'89 100Q/type 44 handbrake sticking - followup
Swann, Benjamin R. (BSWANN)
BSWANN at arinc.com
Fri Dec 29 09:43:18 EST 2000
I was able to resolve the problem with the handbrake caliper not releasing.
I removed the caliper, spring, brakeline(needed replacement), and cable. On
bench, I pried the handbrake cam/shaft out about 1/2" and cleaned off the
rust with small brass wire brush. Used some white grease made for brakes
and pounded gently back in. Then greased up the other moving parts as well.
Made sure to put lots of grease on the surface of the new Pagid pads so the
brake really wouldn't stick (kidding-just making sure you're awake).
The brakes work just fine now and the handbrake operates better than in my
Also, a previous handbrake problem in the '87 5000 Turbo Quattro Wagon was
resolved by replacing the brake cables. In that case the handbrakes did not
engage, and got worse after replacing Pads and rotors.
I've included the original post with replies consolidated here for
<<At 11:16 PM 12/21/2000 -0500, Swann, Benjamin R. (BSWANN) wrote:
>I apologize for not getting back with other listers regarding other posts
>about cams, etc. My daughter has been in the hospital recovering from some
>rather nasties, and this has consumed all of my time.
>I was hoping listers might give me some insight about the parking brake
>calipers not releasing on the 100Q. I found this out when I took it
>inspection for the new owner, thinking I'd addressed all of the issues -
>well I was close, but this one got me.
>Symptoms, not obvious to me, but the inspector caught it, are the brakes do
>not release right away after letting off the brake lever. It seems the
>problem may be worse now in the clod weather, as I notice drag whereas
>didn't before inspection.
>I have a new set of pads and rotors, but didn't put them on the car as
>were OK. The inspector said they were marginal but passed them. I wonder
>if I replace the pads and rotors and lubricate everything well will resolve
>the problem. Or am I wasting my time and need to get some new/used good
>I appreciate the replies which I won't be able to read right away, but will
>get me on the right track as I attack the problem over the Holidays.
>Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.
BTW - my daughter is fine now, but took through Chrismas Day to recover, and
she was in the hospital for several days getting rehydrated via IV - man
they pass some nasty bugs around in daycare. I wonder what she'll bring
home for New Year's.
I found the rear brakes on the 5K and 200 to be a bit of a maintenance
There are three main causes for your slow e-brake release:
1. Sticky e-brake cables.
2. Corroded e-brake cam shaft
3. Seized caliper guide pins.
It is likely you have a combination of two or three.
The cable housing breaks at the moulded rubber attachment block near the
outer end. Moisture gets inside the housing and the cable gets sticky and
eventually seizes. To check the cable, remove it from the caliper and
push/pull it. It should move easily in the housing. If it doesn't, replace
Now that you have the cable off, check the actuating cam. Pry it with a
screwdriver to activate the e-brake. When you release it, it should return
to the stop. It is very likely it will not. Return it manually to the stop
and remove the return spring. Using a screwdriver, you can pop the cam and
shaft up 1/2". Clean up and polish the shaft with a fine abrasive of your
choice. Don't damage the seal. Lube copiously with a water-proof lubricant
(I use FluidFilm, but I think it's only available in Canada). When free and
well lubed, the cam will return to the stop without the return spring
installed. Re-install the return spring - remember to use Loctite on the
bolt. Note here that if you enthusiastically move the cam back and forth
instead of up and down to work in the lube, you will lock your rear brakes
tight due to the adjusting action of the e-brake mechanism. Don't panic -
pound off the caliper and screw the brake piston back into the caliper. Try
to avoid this little scenario.
The caliper guide pins are almost guaranteed to be corroded if you drive in
the salt belt. Remove the caliper and pull the pins. Clean the pins and the
bores in the caliper carrier. If the pin boots are worn or torn, buy a
replacement boot kit. Throw away the lube that comes in the kit and lube
with a heavy synthetic "rubber friendly" grease. I use Superlube. The kit
also contains new self-locking bolts. The Bentley recommends that these
bolts not be reused and always be replaced.
There you have it. Once all this is done, you have a 90% chance that your
problem is fixed. If it isn't, the calipers are internally corroded and need
to be rebuilt. I've never had to rebuild a rear caliper, even after 300k km
of "super salt belt" driving.
