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Grande Punto Handbrake
How to remove & replace the handbrake cable.
Published by Andi9386
30-10-2016
Difficulty Level: 3

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Difficulty Level: 3

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Grande Punto Handbrake

Replacing the Handbrake cable on a Grande Punto
Tools needed:
Trolley Jack
Axle Stands
13mm Socket
17mm Socket (for your wheels)
Flat head Screw Drivers
10mm Spanner
Pliers
T27 Torque Key
Handbrake Cable
Blocks of wood
Torch or work light
Locking Wheel Bolt Key
Torque Wrench
Copper Grease
WD40
Pliers or Molegrips
Cable Ties
Ratchet

REMOVAL
Apply the handbrake (providing a cable has not snapped)
If you have Alloy wheels you will need to dig around the Glove Box to find the box with the Wheel bolt key in.
With a Torque wrench or similar slacken off the wheel bolts whilst the car is on the ground.
Position your trolley jack under the back axle, I know you're supposed to jack it up on the Chassis, but this is easier for when you put the Axle stands underneath.
Place the Axle Stands as near to the outer edge of the Axle
Gently lower the jack, making adjustments if needed.
Release the handbrake
Now with 2 small flat head screwdrivers carefully remove the centre console, place a screwdriver either side at the back & gently apply pressure.
Try not to force it otherwise the clips will break.
Once you have the centre console off you will see the 2 handbrake cables.
Release the nut enough to get the damaged cable out.
You can do it by hand or with the open end of a 10mm spanner.
Remove the rear wheel at the affected side & put to one side.
Now with your T27 Torque key, remove the 2 small bolts holding the drum on.
Once you have removed the drum place the Torque bolts back into the hub so you don't lose them.
Make a note of how the brakes are set up, I find it easier to take a photo so I know how the brakes are set up.
With your pliers remove the bottom spring & place somewhere safe.
Now with a screwdriver remove the brake shoe retaining clips & place somewhere safe.
Grab a cable tie & carefully tie it around the wheel cylinder to stop the piston from moving.
Now remove the Adjuster & then the top spring. It may be easier to remove the front shoe first to do this.
Now the fiddly part, removing the Handbrake Shoe from the cable.
Once you have the shoes off you can then start looking at taking the cable off.
There are 4 points where the cable is sitting in.
The first is a small metal clip, which stops the cable from coming out of the back plate.
The next is just above the brake pipe on the rear arm. You may need a Screwdriver to open this up enough to get the cable out.
For the next 2 you will need to slide underneath the car.
Slide in headfirst & look to your right, you will see a bracket attached to the rear arm.
With a Screwdriver pry the cable out of this.
If you're doing the Driver's side cable, the next bit is where you will need a ratchet & a 13mm socket.
Look towards the front of the car & you will see a small metal bracket, this needs a 13mm socket on & should come out easily.
Then give the cable a good yank & will come out from inside the car.
if the cable won't come out of the bracket then spray some WD40 on it & leave it for 24hrs.

REFITTING
Carefully cut the cable on the new cable.
This is where it gets fiddly & annoying.
Carefully feed the new cable into the car, you may need another person to help you.
Put the cable into the bridge inside the car & tighten the nut 1 turn, this will stop the cable falling out.
You will see 2 Rubber Bushes on the cable
Start aligning the cable
Try putting the cable into the point on the rear arm first, as this will make life easier later.
If you need to clamp it down, use a pair of molegrips.
Then put the cable into the point on the underside of the rear arm.
Now the annoying bit, trying to get the cable to go 90 degrees.
Start putting the small metal bracket back in & then you can put the cable into it.
Tighten the bracket up all the way & if the cable is not sitting flush, use a couple of cable ties.
Now time to refit the shoes.
As it's a new spring over the cable, it should be easy to slide back so you can hook the lever onto the cable.
Use a cable tie to hold the shoe.
Sit the adjuster onto of the hub
Put the top spring into the shoes & carefully move them over the hub, taking care not to bash the wheel cylinder.
Use a cable tie if needed to hod the front shoe on.
Refit the bottom spring.
Cut 1 cable tie & put the shoe retaining clip in & repeat for the other shoe.
Now carefully cut the cable tie off from the wheel cylinder.
Adjust the brakes on the adjuster
Remove the torque bolts & put the drum on.
Refit the torque bolts & get someone to gently rotate the drum.
Put your foot on the foot brake & make any adjustments you need before putting the wheel back on.
Adjust the handbrake from inside the car with the 10mm spanner.
Adjust until both brakes are even
Get someone to rotate the rear wheels & gently pull the handbrake lever up until neither road wheel moves.
Once happy refit the centre console, you will need to apply the handbrake as this makes it easier.
Ensure the wheel bolts are hand tight
Jack the car up & remove the Axle stands
Lower the car back down.
Torque the wheels up to 120NM (88LBS)
Test the car.
Pack your tools away & then it's job done.
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Old 07-08-2020   #1
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Near the M4
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There was a good video on youtube that helped me do my 07 mj cables..

I took a few pics which I should add.

