Handbrake cable replacement.

the handbrake cable had a crack so it had to be replaced prior to annual inspection if I'd like to keep the permit.

So in October 2013 I bought a new cable for $$ but to be honest... this cable is special and not easy to fabricate yourself.

This is how to do it on a GTS (S4 is very similar):

  1. lift that car to a convenient height as you need to work underneath the car for a while
  2. remove the right rear wheel.
  3. undo the Phillips screws (2 big ones) hidden in the hub extensions. Some PB blaster or penetrating oil will be required.
  4. Gently tab on the aluminum extender to move it off. It may be corroded so take your time. I use a piece of wood (oak) to hammer on to avoid damage to the metal.
  5. now the brake caliper needs to come off. There are two big 19mm (?) bolts at the rear of the caliper. They can be very tight. You may need a long extension and a deep socket. You can leave the hoses and wires on but prepare a piece of wire and some cloth the hang the caliper out of the way and prevent damage.
  6. now the brake disk needs to come off. There are two M8 (?) holes that take a bolt and the bolt can be used to create a backing force. Then gently tap against the disk to convince it to move. Carefully and evenly tighten the bolts to eventually have the disk pop off.
  7. Clean up the area. Expect lots of dust and material from abrasion. Use some brake cleaner and a brush.
  8. Undo the brake cable at the handbrake lever.
  9. Undo two 10mm M6 bolts at the cross member that hold the left and right brake cable in place
  10. Undo the 10mm bolt that holds the brake cable bracket about halfway between center and the right rear brake
  11. Undo the clip and pin at the center where the left and right brake cable meet. That unhooks the two cables.
  12. Undo the brake cable at the brake. Pay close attention to how the mechanism works as it needs to go back the same way. With a screwdriver you have to lift the brake shoes a little to release the mechanism (without removing the shoes)
  13. Undo the cable from the car. There is a spot about 20 cm from the handbrake lever where the cable assembly enters the chassis. These connections are sealed off with an o-ring on the brake cable assembly. Some twisting may be needed.
  14. Look at the end towards the brake. There is a metal tube on the cable that needs to come off and transfers to the new brake cable. Some corrosion may block it but after cleaning and with patience it slides off and on onto the new cable after refinishing.
  15. And there is the bracket on #10 that transfers form the old cable top the new one. Just slide it off.

Now fitting, and this is all in reverse order. Not so hard. Use copper paste on the bolts to prevent them from getting stuck.

Then brake testing is due. Do some first brake tests and adjust the cable. It is normal that things settle at first. Next find yourself a stretch of gravel or dirt road, and test the handbrake for evenly braking. Watch the tracks you make. If they look identical left to right, you're done.

Some pictures of the new cable:

1992 Porsche 28 GTS midnight blue


Emergency Brake Cable / Handbrake Cable Removal

Note the pics are of a RHD car - look at them in a mirror to apply to a LHD (US) car.

About 5 years ago doing an AT box and TT removal I got completely stumped by the necessity to remove the E brake cable from the lever in the car. Well disconnecting from the lever is easy but doing the research for the later part of the job it seems some folk didn't get it . Release the Ebrake lever (like you were driving away) remove the cover from the rear of the Ebrake - 3 Phillips screws then remove the spring then the lock nut and then the adjuster tube nut.

Then came the part that got me and Eric (in NZ) completely stumped 5 years ago. So stumped in fact that we removed the rear X member/ suspension etc. but left the E brake cable connected and just swung the X member out of the way. We just could not figure out exactly how the outer of the cable terminated where it went through the body. Because the ferrule in the pic below looks like it is part of the body whereas in fact it is part of the cable and just slots into the tube welded into the body. You'll have to probably scrape back some of the underseal to see the ferrule and it's joint to where it goes in to the tube.

However doing the X member TT and 5spd removal with Hilton at the weekend we figured it out with the help of an obscure comment from Dan Brindle on Nichols tips. Easiest way to get the rusted in ferrule out is to grip it with Vice grips and twist like you were unscrewing it - once it rotates a bit squirt in your favorite penetrating oil and get it loose then continue rotating and pry with a pry bar towards the rear of the car and it comes out.

Jon in OZ