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9000 handbrake

1814 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  jp11
I can't get decent handbrake adjustment on my 97 CS. I adjust up the pads and back off just a fraction. I have correct clearance on the arm. I've de-glazed the pads. But still a pathetic brake. In desparation I'm going to buy new calipers. Is there something I've missed? I also have a 91 model with 200,000 and have no problem with the handbrake.
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My handbrake is miles better with brembo (standard grey iron) discs and pagid fast road pads. It really grips well.
Might not solve your issue though...
What about the adjustment in the cabin (on the back of the handbrake lever)?
I would check that the calipers/mechanism isn't sticking and also check the cables to make sure they can move freely otherwise all you'll do is adjust the pads correctly but either the caliper or cables could be stuck so all you're doing is pulling on cable tension and stretching it a little.

That's my guess anyway. As far as I know, the cable adjustment in the cabin is more to accomodate cable stretch than actually doing anything useful to adjust the pads?

Ignore the clearance specified in the Haynes book. Adjust the cable using the adjusters at the handbrake lever until the actuating arm at the caliper is just off the stop by a few thou. Then screw in the adjuster in the caliper until the brake is binding and back it out until the pads are just clear and no more - usually about 1/3 to 1/2 a turn. That works for me and the auto-adjust works. If there is wear in the internal mechanism it might not be possible to get a good action though.
The one thing I've noticed about the adjusters in the calipers is that they're not running smoothly. Does that mean new calipers? The lever and cables feel quite smooth, but heavy.
Something to look for if you do end up buying replacement reconditioned calipers. Check the "new" ones since the ones I got looked externally worse than my old ones apart from the paint - they were more corroded and the top part of the pistons that contacts the pads were badly corroded. From G&S, should have taken them back. Later on I also fit Goodridge hoses and one of the calipers had had the hose seating recut to too low a lower level so I had to use a copper washer to give a seal against the body. I replaced them since one of the calipers did not seem to be auto adjusting and I got fed up having to keep adjusting it.
This may help.
Just reconditioned all 4 calipers, after getting replacements from a scrappy. The originals were beyond help, as corroded with seized bleed nipples. Don't be scared by the last bit - the car spent 10yrs in the Scottish Highlands, so was bombarded with salt, then intermittently left in a garage to rot...
My handbrake was out of adjustment/getting tired, whatever. The rear calipers I got as replacements were in far better condition, and after running through the Haynes instructions, doing the cable adjustment last, I now have a decent handbrake. This took a couple of attempts to get right, with both back wheels off the ground - you really can't get any handle on whats gooing on without doing this.

The roughness in the caliper adjustment mechanism was present in the old and replacement calipers, and does not seem to affect function. Inside the caliper, there is a circlip, which seems to bind slightly as the 4mm grub is turned - I think that may be the cause of the roughness.
I presume the 'auto adjust' mechanism advances the piston in the caliper as the pad wears.... this bit was held by the circlip, and was beyond the amount of time I had for fiddling.
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Thanks for that McSAAB. You've given me new hope. Blinkin calipers are £60 each.
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