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Handbrake issues

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Handbrake issues
  This topic is about my 1967 Triumph TR4A
USScot Richard L
Lake Oswego, OR, USA   USA
The handbrake on my 4a is not holding car on slope no matter how much I haul on the handle. I know this is somewhat of an issue on this model but I would like some input from folks.

Some history:
- Brakes completely rebuilt with new shoes, cables, lines, drums turned, etc etc.
- Adjusted brakes by backing off adjuster nut till wheels just start to turn freely
- On pulling handbreak the compensator pulls both cables evenly

One issue I have noticed is that the back of the box on the transmission tunnel where the cables attach bends in and flexes. If I bend it back out it bends back permanently when applying the handbrake.

- How effective are the lever extensions that attach behind the drums, and who sells them?
- Has anyone experienced the issue regarding the bending of the "box" described above, and could this be making things worse? If so is there a simple fix?
- Would custom arcing the brake shoes help being that I had the drums turned.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-11-15 10:17 PM by USScot.

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rod-h Avatar
rod-h Silver Member Rodney Hamilton
Lago Vista, TX, USA   USA
I've seen the brake lever extension on ebay, but they are a bit pricey. In theory they will add mechanical advantage, but, require more distance of pull for the handbrake.

There is some info available about adjusting rear brakes here:

This method makes more sense to me.

Modern brake shoes are round enough that I don't believe you would gain anything having them arced, if you can find someone who still does it.

I played the handbrake game for a while and eventually switched to a MGB handbrake, which gave good leverage with a longer pull.

The older I get the more cynical I become, but, I can't keep up.

handbrake.JPG    29.6 KB

Fictioneer Avatar
Fictioneer Doug Hirt
Colorado Springs, CO, USA   USA
This MGB handbrake switch is exactly what I was thinking of doing on my Spitfire. Can you supply some info on how you accomplished the conversion?

"Mr. Filby, do you think he'll ever return?"
"One cannot choose but wonder. You see . . . he has all the time in the world!"

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USScot Richard L
Lake Oswego, OR, USA   USA
I think I may have found the problem, and it is related to the "bracket/box" on the prop shaft tunnel that the brake pull handle and cables attach to.

As stated in my original post, the back of the bracket bends in significantly when applying the brake. On further inspection I've noticed the bent bracket binds the cables and prevents them from fully retracting when I release the brake. It is only when I wiggle the cables about that they fully release. I bent the back of the bracket out, wedged a spanner in there preventing it bending back in, and the cables reset themselves with no problems.

I am guessing this has prevented me from being able to adjust the brakes properly due to them not releasing as they should, and also allowing the cables to flex/pull back once set. I will only know once I reinforce the bracket and then adjust the brakes again.

If I am correct I hope this helps others, as handbrake problems seems to be discussed a lot, and I have never seen this particular issue in any of the posts.

The below pictures may help better explain what I am describing.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-11-15 11:07 PM by USScot.

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