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RE: 200 rear caliper problem

Hi Peter --

I had the same problem, but mine turned out to be the cable. However, all is
not lost. Igor/Osman posted a bunch of stuff a few months ago that talked
about loosening up the e-brake pivots on the caliper. Here's some of the
pertinent stuff from my archive. You can get the rest of the post by
checking around Nov. 8 and 9 (look for Osman's and Igor's Brake 101 posts)
at this page in the archives:

Have fun.


<from Igor's post: Re: Public Thanks (Brake Rebuild 101). Nov. 9 1998>

> 2. Rear Calipers rebuilt and functioning, including formerly stuck
> e-brake arms.

The rear e-brake levers _can_ be freed without the need to install the
heavier duty Granada springs. In fact, my inability to get the said
springs in the States turned out to be a blessing in disguise: I was
forced to fix my own calipers. Whereas the springs with a higher module
of torsional elasticity might overcome the friction of the rusted shafts
in the e-brake levers, they would mask the problem rather than fix it.
The proper way to do it is to free the shafts of rust and make them
operable again. Everything is done from the outside, no need to
disassemble the caliper. Of course, in the Osman's case I disassembled
both rear calipers completely and rebuilt them, but on my own car I've
done it without a rebuild a fortnight ago (there was no need to rebuild
mine: I rebuilt all 4 calipers 2 years back and I also have a habit of
replacing the brake fluid at least once a year).
The caliper is secured in a vise, the outer spring is removed, the 10mm
turn-limiting bolt is removed and the frozen e-brake lever is lifted up
by approx 10mm with a pry bar (it will not go higher).
Spray the rusted shaft of the lever with a _very_ good rust
loosener/lubricant and work it up and down for a few minutes. Clean the
rust off and repeat the procedure. The goal is to free the lever so that
1. Twists freely CW-CCW under your fingers.
2. Returns to the turn-limiter by itself, without the outer spring, only
under the action of the internal spring inside the piston.
In both mine and the Osman's car the e-brakes are now completely
operational with the stock springs on the calipers.
BTW, Osman said that Midas charged his farther for rebuilding the
calipers two years ago. I saw those calipers _inside_ and out. If that
is true then my name is Igor Stravinsky. After I saw what was done to
the Osman's car, on my $hit list of auto butchers Midas has approached
Sears and Jiffy Lube.

Tim King
Seattle, WA
89 200tqw