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Author: Subject: Custom handbrake cables, DIY or not?
Slimy38

posted on 25/10/20 at 10:43 AM Reply With Quote
Custom handbrake cables, DIY or not?

As per title really, what I have planned for my handbrake means that the standard donor cables are not suitable. Are custom cables within the realms of a below-average mechanic such as myself, or is it better to have them made up?

If it's a shop job, does anyone have a recommendation?

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SteveWalker

posted on 25/10/20 at 10:51 AM Reply With Quote
What does custom mean? The cable on my RH is a standard Sirera cable, shortened and with the cut-off end fitting replaced with a bolt drilled through, the cable pushed in and a blob of weld applied where the cable comes through. It has been on for 21 years now. If it is something as simple as that, then DIY is definitely an option.
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Slimy38

posted on 25/10/20 at 12:05 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SteveWalker
What does custom mean? The cable on my RH is a standard Sirera cable, shortened and with the cut-off end fitting replaced with a bolt drilled through, the cable pushed in and a blob of weld applied where the cable comes through. It has been on for 21 years now. If it is something as simple as that, then DIY is definitely an option.


Hmmm, good question... I guess I was thinking of brand new cables to go from front to back. But maybe that's not what I actually need. I can reuse the cables from the balance bar to the calipers, I then just need to sort out the front part...

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harmchar

posted on 25/10/20 at 12:32 PM Reply With Quote
When you say from "front to back", does that mean your handbrake lever is not in the normal place on top of transmission tunnel?
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Slimy38

posted on 25/10/20 at 01:15 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by harmchar
When you say from "front to back", does that mean your handbrake lever is not in the normal place on top of transmission tunnel?


No, I'm aiming for a pull lever underneath the dash. In addition, the rear calipers are mounted backwards so the handbrake cable routing is longer than normal.

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MikeR

posted on 26/10/20 at 09:13 AM Reply With Quote
i'm planning on cutting my cable in the middle. Then pulling the two halves so they overlap by about 24". I'll then add to each side near the end of the cable (so i have two) a section that will grip the cable. The thinking is two bits of flat steel with a series of holes drilled in for m4 or m6 bolts. I'll then clamp the two cables together by tightening the bolts bloody tight. If that doesn't work I'll criss cross the cables around the bolt holes so the clamping forces each cable onto the other. Finally i can try welding the cable to the end of the clamps.

If that doesn't work, i've got a spare cable and will try the welded bolt trick.

I just need garage time

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40inches

posted on 26/10/20 at 09:32 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MikeR
i'm planning on cutting my cable in the middle. Then pulling the two halves so they overlap by about 24". I'll then add to each side near the end of the cable (so i have two) a section that will grip the cable. The thinking is two bits of flat steel with a series of holes drilled in for m4 or m6 bolts. I'll then clamp the two cables together by tightening the bolts bloody tight. If that doesn't work I'll criss cross the cables around the bolt holes so the clamping forces each cable onto the other. Finally i can try welding the cable to the end of the clamps.

If that doesn't work, i've got a spare cable and will try the welded bolt trick.

I just need garage time


Chandlers are a good source for wire rope accessories, I used 3 cleats to join mine, although one would have been enough
Description
Description

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Mr Whippy

posted on 26/10/20 at 12:14 PM Reply With Quote
Please see below the note about wire clamps -


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SJ

posted on 26/10/20 at 12:44 PM Reply With Quote
I chopped mine at the wheel end and made a nipple from weld. Been like that for 10 years now.
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nick205

posted on 26/10/20 at 02:23 PM Reply With Quote
I used a Ford Sierra handbrake cable on my MK Indy (Sierra donor car) and needed to shorten the cable. I cut a bit of cable off and drilled an M12 set screw to hold the ends together like below. Probably 30 mins work in total. I had the set screw already and I have a pillar drill to make dilling it easier (could be done with a electric/cordless hand drill though).

Passed SVA fine and worked without issed for the 3 years before I sold the car.



[Edited on 26/10/20 by nick205]

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Slimy38

posted on 26/10/20 at 02:43 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nick205
I used a Ford Sierra handbrake cable on my MK Indy (Sierra donor car) and needed to shorten the cable. I cut a bit of cable off and drilled an M12 set screw to hold the ends together like below. Probably 30 mins work in total. I had the set screw already and I have a pillar drill to make dilling it easier (could be done with a electric/cordless hand drill though).

Passed SVA fine and worked without issed for the 3 years before I sold the car.



[Edited on 26/10/20 by nick205]


Can I ask what diameter cable that is/was? It looks a lot thinner than what I'm battling with in the donors cable?

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nick205

posted on 26/10/20 at 03:31 PM Reply With Quote
@ Slimy 38

I didn't measure the cable diameter I'm afraid. The donor cable was very crusty and knackered so I sourced a new Sierra hand brake cable from my local motor factor. If the cable had been thicker I'd probably have had to use U bolts like Mr Whippy shows in his reply. Although the join was in the tunnel above my prop shaft so I was fairly limited on space.

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MikeR

posted on 30/10/20 at 12:14 AM Reply With Quote
For some reason i'd got the impression the u clamps weren't good enough hence trying to think of something 'better'. U clamps it is.
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jps

posted on 30/10/20 at 09:49 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Slimy38
quote:
Originally posted by nick205
I used a Ford Sierra handbrake cable on my MK Indy (Sierra donor car) and needed to shorten the cable. I cut a bit of cable off and drilled an M12 set screw to hold the ends together like below. Probably 30 mins work in total. I had the set screw already and I have a pillar drill to make dilling it easier (could be done with a electric/cordless hand drill though).

Passed SVA fine and worked without issed for the 3 years before I sold the car.



[Edited on 26/10/20 by nick205]


Can I ask what diameter cable that is/was? It looks a lot thinner than what I'm battling with in the donors cable?


If that's an M12 bolt, as Nick says, I'd say it looks like the diameter of the cable is around 5mm. I've just been an measured the inner cable on my (aftermarket - Quinton Hazel) Sierra handbrake cable, and it's just under 4mm.

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Slimy38

posted on 30/10/20 at 12:40 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jps

If that's an M12 bolt, as Nick says, I'd say it looks like the diameter of the cable is around 5mm. I've just been an measured the inner cable on my (aftermarket - Quinton Hazel) Sierra handbrake cable, and it's just under 4mm.


That's great, thanks for checking for me.

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