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Hydraulic Handbrakes  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Thu Oct 12th, 2006 10:55 pm
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castrolrob
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Mana: 
bear in mind that fiat/alfa calipers are by and large complete pants.why would you change 1 s**te system for another?

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 Posted: Wed Oct 11th, 2006 03:06 pm
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arseofbox
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castrolrob wrote: its not just yours,fiats as a whole are diabolical-particularily uno+cinquecentos.assuming nothings seized then your best bet is to either space out the cross shoe linkage with metal shims,or to build up same with a couple of spots of mig.im assuming you have the self adjusting shoes(ring about an inch across in the middle of them)they are also prone to seized cylinders,when the footbrake doesnt work the handbrake efforts drop due to lack of use.not aware of any bolt on calipers that will fit but am aware of many owners that would like to!

Yes, its on self adjusting shoes...  The mig spot idea isnt a new one, but its known to work reasonably well, although I view it as a bit of a bodge myself...

Rear disc conversion isnt a direct swap, it needs some caliper mount plates making up and them mounting to the stub axle. Aside from that, most modern Fiats and Alfas appear to the same mounting centre spacing so caliper selection is fairly simple as the choice is only really limited by wheel size and (as a result) brake balancing / retardation.  Its not the most basic swap, but is by far the most effective

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 Posted: Tue Oct 10th, 2006 11:28 pm
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castrolrob
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Mana: 
its not just yours,fiats as a whole are diabolical-particularily uno+cinquecentos.assuming nothings seized then your best bet is to either space out the cross shoe linkage with metal shims,or to build up same with a couple of spots of mig.im assuming you have the self adjusting shoes(ring about an inch across in the middle of them)they are also prone to seized cylinders,when the footbrake doesnt work the handbrake efforts drop due to lack of use.not aware of any bolt on calipers that will fit but am aware of many owners that would like to!

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 Posted: Mon Oct 9th, 2006 06:08 pm
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arseofbox
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Mana: 
It was designed to bring the vehicle to a halt in an emergency yes, but due to its design, once there is any wear in any part in the system, it falls out of being capable of doing that.

Unlike most others, which can wear quite a lot before they become ineffective, smaller Fiat ones seem to wear minute amounts before it happens....

Although Im currently investgating the possibility of using a set of calipers from a car that has rear discs, as that would solve all the problems.

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 Posted: Fri Oct 6th, 2006 11:33 pm
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Weetabix
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Mana: 
An alternative would be to design something similar to HGV brakes - where a mechanical system holds the handbrake on, but is released using hydraulic or air pressure...

But why go to such an extreme ?

Surely your vehicles handbrake was designed to bring your vehicle to a halt in an emergency, and would hold it securely when parked ?

Perhaps your brakes need a thorough overhaul.

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 Posted: Fri Oct 6th, 2006 09:31 pm
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KevG
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Mana: 
I understand your point, but hydraulic oil can seep past the piston seals and the hand brake could fail. Dont forget its not uncommon for handbrakes to be left on for months at a time!

 

Kev

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 Posted: Fri Oct 6th, 2006 05:24 pm
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arseofbox
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Mana: 
Im in a quandry....

Im looking to solve the shocking handbrake situation of my Fiat Cinquecento (Dont laugh too hard! :p.  The handbrake is frankly diabolical and has always been like that!!).

I intend to solve it by altering the handbrake lever so it drives a master cylinder that in turn works two slave cylinders on the rear axle.

I cant get a straight answer from VOSA as IMO they dont appear to understand the problem. I emailed them and got the following back:

"With regards to the fitment of an hydraulic handbrake system to your
vehicle, under Construction & Use, a parking brake must be capable of being
operated using a control which is independent of the service brake and
capable once applied of being maintained in the *on* position solely by a
mechanical means. To this extent, an hydraulic handbrake is deemed
unacceptable for use as such. However, they may be used to assist the
application or release of a mechanical brake."

Hang on a second....isnt the thing that holds the mechanical handbrake 'on' the ratchet? So if I modified the handbrake lever but retained the ratchet it would be OK, yes??

Apparently not. According to MOT regulations, for post 1968 cars...the handbrake may be failed "if the parking brake is not capable of being maintained in operation by direct mechanical action only. "

How is a hydraulic system any different to a cable and pivot arm? Its still a direct mechanical action regardless and its still held on by a ratchet!

Your input would be greatly appreciated.

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