Handbrake not working??? (97 civic SIR)


paddypetrol

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Jul 31, 2009
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Hi guys, I have failed the NCT as my handbrake isnt working the best (well nearly not working at all!).
With the handbrake pulled up to the last it barely will hold on a hill. I have the cable tightened to the last and it didnt improve anything. I took a look at yesterday, pads are nearly new.

I cleaned and greased the sliding rails as they were pretty dirty but it didnt improve them any. The pistons are not siezed as they move in and out freely when I step on the brakes and can be wound back in easily.
When I pull the handbrake the pistons barely move out at all???

Any Ideas anyone? have a retest on Thursday so will have to try and get it sorted before then. Thanks for reading.
 


paddypetrol

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Anyone any Ideas on this one :nice:

I dont want to buy new rear calipers if there is any way of simple fix.
Any ideas at all :nice:
 


tedman

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Anyone any Ideas on this one :nice:

I dont want to buy new rear calipers if there is any way of simple fix.
Any ideas at all :nice:
I had the same problem, didn't fail the NCT, but it was rubbish! I changeded the cables and it did bugger all to be honest!

But, what did kinda work was to release the calipers off the hub completely. Put it in a vice, and turn the handbrake cable arm, and turn it in the direction that the handbrake would pull it normally. You'll need to turn it fully till it comes to a dead stop, and do it a few times fully
.
I think the handbrake mechanism inside the caliper seizes up and needs to be freed up.

Then you'll have to mount them again and re-bleed the brake system.

It helped mine a fair bit!

Hope this helps lad...:nice:
 

Last edited:

paddypetrol

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Thanks for the reply dude! :nice:

I did this last Saturday, took the calipers off completely, the pistons and seals were fine, not sized at all. I did try and free up the handbrake mechanism and it did work a little bit but the rod still isn't pushing out the piston enough. :angry:

I bit the bullet, so I am collecting 2 new rear calipers on Thursday have the retest on Saturday. I will let you know how I get on!
 




Vtec6000

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Handbrake cables are common enough to go had to change them on a few civic's
 


madfortar

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yes my own cable seemed fine but it turned out that it actually streched a little.but hard to notice.replace the cable,keep the receipt for the calipers and return them and get your money back haha
 


tedman

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:nerv: This I don't like to hear :nono: only joking, good to hear your advice :nice:
The cables seem fine however, I have tried tightening them to the last, with no better results. :angry:
Being honest i found the driver's side cable more stretched than the other one so i changed that one. But i can honestly say it made no difference.

I tried tightening them first too but it made no difference, then replaced one, didn't seem to work either. Only thing that seemed to work was the fre3eing up the handbrake mechanism on the calipers.

Outta intrest, how much for the pair of calipers man?:)
 


paddypetrol

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Being honest i found the driver's side cable more stretched than the other one so i changed that one. But i can honestly say it made no difference.

I tried tightening them first too but it made no difference, then replaced one, didn't seem to work either. Only thing that seemed to work was the fre3eing up the handbrake mechanism on the calipers.

Outta intrest, how much for the pair of calipers man?:)
I am paying 150€ each for them new from my local auto factors, :angry2: I was going to get them seccond hand but dont want to have any problems associated with old calipers (even though I know they probably would be ok when reconditioned)!

From a honda main dealer they were 220€ + vat each I think, ( I didnt even write the price down as it was so expenxive!!!)

I have these ordered now and Im collecting them tomorow so I will pop them on and hopefully they will work!
If not ill try the cables then, never thought it could be these to tell you the truth, probably should have tried them first but I will learn from my mistakes! :nice:
 


VTec Performance

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happend to me, i just took of the calipers, greased everything and oil up the handbrake arm/mechanism on the caliper..there alot better now...but not super i must admit
 


paddypetrol

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Well guys,
Fitted the new calipers both sides and still have the same problem, handbrake wont hold. I have new handbrake cables ordered, collecting them tomorow so hopefully this will solve the problem.
Will keep you all informed of how I get on.
 


paddypetrol

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HELP needed!!!
Fitted the new handbrake cables today and still the handbrake is terrible. Thats two new rear calipers and new handbrake brake cables and still the handbrake will not work???

