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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
... a.k.a. parking brake (not much good for emergencies in my case, and will NOT park car, either).

I am about to start another preventive strike on the rear brakes. (see related under: http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49867 )

To make it worthwhile doing this yet again, I decided to take another look at the hand brake, which is also not working, despite asking to have it adjusted and observing the mechanic while he was doing so. The brake seems to engage, but will not hold the car on even a slight incline, I carry chocks for emergencies.

I read the posts about the adjustments, and have a copy of the Haynes manual in hand... any other suggestions or things to look for? TIA as always!
 

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My hand brake is nothing to write home about either. In a way it is a wonder it works at all in that, nine months ago one cable was nigh seized. This I freed up via copious doses of penetrating oil.

The slack adjustment is probably in need of a bit more tightening, but one must be careful, not to make it too tight.
The rear shoes use an "automatic adjuster", maybe designed by the same man who did the clutch cable...So now we are really in trouble, right off the bat..
I would disassemble everything and see how well the little shoes fit in their portion of the rotor..
When doing brakes in the 60s(drum brake era), we would use oversized bonded shoes and cut drums, so the shoes had to be ground to fit..
I wonder if it is humanly possible to do the same with these shoes - but I doubt it as they are so small...
Many cars with 4 wheel disk brakes have a similar setup..
The Saab rear shoes are expensive, but last a long time..
 

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earthworm said:
The slack adjustment is probably in need of a bit more tightening, but one must be careful, not to make it too tight.
The rear shoes use an "automatic adjuster", maybe designed by the same man who did the clutch cable...So now we are really in trouble, right off the bat....
Too funny! perhaps the pads are just plain worn down, and no amount of adjusting is available? I worked on a drum brake setup like this that the mechanism would only push the shoes out so far, no matter how well adjusted the mechanism was, they just wouldn't go too far. Saves the drum I suppose. I'm not familiar with the Saab though having never taken it apart.

earthworm said:
The Saab rear shoes are expensive, but last a long time..
Unless somebody accidentally drives with it engaged!

Tboy
 

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A good point you have made, TBoy; some precision measuring may be in order here..

My shoes were at about 0.125" and more when last checked; normally 0.063 is the limit for regular shoes.
This reminds be of the old Mercedes; the handbrake was not working at all, when I checked the shoes, there was NO lining left at all, nothing, na-na, zilch..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
earthworm said:
My hand brake is nothing to write home about either. In a way it is a wonder it works at all in that, nine months ago one cable was nigh seized. This I freed up via copious doses of penetrating oil.
That sounds like a good bet. Where was this applied, the guides near the wheel, back of wheel at the return spring, somewhere else???
 

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Hi. The rear shoes do noy use an automatic adjuster. Well not in the ng900 don't know about the 93.

The reason for this... Due to the handbrake not actuating the rear calipers the shoes that are inside the top hat of the rear disc get very little 'wear use'. By this i mean that the hand brake is applied when the car is stationary. So the shoes grab and no rotational wear takes place. So in theory the shoes should last the life of the car.

My handbrake on both my 900's was very good. On my old car now written off the car jumped off the rollers on its annual brake MOT test.

The adjustment procedure is a pain but easy once you get into it.

See here

My post on how to do the adjusment is 4 down.

Follow this and all will be well.

Dead :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dead Centre said:
...The adjustment procedure is a pain but easy once you get into it.

See here

My post on how to do the adjusment is 4 down.

Follow this and all will be well.

Dead :D
I am aware of the adjustment procedure, but it is good to have your description, thanks. I wish it were that easy. Earthworm was close to the right answer when he posted:

earthworm said:
My hand brake is nothing to write home about either. In a way it is a wonder it works at all in that, nine months ago one cable was nigh seized. This I freed up via copious doses of penetrating oil.
The Driver-side cable has almost no movement in it with the handbrake lever released. I freed the driver side cable from one guide where it was rust bound by pulling with both hands, and don't see any other spots where it is stuck, but still not much slack in the cable or movement at the junction of the cable, return spring, and lever protruding from the back of the plate behind the wheel. The parts aI can see are loose, but not moving much on that side.

(I have the dual cable setup with equalizer bracket.)

Driver side rotor does not spin freely even with handbrake released, you feel it binding, probably on the handbrake shoes. Neither rotor is completely locked with handbrake applied.

Still a bit confused about what is going on here, or what exactly is stuck and where.

My guess is that the cable stuck due to salt and rust, and the brake shoes probably wore on the inside of the rotor. No telling until the rotor is off... which I can't do until I manage to get the brake line nut loose... I suppose I can add handbrake shoes to the list of parts for my upcoming rear brake rebuild... :roll:
 

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PMI said:
which I can't do until I manage to get the brake line nut loose... I suppose I can add handbrake shoes to the list of parts for my upcoming rear brake rebuild... :roll:
Hi.

The rear nuts on any car are a total mare.
You need to get a pair of these.....



Do you see the cut out shape in teh jaws. This is designed to lock onto a soft alloy nut or bolt and grip it on three sides. This is to stop any roundind off.

They will spin off with a pair of these baby's.

Full description here

:D

Dead
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dead Centre said:
... Do you see the cut out shape in teh jaws. This is designed to lock onto a soft alloy nut or bolt and grip it on three sides. This is to stop any roundind off.
I like it! I tried an open wrench just for size, and the nut is pretty rusted. Could hardly get the wrench on. Did not have a 10-mm flare nut wrench on hand at the time. Are you sure there is room for those?
 

