How To Adjust A Handbrake

What is a Handbrake?

In road vehicles, the parking brake, also known as a handbrake or emergency brake, is a mechanism used to keep the vehicle securely motionless when parked. Parking brakes often consist of a pulling mechanism attached to a cable that is connected to two-wheel brakes.

How To Adjust A Handbrake

Pull the handbrake lever ‘on’ until slight resistance is felt at the lever; then try turning each rear wheel. Each should turn with equal resistance. If they do not, tighten the cable on the slacker side until both feel equal. Tighten the locknuts.

How much should I tighten the handbrake?

Usually, you want around 3-4 clicks as the brake resistances ramps up with the amount of clicks. Check with the manufacturer for recommended e-brake clicks and adjust to that.

After it’s adjusted to your specification, tighten the jam nut to secure the new adjustment in place.

How is a parking brake properly adjusted?

The most common method of adjustment is to turn the rotor and adjust the star wheel until the shoes drag on the drum. 

Then, back off the adjusting star until the rotor turns free. But, some manufacturers specify the use of a drum diameter gauge to set the proper gap between the drum and the shoe.