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Discussion Starter #1
Right I've had a good search through the forum and couldn't find a guide to replacing the front section of the Handbrake cable so I thought I'd create one. I'm not sure if all the vans are the same but mine is a 2001 1.9td.

After getting a quote of 65 pounds plus VAT from my local garage I decided it couldn't really be that hard and decided to have a crack at it myself. The only part that bothered me was where it vanished over the top of the fuel tank. Turns out there's nothing to worry about.

Tools:
15mm Socket (If removing Drivers Seat)
13mm Socket
8mm Spanner
10mm Spanner
Pliers.

Here's the damaged section of Cable:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6266410198/ http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/,

The new cable from VW. Despite appearances it is long enough! This cost me 16 pounds plus Vat.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6266413926/ by http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/,

Start by slackening off the bolt at the end of the cable. Then unhook the spring from the retainer. As a point of note I should have bought a replacement nut and cable end piece as well as these were in shocking condition. Being as the van is my only transport and the dealer is 10 miles away the old ones are back on for now, but they will be replaced.

[/url] http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/,

Once you've done this you can then unbolt the handbrake lever in the cab. Remove the two wires going into the switch and then unhook the end of the cable from the hook on the handbrake lever.

http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/,

Once you've done this you can then remove the gromits from the centre sections of the cable run. In the picture the fuel tank is on the top of the shot and the grime has been partially cleaned with a wire brush.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6265882965/ by http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/,

Once these are removed the old cable can be removed from under the van. This shot looks up through the top of the fuel tank to the hole in the cab floor.



Fitting the new one is just a simple matter of pushing the end up through this hole. Then the gromits are pushed back into their brackets. Mine needed some gentle persuasion with the end of the screwdriver! Once the gromits are in place I then went back into the cab and attached the end of the cable onto the handbrake lever. Remember to attach a small cable tie onto the hook. I've not shown this but I've indicated where it should go. (Mmm sorry there should be an arrow pointing to the corner of the hook, but hopefully you can make out where it should go.)



Once you've attached the cable in classic Haynes style, refitting is the reverse of removal!

Then once the handbrake is reattached I then went to the other end of the cable and replaced the nut and spring etc. Apologies I forgot to take a shot of this, but it's simply a reversal of the disassembly procedure.

Then you can adjust the new handbrake cable using the adjusting nut.

Here's a couple of shots of the old and new cables side by side:







Hopefully thats been helpfull to folk.
 

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I managed to do mine without removing the handbrake lever or drivers seat, took a bit of fettling to get the grommet sitting properly and the cable on the hook but it is possible T:
 

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Your description of replacing the handbrake front cable is very useful. I have long wanted to raise the handbrake lever and have experimented by temporally inserting a length of 60 by 30mm box section underneath the lever mounting. With this in place though the cable descends at a much steeper angle and I just could not establish whether this would cause it to chafe against anything. My T4 is a Bilbo campervan which has a water tank under the floor close behind the fuel tank and I just could not see (or feel) how the cable is guided around the corner where the floor level changes.

Your photos show what I cannot see ie that the cable passes through a white plastic or nylon bush which itself is able to rotate in its mounting and hence self aligns to guide the cable around the tight corner. When the brake is applied does the cable slide through the bush or does the bush rotate so that there is actually minimal sliding of the cable relative to the bush?

It would seem from your photos that if the cable were to come down at a steeper angle then the bush would merely turn slightly to realign itself and the cable would still not chafe itself against anything else. Do you agree?

I am aware that raising the lever would also mean that the cable would then not be long enough and propose extending the threaded section at the back of the cable with a length of threaded rod. Now it has been shown how the front section is guided will have another go at doing the mod to reduce the long stretch down to the handbrake. VW obviously expect all T4 drivers to have exceptionally long arms! I am also one of the old school of drivers who frequently use their handbrake at traffic lights etc rather than just keeping the footbrake depressed and dazzling those behind with their stop lights.

Alleygater
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sorry it's taken a little while to reply to your post, busy half term week and all that!

The white Nylon bush that you mention actually has a locating tab on the third side which effectively stops it moving or rotating. In the photo of the two cables side by side you can just make out the tab on the left hand side. In the picture of the bracket the tab locates onto the third side of the bracket. However it is elbow shaped, so gently changing the angle of the cable with very little friction.

For what you proposed I'd either be tempted to take a second bush to further change the angle of the cable or possibly move the Handbrake forward so keeping the cable in a straight line from this bush.

Sadly I'd already binned my old cable by the time you posted otherwise I would gladly have sent it to you for experiments/Butchering etc.!

Hopefully that's made things a little clearer for you.
 

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Good guide, ive just received teh front section from Brickwerks and it looked way too short, my mind is now at rest.

Question though, it appears they the plastic clip and spring at the back end of this cable has come adrift on mine (the spring is hanging down with a wee bit of plastic attached, is this available from anywhere?
 

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Hi everyone, 2000 Xreg 1.9 TD T4 just failed the MOT handbrake cable he said it was frayed, he also said you get this comes in 3parts and ours is the front part, but on enquiring to buy the man said they come in left or right. I am now totally confused on what I need any advice would be appreciated. thanks jenny
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As mudyfox has said the cable is in three parts like a y shape. One cable comes from the handbrake lever and meets a metal plate, from this metal plate two cables attach and run out to the relevant back wheel.

If it is frayed i suspect it will in the same place mine did. Best and easiest thing to do is crawl under the van and take a quick gander, it's all there on view.
 

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Thanks for taking the time and effort to not only write this up but take the time out while doing the job to take photos T: A:
 

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yep cheers for the write up, I'm investigating raising my hand brake too (what were VW thinking) my cable is frayed to bits. I'm hoping that there will be enought thread on the 3 sections of handbrake cable to give me the slack required to move the hand brake forward and up a bit. Glad to hear it was relatively cheap for the front cable at a dealers.
 

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Great post, helped me loads today. Only problem was that the adjuster nut was rusted on solid and I've managed to round it off. Anyone have an idea if I need a proper replacement or would I be okay to use a bog standard nut/washer combo if I've got one that fits kicking around the garage?:confused:
 
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