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Boxer handbrake cable stretched, help needed


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Hi there,


Just had the rear brake shoes replaced on my 04 Peugeot Boxer van conversion as they were found to be wearing low on a recent full service at a main dealer.


On collecting van I was shocked to find handbrake pulling up to the last notch & not even holding on a slope.


I was told this was something to do with the self-adjusting mechanism, the cables had stretched & would have to replaced.


I can't see this, with thin linings the lever travelled a few clicks & now with new shoes it pulls up to the limit.


Also the footbrake pedal goes right down to the floor, I was told to pump it & it will eventually self-adjust.


Have I been tucked up here? anyone else out there had this problem. (?)

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Take it back to the garage. Tell them to pump the brakes until they get fed up with doing it, then they might take the drums off and set them up correctly. This is wrong and they should know better!


The shoes and adjusters have to be assembled correctly then after the drum is fitted they have to be adjusted up through one of the bolt holes. After that the movement of the handbrake lever is adjusted on the solid rod before the rear cables. Cables can stretch but you would have noticed this before the work was carried out; not after.


If you have to explain this to them; i would suggest you go somewhere else in future!

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keninpalamos - 2015-08-06 11:02 AM


Interesting, does that go for the Fiat rears as well? (1997) I had my drums off last week and could find no access to the adjusters through the back plate. Didn't think of looking through the drum. Mind you I was busy last week fitting a new switch ;-)


Access will most probably be through one of the stud holes once the wheel is off.



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Robins & Day, Peugeot main dealers of Chelmsford wanted £234.00 to renew the handbrake cables as they said the old ones had stretched & they'd adjusted them to the limited.


If the handbrake worked perfectly well (a few clicks) on the old, worn linings I just couldn't accept that with new shoes it would pull up to the limit & still not hold.


So I got underneath to have a look & found that the adjuster on the front cable was at the limit. But the rear adjuster on the solid rod had 2 inches of thread, it was partially obscured by the fresh water tank but was easy for me to tighten. Any competent mechanic should have spotted this.


Handbrake now working OK & on the regulation 3 clicks. I am thinking of issuing a formal complaint against this company who tried to con me into buying items that weren't needed.


The problem now is the footbrake, the pedal travels right to the floor. They said it will automatically adjust but after the hand brake fiasco I'm inclined not to believe them.


Can anyone help, PLEASE!

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Hasn't Nick (euroserv) already answered that point? The brake needs adjusting via a bolt hole in the drum, and that adjustment should be made before the handbrake adjustment is made. On the strength of his advice, neither adjustment can have been made when fitting the new linings. His further advice was to take the van back to the garage and tell them to do the job properly. I agree, and I think you need to speak to the workshop manager, and invite him to try the footbrake.


Without that initial adjustment having been made, the handbrake lever will have excessive travel. Unfortunately, you may now have muddied the waters with your intervention - because the critical initial adjustment has not been made. So, when taking the van back, which I agree you should, you'll have to explain that you have done the best you can to get the handbrake to hold, because you were concerned it would otherwise run away.


The reason you are having to pump the foot brake is also because that initial adjustment was not made. From what you say it would be unlikely to pass an MoT at present, which was a disgraceful condition in which to allow the vehicle to leave their premises. I can only reiterate - take it back.

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Agree with the above except take it back.

Get it done properly elsewhere and then take the invoice back to original garage and let them pay for it.

Get a report from new garage as well.

The problem could be they have assembled it all wrong and any adjustment in the drum from outside may have no effect.


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As Nick (euroserv) and Brian have advised, the sensible approach at this point is to return the vehicle to Robins & Day, demonstate that the footbrake-pedal continues to have excessive travel and point out that the handbrake-related problem had been resolved by a simple adjustment rather than by the expensive cable-replacement they had diagnosed as being needed.


If the garage will not accept responsibility for allowing the vehicle to be returned to you with hand and foot brakes that do not work correctly, and refuses to work further on the brakes, taking the vehicle elsewhere to have its brakes worked on, and obtaining a technical report on its condition (as gmacz suggests) would be an option.


It should be obvious to the Robins & Day technicians that the footbrake is not automatically adjusting as you were told it should and that further work is needed. It’s their responsibility to rectify what is clearly a fault, but (although you may well now doubt their competence to do this) you need to allow them to make the effort.


If you choose not to give Robins & Day the opportunity to correct the defect and present the bill to them for someone else’s work, you’d be wise to tell them that’s what you intend before going ahead. Otherwise you could well end up paying Robins & Day for the work that was not done properly and for the cost of rectification work that Robins & Day won’t refund.


As Brian said, insist on speaking to the Robins & Day workshop manager about the brake problems and express your dissatisfaction (diplomatically) about what’s happened.

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