The good news is that you get to do it all again next year if you want to
keep the rear calipers in good working order :o)
Thankfully, the UrS4 rear calipers seem to be standing up better than the
5k/200 calipers did. The rear brakes even work hard enough to keep the
'94 S4 118k km
<If they release completely eventually, but are just slow to do so, you
might look into the heavier spring option (repeated in the archives, I'm
sure) from some European Ford. It only involves replacing the return
spring on the lever the cable operates. If you detach the cables and the
levers move freely, you probably need new cables. If the levers are hard
to operate and/or the pads don't release the rotors, then the caliper pins
may need decorroding and regreasing. If that doesn't do the trick, you
need to rebuild the calipers or replace them.
An inoperative or weak handbrake can be a disastrous thing. It might just
need to be adjusted, but a common problem problem is the cams on the rear
calipers get frozen with rust. To check/fix the operation of the cams:
Handbrake off, car in gear, front wheel blocked by a wheel chock, rear end
lifted SECURELY by jackstands.
Under the car, follow the handbrake cable to the rear calipers--they attach
to a cam which also has a circular spring held in place by a slot in the cam
and a 10mm bolt. The cam is attached to a shaft internal to the caliper.
This shaft, in turn, applies mechanical pressure on the rear caliper piston.
That shaft is not protected externally by a boot and tends to collect rust.
The rust prevents the spring from tensioning the cam, which in turn gives
little or no feedback to the handbrake--hence the "out of adjustment" feel.
Carefully compress the spring and removed it, then pull the handbrake brake
cable out of the cam slot. If the cam is difficult to move back and forth,
then you've found your problem.
Liberally spray lubricant/rust remover around the cam shaft and work the cam
back and forth to it's limit stops repeatedly. Let the lubricant soak in for
a while, then repeat several times. The cam should now move easily, allowing
the spring to apply tension and feedback to the handbrake.
If the cam is badly rusted, you can try taking it all the way out to clean
it up. You'll have to remove the piston from the caliper first, though. If
refuses to move, you'll have to get new calipers.
When you feel like the cams are freed up, apply some brake grease to the
exposed part of the cam shaft, then put it all back together.
It is rumored that stronger springs from some Ford model will help keep this
problem from happening. The Ford P/Ns are: 6141147 & 6141148.
<From: "S. Jaworski" <syljay at optonline.net>
To: <quattro at audifans.com>
Subject: 5k e-brake operation, zerk fittings in caliper
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2000 01:26:35 -0500
I was musing thru the archives a while back and found an article about
adding zerk fittings to the rear calipers. The purpose of which was to keep
the e-brake internals from seizing up. I cant find that article. Anyone know
anything about this?
I just took apart a rear caliper (donated by RPM Parts) to see how the
e-brake worked. Pretty simple concept.
1. e-brake lever attached to 1/2" dia X 2.0" pin
2. pin is drilled off-center halfway thru . .forming an off center "pocket"
in the side of the pin
3. in this "pocket" sits a steel dowel 3/4" long, rounded on both ends
4. other end of dowel fits inside the threaded rod that is inside the
5. threaded rod has a cup machined into its base to accept the 3/4 dowel
6. the 3/4 dowel prevents any binding as it wobbles and adjusts to angles
produced by the lever pin
7. the threaded rod is sealed from the outside e-brake area with o-rings,
and it has some back and forth play in it
How it works > - - move the e-brake lever . . rotates the 1/2" dia pin . . .
off-center hole in pin moves 3/4" dowel . .. which pushes on the threaded
rod . . . which pushes on the piston that is screwed onto the rod . . piston
pushes on pads . . . wheels locked.
The threaded rod and the mating threaded female part inside the piston are
finely machined parts. Held vertically, the rod will screw itself into the
mating part all by itself just from gravity. Slicker than snot.
Its a cinch for hydraulic pressure to push against the piston and thus
rotate it . . and thus eliminate any play between brake shoes and rotor.
Now there is a spring inside the caliper that pushes or pulls on the
rod - - - I dont know how that works exactly cause it "thwanged" and flew
across the garage somewhere when I took off the inside circlip. I dont feel
like finding it.
Inside and at the bottom of the bore where the lever/pin sits is a hole
drilled to the outside with a steel bearing pressed into it to seal it.
Could this be a grease lubrication point during manufacture?
I guess a zerk fitting could be fitted into this area with some drilling and
tapping. Periodically shooting some high temp brake grease here would keep
that lever/pin pretty well lubed and keep any water/moisture out.
If you know something about this, drop me a line.
Any listers live near me? Northern NJ, Morris county. I do all my own
repairs and wouldnt mind a "third hand" now and again. Likewise, if you need
some help . . give me a call.
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