Adjusting the Citroen CX Handbrake
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  1. #1
    CitroŽn, what else? smiffy1071's Avatar
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    Default Adjusting the Citroen CX Handbrake

    This is one for Shane, Alan, or our recent tadpole Tony Weston.
    Just how do you adjust a CX handbrake? I tried to do it on my 22TRS tonight, and made a total pigs ear of it. So much so, that the ends of the cables grind against the inner surface of the wheels!!!
    Could some kind soul either talk me through it, or direct me to a web page with pics?
    john s

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    2005 C5 2.0 VTR Hdi 138, 1986 Kawasaki GPz 750G2

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Quote Originally Posted by smiffy1071
    This is one for Shane, Alan, or our recent tadpole Tony Weston.
    Just how do you adjust a CX handbrake? I tried to do it on my 22TRS tonight, and made a total pigs ear of it. So much so, that the ends of the cables grind against the inner surface of the wheels!!!
    Could some kind soul either talk me through it, or direct me to a web page with pics?
    john s
    Yo Smiffy

    I had the same trouble with my CX. I attempted to adjust from the inside of car with no luck, the ends of the cables were already digging a groove around the inside of the mag wheels The only solution was to insert a spacer nut where the cable comes out of the liner at the brake caliper, or buy a new cable.

    This information may be totaly wrong or ............ but it worked for me

    Cooch

  3. #3
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Um ... first of all ... How do i say this .... Do NOT adjust the cables !!! You only adjust the cables to get the balance point between the two front cables. On the series II cars you can just pull the carpet sides off the center console and and see the brake balancer (basically just two cable branching off from the handbrake pull... You want the cables pulling evenly.

    As you have Series I cars, I suggest you loosen the cable both sides, measure how far you can pull it through and ensure you screw adjust the cable so there is the same amount of slack/adjustment both sides.

    Now to adjust the handbrake, have a look at the handbrake part of the caliper, infact pull it apart (undo the two big bolts) and allow the brake pads (seperate handbrake pads) to drop out. I should now be immediatly obvious how you need to adjust the handbrake. The nuts on the end of the two retaining bolts are offset, you loosen the bolt and turn the nuts using a big flat blade (I find a screwdriver is plenty good enough) until the handbrake pad *just* toucheds the disk on both side.

    Once it's adjusted correctly, don't be suprised to find the handbrake slowly looses it's adjustment to the point where the handbrake is nearly verticle by the time the next oil change is due. If you spend 10minutes (that's all it takes once you have done it once) to adjust the handbrake each time you change the oil, you will never need to worry about it.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    PS: Yes the handbrake is a garbage bit of design compared the rest of the car, the DS's, GS's and BX's (after the CX) were vastly supperior in everyway including holding power and longetivity.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/citro%EBn-forum/90325-best-project-car-you-have-ever-seen.html
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  4. #4
    CitroŽn, what else? smiffy1071's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Shane, I am trying to get my head round this! I'm sure when I look after work tomorrow, it will be clearer. john s
    2005 C5 2.0 VTR Hdi 138, 1986 Kawasaki GPz 750G2

  5. #5
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    Guys,

    Shane is spot on, the handbrake mechanism really is a strange arrangement. I have found this step by step procedure which mirrors Shane's explanation. It worked for me. Hope that this helps.

    These pads require adjustment at 6,000 mile intervals.

    1. Put front of car on stands

    2. Remove front road wheels, ensure that the disc rotor is firm. Bolt if necessary.

    3. Release the handbrake lever inside the car

    4. Clean the cable passages and spring mechanism. Spray the cable assembly
    with WD-40. Make things move freely.

    5. Remove the nuts on each cable end using a 11mm spanner. Don't twist the cable too much, use locking pliers if necessary. These cables tend to need cleaning to allow the nuts to go on and off easily, this is important so do that once the nuts are off.

    6. Pull each cable, one at a time, as far down through the assembly as possible and measure the length of cable sticking out from the bottom of the assembly on each side. Record the measurement.

    7. Note the length for each side and calculate the difference between the two. This difference must be maintained when the cables are reassembled.

    8. Remove the cable and cable return springs

    9. Slacken the lock-nut (8mm??) on the top stop bolt of the inner arm, and
    screw the bolt inwards several turns.

    10. Using a 17mm socket wrench, loosen (don't remove) the bolts holding the brake pad lever/eccentrics in place. (See note at bottom.)

    11. Using a common screw driver inserted in eccentric adjust the OUTER eccentric so that there is 0.5mm gap between the arm and the pad (turn the eccentric so that it turns up to tighten against the pad). If the disks are in good condition or the pads are new this may be reduced to 0.3mm??? It soon opens out to its natural value.)

