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Discussion Starter #1
A few months ago I replaced the rear calipers , discs and pads on my 57 plate 1.9 120 bhp Vectra. It passed the MOT, handbrake, all brakes were fine.
I decided I wanted the handbrake tighter, not really knowing what I was doing I disconnected the handbrake cable but once I reconnected the HC and went for a drive the brakes on that wheel started badly overheating and smoking.

The car drives as normal but it smokes from that wheel area and the brakes overheat.

I noticed the wheel was jammed solid when trying to spin it in the air, however when the HC (handbrake cable ) is not attached the wheel spins freely. When the HC is attached the wheel locks up and overheats the brakes. When the cable is attached the HC does work fine.

The cable is temporarily disconnected for now so as not to overheat the brakes when driving. Obviously I need to get the problem resolved as soon as I can.

Can the handbrakes cables be adjusted on the Vectra C 1.9 's ? I hear mixed replies such as no they can't as they are self adjusting but thne other people say yes they can be adjusted.
The car is at almost 198 K miles,


Any advice regarding this is much apprecieted and thanks
 

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If you don't know what you are doing with brakes then leave well alone and get someone who does to sort it, before you potentially kill someone, including yourself!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you don't know what you are doing with brakes then leave well alone and get someone who does to sort it, before you potentially kill someone, including yourself!
Hi, as I said I replaced the rear calipers discs and pads all fitted no problem !! Passed the MOT no problem. As I said after trying to toghten the hand brake I came across this problem, regarding fitment of the brakes 7 mnoths ago I fitted them 100 % perfectly, it was only months later I was trying to tighten handbrake and now having handbrake problem.

any input to the potential problem with my car's handbrake is very much apprecieted, thanks
 

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The first thing you need to do is jack the car up on the side that locks on, take the wheel off so you can see the caliper and disc, get someone to pull the handbrake on and release it so you can see if the handbrake mechanism is releasing check that the spring is releasing the brake, also check that the cable hasn't seized inside any of the guides.
 

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Did you rewind the calipers in before fitting new pads etc, you need to do this before fitting new parts---Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Did you rewind the calipers in before fitting new pads etc, you need to do this before fitting new parts---Dave
Hi
H
Yes, the new pads will not go in unless the piston are rewound, I replaced the rear calipers so they didn't need winding back. They were replaced 7 months ago all is perfectly fine with the rear discs and pads and calipers. I am inqurinig about the handbrake cable as I disconnected that weeks ago to try and tighten the cable ( yes the hc didn't need disconnecting to do that I realise now ) and now the hand brake cable is causing problems .

thanks
 

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Where have you been adjusting the hand brake cables from, they are adjusted from the area under the hand brake lever, could also be that the new calipers are not set up correctly - - Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The first thing you need to do is jack the car up on the side that locks on, take the wheel of so you can see the caliper and disc, get someone to pull the handbrake on and release it so you can see if the handbrake mechanism is releasing check that the spring is releasing the brake, also check that the cable hasn't seized inside any of the guides.
Hi , thank you
I will try and video that and upload it here

The handbrake does work and hold the car fine but obviously I have it disconnected because otherwise when I drive the brakes overheat and smoke.
If the calbe is seized I would like to know can they be adjusted on these ( apparently they self adjust ) or does the cables need replaced ?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Where have you been adjusting the hand brake cables from, they are adjusted from the area under the hand brake lever, could also be that the new calipers are not set up correctly - - Dave
I haven't actuaooy adjusted them from anywhere, I was just fiddling about wondering how to make it tighter and I ended up disconnecting the handbrake cable and only after I put the handbrake cable back on did the problem start

The new calipers are 100 % correct, it's been driving great no problems at all it passed the mot without a fault, only months later when I took out the cable and put it back in has the problem arose.

