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post #1 of (permalink) Old 28th January 2010 Thread Starter
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Megane II Throttle Style Handbrake EXPOSED

Well here it is Folks for your interest, my old Throttle style hand brake in bits.
Why: Well it statred playing up a few months back, it would go on but would not come off, eventually the button went right in and did not come out - no tension on it, ratchet for hand brake did not engauge so no hand brakem up it came and down it dropped. You can get it to work on a temp basis until you replace it, wont pass MOT mind you, no way, but it will get you mobile again.
I have read lots about soaking rags in solvent and fixing self tappers under handle to make brake work but no images, no idea what all that is about or how to do it, so post mortem was needed, and here it is.

1] to remove the leather cover, you only need to take to top off, 1st unpick stiching on the back of the handle, then run a thin flat blade screw driver alonge the seam whilst carefully lifting the top half once it is lifted you can pull it gentally with your fingers and "peel" it, the handle is in two halves, so you only need peel the top until just past the join, the white pastic cover will lever off, it is held in place by plastic tabs, I think you may need to glue it back though as mine does not want to stay in place now, sso glue him I think.

This is what you will see once leather has been peeled, prise of top cover.

And there it is, in it's full glory! so what are you looking at.
RED CROSS - hand brake button Slider.
BLUE CROSS - Spring which keeps tension on the ratchet at base of hand brake.
GREEN CROSS - Rod which attaches this linkage, to the ratchet at base of hand brake.

You can pull the Button Slider out by carefully levering it out {not on coloured Button} it is on a slider so it will pop out on the right as you are looking at it now, you will feel some resistance as it has a small tag holding it in, just lever it past this tag, it wont break, undo the two cross head screws on the top and the base of the handle comes away.

This is a close up of the linkage, you can see how it works by the blue arrows when you press the button in to operate hand brake. so what are you looking at.
1] Hand brake slider - with button on far end. moves inwards.
2] The metal plate that moves in an arc, there is a slot along 3 quarters of the slider [1] which this plate sits in, once you press the button slider moves in pushes plate 2 in an arc, which puts tension on the spring.
3] Self Tapper which acts as the plate pivot point, spring is fixed here as well to act as an anchor point
4] This is the problem end as the spring is too long here, as it sits on the plate the bottom of the coil is this side, but the lef of the spring which sits in location 5 is too long by about 5mm, so this leg bends upwards and eventually will bent in the direction of blue arrow on 6 which then gives you less button presure at the handle = button does not come out as far - hand brake "sticks on", eventually button will not come out.
5] Location hole for spring - not deep enough.
6] Rod, which attaches this linkage to the base ratchet

Just to show you where rod 6 goes. notice on the ratchet, no spring to hold the teeth together, it is all done up at the handle with that tiny thin spring! To be honest it does not need a lot of presure to keep them together, but I still tihnk the spring is badly designed and fitted as over time it gives way! Just by clipping the leg mine looked stronger and more secure.

Simples! as that rodent says on TV!

So what happend to mine? I Think as well as the bending spring the self tapper pivot became dry, as when I took the whole hand brake out to change it, there wasa rattling sound, once opened up I see the self tapper had come out? I think because it was dry, every time I used H/Brake it was unwinding the tapper so it eventually ran out of thread along with spring presure it gave up the will to work.
I also After putting it all back together saw the spring at location 5 was to long, so I trimmed around 5mm or so off it so it sits in the hole but also flat against the plate and H?brake works again, there is still a bend some where as I have around 8mm play in my button, so I am goinf to drill and tap the slider where the plate enters the slot to take up some of the play, hand brake should then be good to go, just need to fugure out how to get it all back together again so it looks good with the leather.

Now how to make it work whilst looking for a new one. again Simples!
You will 1st needto pop off the cover which houses the roof and window buttons, open lid on storage box, and prise very caerfully the front cover off, it is held in place with plastic clips no screws, pull of plugs, for said switches [ they are colour coded with the switch] and remove cover for now, looking down at hand brake you need to look at the inside covers, the one you need to remove is on the button side, slide the small flat head into the back end [where the handbrake cables are] and carfully lift it will start to pop out once it has started to move it will slide back wards, you may be able to make it slide up at the handle I couldn't it was to tight, however it will side back ii from the back, but not yet!
the cover looks like this.

Once this off, you will see the rod where it attaches to the ratchet, I have read on here people being told to operate the rathcet and leave the switch cover off, well 1st the ratchet will hurt your fingers and get them greasy, 2nd car looks naf with the large front switch cover removed. so, now you can see the rod, the ratchet, etc. take a look at the image below, you can see how the rod operates, so try it now, lift hand brake with left hand, whilst leaning over to get right hand finger to press towards rear of car on the rod, you should feel the ratchet clicking as you lift and press, there ya go hand brake on, it will hold as usuall once the ratchet is engauged!, to release the nautrual postion for the racthcet now is away from the opposite teeth which is why it will not stay on, so to release just lift the handle [ I still pressed the non working button for some reason] the ratchet will pop out of the on postion but stay away from the teeth so just drop the lever as usual if it does not, you can apply some forward presure to the rod which will pull the ratchet mechanism apart and allow you to drop the brake, mine worked simply by lifting it in the usual maner.

Check out the image you can see what I mean, by pushing the rod the pawl I think it is call is pushed against the teeth of the ratchet and will stay there once brake is on, the design of the ratchet will hold it self on, to release just lift up handle as you would normally, because the hand brake is actually broken the pawls natural postion now is away from the teeth instead of against them so it will drop as usual, once you can see and have got your head around it. you are done apart from the cover.
leave the inside cover off the hand brake, the one you see above, take the large switch cover slide it back into postion and plug in the roof and window switches, and pop back in place, everything now looks as it did apart from the inside hand brake cover is missing, hardly noticable, you get quite a dab hand at applying this hand brake with two hands but the most important tihng is your car does not look like a shed with missing bits of large trim inside, so nobody will know you are having hand brake trouble , only you!

How the law or your insurance company would see this if you had an accident I don't know, and will DEFINATLY not pass an MOT but it will get you out of a sticky point for a while as a TEMPOARY measure!
So just carry a small thin bladed screwdriver in your car, as I am sure if you have the dreded "stuck on" hand brake somewhere you can sort it out in roughly 10 mins by doing the above and operating the pawl with the rod using your finger, doesn't take much presure at all and rod is clean as it is behind a snug fitting cover, and you will be on your way!

Hope you find this interesting!
Currently in christopherM's garage:
Megane CC 1.9Dci 2004 & Megane Coupe 1.4 16v 1999

Last edited by hondo; 9th May 2010 at 08:36 AM.
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