505/604 handbrake efficiency
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default 505/604 handbrake efficiency

    I took my 604 for an MOT test today and failed, though not badly.

    The car has not had an MOT since 1997 I think.

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    It has 505 rear calipers and some brake pads that I found lying around.

    The most difficult point (I think) is that the handbrake scored 14% efficiency and it need 16% to pass. The rear brakes work fine on the foot pedal, which is odd given that the handbrake and the foot brake use the same piston to press on the same pads.

    That said I don't remember my previous 604 handbrake being very impressive either. Is it the combination of 604 handbrake lever/cables and 505 calipers? The levers are all well greased with red brake grease and there is no sign of sticking. They just don't stop the car.

    any ideas?


  2. #2
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    i can tell you that under australian design rules the handbrake on a 604 is not supposed to be able to stop the car

    you may need to delve further into your countries design rules to see if they are similar
    3 x '78 604 SL

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    How did he test it?

    My experience was that my tester (who worked for a garage that didn't do repair work) was happy to yank on it as hard as he could, but would also use the foot brake to get the braking force up and then see what the handbrake would hold. Obviously you need a sympathetic tester for this approach.

    I'd have a look at local forums, there's likely to be more experience in getting handbrakes up to scratch.

    My 504 ute camper had a couple of masses on the VIN plate, 2500kg for which the handbrake would often be marginal during the test and 1350kg which it would pass with flying colours. At the time (don't know about now, I only experienced the computerised MOT system once) he could fiddle with the vehicle mass that went into the system, do you know if the tester used the correct weight?
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  4. #4
    1000+ Posts Wildebeest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pugrambo View Post
    i can tell you that under australian design rules the handbrake on a 604 is not supposed to be able to stop the car

    you may need to delve further into your countries design rules to see if they are similar

    Wot 'e said.
    In my humble opinion they are a parking brake only.

    Did anyone notice the wording on the report. "If this vehicle is left at the testing station, [read money grubbing repair shop] no charge will be made for retesting."

    The alternative take the vehicle back [after you have fixed everything yourself] you will suffer a re-test fee.

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildebeest View Post
    Wot 'e said.
    In my humble opinion they are a parking brake only.

    Did anyone notice the wording on the report. "If this vehicle is left at the testing station, [read money grubbing repair shop] no charge will be made for retesting."

    The alternative take the vehicle back [after you have fixed everything yourself] you will suffer a re-test fee.
    true

    it is actually ADR37 from memory and 504/505 are also in the same boat

    the handbrake is to hold the car not to be used or designed for an emergency brake
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x 2018 3008

    1 x 2000 Citroen XM,

    1 x '98 306 GTi6 sadly sold

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! Uffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildebeest View Post
    Wot 'e said.
    In my humble opinion they are a parking brake only.

    Did anyone notice the wording on the report. "If this vehicle is left at the testing station, [read money grubbing repair shop] no charge will be made for retesting."

    The alternative take the vehicle back [after you have fixed everything yourself] you will suffer a re-test fee.
    The wording of the form is not chosen by the garage performing the test. All MOT fails from any garage will look like that. It would seem like the regulations have changed though from when I went through an MOT and I agree that those regulations would encourage garages to be overly zealous in identifying problems.

    There are plenty of MOT testing stations that do not undertake repairs and hence have no incentive to create business. It's a pity dieselnutjob is west of the city as I would have recommended the Greenwich Council testing station who I found to be very reasonable to deal with.

    The MOT test specifies that for a given vehicle mass, the vehicle's brakes and parking brake should be able to provide a certain percentage of braking force which is calculated from a formula and measurements of the braking force when the car is put on rollers. I last experienced an MOT test 5 years ago so my memory could be a bit hazy but the handbrake doesn't actually stop the rollers when tested. It's not really something that can be argued with, you either pass or fail regardless of how the vehicle was manufactured.

    The UK doesn't really have ADRs as we have them.
    Last edited by Uffee; 29th September 2011 at 01:46 PM.
    504 GL Coupe '73 Silver
    504 GTDT Pickup Mini-Motorhome '83 Coral Red
    407 HDi Sedan '05

  7. #7
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    that's still relying on the handbrake to be an emergency brake which the 504/505/604 system isn't designed for

    it's ok on drum brake models but the disc brake models are not designed to do as the brits seem to want them to do

    sure they will apply some resistance when applied as the car is rolling but asking it to show any dramatic decrease in a cars speed is ridiculous

    in aus if the number 37 is on the compliance plate then the handbrake is an emergency brake system, if the number isn't there then the handbrake is to hold the car only

    i'll double check the numbers when i get home
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x 2018 3008

    1 x 2000 Citroen XM,

    1 x '98 306 GTi6 sadly sold

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0

  8. #8
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    Actually that particular MOT test station don't charge anything unless the vehicle passes, so there is no incentive for them to fail it. I thought he was pretty lenient to be honest as there were a couple of things I was expecting a fail on that he passed.

    The wording on the document is standard UK government wording.

    To test the brakes they stick it on a set of rollers and two big analogue style dials swing around as they apply the brakes. I have no idea what 16% means (as in 16% of what?). Maybe the rollers are weight sensative and so it means 16% of the weight applied? They don't seem to enter the weight in or anything and the brake tester didn't look computerised.

    If it is weight sensative maybe I should totally empty the boot, and take the spare wheel etc out of there. That would increase the percentage.

  9. #9
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    how old are the pads in the rear ?

    i have found that new pads will make the handbrake work better for a short period
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x 2018 3008

    1 x 2000 Citroen XM,

    1 x '98 306 GTi6 sadly sold

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0

  10. #10
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    they are brand new but the discs had surface rust as the car has been in a barn for 15 years
    maybe the pads are now choked with rust particles?

    these are the UK rules
    http://www.ukmot.com/3-10.asp

    the MOT tester suggested that if I drive it around a bit and I'm a bit brutal with the brakes it might improve them enough to pass.

  11. #11
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    ok I think I might have found the answer here:-

    http://www.motuk.co.uk/manual_370.htm
    "Class 4, the ATL system has a facility to automatically weigh the vehicle and the presented weight will be used for the brake efficiency calculations."

    So if I empty the boot making it lighter then the same brake force will result in a higher percentage reading

  12. #12
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    It passed the MOT last night. The handbrake does seem more effective now. The tester told me that his rollers aren't weight sensitive.

    Someone on another forum told me to make sure that the arms on the calipers were fully "off" and then press the brake pedal really hard. Apparently this adjusts the pistons out as far as is possible. Also I gave the handbrake a bit of abuse on the way to the test.

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