I heard that on these Vectras they are self adjusting and can't be manually adjusted, but then I heard opposite. There is nowhere under handbrake to adjust on these ( unlike many cars that have a very simple adjustment bolt under handbrake )
Also I was told the whole centre console on these cars has to come out to get at any of the handbrake components

thanks
 

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Well my old 58 plate vectra had the adjustment of the hand brake cables under the lever and its not hard to get at, don't know where you are getting your advice from and if I was you I would be having someone have a look at the braking system as you are finding it difficult to put right, as you said it's been OK until you had a go at it yourself, if you are struggling then my advice is get someone else to help you out as there is no second chances with brakes---Dave
 

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Under the hand brake lever is a self adjusting mechanism that will need to be released before you can start doing any further adjustment to the hand brake system the hand brake cable has a small adjustable amount that is done by adjusting the nut at the lever, once everything is connected up correctly then the cable self adjusting mechanism comes into its own, you are best taking the rear part of the centre console off to get at the hand brake lever, do you have a Haynes manual for your car, if not then it would be very helpful for you if you get one---Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well my old 58 plate vectra had the adjustment of the hand brake cables under the lever and its not hard to get at, don't know where you are getting your advice from and if I was you I would be having someone have a look at the braking system as you are finding it difficult to put right, as you said it's been OK until you had a go at it yourself, if you are struggling then my advice is get someone else to help you out as there is no second chances with brakes---Dave
hi
I fitted the rear calipers discs nad pads 7 months ago the brakes wor k100 % perfectly passing mot also without faults, everything is completely fine with the brakes i.e. pads discs and calipers. The braking system is 100 % when I hit the brake pedal etc all is operating perfect and has been since fitment 7 months ago.

The stopping brakes are good as new, I am saying the handbrake has not been right since I disconnected the cable, I did NOT say that the actual car brakes were not woring, they are working excellent.

The brake in question is the parking brake. It will freeze up the wheel when connected.

Was your vectra a diesel ? I was getting the info from looking up on google they saud these vectras are self adjusting and cannot be adjusted. whether true I do not know.

Are you saying there is a pull up plastic piece on the handbrake that comes away to get at a adjusting bolt ?
 

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its the same set up on the handbrake wether its petrol or diesel engine----it would seem that the cable you loosened is not going back to its OFF position and you still have tension on the handbrake cable when you reattach it,as I said you need to have a look at why that cable is not going back------Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #14
its the same set up on the handbrake wether its petrol or diesel engine----it would seem that the cable you loosened is not going back to its OFF position and you still have tension on the handbrake cable when you reattach it,as I said you need to have a look at why that cable is not going back------Dave
hi
I did not loosen any cable , I disconnected it from the caliper then put it back on. I have not yet loosened or adjusted anything.
I will try and upload a video doing of what you suggested and see what you guy''s think. thanks
 

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I wonder if the self adjuster has activated when you released the cable and shortened it?
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I wonder if the self adjuster has activated when you released the cable and shortened it?
hi
that sounds like a good point although I do not know what a self adjuster is. Do I need to remove the center console to check this ?
the car does not seem to be holding anymore on the other side either now. so everytime I park I have to use wheel chocks or leave it in gear 2.

Shall I begin by removing the centre console ? many thanks

edit : I already have a haynes manual, what section should the removal of the centre console be on I tried finding it but as of yet I not found it
 

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Should be in the bodywork section..
 
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OK try this, remove the caliper as if you were changing the pads, wind the piston back in slowly, check that the cable is routed correctly and the outer cable case is located in the in the guide on the caliper, after you have put the pads back in dont touch the caliper or the brake pedal, now do exactly the same to the other caliper, once you have put the pads back in and refitted the caliper get in your car and pump the brakes via the brake pedal no need to start the car, once you have pumped the brakes pedal until its hard, now pull the handbrake a couple of times this will now take any slack up on the handbrake.........if your handbrake is working properly

For future reference never pull the handbrake on until you have pumped the brake pedal to take up the slack in the caliper.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi
I don't understand why you are saying to remove the pads discs and calipers, there is nothing wrong with them they are working 100 % fine the problem is not to do with any of those but the cable for the handbrake.
I do not want to mess with the calipers as those pistons can be a nightmare to wind back in on the rear, they are all 7 months old basically brand new and fully operating.

I only want ot know how to sort out the handbrake , thanks

I will be trying the adjustment method
 
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