S3 E-Type

Parking Brake

by Administrator

The Parking or Hand brake is one of those items you rarely appreciate unless you visit somewhere hilly; then it's ineffectiveness can ruin your whole day.

On an S3 e-type the handbrake mechanisms are very difficult to get to, being almost on top of the differential.

Since I had the rear subframe out, it was the time to service the handbrake. As I stripped things down it was apparent that one side/set was heavily worn whereas the other side appeared as new - it looks like the adjuster had never worked.


Here's the mechansim as removed from the car, the housing on the lower left side contains the ratchet adjuster.


Removing the cover you can see the cast aluminium ratchet which forms the "bolt" on the end of a screw which controls the gap between the pads. The grease inside had 'set' solid - probably explaining why it didn't adjust. I had to heat the parts with a blowtorch to 'persuade' the grease to come off. Once all cleaned & re-greased everything works fine.

To help you understand the fitment of the handbrake here's a few pics of the final installation (before subframe is put back in car):


This view is looking down thu the top of the subframe; the rod running between the pads is used to pull the pads together to apply the brake (the assembly on the left acting as a lever). The adjuster inside the assembly controls the free length of the rod & takes-up wear in the pads. The gold-coloured rods are the ends of the brass fork which springs the pads back from the disk & also slowly bends as the pads wear-down.


This view is looking from the 'back' of subframe; the end of the pad holders just out-of-sight are hinged in the brake caliper.

The rest of the operating cable/lever arrangement is totally normal, however it's all difficult to get to, requiring removal of exhaust & heat-shield to lubricate/service it.

Parking Brakewayne whitaker|26 Sep : 07:20

Reply to this
hi there if i change only the rear brake calipers and the brake discs will i need to mess about with any shimms or special clearances.
the handbrake mechanisme is faulty on my e type v12
and i intende only a minimal invasion of the rear irs.
many thanks.
wayne whitaker (uk)

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