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I completely removed that seized handbrake cable, PMI.

Some spots of the sheaving were worn thru by the rear suspension tube. It should have been secured and protected better at the factory..The old 93/95/96/97 was a much better design..
Anyway, water finds its way into the cable and rust and then seizure results.
It was not really that bad, after 3 weeks of using a good penetrating oil and exercise, the cable was 90% as good as new.
Removal was rather easy, reinstalling was difficult as I had forgotten how she was routed... lol lol
The car is a '96 900S, the '97 routing seems a little different and better.. And I was spoiled rotten by the ease of adjusting the old handbrake(either Saab or VW)..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
earthworm said:
...It was not really that bad, after 3 weeks of using a good penetrating oil and exercise, the cable was 90% as good as new. Removal was rather easy, reinstalling was difficult as I had forgotten how she was routed... lol lol
3 weeks!!! Obviously, I have little to complain about taking the same set of rear brakes on the same car apart four times for three different problems... See pics of the part that was rusted solid in the guide.

Part of the problem is the rubber sleeve that is supposed to protect the metal bushing from rusting cracked and slipped off. I show it pulled back even further to see the cable better.

Doesn't the cable go over the fuel tank, so to replace it you have to drop that an inch or two?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
good news/bad news...

The caliper brake line came loose well enough with a couple doses of PB Blaster (10-mm flare nut wrench). Did not even have to resort to Vise Grips or any other instruments of medieval torture... Caliper bolts, even easier. No worry about rounding off a 3/4-inch (19-mm) bolt. Same with the rotor set screw (T40).

The bad news:

Lots of rust, limited motion in the "expander mechanism" (what the Haynes manual calls it) and lever. Handbrake shoes completely shot on the driver side wheel. Deep groove worn on the inside of the rotor.

Not sure what came first, stuck cable or rusted brake, but I take back what I said about the shoes not wearing, one was so bad it came apart in my hand.

To be fair, I was told a year ago to not even bother with the adjustment and tear the brakes down. Adjusting the parking brake was twenty bucks with rotating tires, a tear down was 2-3 hrs of labor plus parts...

Still not quite sure how this happens, but apparently common after 8-10 winters of road salt. News to me. Pics taken and will be posted if anyone cares. Any suggestions on what else to lube or replace are appreciated.
 

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PMI, there is some room available to snake the cable above the fuel tank, so no drop necessary.
My cable rubber ends are also shot, I wonder if the dealer carries them ??
Ha ! lol lol lol !
Back in the 60s, cars were lubed every 1 to 3 thousand miles;Forty years later, people can't be bothered with this - which is wrong..

We had to use CRC on the rear brake adjuster threads and anyplace there was metal to metal.
Back the, the 3K service was $4.50, plus any oil and filter,of course,, and a fair amount of work (adjust brakes, clutch, lubricate, change oil and filter, inspect, check fluids, lights..)
The adjustments were so easy to do, Saabs were easy, very easy to work on...Two minutes to check and adjust the clutch, 5 minutes or less with the brakes..
VWs were also quick and easy - good thing to, the times were tight..
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The rubber sleeves look like they come with the cable, but I have not seen a new cable yet. I am just glad I did not bust the brake line, or hit the bleed valve with a hammer. Little tiny bits next to 3/4 inch bolt heads, with metallic brake dust, hydraulic fluid and penetrating oil... my favorite place to play weekend mechanic.

Any idea what's up with these brakes? I don't want to do it all again in 6 months because I missed the original part that went bad, or worse, did not order it.
 

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IMO, this is a case of 10 years of road salt on top of ten years of age..

Simply re-assemble so that they work and are secure.
Take before and after pics, as the ones in the Haynes manual 9,9 are marginal at best. We can look at these and determine if there are any miscues...
Also measure the "drums" (the rotor hat)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
earthworm said:
IMO, this is a case of 10 years of road salt on top of ten years of age..

Simply re-assemble so that they work and are secure.
Take before and after pics, as the ones in the Haynes manual 9,9 are marginal at best. We can look at these and determine if there are any miscues...
Also measure the "drums" (the rotor hat)
Not sure what to measure, say again pls??? The shoes wore a groove into the drum so deep I had to work hard just to back the adjuster out far enough to get the rotor off. It was stuck on what was left of the shoes... :(

9,9-3 is not necessary. If you can't rotate a rear bearing on this or any other car with the rotor alone, and smoothly, something is wrong (like hand brake sticking!)

You can't really suspend/hang the rear calipers (Haynes 9,9-12) like the front because they are on a hard line (with that 10 mm nut that had me worried).

The rubber line has to be clamped, otherwise brake fluid will leak from the loosened union nut at the caliper.

The caliper will pivot on the nut like on a door hinge, but not bend back, up or down. I left it on, propped on a cardboard box at the same level, but my guess is I will take them off to work on the brake shoes.

I think the expander is stuck or rusted. I should probably have at least one new one, or a lot of PB Blaster. The hold down pins don't look too good either. I have to order the shoes, they cost $100 at the dealer and only $40 online. Not happy to be spending two evenings on a hand brake, but can't say I wasn't warned...
 
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