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Barry Van der Ende

Lubricating Parking Brake Cables?

32 posts in this topic

Ok, I've seen the http://www.evilution.co.uk/index.php?id=685 sit with the handbrake cable removal.

I can get the cable ends out of the 'Cup' but I can not pull the cable's out of the 'Lower Retainer'. I can turn the metal fitting on the outer sleave of the cable almost 1/2 a turn, just not pull it out!! :blink:

I'm hoping that I am just missing a little bit of info to get this little sucker out. ;)

I want to take a closer look at the that end of the cable, as I have NO handbrake. I'm sure the cable's are seized, not sure if they can be saved.

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Ok, I've seen the http://www.evilution.co.uk/index.php?id=685 sit with the handbrake cable removal.

I can get the cable ends out of the 'Cup' but I can not pull the cable's out of the 'Lower Retainer'. I can turn the metal fitting on the outer sleave of the cable almost 1/2 a turn, just not pull it out!! :blink:

I'm hoping that I am just missing a little bit of info to get this little sucker out. ;)

I want to take a closer look at the that end of the cable, as I have NO handbrake. I'm sure the cable's are seized, not sure if they can be saved.

[just speculating here...]

[*]Can that lower retainer be removed from the frame or is it welded on? If it can be undone, it would be easier to work on the two cable ends.

[*]Maybe the outer sleeve fitting that you were able to 1/2 turn is threaded and needs to be completely un-screwed but the threads are rusted?

[*]Maybe a liberal, overnight application of penetrating oil will help.

We will be very interested to learn what you find out about how to remove these attachments. From his pictures, TK's earlier model smart has just one hand brake cable instead of twin cables like our MK7... ?

Good luck,

Bil :sun:

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[just speculating here...]

[*]Can that lower retainer be removed from the frame or is it welded on? If it can be undone, it would be easier to work on the two cable ends.

[*]Maybe the outer sleeve fitting that you were able to 1/2 turn is threaded and needs to be completely un-screwed but the threads are rusted?

[*]Maybe a liberal, overnight application of penetrating oil will help.

We will be very interested to learn what you find out about how to remove these attachments. From his pictures, TK's earlier model smart has just one hand brake cable instead of twin cables like our MK7... ?

Good luck,

Bil :sun:

There are metal leaf spring catches on the end fitting as seen in below photo:

Posted Image

Access is rather poor from below. I once made a special tool - just a short piece of slitted pipe welded to a cranked bar handle. Got the tool somewhere in my shed but could not find it this morning. My shed is such a mess. The tool compresses the catches so cable can be pulled out of bracket. Bracket is welded on to the subframe. An alternative is prying off the catch. Better access is achieved by lowering the power pack. You will then enjoy very good access from above.

PS. My 2002 Smart Cabrio has indeed two handbrake cables but only a single hydraulic circuit for rear brakes. Models with ESP have a dual hydraulic circuit on rear.

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PERFECT!!! :) I thought I felt something up there.I stole an old make-up compact from my wife years ago for wiring an old house we had.Now where is that compact.. :P

Edited by jzuk

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I finally got the car up on jack stands and had a look at the cables. They had completely seized and I had to power them loose with the engine (my poor tansmission taking all the strain) and working it bach and forth the day before. I lubrcated the cables at their high point (up underneath the car just below the handbrake lever) with an oil can and motor oil onto the exposed cable ends. I was hoping that the oil would seep down into the cable from this high point. I also worked the cable back and forth with the hand brake lever. I did this application of oil 3 or 4 times, waiting 20 minutes between applications. I finished off by coating the expoed cable with a light application by brush of moly grease. So far I have only had it stick slightly once in past 3 months. This might have to be a yearly thing, to keep the cables lubed. Why doesn't MB do it as part of their service? Because their in bussiness to sell expensive parts and labour, not to do what should be done and what works. There should be a rubber boot over these ends to keep out the salt spray and dirt (like ones used on motercycles) but there isn't. Maybe one could be found that would fit, but you would have to fit it yourelf. MB won't do anything not factory authorized, even if the car is out of warrantee.

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So would you recommend that we should add "oil and then grease the handbrake cable" to every service interval (A, B and C), every other (say, every A service), every time we change the oil or just at a certain time period? Yearly seems like it might be too infrequent for areas that have snow in the winter as well as roads that get salted. Also very humid/damp areas should probably due it more often as well to fight off rust, correct? The more I read everyone on this forum's experiences with their local MB/Smart dealers, I am (i) not concerned about the initial difficulty of finding a repair shop in the US, (ii) grateful that all of you share your thoughts/suggestions/solutions, (iii) getting the feeling that my next car probably won't be a Mercedes since MB doesn't seem to have a habit of fixing problems with maintenance, instead choosing to fix it with "expensive parts and labour" and (d) grateful that all of you share your knowledge, wisdom, suggestions, solutions, etc. :)

Edited by briand

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