Disc caliper/handbrake problem - J Bonington Jagworth
Those who have had to play around with rear disc brakes that have a mechanism to allow the handbrake to pull (push?) them on may be familar with their tendency to stop working properly. Or maybe I've just been unlucky, but has anyone had this happen to their Mazda 323F? Ours is a 1990 GT, and the rear calipers are relatively new, so I'm hoping it will just be an adjustment, but I haven't tackled these particular ones before, and I don't have a manual. Any help/shared experience would be much appreciated.

TIA
Disc caliper/handbrake problem - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up)
Check that the cables are free and when the handbrake is off the operating arms on the calipers are fully returning ready to take the next operation. Common fault is to adjust the cables too tight and prevent the arms from returning properly. If they dont return fully they cannot then give full braking effort on the next application and will be more and more inefficient.
Andrew


Simplicate and add lightness!
Disc caliper/handbrake problem - J Bonington Jagworth
Thank you Andrew - I should have thought of that!

As an occasional aeromodeller, I heartily endorse your motto, too!
Disc caliper/handbrake problem - David Lacey
Ensure the rear brake pads are free in their carriers - a common problem...
Disc caliper/handbrake problem - J Bonington Jagworth
Thanks, David - that's a good point. I try to remember to 'exercise' the ones on my own car from time to time, since they don't get much use in normal driving, but my other half is gentler with her car. I shall have to borrow it more often...
Disc caliper/handbrake problem - David Lacey
It's the lack of use that is the biggest problem for rear calipers & pads - nearly every poor disc handbrake can be attributed to seized pads in carriers - usually, if the pads are serviceable (which is not often) they can be simply prised out of the carriers and the end faces cleaned up - the pads should be a free-fit (ie. able to move freely)

A small amount of copper-based grease will help durability too.

Honda rear calipers (used on Rover cars too) seem to be prone to this fault.
Disc caliper/handbrake problem - Andrew-T
DL - interesting you should say that. I fettled the rear (disk) brakes on my 306 HDi a few months ago and found that free movement of the pads was impeded by the anti-rattle springs, which were jamming the 'hooks', and presumably had been for a considerable time.
Disc caliper/handbrake problem - David Lacey
Thats why removal of the rear pads and a quick clean up is good 'insurance' at every major service!

Disc caliper/handbrake problem - J Bonington Jagworth
" when the handbrake is off the operating arms on the calipers are fully returning ready to take the next operation"

That seemed to be the problem. The cable is getting a bit stiff, and the return spring on the caliper lever isn't strong enough to pull it all the way back. Doing it manually and applying a bit of footbrake pressure seems to have clicked the internal adjuster up a notch, and it's all OK now (although I shall have to get a new cable eventually).

Many thanks for all the help. I love the moral support this site provides, too!
 

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