Archived Message
The questionable RV8 handbrake
I wondered if anyone has found the correct adjustment or even a modification with regard to the rather wishy-washy function of the RV8 handbrake. I've spoken to others who simply leave the car in gear because the brake will not hold the car on an incline. I've noted the workshop handbook procedure, of course, and was planning to take the car along to my Jaguar friends to get the adjustment optimised.
Peter Garton
07/06/2012 @  07:01
Under topic: RV8
Archived Reply(ies) received for this Message
The questionable RV8 handbrake
Not a complete cure but I fitted a handbrake lever from a late MGB. It has a rod with fewer bends and a vertical action, moving the end away from the steering wheel.The action feels more positive and the rod does not jam. The leather gaitor and plastic sleeve fit perfectly on the B lever but you may need to pack the three mounting bolts a bit away from the transmission tunnel.
Peter Ferguson
07/06/2012 @  19:17
The questionable RV8 handbrake
Thank you for your reply, Peter. I don't really want to change anything as you have obviously successfully done. I just wanted any tips in the brake adjustment procedure, if any exist. I just felt it is a puzzle that MG constructed a handbrake that's not really 100% functional.
Peter Garton
08/06/2012 @  14:47
The questionable RV8 handbrake
Hi Peter!

This is probably not much in the way of help but anyway:

I noticed too that my handbrake was a bit marginal - or so it felt. As the Swedish version of MOT/TüV was imminent I was sure to fail did I not fix the problem.

I therefore went ahead and adjusted the brake per the WS manual. To me it felt that there was little or no difference but I decided to take a chance and do the MOT.

To my slight surprise the RV8 aced the test and when asked about the hand brake the tester said the braking force values recorded for it were excellent.

My feeling is that the MOT tester didn't use the detents when testing the brake and just pulled it as hard as possible.

I think that there issue indeed is with the lever mechanism design. Specifically it feels like the action is not "eccentric" enough, meaning that the linear action on the wire doesn't decrease engough throughout the lever travel. This combined with possibly detents being too sparse makes it difficult to get it right without risking some brake stiction at one detent.

The actual location of the brake also means that you have to be quite the bodybuilder to operate it without bending it.

Maybe the MGB lever is better but for the time being I just put it in low gear or reverse and combine with the handbrake should the incline be very steep.
Erik Persson
08/06/2012 @  18:24
The questionable RV8 handbrake
I use the following method to adjust the brakes and find it gives the best result for pedal travel and handbrake efficiency:-
1.slacken off the handbrake cable completely under the car.
2.Run the engine and switch off(creates a vacuum in the servo),press the brake pedal firmly 6 or 8 times.You should hear the auto adjust mechanism click once or twice inside the rear drums.
3.Reset the cable adjustment to 3 clicks on the handle ratchet.
Hope this helps with your problem.
Dennis Hodge
08/06/2012 @  23:27
The questionable RV8 handbrake
Many thanks Erik and Dennis. I have to admit that the car passed the TÜV with flying colours too. My only grouse is that one needs good left arm muscles (I'm left handed!) and pull up as far as the lever will go without bending anything. That last notch is the clincher, of course, but it always requires much strength. I'm interested in the runnning of the engine prior to adjustment, which is new to me, so will get the Jaguar people here to give that step a try when they do the adjusting for me.
Peter Garton
09/06/2012 @  14:28
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