00 mustang, new brakes: handbrake cannot hold car

Discussion in 'SN95 V6 Mustang Tech' started by Audio75, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. (I posted this at Allfordmustangs too..trying to maximize feedback from my forum-friends)

    So anyway, I need a hand with troubleshooting my handbrake. 2000 3.8 mustang, 127000 miles.

    For years now, the car hasn't held completely still with just the handbrake from rolling backwards on any sort of hill. I just learned to leave it in gear as well. I have now replaced the rear brake pads, and the handbrake cannot hold the car whatsoever.

    The handbrake spring is tensioned one full counterclockwise turn. When pulling the lever, it ratchets up the gear as it should. If I set the brake lever, and then pull the wheel manually with vise grips, I can secure the car.

    Also of note, lowering the lever releases the cable, but at the bottom-most tooth of the gear to the full-release setting, the cable just slacks, it doesn't push through the floor to the rear cables.

    So is the handbrake worn out? Is it stretched cables?
  2. Sounds like stretched cables.

    What's your handbrake usage like? Do you set it regularly? Do you just yank the crap out of it upwards?

    When i had my '03GT, all i needed was maybe 2-3 clicks up to set the brake and hold it solid. I had a sloped driveway and sometimes forgot to park it in gear and it held. I had the car since new.

    Yanking on the brake hard does set the brake, but also stretched the cables each time. So i'd imagine over the last 13 years, if the previous owner(s) were e-brake yankers...they had plenty of time to stretch out.

    IIRC, there was no slack in my cables.
  3. Thanks for your reply Mike. I've owned it for about ten years now and I admit I began yanking when the handbrake started slipping. Once it slipped out of "lock" and the car rolled down the hill a bit. Good times.

    So as an update, the problem has evolved..... I've replaced the three cables and everything definitely appears tighter: To a fault. If you reference the attached picture, the handbrake cannot grab even the highest tooth connected to the spring, so it does not apply the brakes when the lever is pulled. I have checked the tension of the spring, the issue is unchanged. The question NOW is why it's not contacting the teeth, thereby applying brake pressure? I have verified the correct cables were installed and routed the same as the previous OEM cables

    Attached Files:

  4. It's been some time since i've messed with a handbrake on these cars, but that toothed portion is the self-adjustment portion of the handbrake that is designed to take up slack when the cable stretches.

    If i recall, it's spposed to be holding on a tooth on the bottom, not slipped to the top like yours is. Are you able to move that toothed portion at all to "rachet" the holding tooth down to the 2nd or 3rd tooth from the bottom?
  5. Turning the wheel CCW would bring the teeth around, but would release most or all of the tension on the spring as well. Alternatively if I could get just a few degrees more CW, then it would position the teeth where they would be grabbed by the pin on the handle. I'm going to check with LMR about the front cable I bought and verify they shipped the right one. Supposing they sent a 1998 cable, it could be shorter and thus put the teeth out of alignment. Having a longer cable would accomplish the CW rotation and align the pin to the teeth.
  6. There is an adjustable cable as well. With Fox mustangs this cable is used with the self-adjuster defeated and the adjustment is made on the cable end as well.


    However, i'm all for things working as they should, so i would explore the factory cables being set up correctly first and have the system work as it should before resorting to a adjusable cable
  7. This one is resolved, everyone. I cut another notch into my handbrake so the pin could catch. Interestingly after the first pull of the handle, it was back to catching on the original Ford pins.

    As for the car on the hills, I have not tested it but going by feeling, it begins to really lock into place on the third "Click" of the release. It feels as though it has more pull on the cables than it used to.