How-To. Make your own E-brake cables. - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 11:49 Thread Starter
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How-To. Make your own E-brake cables.

If your e-brake cables are frozen and you don't want to pay $85.00 or more for new ones, heres a cheap way to make your own.
Here is the cable and swedges I used. You will need approx 4 feet for each cable.



With access to the bottom of the car, remove the splash shields to gain access to the brake components.
Remove the pins from the cables at the rear caliper levers. Then remove the four bolts that attach the cross member to the body, remove the bolt that secures the AC lines to the cross member, and the fwd clamps on each cable. Pay attention how the clamps are installed, you will reuse them. Now unhook the spring. You can now remove the cables from the adjuster. Spray the aduster with lubricating oil, its probably pretty corroded. This will make adjustments easier.





You will need to remove the three rear clamps from each cable. Keep these, you will use them during install.



Now you can move the old cables and cross member to a work space.
Remove the cables and grommets from the cross member, keep the grommets you will resue them. Measure the length of the old cables, you will make the new cables approx. the same length.
Next you will need to cut the ends off each cable. Try and leave at least 1" of cable length. Here is a pic of the fwd cable after cutting.


Last edited by 86AW11; December 20th, 2005 at 18:33.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 12:08 Thread Starter
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continued

You now need to assemble the cables, remember to install the fwd clamps /grommets now. They will not fit inside the cross member after the cable ends are swedged.


Temp install the complete assembly to check for proper cable length. You may need to shorten the cables slightly. Don't make them too short, it may cause the rear brakes to drag. After the cable length has been checked, you can crimp the swedges. I use a bench vise to do this, I just remove the entire setup and crush the swedges to secure the cable ends.
Install is reverse of removal, don't forget to install the 3 rear clamps on each cable. You may need to tighten/loosen the adjuster to get correct tension on the cables. IIRC 5-8 clicks on the handle is proper tension.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 13:22
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Nice write up <thumbs up>

You should consider making a kit and selling it to help fund your MR2ing :-D

Coty
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 16:17 Thread Starter
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Thanks Coty. I'm sure that it wouldn't be hard to make one piece cables with the correct ends pre attached. You listening Dave or Jody?
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 17:42
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Is it legal? I fixed the ebrake cable on my festiva beater by splicing on a piece of garage door cable with a couple of small U-bolt clamps. It works but I was afraid it wouldn't pass inspection. They didn't look under the car this time so no problem
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 18:01 Thread Starter
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We have no state inspection requirement here, but I don't seem why the cables would not pass inspection.
But then again I'm not a corner garage trying to make a few bucks on someones inspection sticker. If you are concerned, I would suggest reading your State Inspection regulations.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 18:29
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nice! i wonder if this will work on a mkII as my cables are frozen,. the underbodies of the mkI & II look about the same.
post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 18:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86AW11
We have no state inspection requirement here, but I don't seem why the cables would not pass inspection.
But then again I'm not a corner garage trying to make a few bucks on someones inspection sticker. If you are concerned, I would suggest reading your State Inspection regulations.
You're lucky and 100% right. The whole inspection thing is just a money making ripoff for most garages. I had a nice relationship going with a new Meineke that opened here. After they got to know me, and knew I took did my own work and took good care of my cars, they were slapping stickers on without looking at my cars. Last fall, there was a different guy running the place and they screwed me over good on my Festiva beater. They didn't make any money off me but I got a rejected sticker that cost a bunch for me to fix. Now I'm looking for another garage
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 19:18 Thread Starter
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Brian, sorry about your adventures at Jugheads Hillbilly garage. I lived in Huntington WV for a few years, I know your pain. If you decide to fabricate your own cables, arm yourself with the info in the State Inspection regs.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 19:28
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Thanks, I was just about to spend a little over a 100 bucks for new cables.
Simple and cheap. DIY at its best.
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 19:30
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This wasn't a local garage it was Meineke Muffler, a national chain. I always avoided muffler or tire shops in the past because I know they'll just look for work but these guys seemed OK after I had both of my MR2s aligned there. They came up with some BS about the rotors on my Festiva being pitted. There are plenty of cars out there with holes drilled clear through the rotors. I think I found some good guys now at one of our local hillbilly garages

Back on topic, what is that cable you used?
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 19:34 Thread Starter
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EDIT to install: I have also installed "new" cables by looping the new cable through the eyelets of the adjuster "rocker" vs. swedging the fwd cable ends onto the new cable. The two ends of the new cable were then swedged together to form a "loop." Duh.
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 19:39 Thread Starter
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Brian, I was just busting your balls about living in WV. No offense meant.

The cable I used is nylon coated stainless wire rope.(unsure of actual diameter) We use it at work to make grounding wire for aircraft. Anything you can find that is equivalent to the size of the stock cable should suffice. After all, the cables don't provide the holding force, the hydraulics do. The cables merely need to hold up to the right arm strength of MKI drivers (which is pretty high)
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 19:51
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Wow, nylon coated stainless is come cool stuff. The cable for garage doors is available from any hardware store and comes in different diameters and is cheap for those of us without access to the fancy stuff. It matched the cable on my festiva well.
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 20:13 Thread Starter
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You can probably use whats available to you, or order some fancy city slicker stuff from the computer.

Bottom line is, you pull the handle, handle pulls the cables, cables keep tension on the caliper levers. Use your best judgement. If you are parking on a 90 degree slope, maybe the factory stuff is what you need. If you don't know what you are doing, consult a pro. If you have a good idea how hydraulics and mechanics work in tandem then assemble something that works for you. (Insert liability clause here)
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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 21:14
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I will be doing this soon, nice write up! we need more! haha I sitll need to write up the MC and booster one..anyways I think my brake lines are fried

BTW..how come they sticky this and not my coilover write up!
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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2005, 21:20 Thread Starter
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Quote:
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BTW..how come they sticky this and not my coilover write up!
Send a PM to a Mod with the link to the write up. Suggest they sticky it.
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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old December 21st, 2005, 03:00
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thanks for the step by step! would be a major pain without the pictures. the only thing I would sugest is when puting the swedges in place is to use a crimper. I have tryed smashing them like you have shown and it worked about 25% of the time, but who knows mabie it will work just fine.

Onece again, THANK YOU!
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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old December 21st, 2005, 08:37 Thread Starter
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I didn't have a crimper available, but if you have one that will sufficiently crimp the swedges, it would make the process easier.
My method is to crimp the ends using a large bench vise.
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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old December 21st, 2005, 09:02
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It doesn't seem like the cables would stay in the swedges with all of that pressure on them. (I'm sure they will, it's just when I look at it that's what pops in my head)
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