W209 CLK240 parking brake adjustment

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rich1068

Active Member
Joined
May 17, 2023
Messages
292
Location
Sheffield
Car
Many Saabs and an '03 CLK 240
The parking brake on my newly acquired CLK does pretty much nothing. A lot of travel and doesn't really hold the car at all. Not good in the city of seven hills. A bit of lubrication on the actual pedal would be a good thing too as it doesn't really spring back.

I'm familiar with adjusting the shoes using a screwdriver to pinch them up but does my car also have the cable adjustment under the rear seat? I've seen mention of it but not sure if that's the W208.
 
There should be a adjuster for the cable mechanism under the rear seat.

The spring mechanism is a separate part and isn't adjustable if it is like the type I had to replace on my C203 model.
 
rich .

Do not waste any more time 'lubricating' the foot pedal mechanism , it lives a nice life in the footwell and is almost never the source of parking brake woes , the 'springing back ' thing is usually a broken spring in the cable 'splitter' you mention that might be under the rear seat . Normal on my S203 and totally adjustable with a 13mm spanner , but on a W209 ? No idea.
 
Screenshot_20230522-074127.pngScreenshot_20230522-074141.png
 
Thank you both.

rich .

Do not waste any more time 'lubricating' the foot pedal mechanism , it lives a nice life in the footwell and is almost never the source of parking brake woes , the 'springing back ' thing is usually a broken spring in the cable 'splitter' you mention that might be under the rear seat . Normal on my S203 and totally adjustable with a 13mm spanner , but on a W209 ? No idea.

You're probably right. The lack of 'springing back' probably has more to do with the shoes needing adjustment. I'll see how I go with the adjustment and if the pedal needs a squirt of lubricant then it's only a 5 minute job.
 
Thank you both.



You're probably right. The lack of 'springing back' probably has more to do with the shoes needing adjustment. I'll see how I go with the adjustment and if the pedal needs a squirt of lubricant then it's only a 5 minute job.

Spray every moving part inside the car as you work The mech. You do get more kickback once the tension is back on the cables and shoes.
 
Thank you both.



You're probably right. The lack of 'springing back' probably has more to do with the shoes needing adjustment. I'll see how I go with the adjustment and if the pedal needs a squirt of lubricant then it's only a 5 minute job.
On mine the clock spring in the splitter cassette was broken , can be adjusted from in the car but can only be replace from below. Search my posts on here and you will see the photos. Your car might have a different system, but it was a common part for many.

It's not a small job.
 
Oddest thing. Can't for the life of me see the adjustment wheel on the drum. Removed the screw cover and viewed through there and the lug holes, there's no sign of it.

When I did mine , I had to completely remove the disc to find where it was , I turned the star to see which way it was gonna move the shoes and I marked + and - on the disc before I put it back on.
 
Have you first removed the tension from the splitter/adjuster under the rear seat ? Bit like this .

Removed the tension?

This is the spring that snaps . No amount of adjusting on the drums will help if this is broken/seized up.

Mine's OK. Spring is still in place and working.

Here is the adjuster on mine a few weeks ago , this is the drivers side (RHD) the left one is 180' opposite. 2006 S203 C class.

Great. Looks about the 10 o'clock position on the RHS.

So, I've left it for now but let me tell you what I was going to do and what I actually did.

My intention was to nip up the shoes, back them off a little and then move on to the cable adjustment under the seat.

As mentioned, couldn't see the adjuster on mine so just moved on the cable. My parking brake would previously go nearly to the floor so I adjusted the cable probably 8 full turns. The peddle felt much better, probably about 6 clicks before I had to put some force into it. It sprang back much better too. Raised the back wheels and they span freely with the brake off, seemed locked with the brake on. However, a little test drive to one of Sheffield's famous hills and the parking brake still wouldn't hold the car on its own.

Advice ladies and gentlemen? Should I have another go at adjusting the shoes? Adjust the cable a little more?
 
Removed the tension?



Mine's OK. Spring is still in place and working.



Great. Looks about the 10 o'clock position on the RHS.

So, I've left it for now but let me tell you what I was going to do and what I actually did.

My intention was to nip up the shoes, back them off a little and then move on to the cable adjustment under the seat.

As mentioned, couldn't see the adjuster on mine so just moved on the cable. My parking brake would previously go nearly to the floor so I adjusted the cable probably 8 full turns. The peddle felt much better, probably about 6 clicks before I had to put some force into it. It sprang back much better too. Raised the back wheels and they span freely with the brake off, seemed locked with the brake on. However, a little test drive to one of Sheffield's famous hills and the parking brake still wouldn't hold the car on its own.

Advice ladies and gentlemen? Should I have another go at adjusting the shoes? Adjust the cable a little more?

I'd say adjust the shoes . Last thing you want is to stretch the cable.
 
You are not going the stretch the cables .

Raise rear wheels.

Release any tension off cables with a 13mm spanner at the splitter point under the seat

With the rear wheels removed adjust brake shoes evenly.

Wheels back on ,take up the cable slack with 13mm spanner until 5 clicks of the foot pedal holds the car.

NOTE : This parking brake is of Pi$$ poor design , even when all of the components (including discs) are replaced with brand new (me 2 weeks ago) My car will happily drive off with it applied without even noticing it's on. Thankfully it has a audible alarm.

It will hold the car on a big hill , but I would never trust it to do so.

The day after I completed the work the car sailed through it's MOT .

The Brake shoes are 17mm wide with a tiny swept area they rely on being held in by 4 small springs that hook into the backing plate . The plate rots and the spring(s) fall out and the brake fails . On an 2003 car the time is just about right for this to be the case depending of course on mileage.

Only way to know is to pop the discs off to reveal the horror that could lie below . Here is 150K miles 2006 car. I posted this elsewhere on here a very short time ago , have a search.

Rotted out spring mounting slot and brake shoe with half the friction material missing . fitting new shoes should only take place if fitting a whole new hardware kit . There are a total of 8 (yes eight) springs in the drums alone.

NOTE 2: This handbrake passed the MOT 1700 miles before these photos were taken.

broken shoe.jpg

plate rot.jpg
 
You are not going the stretch the cables .

Raise rear wheels.

Release any tension off cables with a 13mm spanner at the splitter point under the seat

With the rear wheels removed adjust brake shoes evenly.

Wheels back on ,take up the cable slack with 13mm spanner until 5 clicks of the foot pedal holds the car.

Many thanks. I'm having another crack at it this afternoon. Hopefully I'll spot the adjustment wheel this time!

Brakes generally are on my to-do list for a proper inspection. The car is an '03 but only 79k miles and it's barely been used for the last 2 or 3 years.
 
Good news! Found the adjustment wheel!

Bad news! Seized solid!

Oh well, it's the jobs you think are going to be simple. I'll come back to this one next week. Car's not going anywhere. It's Saab convertible weather.
 
Hoof a can of brake cleaner through every orifice you can into into the drum and give it a good seeing to with a soft mallet. it might loosen thing up . But sooner or later you are going to have to replace the lot.

I did my own by cutting the new back plates in a particular manner so I did not have to remove the hubs . It's not ideal, but many garages refuse to do that and will insist on removing the hubs which can turn a stupid handbrake fix into an expensive one.

Your call.
 

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