2 points of note.

Handbrake area..

To lift the entire 'tunnel console' section of black plastic pockets and handbrake lever shroud

Sit in rear seat.. anc pull the tunnel console UP ..

IT Slots into front section between gearlever and handbrake



Cable supports:

These are thin sheet metal clips.. at the 13 years in service point.. you have a 50/50 chance of them snapping as you open
.then close them

Have a selection of cableties to hand


There is the cRUSTY remains of a collet: clip holding the outer cable into the brake backplate..

It will collapse as you remove it..

The new cables from ECP didnt have a retaining clip in the bags..

So a means of retaining the end of the cable should be found


On my old mj.. this was completed outdoors one dry winters evening..

MOT was passed.. with rear brake function now good

Covid means it has been untested in 6 months
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Old 07-08-2020   #2
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Near the M4
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Re: Grande Punto Handbrake

Photos show upside down..
(But open correctly..)

The cables just appeared 'dry' when I removed them.. on other cars I might lubricate from either end.. as it saves damaging clips.. and grovelling around under car
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Last edited by varesecrazy; 07-08-2020 at 13:32.
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Old 08-08-2020   #3
Join Date: Apr 2018
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Thanks: 54
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Vatican City 
Cool Re: Grande Punto Handbrake

Drum retainer screws are T30 (M6 thread), not T27. At least in the 1,4 8V (bigger drums - the 1,2 ones are smaller). Lubricate those (anti-seize) everytime you drop the drum.

To make this repair easier and adjust the brakes properly after, both rear wheels must be up (jack stands, etc.).

Most part of the job is similar to other Guides, like drums/shoes/self-adjusters.
Check this first: https://www.fiatforum.com/grande-pun...ml#post4532867 !

Ordering the linkages/cables: type your VIN into the EPER. There are 2 or 3 (or more) different sets (lengths) of cables, depends on the year, version, engine, etc. Watch out. Avoid the cheapest ones. Original parts like that are better. Replace both L/R, not only one that failed!

Inspect (this is real service/maintenance - dismantle, clean, lubricate and put back together everything) the brakes every 2-3 years (not 5-10 range or only when they fail). Remove (make a chamfer - grind, file, turn) the internal raised edge, step (or whatever you call it) on the drums, so they are easy to disassembly everytime (not catching-on the shoes). Removing seized drum is easy with two M10 bolts. Drums seizing on the hubs is a 100% proof that car is neglected (not enough preventive maintenance). Brake system in NOT "maintenance-free".
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Check the "tilt" of the cables mount/bracket periodically, take a pictures. So you can see it change over time = something is going on (wear/damage somewhere in the system). Cables often are "OK" visually and car will pass the "MOT". Doesn't mean everything is "fine". Example "Before and After" picture (old linkages on the top, new on the bottom). Ideally, it should be "straight" (not crooked much).
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Linkage retainer clips. Order new ones. If not, try to punch out old linkage out of the clip. Use some long punch, screwdriver or so. Lubricate before. New cable will click in later. Not perfectly (not tight), but good enough.
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Removing the cables. Left side (exhaust side) is more difficult (tight space). There are 3 mounting points. First one (starting from the wheel end) is easy. Pry it out. Mind how it was installed (under the hydraulic line and ABS sensor wiring).
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Next one (at rear beam/axle bushing area) is harder, less space to wiggle around with tools (screwdrivers, etc.)
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Last one is the hardest. The bracket. Note, that there is a brake line (hydraulic) attached to the bracket (at least it looks like it is). So, don't remove (unscrewing the bolt) the bracket. Remove the handbrake cable as it is (Latin "in situ").
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Cabin end is easy. It's just a clip. Pry it from under the car or pry/push from inside the cabin. Done.
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Compare old and new cables (if new ones are correct length - assuming old ones were good and installed correct way, left/right).
Cables often fail at mounting points, so it is not visible when installed. Car will pass the MOT, no visible damage, so you think you have a "good brakes". Wrong!
Mine was damaged (broken outer shield) at "one spot" only. After removing the cable, "one spot" turned out to be 3 places. So watch out.
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Installing back. Just make sure the cables are hold firmly (but not too tight) in the mounting points. You can compress, "crush" them slightly with some pliers.

Adjusting the handbrake after setting proper (small) clearances (shoes to drums) with self-adjusters, should be done with both rear wheels off the ground. Just tighten the handbrake lever nut until one (ideally both, equally) handbrake lever (at shoes) moves a bit (then back off the nut half turn). Now you are sure that neutral position of the lever in the cabin = neutral position of the shoes (which is not always true when you adjust the handbrake with only one wheel up). Done. You can "eye-ball" this or use some feeler gauge, sheet of paper, whatever.
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Drive few days, do about 100 km or more and take the roller test at your local MOT station (or equivalent in other countries). Say you want "brakes only" test (not full MOT). Ask for print (results - braking forces and differences L/R) or take pictures. Keep for future reference.
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Last edited by GrandePunto PL; 08-08-2020 at 14:04. Reason: Take the brake tests and put the results on the graph.
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