Thanks in anticipation of being able to fix the Megane Hand-brake button.
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Thread: Thanks in anticipation of being able to fix the Megane Hand-brake button.

  1. #1
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    Icon14 Thanks in anticipation of being able to fix the Megane Hand-brake button.

    My Good lady drove the Megane Diesel back to Melbourne. She has been complaining that I put the handbrake on tighter than she does and she finds it difficult to release the handbrake some times. I just put that down to technique and didn't worry too much, she had trouble releasing it at Echuca while we were there, but it worked fine for me.

    However when she parked the car back in Melbourne, and I was unloading the car, I noticed that the whole button assembly was hanging almost clear of the handle, I pushed it back in, but there was no sign of spring tension and the button remained depressed inside the handle. I eventually use the blade of my pocket knife to lever the cap out but the rest stayed put, took a lot of messing around to get that piece out, and of course I could not release the lever even though my good lady had applied it softly.

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    So googled Megane handbrake button and found a host of hits and most of them came back to this forum and the UK forum, so obviously others have struggled with the same issues. Murphy's law of course is that nothing will be simple, as using the links back to our pages, the dreaded Resources problem made it almost impossible to access the posts. Eventually I was able to access the UK site and work my way through and find the relevant instructions. an edited distillation of those instructions follows many thanks to the UK forum

    Re: How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake
    How do you take just the grip part of the handbrake off? The button on my lever has gone in and the plastic bits inside have broken. I can't remember exactly but I think that I might have lost some of the plastic bits. Is it best if I just replace the whole lever?

    How do you take just the grip part of the handbrake off?
    Well there is a question. Not so much how do you get it off but how do you make it look good when you put it back on!
    To get it off:
    Unpick all the stitching on the back of the leather.
    slide a flat blade screw driver into the seam and gently pull it apart, the leather is glued to the plastic shell, lift the leather off the top part of the shell, bit of coaxing and pulling it will peel away carefully, if you look inside the hole where the button is you will see the shell is in 2 halves so pull leather back until you reach or just pass the front half join.
    Pop off top shell, held on by plastic tabs.
    you will see two cross head screws undo these to remove the handle completely , and all will be revealed about how crap this hand brake really is!!! was never designed to last at all.
    Mine had jumped the spring and the SELF TAPPER, yes self tapper that holds the metal lever in place had fallen out, this silly tiny spring, held in with aforementioned self tapper, is what actually operates your hand brake ratchet right back at the base of the lever,

    I will post some pictures as you have to see it! really; you do! I have cut my spring so it sits lower on the, I suppose you could call it the fulcrum, it is less apt to pop out now as it is not bending, there is a tiny hole in the plastic base shell this spring sits in, which enables it to compress, how this small hole and long spring work for more than 2 years I have no idea, the tail is too long so it bends, the base of the spring does not sit deep enough in the hole to get a proper base so eventually it bends and gives way, result button stays in, no tension on the ratchet, handbrake KAPUT!

    Self Tappers and tiny spring - Really RENAULT for a hand brake!
    Re: How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

    Just after I took delivery of my 1.6 megane 2 sedan , I stopped at a the local super market to grab a bite . When I got back in the car . I couldn’t release the hand brake !!!! the release button was missing !!!!! (lol)

    I broke the handle section open , just to be able to release it . Anyway , I noticed the release button is plastic and it relies on a small hook to keep it in ! (not the best design !) The next day I took all the little parts with me to work , and pieced it all together how it should work . Then in my lunch time I machined a billet aluminium release button . that evening I assembled everything and bonded it with a strong industrial epoxy . just have peace of mind , that that stupid plastic button won’t just fall out again !
    So it seems that it IS possible to fix, and there were a couple of Utube videos showing how the do a more detailed strip down of the whole Handbrake assembly. Really great stuff, but the detail to fix/release mine seems to be in the UK instructions above, thank goodness.

    I have put it off till daylight, but there will be some pressure as my Good Lady has early appointments for tomorrow, so I will have to get cracking at first light in the morning to see what can be done to release the handbrake and then get some fix working so she can drive the car. Laguna of course decided to pull one of those unreliability stunts where it was stalling last Friday with the engine cutting out in traffic. I didn't have time to even look at that problem, it might even be as simple as a failing battery... as in the Fuego, need to use it more often..