    Be sure to use a clockwise rotation on the left side cam and anti-clockwise on the right side cam (each calliper has a right side and left side cam. Right and left are determined as if sitting in the car). The aim here is to have the tab on the cammed device be centred on the brake pad so the pad wears evenly.

    Next, adjust the INNER eccentric so that there is 0.5mm gap between arm and
    pad when the OUTER arm is held against the stop - use a rubber band to hold it out.

    12. Adjust the eccentrics until the pad is touching the rotor but you can still move the rotor using only moderate force.

    13. Holding the eccentrics in place, tighten each bolt.

    14. Test the freedom of movement of the rotor again, repeat steps 10
    - 13 if necessary until the gap is correct. Each side of the calliper
    (each pad) is adjusted independently. Some drag is expected.

    15. Next add the return coil springs (not the cables) and adjust the nut-and-bolt on the inner arm so that it just contacts. The absolute key is to ensure those backstops are touching or within 10 thou of an inch of touching. This stops the mechanism rattling and moving and thus wearing the pads with the hand-brake off.

    16. When both sides are adjusted reassemble the cables. Tighten the first nut until it just bottoms out on the brake assembly. Do not lock the nuts yet, you must pull the cable through on each side to ensure the difference between sides is the same as when you started.

    Note also that the handbrakes are NOT adjusted by screwing the cable nuts further up on the cable. This is important. The cable ends can become so long that they scrap the inside of the wheel.

    Now pull the hand-brake lever on and off several times and adjust the cables again.

    17. When the cables are adjusted lock the nuts in place using the
    second nut.

    18. Apply the handbrake lever, you should hear 4-5 clicks. If more
    clicks are heard then the adjustment is a bit loose, if less then you
    must re-adjust the brakes to avoid glazing the pads.

    19. Remove jack stands and lower the car.

    20. Done!

    Notes: If the parking brake is becoming less effective you need to examine it for 'premature' wear. Remove the pad and inspect it (you'll need to remove the bolt holding the adjustment cam and shim). If there is a shiny surface then you likely have a glazed pad. Use fine sandpaper to remove the glaze (and treat the pads as if they were new for a while).

  6. #6
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Thanks Peter,

    what a brilliant writeup (I think I've seen this somewhere before ... Have you had it printed in one of the car CCCV magazines ??).

    Guys don't be surprised if you don't quite get the '4-5' clicks on the handbrake. I imagine new cables would be required. I've yet to manage to get quite that close, though I intend to adjust the handbrake tonight. I get kinda concered when I tow things with the CX that that the handbrake will not hold the towed item as well as the car (not such a problem with a caravan as you give the caravans manual brake a good heave so it can hold itself).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  7. #7
    CitroŽn, what else? smiffy1071's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    Thanks Peter,

    what a brilliant writeup (I think I've seen this somewhere before ... Have you had it printed in one of the car CCCV magazines ??).

    Guys don't be surprised if you don't quite get the '4-5' clicks on the handbrake. I imagine new cables would be required. I've yet to manage to get quite that close, though I intend to adjust the handbrake tonight. I get kinda concered when I tow things with the CX that that the handbrake will not hold the towed item as well as the car (not such a problem with a caravan as you give the caravans manual brake a good heave so it can hold itself).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    I started all this, because the hand brake pionts to the ceiling, and still only just holds the car still. Thing is, I'm going to the England CX rally this weekend, with my caravan, so this isn't so good!
    I had the wheels off tonight, and I'm going to need new cables, and H/B pads. I will get some at the rally. I did adjust the outer H/B pads for now, couldn't find the inner ecsentric cam!! I now have a better idea what to do, so when I replace the pads, I'll do it properly! john s
    PS, Shane, you are so right when you say it's a shit design!!!
    2005 C5 2.0 VTR Hdi 138, 1986 Kawasaki GPz 750G2

  8. #8
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    This procedure is a combination of a couple of postings off the yahoo site and my own experience. It is pretty difficult to get 4 to 5 clicks but mine changed from threads scraping the discs and handbrake lever to the ceiling to cables and handbrake in the correct position. I was able to use the old damaged cables by retapping the tread and using narrow nose vice grips to hold the sheathing on the cable to stop it turning. You must have eccentrics to adjsut correctly otherwise it won't work. You should find them pretty easily if you take Shane's advice to take out both 17 mm bolts.

    I think that there are a pair of handbrake cables on ebay at the moment.

    Good luck with a ready stupid piece of technology,

    Peter
    Tasmania

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