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T O P I C    R E V I E W
OWENPosted - 16 Apr 2019 : 21:35:33
No handbrake, even fully adjusted, shoes not worn and drums not worn. I'm going to try putting some weld on the levers where they go through the backplates to compensate for wear on the linkage.

Looking at it, I'm having trouble understanding how it's meant to work. The cable pulls the lever forward, it bears against the backplate and the other end of the lever moves rearwards, thus operating the rear brake shoe. So far, so good, but what about the front shoe? I would have expected the mechanism to push that forward as well but it looks like it doesn't. Am I understanding it correctly? The handbrake only operates the lower part of the rear shoe?
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
andydeans3Posted - 12 May 2019 : 23:43:32
Malbrad has new drums but ooooo, 234 each.....
Phew that was sore, just to say the number, and I don't even want to think of the price for 2.

I got my car back from the garage with a nice shiny new MOT, and a handbrake that seriously stops the car.
The new cables fixed the problem.
New levers, and shoes had been fitted previously.

The chap at the garage said I will need either new drums, or extended adjuster wedges at some time in the future.


1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
1991 Nissan Figaro
OWENPosted - 01 May 2019 : 21:41:57
I finally got the rear brakes finished today. New cylinders and new rigid pipes connected to them. New handbrake levers from Malbrad. I couldn't justify paying 15 each for longer SS wedges so I got some cheap MG mild steel wedges and got my welder to add 2mm to them. When I measured the diameter of one drum it was 213mm so I used the longer wedges for that one. The other was 205 so I left the original SS wedges in that. Both adjusted up fine so I've finally got working brakes and handbrake.

I still can't believe the 213mm dimension so I'll double check and replace with a good secondhand drum if necessary (and replace the long mild steel wedges at the same time).

Malbrads' replacement handbrake levers seem thicker than the originals and don't give you any play when reassembling. I found the best method was to get the lower spring in place, get the shoes located in the piston and handbrake lever and then insert the top spring and locate the shoes in the top adjuster.

andydeans3Posted - 30 Apr 2019 : 10:14:19

I see that it is wrong in the photo, but I'm pretty sure I re-assembled it, with the new shoes, and springs and levers, as per the diagram.
I could lock the hubs at 3 clicks. I put bolts in and used a breaker bar to try and turn the hubs, and they were solid.
However when I tried applying the handbrake when rolling along at a very low speed, it was obvious that it was not really stopping the car, sort of slowing it down at best. I'm therefore not surprised that it still could not pass the test.


I'm away on holiday tomorrow to the Western Isles, so I've just left it with the garage, given them the new handbrake cables and asked them to get on with it.
I got the actual cables moving nicely with oil and grease.], but I was not able to fit my new cables, due to the old outer sheaths being hopelessly corroded into the stops on the axle. I have no heat source, the garage has an induction heater!!!

I need the car for Swedish day weekend 11th/12th of May!

1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
1991 Nissan Figaro
72sonett3Posted - 30 Apr 2019 : 05:31:11
The lower spring, the side with the extension that presses down on the hand brake lever, should go through the round hole, not the rectangular slot. The difference is minimal but maybe just enough...
See the workshop pic

(this is the right side, left side is mirrored)

'72 97
'77 96L conv.
'79 96GL (LPG)
'83 900i (LPG)
'95 900SE conv.
'99 9-3T
andydeans3Posted - 29 Apr 2019 : 12:48:22
Ah, now I understand what you mean.
Neither the shoes that came out, (that you can see in the photo), or the new shoes that went in have a cut out like that.
I think on the photo, there may be some grease there, that gives that impression.
Just had the car re-tested, and the hand brake still is not up to scratch. That's with new actuating arms and new shoes. Because I can't get the old handbrake cable out of the slot on the back axle, I simply got the old cables moving, oiled and greased them, till they were slipping nicely.
Perhaps they are stretched now beyond their elastic limit. I don't know.
I am now going to get the garage to fit the new cables, since they have an induction tool to heat the slot, and get the old cable out.
I'm also going on holiday to the Western isles day after tomorrow, (in a different car), and so don't have any more time to faff with it.!!
I will report back.


1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
1991 Nissan Figaro
chris steedenPosted - 29 Apr 2019 : 09:51:35
Hi Andy, Sorry about my hasty drawing but I refer to the image circled in green. I have drawn the brake shoe pulled away
from the piston in both cases to highlight the difference. I would have thought the lower drawing should apply to your vehicle.

If I've got it wrong then sorry. You are correct about the shoes being on the wrong way around
on the photo/depiction imo.
andydeans3Posted - 29 Apr 2019 : 08:29:16

Still not quite getting what you mean, but I should say that the shoes that you see in the photo, are the ones that WERE fitted, I have fitted new ones, though, since I can't see the detail that you are referring to, I'm not sure if the new ones are different. I certainly got them from Malbrad, and he lists them as for V4 or 2 stroke....

On a slight tangent......
In that thread from Rannsachair, with the photo of the brake shoes, which show the right side, I think the shoes are on the wrong way round. If you refer to the diagram from 72Sonnett below (marked "rechts" ie right), the back -left- shoe, that has the handbrake arm connected to it, (that has the cable on it), should be on the shoe that has brake lining all the way to the top.
It's clearly fitted to the shoe whose brake lining does not go right to the top.
Whether it makes any difference which way the shoes are fitted, I am not sure.....