    Anyway finally got to access the Forum and access aidan's - Aussiefrogs, Renault Forum post post #1 of 20th of April 2017 and see a picture of the handbrake internals and that should help! Plus his directions as well.

    I'll give an update later.

    but thanks all.

    Ken

  2. #2
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    Icon14 Quick 10 minute "fix" so far so good. Next to keep it working?

    Well some encouraging news.

    I went out this morning with all tools and my Good Lady's sewing "quick unpick" tool that made it very easy to unpick the threads on the nice neat cover of the handbrake hand piece and then peel that cover back - easy then to pop the plastic lid at the revealed join and expose the inner workings. Yes there are some broken pieces of thin white plastic in the passenger side of the handle base, don't know their significance, but I could reinsert the button and yes everything then moved a little and the spring allows the button to return once it is depressed.

    As shown in the picture in previous post #1 of Aiden you can see the lever and rod system, but not enough movement to release the hand brake pawl.

    So I then removed the plastic cover at the front of the glovebox, that was quite easy to remove much like in one of the videos on Utube, that just withdraws upwards clear of the hand brake arms, you can then see the actual pawl that clicks into place to hold the handbrake on, that was working fine. I then did what one of the UK owners suggested and on the inside of the drivers side lever arm there is a plastic cover that will slide out towards the pawl assembly - easy peasy, then using his suggestion I inserted a flat blade screwdriver to the side of the pawl release rod to give it a bit more tension and voila the connection between the button in the handle and the lift of the lever was just enough to release the handbrake pawl when the button was depressed in the handle.

    So that was all it took! I have left the exposed parts, for easy access, but did replace the cover in front of the glovebox. The unit works as I have shown to SWAMBO! who is now off to her first appointment and I can get back attending to the Laguna small engine/whatever malfunction today as scheduled.

    It is a bit like the quick and dirty fix to the problem I had when the Laguna button on the gear lever broke and I temporarily used a small cable tie to give the movement needed to overcome the plastic internal button failure, I wonder if I can rig a cable tie to the Megane mechanism for that slight tweak!! too.

    To the purist a cable tie is a bit off putting in appearance, BUT if it saves a $300 immediate expenditure, that is better IMHO! Buys time to explore possibilities at the lowest cost.

    I will try and source a complete second hand working hand brake lever but the urgency is off as the handbrake works and that is what counts most.

    Thanks to those that helped and shared the knowledge!!

    Ken

  3. #3
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    Used to tape a 5c piece over the handbrake button for use in Motorkhana, worked a treat

    Maybe keep a 5c piece handy

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    Sadly that wont work, but it seems the fix is still working touch wood!

    ken

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    Icon10 Crap plastic is a challenmge...

    O.K.further update, the two cable ties I secured to the pawl lever and connecting rod, seem to enable the engagement and disengagement of the handbrake, but boy is that internal white plastic fragile and crumbly. Bits breaking off everywhere, and where the two screws hold the metal frame I can see the plastic lug underneath each is broken, so the lower half od the white clamshell plastic just floats around and I can see that the screw that secures the little bellcrank to the lower clamshell that operates the pawl release will also break off in due course and then it will be difficult to both operate the pawl that holds the brake in tension and make it difficult to release.

    Spoke to Chris Cavanagh of French connection in the hope that I could source a complete and working handle or even get a lower clamshell out of another Megane to either reinforce with epoxy and replace the existing lower clamshell - and transfer the bell crank and spring to the reinforced new unit, that then should work on for a few years or until we can get a replacement lower clamshell made out of more durable material to hold the screws and the bell crank mechanism. It should be possible to print this part out on a copying machine, as I can see a real market for those in the repair business as it should cost far less than replacing the whole handbrake mechanism.

    Sadly Chris didn't have the mechanism in second-hand stock, but did alert me to a possible source, IF the wreck was still available, sadly when I arrived they were closing early due to todays heat, but they kindly let me inspect the older Megane they had in stock, but I found the whole handbrake was gone.

