Handbrake and cable

Updated: Jan 21, 2019

This blog is a retrospective post as the handbrake mechanism and cable were fitted after the prop shaft went in but before the differential installation, both of which took place some time ago.

Caterham’s instructions in this area are OK, but not having any experience working with such parts it wasn’t entirely clear how the system worked, however once started it became clear and was pretty simple to complete.

There are basically three key components or sections to the install, the handbrake mechanism or lever, the handbrake cable and the linkage which binds the two.

The lever was shipped in bubble wrap and was very easy to recognize. The linkage needs to be put together from parts supplied in a sealed bag, and the cable is very easy to spot being a large springy type cable with square box sections at either end.

I'm not sure if there is a preferred or optimal method of installing the handbrake and its cable, the method I used seemed to work OK.

My installation approach was designed to attach the main body of the linkage (clevis) to the handbrake lever, essentially everything minus the pulley and then bolt that into the car. Doing so required the clevis to be inserted into the rear of the mechanism and the appropriate clevis pin inserted along with washers. It was an extremely tight fit and required some persuasion to fit.

Caterham 7 handbrake lever 420R
Handbrake lever/mechanism with clevis attached bottom left.

Next seat the cable into the car. This step is reasonably straightforward once you've identified which end is which. The section with the white/cream adjustment plastic washer and locking washer must be routed to the driver's side and locked into place in the retaining brackets. Additionally, it is important to note the S3 chassis requires the cable to be crossed over into a loop within the transmission tunnel, just behind the mechanism. There is also a retaining bracket for the cable on the passenger side too, this bracket holds the cable in a fixed position and all adjustment comes from the driver's side.

Once the cable and lever were in place the final step is to insert the pulley within the cable loop and then lock into place within the clevis using the required clevis pulley pin. I also added a small amount of silicone lubricant on the cable and clevis, along with a tiny amount of grease on the rachet within the mechanism. The addition of both was designed to ensure years of trouble-free and quiet operation.

At this point, the rear DeDion bar, ears, and rear brakes were not fitted and so the cable ends were carefully placed on the chassis awaiting the installation of the aforementioned parts.

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