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Self adjusting Handbrake

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The handbrake on my 7 was worse than useless so I have fitted new shoes and checked everything is moving as it should. Having put everything together the handbrake is even worse than before!

I have taken on a run to help them bed in but no difference.

I did find the previous owner had some springs in the wrong places & have rectified this.

My question really is about the self adjusting mechanism. Does anyone have a picture of how it should look? One piece of the adjuster mechanism was the 'wrong' way around on one side - I think? I cannot find a picture of the self-adjusting mechanism in any of the books.

Help please!



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I believe it is the same as on the Stag.

There are some reasonable images here - https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=tr7+brake+adjusters&qpvt=TR7+brake+adjusters&form=IGRE&first=1&scenario=ImageBasicHover

I've just fitted new handbrake levers on the Stag - these were reproduced via the SOCTFL initiative (reproduction of parts no longer available). Whether these are the same as used on the TR7 I'm afraid I do not know.

What I found in fitting these new levers was that it is vital that the wheel cylinder is fitted correctly and the eclip on the back holds it securely - otherwise all the leverage of the handbrake is lost in sloppiness of the cylinder. Of course all other items in the mechanism need to be in good nick, linkages greased and all adjusted properly too.

Assuming that the adjusters are working correctly I have now managed to get the handbrake to work effectively (after years of it being iffy at best) with the new parts and by using the Robsport method of adjusting the brakes. This is to push both the handbrake levers toward the backplates whilst a suitable assistant operates the brake pedal repeatedly. Whilst you are under the car pressing the levers you will hear the clicks of the ratchets being taken up.

Hope this helps.


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Well spotted Allan, I hadn't noticed that.

I believe that the first two pictures are the correct orientation - i.e. the 'point' of the lever points to the shoe and the concave section keeps the hole for the spring location clear.


Edit - I think that this orientation also presents the squarer edge of the socket into which the handbrake lever fits. I've looked and searched on the SOC forum and all the pictutres I've found so far show this to be the orientation - but I have asked the question there to be certain.

Although, from the work I've recently done on the Stag, I believe mine are correctly fitted, I might have to whip the wheels off the Stag again to make sure!

Edited by Rod1883
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Here is a good diagram from the Stag ROM, I can't see the equivalent in the TR7 ROM, disappointingly. You can see the dotted line outline of the levers showing correct orientation. I have had confirmation also from the SOC forum that the 'beak' points to the shoe.

When I do the Robsport trick - I do both sides at the same time. Not sure if that makes a difference? Are both your wheel cylinders securely located with the eclip?


Scan_20200919 - Copy.jpg

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I'm not familiar with the 7/Stag arrangement, but many cars with self adjusters have a hole in the drum or backplate so you can shove an implement in either to back off or adjust up the cam arrangement. If the 7 doesn't have this access, could you make one?


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I have just carried out the same thing as you.

The hand brake is not self adjusting, but the rear brakes are. You will need to adjust the hand brake cables to make the hand brake work. If you have a manual it gives all the details their, but it takes time to get it right.


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The handbrake's  pivoting / compensating arm in the middle of the rear axle needs to move freely for everything to work properly. The rubber bushes inside eventually fail with age and decades old coatings of grease can turn solid.

its not uncommon for the brake adjusters on the 5 speed shoes to be assembled back to front by a previous owner or garage. The result is a handbrake that just about works at the limit of its adjustment with a new cable and shoes.  Unfortunately this later compromises the ratchet mechanism as it eventually rounds off the teeth  After replacing everything correctly I rescued a slipping ratchet set that had compromised the handbrake.  I worked a fine hacksaw blade gently between the teeth to restore its function and pass its MOT.

Applying grease to the back of adjusters encourages stiction with the brake shoe's dust.  Some owners just apply graphite to the back or clean them up with a wire brush every few years.


Hope this helps

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