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Old 15-09-2012   #16
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Re: Handbrake Weak - MOT fail

Incidentally, as far as I know, in order to achieve an efficiency of 50% you would need to be able to lock both rear wheels against the resistance of the rollers AND have at least 50% of the weight of the car and driver over the rear axle.

This is not as odd as it seems. Citroen 2cv's have a handbrake that works on the front wheels, and my MOT tester told me it has one of the strongest handbrakes testable, I guess as basically all the weight of the car is over the driven wheels!
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Old 15-09-2012   #17
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Re: Handbrake Weak - MOT fail

lol - yes, I'd forgottten that! My late-lamented 2CV felt like it was trying to do a forward somersault if you pulled away with the handbrake still on.
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Old 16-09-2012   #18
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Re: Handbrake Weak - MOT fail

I replaced the two handbrake cables when my B failed for the same reason. It's a simple swap out.
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Old 16-09-2012   #19
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Re: Handbrake Weak - MOT fail

Hi Doc - great to see that you're still on here!
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Old 17-09-2012   #20
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Re: Handbrake Weak - MOT fail

Well I stripped the OS and gave everything a good clean and sanding down. The piston was a little tight to turn but it moved ok under braking and handbrake action. I've put it all back together and have very little bite on the disks - I just hope it's improved enough to pass MOT. I'll book it in for retest tomorrow.

I bled both rears and the fluid was a bit nasty looking, although not the worst I've seen - hopefully if it passes tomorrow, I can drive it and bed things in a little better. If not, I'll remove the rear compensators (will putting a load of weight in the boot potentially open them up a little? That'll save me a messy job)
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Old 23-09-2012   #21
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Re: Handbrake Weak - MOT fail

I ended up having to bypass the rear compensators, after which is sailed through the retest!
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Old 23-09-2012   #22
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Re: Handbrake Weak - MOT fail

Good news! So the compensators affect the performance of the handbrake too? I didn't realise that.
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Old 23-09-2012   #23
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Re: Handbrake Weak - MOT fail

Quote Originally Posted by gar074 View Post
Good news! So the compensators affect the performance of the handbrake too? I didn't realise that.
It doesn't directly, but I think the rear brakes actually doing something has cleared the pads and disks and so the handbrake bites better now. Before, as the car had been stood for 2 years, the pads were just dusted up.
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Old 23-09-2012   #24
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Re: Handbrake Weak - MOT fail

Ah, OK - that makes sense. Will you reconnect the compensators, now that you've got the MOT?
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Old 24-09-2012   #25
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Re: Handbrake Weak - MOT fail

BEEN THERE!! This is what worked for me after i had renewed all rear brake components. Remove rear compensators, take it out for a long drive 3 or 4 times, drive with the handbrake slightly on for short periods and really give the brakes a workout (on dry roads for safety). The handbrake will noticably start to improve. Mine is improving all the time, i think it allows the brakes to bed in properly. Nerevr going to do HB turns though. Blacky
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Old 02-10-2012   #26
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Re: Handbrake Weak - MOT fail

Problem with the B (and some other small Fiats, like the new 500) is that the weight distribution is not exactly perfect: meaning not a usual 50/50 but more a 1/3-2/3 distribution .
Something some of us have experienced when the engine is revving high and you suddenly come of the accelerator pedal and steer in a corner (you will experience abrupt oversteering).

This weight distribution results in a relative low rear axle pressure.
As a result of which the rear brakes have almost nothing to do since the weight (especially under braking) is on the front axle/brakes.
Due to the fact that the rear brakes are hardly used the rear brake pads tend to “glaze” a little.
Solution is to pull the handbrake lever for a few seconds/half a minute when you are driving slowly so that they warm up a little and wear of the “glazed” layer a bit.
If you do this every now and then the handbrake will work as it was intended .

Had to change my rear brake disks twice due to the fact that they started to rust (no wear) as a result of me washing the car every Saturday and the rear brakes never coming up to temperature due to the marginal brake load at the rear .

Regards,

Frank
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Old 29-06-2018   #27
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Re: Handbrake Weak - MOT fail

Few years on now since i changed all the rear brake components (not many miles though). Decided to try another adjustment yesterday and turned the adjuster at the handbrake until the rear wheels were just NOT binding. Handbrake now actually slows / stops the car on the road. Bit more confident for upcoming MoT.
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Old 26-09-2018   #28
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Re: Handbrake Weak - MOT fail

MoT passed today. Handbrake still touch and go though, just makes the pass.
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Old 26-09-2018   #29
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Re: Handbrake Weak - MOT fail

Quote Originally Posted by Frank Ginestra97 View Post
Problem with the B (and some other small Fiats, like the new 500) is that the weight distribution is not exactly perfect: meaning not a usual 50/50 but more a 1/3-2/3 distribution .
Something some of us have experienced when the engine is revving high and you suddenly come of the accelerator pedal and steer in a corner (you will experience abrupt oversteering).

This weight distribution results in a relative low rear axle pressure.
As a result of which the rear brakes have almost nothing to do since the weight (especially under braking) is on the front axle/brakes.
Due to the fact that the rear brakes are hardly used the rear brake pads tend to “glaze” a little.
Solution is to pull the handbrake lever for a few seconds/half a minute when you are driving slowly so that they warm up a little and wear of the “glazed” layer a bit.
If you do this every now and then the handbrake will work as it was intended .

Had to change my rear brake disks twice due to the fact that they started to rust (no wear) as a result of me washing the car every Saturday and the rear brakes never coming up to temperature due to the marginal brake load at the rear .

Regards,

Frank
I think you'll most car's have very front heavy and have nowhere near a 50/50 weight distribution simply because the engine is the heaviest item in the car
It's the reason high end sport's cars tend to be mid engined
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