there.

 

I’ve had cylinders seize, as well as the handbrake pivot lever in the shoes. You mention a rattle at low speed, I wonder if that’s a shoe retainer that has come adrift.Again, it’s all guesswork so only by stripping the rears are you probably going to find the answers.

Edited by mk2tastic
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Yeah, I'd be dropping the drums off and seeing if there's anything obvious. Might just be worth putting a bar in each side to give the shoes something to push against and getting someone to press the brakes a bit while you watch what happens. 

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mk2 polo power

Thanks everyone - be my first time taking drums off, but sounds like that is the way to go

I want to learn as well!

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mk2tastic

It’s likely you’ll  need to de-adjust the shoes to get the drums off. This is done by pushing up the adjuster segment with a screwdriver through a drum wheel bolt hole.The adjuster is situated on the leading side of the shoes, that is, towards the front of the car.

 

This photo( that I half inched and saved from a google search many moons ago) shows the adjuster. Your aim is to push up from the point the spring attaches to the segment to slacken the adjustment.

 

On reassembly, don’t tighten the hub nut up too much as it’ll damage the bearing.I adjust mine as follows, as there isn’t a torque setting for the nut.

 

I put the wheel back on the drum and whilst slowly tightening the nut I turn the wheel, until it starts to offer a bit of resistance. The important bit is to then back off the nut until the wheel can run freely but also so there is minimal play in the bearing.You can check this by rocking the wheel top to bottom and feeling for any play in the bearing.I set it so I can just feel a very slight movement.

 

You may need two new split pins for the nut retainers too, though they can take being straightened and re-used a few of times, before they eventually break.

4533F5D9-A6EA-4F36-812F-8CEDCD79D419.jpeg

Edited by mk2tastic
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mk2 polo power

I managed to take off both drums - relatively straightforward.

Loosened handbrake cable (nut under handbrake lever)

Undo outer nuts and wheel bearing and wiggled the drum off.

 

Looked back through my records and everything was brand new 30k/5 years, ago wheel cylinder, shoes, springs, drum, cables.

 

There is loads of meat left on shoes and drums.

 

Cylinders were a little sticky - so gently tapped each one end in - seemed to free it up. They were shiny under the rubber hoods.

 

Remaining jobs are proper clean, repaint drums, refit bearings, make sure adjuster wedge moves.

 

Quesiton - we don't think compensator is working - how do I adjust it?

The spring seems loose at the hook end.

 

Rattling noise was - one of the shoes had slipped south a little

Crusty backing plate interfers with rotating drum.

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mk2tastic

I can’t help you with the compensator i’m afraid, as my 89 Breadvan has neither the Servo or compensator fitted. However, I would have thought the spring should be under some tension, otherwise it’s pointless it being there.

 

 

Edited by mk2tastic
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mk2 polo power

I've been watching loads of youtube vids I can see my wedge adjuster is not really working smoothly.

Time to strip and clean

 

Vw Citi Golf Rear Brake Shoe Replacement - YouTube

 

Fitting Rear Wheel Bearings Citi Golf - YouTube

 

VW Polo Rear Brake Shoe Replacement - Polo Drum Brakes - YouTube

 

The ULTIMATE Guide on How to Replace Drum Brakes - YouTube

 

 

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mk2 polo power

Would it be a sensible idea to paint the adjuster wedge?

This may stop it corroding and sticking in future.

 

I'm thinking using some really tough epoxy paint.

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steveo3002

no dont paint it ...it relies on the small serrations on the edge to work properly  

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mk2tastic

Just use a wire brush, or similar.As mentioned the operation of the adjuster relies on the serrations, so don’t do anything that might smooth them down.

 

They shouldn’t need any lubrication either, it just collects dust, as well as likely ending up on the brake shoe friction material.

Edited by mk2tastic
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mk2 polo power

This spring seems to just slide up and down without any tension?

Which way do I adjust that bottom bolt to get more tension?

 

Note car is on axle stands with rear lifted on the axle - no dangling wheels.

Edited by mk2 polo power
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