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Discussion Starter #1
My car failed its NCT (MOT) last week as a result of too much of an imbalance on the handbrake performance!

The rear brakes passed the test fine, the pads are good as are the discs but the handbrake mechanism failed as one side was three times better than the other:

nearside value: 0.500 kN
offside value: 1.780 kN
Handbrake Imbalane: 72% (imbalance cannot be above 50% to pass)

Ive had a look today and the handbrake mechanism on the nearside when the handbrake is applied is hitting off the stop on the mechanism which I assume isnt allowing it to apply the brake fully resulting in such a low braking value and such a high imbalance.

How could I go about fixing this?

It seems like the handbrake mechanism arm has been put on too far forward or something which is why it hits the stop where as the cars other sides mechanism does not and returns to the fully open position when the handbrake is off where as the nearside only returns to halfway off if you get what I mean and hits off the stop when the handbrake is applied!?

any help much appreciated.

cheers.
 

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There are two cables which go to the balancing mechanism behind the handbrake lever. You can get to it by removing the rear ashtray / trinket compartment. It's likely one cable has stretched more than the other which is causing an imbalance when the handbrake is on. I would check it and if the balancing arm isn't roughly level then change both cables. The cable for the right side goes to the left side of the balancing arm and vce versa so if the left side of the balancing arm is further forward than the right it is the cable going to the right rear wheel that has stretched most.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There are two cables which go to the balancing mechanism behind the handbrake lever. You can get to it by removing the rear ashtray / trinket compartment. It's likely one cable has stretched more than the other which is causing an imbalance when the handbrake is on. I would check it and if the balancing arm isn't roughly level then change both cables. The cable for the right side goes to the left side of the balancing arm and vce versa so if the left side of the balancing arm is further forward than the right it is the cable going to the right rear wheel that has stretched most.

Thanks for the reply.
Yeah I looked at the handbrake adjuster and the balancing arm is tilted to the left when the handbrake is off as there is more cable there. But on the calliper of the wheel with the really low value the mechanism isn't releasing properly and it hits the stop when the handbrake is applied which may be causing the low value and imbalance?
 

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Slacken off the cable so you can pull both levers right back, apply the footbrake firmly, then take up any slack in the cables. Only to the point before the levers move I should add.
Then try the handbrake again, if the lever still goes up to the stop then you have a bad calliper. You can get rebuild kits for them, but you will need some expertise to do this.
A new calliper isn't ridiculously expensive, check out you local motor factors for prices. This might be the simplest option, removing and replacing a calliper is a job most diy mechanics should be able to tackle.
I would be surprised if the cables are stretched, it's not unknown but a rare problem nowadays.

Roger.
 

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Sorry to bump an old thread but i had one cable give way the other day from the balance thing under the rear ash tray so today ive replaced both cables as a matter of caution but the balance thing is still pulling to one side when I tighten it all up. Both new cables are the same lenght by the way.

Any advice would be great, thanks
 

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Sorry to bump an old thread but i had one cable give way the other day from the balance thing under the rear ash tray so today ive replaced both cables as a matter of caution but the balance thing is still pulling to one side when I tighten it all up. Both new cables are the same lenght by the way.

Any advice would be great, thanks
if both the rear wheels lock when handbrake applied i would not worry, the 307 i had did that and never caused a problem on an mot
 

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Likely that one set of pads has worn more than the others
If the calliper is working properly then the handbrake should be pulling evenly on both sides if it is also in good working order. The calliper automatically adjusts itself so handbrake travel should not vary.
Of course uneven pad wear is a sign that all is not well.....

Roger.
 
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