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post #1 of (permalink) Old 29th April 2012 Thread Starter
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TO ESPACE 3 OWNER; bad r/handbrake cable bracket design - damage and squeaking FIXED.

I suggest Espace 3 owners go take a look at their rear handbrake cables, to investigate if preventative maintenance work is required:

This is a carry-over from a thread where I thought at first the squeaking I was suffering was a suspension issue.

Espace 3 - very irritating rear suspension squeaking

I figured I'd put this in its own thread, because this looks likely to be something that will be a maintenance issue of its own on other Espace 3's.

The design of the handbrake cable is that there are two brackets that hold the handbrake cable to the swing arm. At least on my Espace; the 'upper' bracket is poorly placed and does not retain the cable in its 'natural' position.

As a consequence, the off-side cable outer rubber had been worn through to the metal sheath of the cable, and was squeaking because the bracket was rubbing against it as the cable moved around when the suspension moved.

Photo 1 shows the state of my os handbrake cable, upper bracket.

Photo 2 shows how it fits the lower of the two brackets.

Taking a look on the ns, I could see why that side had not come to the same situation - it had already come out!!! Photo 3

The issue to my mind is that, sure, you can avoid wear to the cable simply by pulling it out of the upper bracket!! That's an easy way to avoid this wear to the cable. But then you end up putting strain on that lower bracket because that becomes a pivot point for any cable movement.

The lower bracket seems to have held on the ns OK so far on mine, no idea when it may've come out though. But the cable takes up a shorter, tighter radius on that side so does not flap around so much anyway, whereas on the os it was flopping around when I pulled it out of the bracket.

So I have 're-engineered' the bracket with the bolt/washer arrangement given in photo 4. It is not simply bolted onto the bracket, as that might slip off as the bracket is not a closed hole, so I have used a series of mudguard washers of differing sizes such that when it is passed into the bracket hole, clamping up the two larger washers, closest to the head, clamps the smaller ones in the hole of the bracket so it cannot slide out. An additional washer then provides a slot that a cable tie can then get a good purchase around. (I added an extra nyloc nut too when I mounted it, for a bit of over-engineering.)

I used a piece of rubber to provide complaince of the cable against the bracket to eliminate any wear on that side.

I think I might redo this by enclosing that damaged part with a sleeve of plastic so that it is both sealed against the elements (help mitigate any further corrosion of the sleeve) and also so any nosey MOT people can't see anything they don't like the look of...

Photos 5 and 6 show the end result.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf espace_3_rear_handbrake_issue.pdf (293.5 KB, 50 views)
Currently in donald68's garage:
Grand Espace 3 16v Auto, Scenic Dti Auto & Fluence ZE

Last edited by donald68; 29th April 2012 at 10:27 AM.
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