Handbrake stuck on 504
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  1. #1
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    Default Handbrake stuck on 504

    Hi Froggers, any suggestoins to fix a handbrake that's stuck on
    I managed to drive it 1km back home in first. Could smell the brakes though when i got out
    Have tried reducing the thread on the cable covers under the middle of the car, but that only worked for a while. RACV said it's seized somewhere in the rear disc brakes.
    Going to get a mobile mechanic out tomorrow to unseize it
    Nickc

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger!
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    A sticking 504 handbrake is pretty common. For me, it has most often been one of the rear calipers being gummed up in the internal handbrake mechanism -- the only time it wasn't it was a kinked and rusty cable.

    Usually, you can release the lever at the caliper by hand and it doesn't require much pressure. Still, if the RACV guy couldn't release it, maybe you're up against something I've not struck.

    A proper repair of the gummed up caliper problem requires a rebuild of the binding caliper, and you should probably do the other one as well. I have been able to get them freed up just lubricating and working the lever at the caliper, but the problem comes back after a couple of months. The other quick fix is to put a helper spring at the caliper end of the cable -- the spring should give the lever an extra push. Much more convenient than getting out of the car and doing it yourself.

    Have fun,

    Rob.

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    In the short term, and to avoid the expense of getting out a mechanic, just hit the lever which comes out of the caliper, and where the cable joins on. It will go back fine without your having to bash it very hard. Use a hammer or heavy spanner, and get to it from under the car, in front of the wheel.

    Hit lever towards the outside of the car.

  4. #4
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    Thx Rob & Beano. The RACV did hit the RHS rear caliper last night with an L-shaped steel bar but nothing changed. Not sure why he didn't do both sides come to think of it.
    I'll get the hammer out at first light
    Mechanic due at 8-8.30 $73 to appear & the first 30 mins
    Thanks again
    Nickc

  5. #5
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    quite often a stab on the brakes while going backwards will knock the stuck handbrake off as well

    nothing beats a rebuild of the caliper though and it will stay trouble free for the next 20 years
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  6. #6
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    Europarts freed up the LH rear caliper last December
    Deepdene Mechanic replaced the rear pads & master cylinder last Oct
    He also Overhauled both rear calipers with new kits in March 09
    the LHS had a seized H/B Pivot (whatever that is)
    a bit of work on them lately
    Nickc

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    thx PugRambo

  8. #8
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    next time you apply the handbrake count the clicks

    should be between 7 and 13 but closer to 7 is better

    you will find that the further you have to pull it up the worse the sticking will be but once the handbrake adjusts itself again and it's back closer to 7 clicks it will stop the sticking
    3 x '78 604 SL

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  9. #9
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    Thx PR, I managed to get down the street to the shops in it just now after giving the braking a stab going backwards. It was less stuck & drivable. When I got back into the car to drive back it was stuck again but a stab on the pedal released it.
    Nickc

  10. #10
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    H/B pivot means handbrake pivot.
    There is a small plastic cap about the size of a 5 cent piece located on the back of the caliper, and which you can get to by lying under the back of the car. It was originally white but will now be a dirty cream colour. Prise it off carefully with a screwdriver...it IS plastic....and squirt some WD 40 in there. Wipe all the half-dried grease out of there (yes, grease DOES dry out after a long time.)
    Then do it again a few hours later, to make sure the WD40 gets right into the inner part of the shaft.
    Clean out the cap and almost fill it with grease. Then put a fair bit of grease on the end of the pivot it covered, push the cap back on.....tap it lightly only or you may crack it. They get brittle with age, though not quite as brittle as some other plastic parts.
    If it won't go back easily you've put too much grease in there.
    Can't guarantee it'll fix the problem permanently but it will certainly be better than before.
    Putting an extra spring on the end of the cable is best. Use a coil spring. Good luck getting the right type.......
    It is necessary to get the right length. From memory, about 4 inches. For internal width, measure the diameter of the lug on the end of the cable as the spring has to go over this.
    You will have to cut off the small washer just at the end of the cable in order to get on the spring. And they're a bugger to get on, until you realise you have to use a pair of pliers as a kind of lever whilst holding the cable with them at the same time.
    If you've lubricated the pivot as above, the spring will be a permanent fix without taking the whole bloody thing off again.
    Last edited by Beano; 22nd May 2011 at 08:13 PM.

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts Wildebeest's Avatar
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    Auxilliary spring on cable end has worked everytime for me and others.
    Bunnings have a display of coil springs to select from.

    Beano seems to have all the measurements.
    To make the spring easier to fit o'er the cable, cut the ends off the coils. This will enable the spring to be wound onto the cable.
    Give all the slidey caliper parts a good smear of graphite/Never Sieze.

  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Dieselman put the coil spring fix and photos up but they are probably gone. The number on the Bunnings springs were C-736.
    Bob

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    I'm just doing this from memory.....I'm overseas at the moment.
    Springs I used were between 3 and 4 inches, with a wire thickness of about the same as a wooden match.
    It's better to go with length than stiffness as stiff ones will ( obviously ) make the handbrake too stiff, and will stop pushing towards the end of the lever's travel. ( I challenge you to install a LONG stiff spring in there ! ).
    Long ones will PUSH more constantly, even towards the end of the lever's travel as they are still slightly compressed even when your handbrake is off completely.
    I tried to get springs ( same as my old ones ) at Bunnings a few months ago but they were all too stiff or too weak.....but I don't know what your local Bunnings has.
    It should be easy get ones with a wide enough internal diameter that you don't have to wind them on.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the advise. However, this job sounds like just ahead of my capability threshold. I think I'll get a mechanic to look into it. Not up to pulling the brakes apart. N

  15. #15
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    No need to pull apart caliper, but it may be best to get a mechanic to do it. Sometimes it's difficult to get the spring on there. I cursed last time.
    Only work needed is to release cable from handbrake lever inside car in order to get enough slack to take cable off lever at the wheel end. Once it's off, you just wrestle/lever on the coil spring.

  16. #16
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    Anyone have a photo of the spring fitted? Neil

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