1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
1991 Nissan Figaro

1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
1991 Nissan Figaro
andydeans3Posted - 29 Apr 2019 : 08:26:11
.... Sorry double post!
DerekPosted - 28 Apr 2019 : 23:38:33
I think I would agree with Chris. Scroll down to the end of this thread.
Shoe ends should be flat or just with a bit of a curve and rest squarely in the brake piston notches. The curve helps to align the shoes. I think the ones you have had longer piston ends that had a longer deeper notch, rounded off, that straddled the shoe.
andydeans3Posted - 27 Apr 2019 : 18:16:18
Well I had another look today, and can say that as per Steve Bod's drawing the handbrake actuating levers are more at 1 O Clock, than 11 O'Clock, with the handbrake off.
If I'm not mistaken that usually is a sign of wear in the actuating lever system, but mine are new, never been used, bought at the autojumble at the SAAB festival in Trollhatten, in 2015.
Brake shoes are also new.
Chris - I'm not sure exactly what you mean when referring to a round cut out in the shoe. I can only say that the new shoes came from Malbrad.

Owen - Remember the photo shows the arrangement when I first removed the hubs. ie I had backed the adjuster right off, in order to be able to remove the drums.
I did not measure the ID of the drums. Something I will do if I have to take it all apart again, ie if it fails the re-test.

I have had the wheels off again today, and tightened the adjusters to bring the shoes closer to the drum. ie just "skiffing" when you spin the drums.
The handbrake is marginally better, but nowhere near as good as the one on the MGB!!!
Hopefully re-test on Monday. have to have everything ship shape for Swedish day!!!

1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
1991 Nissan Figaro
chris steedenPosted - 27 Apr 2019 : 15:24:08
Andy, Your set up with springs etc seems fine but looking at the bottom brake shoe where the shoe touches the piston, I can see a round cut-out in the shoe similar to the earlier type 1 and type 2 shoes where the cut out fits snug into an adjuster cam (Two stroke). I would suggest that although very similar you might have the wrong brake shoes fitted as I believe that the shoe for the V4 has a flat end against the piston. Not sure if this makes any difference but it could be that I have not appraised your picture correctly (this wont be the first time)
OWENPosted - 27 Apr 2019 : 10:43:20
Looking at your photo again; looks like you've still got a lot of adjustment on the top adjusters.
If the drums are worn and the brakes were adjusted, I'd expect to see less or no wedge showing.
OWENPosted - 27 Apr 2019 : 10:31:39
You've got further than I've got Andy.
The shoes look correct. Have you measured the internal diameter of the drums? Haynes says it should be 205mm max.
You don't say that you've gone through the adjustment procedure in the previous post, but I assume you have.
All I'd try is adjusting the cable more so that it bites on the second or first click and see if that does it.
If that don't do it, then maybe replace the drums (or obtain the thicker brake linings someone suggested).
Good luck!
andydeans3Posted - 27 Apr 2019 : 09:56:09
This is a great thread because my 96 just failed its' MOT for the handbrake.
I took the brake assemblies apart both sides, and replaced the levers with new ones that I bought at the SAAB festival in 2105. Also replaced the brake shoes. The cable on one side was pretty hard to move, so thinking that I had nothing else to do but replace them with new cables that I have, I set about it.
However it proved utterly impossible to release the handbrake cables from the point where they passes through the stops on the back axle, just above the drums. So, I got the old cables moving, greased them oiled them, until they slipping back and forward nicely.
Put it all back together, (as per the drawing in the manual -
as per the photo below of the left nearside, prior to strip down) adjusted everything. The rear drums were locking up at the 3rd click on the handle. I even put 2 bolts in the hubs, and tried to turn the hubs with a cheater bar. Solid.
BUT, took it for a test drive, and quite frankly the handbrake is still pretty poor...
From 15 or 20 mph I can lock the back wheels with the handbrake on my MGB, with the Saab there's a vague feeling of slowing down a bit, that's about it.
I'm not sure it will pass its re-test with the handbrake like this.
I always drive on free wheel, so the handbrake may one day be the only way to stop the car!!!

Does anyone have any ideas?

Are the shoes orientated the correct way? ie the operating lever on the side(back) where the brake lining goes right to the top of the shoe.


1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo
1991 Nissan Figaro
72sonett3Posted - 21 Apr 2019 : 05:44:10
If you pull the cable, both red circled notches move outward, away from each other, pushing against both brake shoes. The lever pivots against whatever shoe it touches first.
Like stevebot explains.

First you adjust the top side wedges until they lock the brake, then back out 1/4 turn or until the wheel just rotates free.

Then you pull the hand brake lever all the way up and grab a cable between the front seats with pliers.
Then you release the hand brake lever (but still hold the cable tight with the pliers), and pull it up again three clicks.
Then you take out the slack in the cables by turning the nuts in until the wheel locks (still holding the cable).
Then if you release the hand brake lever it should rotate freely again. Repeat for the other cable.

If you run out of thread to take away the slack, the cables are stretched too far and should be replaced.

'72 97
'77 96L conv.
'79 96GL (LPG)
'83 900i (LPG)
'95 900SE conv.
'99 9-3T

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