HANDBRAKE NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR TEST (Page 1/3)
Darthscooby1001 NOV 22, 12:08 PM
Apologies for the new topic on an old subject, but I am having a serious problem with my 87 Fiero GT’s handbrake that I am hoping someone may be able to help with and I don’t see any other specific topic here. My car had its biennial inspection last month and was only at fault on the handbrake. I needed new callipers as the levers were sticking, so I replaced them straight away. I took the opportunity to replace all 4 discs and pads but not the handbrake cables, as I previously replaced the back (left and right) cables in 2017 and the front cable earlier this year. Having read up on everything handbrake related I could find, I carried out adjustments and fine-tuned the brakes/handbrake the best I could, but still no joy. It should be noted with the handbrake applied, I am unable to move the car an inch, but the Test Centre can move the wheels on their modern roller machine.

Having given up, I reluctantly sent my car to the garage for the mechanics to repair, something I swore I would never do again. Of course, the first thing the garage wanted was 3 new cables…. I just went ahead and ordered them and passed them to the garage. A week later, expecting the car to be finished with a new MOT Test Certificate (TÜV for Germany), the only thing they seem to have done is fitted the 3 new cables then given up themselves! Oh and of course produced a bill for €130 for that privilege.

So, I have an excellent car that I am unable to drive with all new brakes, all working but no Test Certificate until I find a way for the 80s technology handbrake to better lock.

I am open to suggestions please!

Patrick NOV 22, 12:54 PM

Have a look at Parking & Rear Brakes in The Ogre's Fiero Cave.
PK NOV 22, 01:05 PM
Hello there,

Do you know what the minimum efficiency rating is in Germany?

The efficiency calculation will involve the weight of the ve-hickle. Worth checking they are using the correct weight.

We have to pass a similar handbrake test in the UK and I have to be meticulous with brakes and cables to pass.
Dennis LaGrua NOV 22, 01:07 PM
That's just a parking brake. They hardly ever work well. I've never seen one on a Fiero that was more than mildly effective. I have no idea what the state inspectors expect to see.

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" THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Spintech/Hedman Exhaust, P-log Manifold, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, Champion Radiator, S10 Brake Booster, HP Tuners VCM Suite.
"THE COLUSSUS"
87GT - ALL OUT 3.4L Turbocharged engine, Garrett Hybrid Turbo, MSD ign., modified TH125H
" ON THE LOOSE WITHOUT THE JUICE "

PK NOV 22, 02:09 PM
Here they expect to see a min of 16% (from memory) efficiency...else your handbrake does not meet the minimum standard...and your car is deemed unroadworthy.

Dennis LaGrua NOV 22, 02:16 PM

quote
Originally posted by PK:

Here they expect to see a min of 16% (from memory) efficiency...else your handbrake does not meet the minimum standard...and your car is deemed unroadworthy.



Isn't it great to have to ask permission of government in order to drive your own classic car? I guess that they believe that its not your property but theirs.. Here in my state of NJ any any automobile 25 years or older is completely exempt from state inspection. Glad that I don't live overseas.

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" THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Spintech/Hedman Exhaust, P-log Manifold, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, Champion Radiator, S10 Brake Booster, HP Tuners VCM Suite.
"THE COLUSSUS"
87GT - ALL OUT 3.4L Turbocharged engine, Garrett Hybrid Turbo, MSD ign., modified TH125H
" ON THE LOOSE WITHOUT THE JUICE "

theogre NOV 22, 02:33 PM
Vehicles made for U.S. and Canada markets are never make to be an "Emergency" brake, Not even for the them.
Federal Test Standards, FMVSS/CMVSS 571.105 and 571.135, only test for Holding a Parked car Up and Down given % Grade of Incline for 5 minutes. 105 is 30% grade covers all before around 1996 models. 135 is 20% after 1995.

That should give you a better test beyond can't move brake on while parked.

You might have a iffy lever causing hard to apply the Parking brakes...
Rust etc in pivots will eat user effort to pull on the lever.
GM "spec" is pull lever 9 clicks Max but never say min/max Force needed. If you pull more clicks then angle is likely "wrong" for you hand and arm and can't generate enough force.
That "spec" is from Fiero FSM Brake section. I've read entire brake section in several FSM and never find Lever Force.
FMVSS 105 is 90 lb Max for hand operated but many Users can't manage that much force w/ one hand.

Note that above Fed standards and tests are after other tests for brakes including the brakes are "Broken In" during the process. So... If you test the Parking Brake function with new pads/rotors/both and don't "Break in" those parts then can fail for this reason. In normal driving can take a weak or more to fully bed the pads to the rotors.

Look up MOT/TÜV force needed and put a scale on canter of handle then pull the scale then test. You want it to work w/ less then max allowed.

Plus just how you replace rear calipers can matter...
Rebuilt by you, shop, or even a "factory" somewhere often have problems. Many shops and "factories" often reused old piston or "Rebuild" them was never design to rebuilt. Only Some use New Pistons.

Pads can matter to. Harder pads can take longer to bed. "Race" pads often need higher heat to work right even for normal driving.

My guess the Current MOT/TÜV test won't many pass older cars make in/for the EU markets either. I know that UK MOT has "Updated" rules there to fail more cars earlier this year.
IOW Is design to fail them so you force to spend more to fix or simply junk them.

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Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.
(Jurassic Park)


The Ogre's Fiero Cave

[This message has been edited by theogre (edited 11-22-2019).]

cvxjet NOV 22, 03:06 PM
I would suggest making sure your pads are well seated/bedded, then you can jack the back of the car up- make sure the rear wheels turn easily and then adjust the parking brake until it just starts to have an effect on the wheels rotation. If you have only a short distance to drive the car to go to the inspection, this may work well ....Later, after you have passed, back off the adjustment so your brakes are not dragging at all.

And Dennis, I get your argument, but here in CA we don't have any vehicle safety inspections- I can tell you that 20% of the cars on the road aren't safe (Probably 10% are not even worthy of being scrap metal!)...There is a balance- rarely met by any govt!
Patrick NOV 22, 07:42 PM

quote
Originally posted by cvxjet:

...you can jack the back of the car up- make sure the rear wheels turn easily and then adjust the parking brake until it just starts to have an effect on the wheels rotation. If you have only a short distance to drive the car to go to the inspection, this may work well ....Later, after you have passed, back off the adjustment so your brakes are not dragging at all.



That's exactly what I did to get my '88 Formula to pass the BC provincial inspection when I brought it up from Washington State. The parking brake had to hold on a steep hill, and it (finally) did after I adjusted the parking brake to be dragging.
Spoon NOV 22, 08:59 PM
I know this is still a hydraulic approach rather than a cable setup but a little imagination and some common tools and no one would know. Yes hydraulic systems can leak down but you only have to pass a park brake test which takes (x) minutes or less.

https://www.amazon.com/Hydr...ativeASIN=B07MYZWVY2

Plan (B) More like modern vehicles.
https://www.amazon.com/-Sto...ativeASIN=B00QL3JKKQ

Spoon

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"Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne." - Kurt Vonnegut