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Technical (156)
 Alfa Romeo forum : Technical (156)
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Sam37
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Posted: 29 June 2008 at 16:05 | IP Logged Quote Sam37

When I pulled my handbrake on the car the other day the handbrake suddenly jumped up quite far. Now there's hardly any resistance in it and it comes up really far. It's also weakened and only just holding the car in place, so I've started putting it in gear (probably a habit I should get into anyway). I actually chocked the wheels yesterday when parked on a sloped car park (some woman gave me a really weird look), until I remembered the trick where you leave it in gear...

Anyway, would I be right to guess that a cable somewhere has snapped and that only 1 wheel is being braked?

I did a search and apparently there's 3 cables: front short, left long and right long. So will one of the long cables have snapped then?

What's a good way of figuring out which side has snapped (If I'm right in my assumptions so far that is)?

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TazzyK
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Posted: 29 June 2008 at 16:28 | IP Logged Quote TazzyK

yep, exactly the same happened to me a couple of years ago.

Regardless of which one has snapped, I'd replace both (I replaced both anyway so that the handbrake would be 'even'). You can leave the front (3rd) one as is.

Most likely snapped from near where it's attached to the caliper so will be hard to tell until you get the wheel off (or get right under it)

Edited by TazzyK on 29 June 2008 at 16:29


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Sam37
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Posted: 29 June 2008 at 16:40 | IP Logged Quote Sam37

Cheers Tazzy, I'll get a new pair of long ones then.

I just thought to myself, I could probably find out which side it is by jacking the back of the car up and trying to turn each wheel (with the handbrake on).

But I don't suppose it matters if I'm replacing both.

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TazzyK
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Posted: 29 June 2008 at 17:41 | IP Logged Quote TazzyK

Actually, the left and right are differnt lenghts too (I think the passenger side one is longer due to the way it is routed)

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Ronin
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Posted: 29 June 2008 at 17:45 | IP Logged Quote Ronin

Make sure you check the rear brake calipers while you are on changing it m8. Granted wear and tear is expected on the cables but experience has always taught me there has to be a cause to a problem. Make sure the calipers and mechanisms are free and easy to move ok.

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tomhannah
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Posted: 30 June 2008 at 04:33 | IP Logged Quote tomhannah

There's a seller on ebay always selling new hand brake cables at £6.75 plus p+p. Excellent value and from the look of all the extra fittings on them probably OE. I have them fitted on mine and can vouch for the quality.

Back soon with a link.

cable shop

Edited by tomhannah on 30 June 2008 at 04:39


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Black Beauty
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Posted: 30 June 2008 at 08:29 | IP Logged Quote Black Beauty

if you have access to a pit its approx 20 min's work.

the only tools you'll need will be a flat headed screw driver to undo a clip & a 10mm socket, both will be used to release the cables

inside you'lll need a 13mm rachet spanner,, i've used ordinary spaner & socket... rachet spanne ris the eaiset to use.
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David C
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Posted: 30 June 2008 at 12:40 | IP Logged Quote David C

Sam37 wrote:
... so I've started putting it in gear (probably a habit I should get into anyway).

You should always leave it parked in gear.
Never rely on just the handbrake.

It even points that out in the handbook.

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TazzyK
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Posted: 30 June 2008 at 13:01 | IP Logged Quote TazzyK

David C wrote:
Sam37 wrote:
... so I've started putting it in gear (probably a habit I should get into anyway).

You should always leave it parked in gear.
Never rely on just the handbrake.

It even points that out in the handbook.


I've been doing that ever since my cable snapped... sort of got into the habit of it, and stuck with me

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Sam37
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Posted: 02 July 2008 at 00:57 | IP Logged Quote Sam37

yep, I'm going to always do it now...

I actually tried using just the gear to hold the car on a slope as a test, the car moves forwards a foot or so then gently comes to a stop (judders a bit though), it's the air being compressed in the cylinders that does it isn't it? It doesn't cause any damage right?

Pat, I don't have a fancy pit like you, do you think it's possible to do with axle stands and a jack? Do the cables run along the underside of the car?



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Sam37
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Posted: 02 July 2008 at 01:02 | IP Logged Quote Sam37

Ronin wrote:
Make sure you check the rear brake calipers while you are on changing it m8. Granted wear and tear is expected on the cables but experience has always taught me there has to be a cause to a problem. Make sure the calipers and mechanisms are free and easy to move ok.


What should I do exactly, just kind of move them about a bit? I've never worked on brakes before...

Tom, thanks for that link that seems much cheaper than elsewhere, although they only seem to sell the right side. Better than nothing anyway .

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Sam37
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Posted: 02 July 2008 at 01:18 | IP Logged Quote Sam37

More questions: Are the handbrake cables the same on the 147? Same platform... Then again the 147 has a shorter wheelbase so the cables are probably shorter aren't they?

When I fit my new cables and re adjust the handbrake to only a few clicks, will the brake be stronger than before (i.e. before it even snapped)? It only scored 18% on the MOT and needed 16% to pass, so it was a close call.

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