    So I am on the lookout for a Megane wreck of similar age that might yield up even a broken unit that could be repaired and reinforced so the also broken lower clamshell can be removed and given similar reinforcement for use as a pattern to computer print a better replacement. I guess as other bits progressively break off the clamshell I will have to try and jury rig some other smart fix until something better comes along.

    An alternative is buy a new car and donate the broken bits to someone that likes a parts challenge..

    In my apprentice days I would have machined a part up on a milling machine out of aluminium to last forever! or re-designed the damn thing

    Hopefully a perfect handbrake unit will turn up at French Connection and save the day. Thanks Chris and Dave in high hopes....

    Getting old and soft.

    Ken

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    53-55 Banbury rd Reservoir wreckers, I went there last week and took off the clock spring from a white Meg ll hatch that still had the hand brake onnit
    John
    Александър Кристоф Шанел

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    Quote Originally Posted by 63-1092 View Post
    53-55 Banbury rd Reservoir wreckers, I went there last week and took off the clock spring from a white Meg ll hatch that still had the hand brake onnit
    Thanks John
    Appreciate that, will give them a visit

    Regards

    ken

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    Hi Ken,

    Is the plastic item complete?
    Get it 3D printed.

    David

    Sent from my SM-N960F using aussiefrogs mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by 85Fuego View Post
    Hi Ken,

    Is the plastic item complete?
    Get it 3D printed.

    David

    Sent from my SM-N960F using aussiefrogs mobile app
    That would be the ultimate solution, providing that the printed item is stronger than the original - it would also inject reality into the present industry habit of only supplying full assemblies rather than the cheap part that fails. I have already experienced that with a Megane tail light, the electrical connector burnt out, but you can't buy that separate part, you have to buy the whole unit replacement lens with new connector fitted.

    So I am sure that the lower clamshell within the handbrake could be 3D printed, you still have to peel back the leather covering to get to the shell, but my good lady suggests glued Velcro strips for easy restoration and future access. I wonder if some enterprising enthusiast somewhere is already working on the idea of printing replacements as a kit.

    Ken

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    Ken, if you don't have any luck with the Reservoir wrecker, give them a call at GRM Motorsport (or call in) where we did the factory tour, remember they were buying at least one damaged Megane to support their TCR racing, probably don't need the handbrake bits.

    Barry Rogers was the guy that showed us around.

    Cheers
    Chris.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordman View Post
    Ken, if you don't have any luck with the Reservoir wrecker, give them a call at GRM Motorsport (or call in) where we did the factory tour, remember they were buying at least one damaged Megane to support their TCR racing, probably don't need the handbrake bits.

    Barry Rogers was the guy that showed us around.

    Cheers
    Chris.
    Thanks Chris

    I had a mate nearbye check out the Reservoir place and for some reason its is closed - so that saved me a wasted trip, no sign of the megane but I have a phone # so will check that out - leave a message.

    Hadn't thought of GRM, nice guys so I guess if they could they would supply a hand brake, I enjoyed our visit there. Will ring Barry Rogers on Monday.

    Hope you A/C is working o.k with all the heat you have been having lately.? All the best for Christmas, for you and your extended family.

    Thanks for the reminder about GRM

    Ken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 63-1092 View Post
    53-55 Banbury rd Reservoir wreckers, I went there last week and took off the clock spring from a white Meg ll hatch that still had the hand brake onnit
    John
    thanks for the tip-off, the guy rang me back this morning and unfortunately the Megane left for the metal merchants on Friday "gone to the gods", but they will keep me in mind if they get another in. You never know over the Christmas holidays I hope you got all you wanted while it was there.

    Seems turnover is quite quick on some cars.

    Ken

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    That’s surprising as it had another car sitting on its roof and seemed it had been there a while and you would of thought for a while longer. Everything under the bonnet had gone and the only interior bit missing would of been the $60 I gave him for the clock spring.
    I’d take a punt and drive past if he’s open and have a look.
    John
    Александър Кристоф Шанел

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