Really dont know what to do now? I am not nappy at the moment.
Any ideas greatly appreciated
 


Vtec6000

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HELP needed!!!
Fitted the new handbrake cables today and still the handbrake is terrible. Thats two new rear calipers and new handbrake brake cables and still the handbrake will not work???

Really dont know what to do now? I am not nappy at the moment.
Any ideas greatly appreciated
When you fitted the new calipers did you wind out the piston enough? You want the piston to pad contact pretty tight when sliding the caliper over pad
 


paddypetrol

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When you fitted the new calipers did you wind out the piston enough? You want the piston to pad contact pretty tight when sliding the caliper over pad
Hi there, yea I wound out the piston as much as I could before refitting, The caliper instructions said to within 1mm of the pads. I will open them up again and try and fit them in tighter but I dont think I will get them any closer.

(In the past I would have overlooked this step and not wound the piston out enough as I thought they would self adjust :nono:)

It must be something simple which I am not doing correctly. Thanks for the reply Il open them up again and try to adjust them.
 


Vtec6000

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Hi there, yea I wound out the piston as much as I could before refitting, The caliper instructions said to within 1mm of the pads. I will open them up again and try and fit them in tighter but I dont think I will get them any closer.

(In the past I would have overlooked this step and not wound the piston out enough as I thought they would self adjust :nono:)

It must be something simple which I am not doing correctly. Thanks for the reply Il open them up again and try to adjust them.
And make sure the handbrake is off when winding the piston:nice:
 


paddypetrol

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Help need here! Really pissed off with this at the moment, handbrake still not working properly.

What I have done so far:
Replaced rear calipers with new ones,
Replaced handbrake cables,
Replaced rear pads,

I have tried winding out the piston as close to the pads as possible, tightening the hand brake cable as listed in the manual, everything, still no go. The hand brake will hold on a slight hill but just about. I’m pretty sure it would NOT even pass an NCT test.

The problem seems to be that when tightening the handbrake cables one wheel is tightening more than the other. When the rear is jacked up, I pull the handbrake up one click and keep tightening the cables until I cant spin the rear wheels by hand. However one wheel will be tight while the other wheel is still able to be spun freely?? I cant tighten them any more as the pads will start rubbing the wheel on normal driving.

I really don’t know where to go from here? I may leave it into a garage but I thought the problem would be sorted by changing some of the above by now.
Anybody got any other suggestions please?
 


Vtec6000

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Help need here! Really pissed off with this at the moment, handbrake still not working properly.

What I have done so far:
Replaced rear calipers with new ones,
Replaced handbrake cables,
Replaced rear pads,

I have tried winding out the piston as close to the pads as possible, tightening the hand brake cable as listed in the manual, everything, still no go. The hand brake will hold on a slight hill but just about. I’m pretty sure it would NOT even pass an NCT test.

The problem seems to be that when tightening the handbrake cables one wheel is tightening more than the other. When the rear is jacked up, I pull the handbrake up one click and keep tightening the cables until I cant spin the rear wheels by hand. However one wheel will be tight while the other wheel is still able to be spun freely?? I cant tighten them any more as the pads will start rubbing the wheel on normal driving.

I really don’t know where to go from here? I may leave it into a garage but I thought the problem would be sorted by changing some of the above by now.
Anybody got any other suggestions please?
How is the condition of your discs? Another thing are you sure you put the right cable on the correct side? IIRC there nearly the same length and could mix them up easy enough
 


paddypetrol

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Hi again, the discs seem fine, almost no wear on them at all, I did have a look last night as I thought that could be the problem but I don’t think they are an issue.

~ I don’t think its possible to put the cables in the wrong way round as the connectors will be upside down when you go to put the bolts through them. I studied them before I put them in BUT...

there are two holes in the rear trailing arm for the cable to go through, I have mine routed through the one closest to the rear of the car (this was the way it originally was). If someone could confirm which hole the cable should go through that would be great.
Forgot to mention that before :nice:
 


paddypetrol

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Jul 31, 2009
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Here is a picture of a civic with the cable running through the same hole in the trailing arm as my car, I may try and route it through the other hole to see what happens.
 


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