Emergency brake slips off..

Maintenance advice to keep your Spider in shape.

Moderator: So Cal Mark

Emergency brake slips off..

Postby radionovember on Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:58 am

Ok, I've got a quick question for you guys about my emergency brake.

I've got an 82 spider 2000 and I've been having problems with the emergency brake slipping off after a while. a few months ago I even ran into my house really quick with the car running and the emergency brake holding tight and when I stepped back out (literally 60 seconds) it was rolling down the street and into another car.

Yeah, that was a bad day.

I now shut it off and put it in gear if I leave the car. But what would cause this? I've gotten under and adjusted the brake (wheels locked after 2 or 3 clicks) but after a few days, its right back to almost not working or working good for about 35 seconds and then gradually letting go of the wheels and letting it roll.

Any help is really appreciated!
User avatar
radionovember
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:10 am
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: Emergency brake slips off..

Postby rlux4 on Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:48 pm

Do you mean that the racheting mechanism under the brake lever slips?
If so, I had that problem and solved it with a 4-1/2 angle grinder and a thin metal cutting wheel. The top shoulders of the racheting teeth get rounded off and it's a matter of carefully touching up the points to get rid of the rounded tops.
Worked like a champ on mine. You could probably do the same thing with a file though, kinda like sharpening a saw blade.
Ron
Ron Luxmore
lux2n2@gmail.com
'82 2000 Spider: after 26 years between Spiders.
User avatar
rlux4
 
Posts: 4197
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:32 pm
Location: Lancaster, Ca.

Re: Emergency brake slips off..

Postby radionovember on Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:16 pm

Actually the brake lever doesn't slip down or anything... it stays in the same position i leave it in. It's more like, I'll pull the lever up, the wheels will lock in place tight, then after about 30 seconds or so the car will gradually just start rolling. It's like the hand lever is pulled up and everything works perfectly for a really short time, then (lever still up) the wheels just slowly come unlocked and its functioning as if the lever wasnt even pulled.

That's definitly a good idea with the filing of the lever teeth though.. I'm not exactly sure how that part works but I'm assuming that if it were the teeth rounded out, the lever would be falling too. Am I right in that or thinking wrong?
User avatar
radionovember
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:10 am
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: Emergency brake slips off..

Postby rlux4 on Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:55 pm

You're right. On mine it would barely catch, and it would slip off the teeth and be pulled down by the spring pressure. Being as it's mechanical, not hydraulic, I'm at a loss as to how it could loosen itself. If your pads are glazed and loosing friction it seems like it would be noticeable right away.
Ron
Ron Luxmore
lux2n2@gmail.com
'82 2000 Spider: after 26 years between Spiders.
User avatar
rlux4
 
Posts: 4197
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:32 pm
Location: Lancaster, Ca.

Re: Emergency brake slips off..

Postby Exit98 on Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:18 pm

Well, that's kind of a mystery.

From Brad Artique's website (thanks Brad) here is a Fiat Service Bulletin about adjusting the emergency brake. It's seems a little counter-intuitive as it calls for releasing the tensioning nut, then setting the E handle 3 clicks, then tightening up the nut to lock the wheels.

http://www.artigue.com/fiat/serviceletters/pdf/331-7.pdf

Might pay to start here.

I'd also check to see if the E cable is getting hung up on the exhaust or if it has slipped out of its guides on the way to the back calipers.

Oh, before any of this I'd set the brake as normal and then see if you can push the car just to see if maybe it is only a little engaged on the disc.

Could a caliper be sticking partially closed and then slowly release?

Let us know once you figure this all out.
Doug
76 Yellow Spider at the Jersey Shore
User avatar
Exit98
 
Posts: 1254
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:16 pm
Location: Wall Township, NJ

Re: Emergency brake slips off..

Postby TX82FIAT on Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:04 pm

I think there was a second part to the e-cable question. That was, will parking the car in gear hurt the transmission? IMHO no. Because the e-brakes have always been a funny thing with the cable so close to the exhaust and the general wear and tear (springs and cable stretch) I use the e-brake only when on a hill or an emmergency. Otherwise I park it in gear 1st or R and have had no issues to date on a couple spiders.
Buon giro a tutti! - enjoy the ride!

82 Fiat Spider 2000
03 BMW M3
07 Chevy Suburban
TX82FIAT
 
Posts: 1234
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 10:04 am
Location: San Antonio

Re: Emergency brake slips off..

Postby Exit98 on Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:46 pm

TX82

I've driven stick shifts my whole life, current regular ride is a 6 sp. Acura TSX. Parking a car in gear is fine and I agree with you with older cars, especally with rear disc brakes, the E brake can be problematic.

That said I always use my emergency brake on both cars. Modern stick shift cars won't start without depressing the clutch but the old ones didn't care. Starting a stick in gear with the clutch out leads to unpleasant surprises. Having the E brake on has saved my butt more times that than I'll ever admit.
Doug
76 Yellow Spider at the Jersey Shore
User avatar
Exit98
 
Posts: 1254
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:16 pm
Location: Wall Township, NJ

Re: Emergency brake slips off..

Postby TX82FIAT on Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:17 pm

Good point, I've not started the car without the clutch in but certainly could see it happening.
Buon giro a tutti! - enjoy the ride!

82 Fiat Spider 2000
03 BMW M3
07 Chevy Suburban
TX82FIAT
 
Posts: 1234
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 10:04 am
Location: San Antonio

Re: Emergency brake slips off..

