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Thread: Handbrake Connection.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Handbrake Connection.

    I had to take my smart to the local dealership to have it ressurected after the engine rebuild.

    The handbrake was loose, but i thought that some sloppy Merc mechanic had just forgot to reconnect the brake cables to the yoke in the subframe and so it wasnt worth complaning about as it would only take 5 minutes at home.

    While the gearbox is out, i thought id reconnect it. Its already connected. Some further poking around i found that the handbrake lever isnt connected to the shaft that leads to the handbrake yoke.

    How does they connect together?

    P.S. i had thought about phoning up the dealership up and complaining but my smart is in many, many small pieces, plus itve had my smart back well over a week which weakens my position.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Hand brake mechanism

    Below details first appeared on OnSmart forum - best forum for sound technical advice:

    As promised I am providing further details and pictures on the automatic handbrake mechanism and how to repair a seized up spring rod mechanism.

    This is how the spring rod mechanism looks. The rod had to be cut to disassemble:

    The large spring stores energy and makes the handbrake action feel softer. Handbrake becomes hard and stiff with a seized up spring mechanism. The cable equalizer part seizes up on the inner cylindrical part, see above picture. The large spring does therefore not compress as intended. To separate the two pieces you need to fit the assembly in a vice and knock the swage in at the end of the cylindrical part to remove the large washer. I drilled out the ratchet bar to 6.8 mm, threaded the bore and fitted a M8 to M6 insert. Then tig welded a short piece of 316L stainless steel threaded bar to the end of the rod. Total length of rod assembly should be 300 mm. Forged the weld area with a hammer while still red hot to avoid any unnecessary machining.

    Cleaned up all parts and assembled applying copper slip anti seize paste. You need a puller to reassemble the large spring assembly. Compress using the puller, fit in a vice, drop in the large washer and swage the end of the cylindrical part.

    The spring rod assembly fits in the Smart with ratchet rod grooves facing port side (does not fit any other way).

    How does the mechanism work?
    The long small diameter spring tensions the handbrake cables. It will not apply the brakes as rather weak. The ratchet is disengaged when handbrake lever is down. This allows the above spring to push rod upwards. Ratchet engages when you pull handbrake lever and cables are tensioned and brakes applied. The mechanism adjusts itself each time you lower handbrake lever to its rest position.
    Last edited by tolsen; 11-03-2010 at 08:49 AM.
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Looks like the mookle at the dealership has ruined my handbrake lever.

    There is a small piece of metal that looks like it takes up any slack in the cables. This metal piece has been snapped into two.

    New handbrake time

    On a sideline, the dealership (that broke the handbrake) want 44 all in for a new item, the local breakers want 40+Vat!!!!.

    I would complain about it, but how would i prove they had done it and not me...

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