Postby perthling on Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:48 pm

In my experience, over time the e-brake (handbrake as we call it) cable dries out near the exhaust and binds up, so after a while you are only activating one of the rear calipers. I've had this happen too, a new cable fixed the problem.
_______________________
Perthling
1974 Fiat 124 Spider (blade bumper 1756cc)
1974 Fiat 124 CC (same family since new)
1975 Fiat 124 CC (project)
1969 Fiat 124AC (project)
1997 Coupe Fiat 20VT (daily driver)
http://www.fiatlancia.org.au
User avatar
perthling
 
Posts: 347
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:04 pm
Location: Western Australia

Re: Emergency brake slips off..

Postby radionovember on Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:07 am

yeah, my handbrake doesn't seem to stop the vehicle at all right now... just seems that over time (like a week maybe) it becomes totally useless. that's really good though to know that keeping the car in gear to keep it stopped wont hurt the transmission cause i've been pretty worried about that, especially on hills.

doesn't look like it's caught on anything underneath but i do hear a good bit of rattling under the car now when i'm driving. i cant actually see where its coming from since i can only hear it when i'm driving the car but i'm wondering if it might just the the brake cable thats gotten loose under there.

i'll check the calipers this week for sticking and maybe even look into getting a new cable for it. all of this has actually been really good to start with... thank you guys for taking the time to help me with this! i'll let ya know as soon as i get it fixed and know more whats going on.
User avatar
radionovember
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:10 am
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: Emergency brake slips off..

Postby Exit98 on Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:10 pm

Well just remember that what's keeping the car from rolling when left in gear is the compression in the cylinders. Park on a steep enough hill and/or in a high enough gear and she'll roll.

Wait a minute, forget whatever I said. Here is 4 long pages from a Miata forum discussing and arguing this subject to death. Reverse gear pointed up hill, no reverse gear pointed down hill....ect ect. So you decide.

http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=371055
Doug
76 Yellow Spider at the Jersey Shore
User avatar
Exit98
 
Posts: 1254
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:16 pm
Location: Wall Township, NJ

Re: Emergency brake slips off..

Postby 124ADDHE on Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:00 pm

I think I may have this one; I think that if it does in fact hold for a period and then does loosen off, the only possibility I can personally think of is that one of the rear brake mechanicals are maybe a bit sticky and after the initial parking brake application, there is enough force on the one caliper to keep the car parked, then maybe over time the caliper that has not engaged begins to move from the sustained appliction of force, it would then take the braking action away from the engaged caliper...other than that, what would change once the parking brake is actually engaged?
Regards,
Keith Cox
1978 Amalgamation (74,78,81)
1987 Jaguar VDP
2000 RR HSE
User avatar
124ADDHE
 
Posts: 357
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:19 pm
Location: Salmon Arm, BC, Canada

Re: Emergency brake slips off..

Postby BEEK on Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:12 pm

one other idea, if your rear brakes are hot when you park. you set the brake, the pads will hold, once cooled they will shrink and loose some grip. its possible that only one side of your brake is working as well. i would jack up the car from under the diff. set the brake and try and spin the rear tires by hand
South Lake Machine, specializing in Cylinder Heads, from stock to performance, please inquire
352-552-6043 73 spider restoration on hold, Pending a better car from "Fiat218" :), (3) 76 scorpions southlakemachine@gmail.com
BEEK
 
Posts: 1754
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:45 pm
Location: clermont fl

Re: Emergency brake slips off..

Postby radionovember on Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:26 pm

UPDATE

Ok, so I took forever before I finally got around to climbing under my car and checking this out but I wanted to let you guys know what I found and see what your thoughts were. Just a quick recap: 82 Fiat Spider 2000, Handbrake stays in place but wont hold wheels.

I checked out the actual handbrake lever and even had someone pull the lever while I got under the car- everything seems to be moving like it should.. although it IS really hard to pull it up at all, even with almost total slack in the brake cable. Don't know if that might be an issue to look at.

The cable under the car doesnt seem to be hung up anywhere.

Image

Raised the back and had someone press the foot pedal brake and the rear wheels were totally locked down. tightened handbrake as much as possible both under the car and pulling the lever- got a little tension but then nothing. I can spin the wheels freely.

Decided to take the wheels off and noticed when I rotate the driver side rear wheel, it will move a couple inches before it locks into the normal resistance of spinning the wheel. Like the rotor spins free through the pads a little in both directions before it locks into normal rotation.

Image

The other side doesnt do it so I'm not sure if that's a factor or not. It's tight when wiggling top to bottom and side to side though.

I also took a picture of where the cable connects to the caliper.

Image

I'm still learning a lot here so I'm not sure if this looks bad or not. I'm honestly not even sure how this works right here or even how to tell if it's frozen up. WOW these picture seems like a have a lot of rusted parts in this area! Kinda embarrassing to show you guys how bad it looks but I need the help so I'm gonna suck it up.

Any ideas? My knowledge is pretty limited at this point so anything is gonna be a HUGE help! Thanks!
User avatar
radionovember
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:10 am
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: Emergency brake slips off..

Postby 124JOE on Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:04 pm

i am interested also,last summer i put on new pads and a cable
while putting the tires on i pulled the e brake it worked great
on the road test it didnt skid but rolled to a stop
after that one time it doesnt feel like its even there
when you do everything correct people arent sure youve done anything at all.
"how to post photos do a search!" photobucket/copy img code click it(copyed)then go to your post and (paste) to the post to topic or reply box. ;) joe ul1joe@yahoo.com
User avatar
124JOE
 
Posts: 2705
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:11 pm
Location: SO. WI

Next

Return to General Maintenance

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests