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1970 Opel Gt - Purchased July 1972 - Chartreuse - restored - 3000 miles as of 02-16, 2021 -
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The facts:
  • Old cable was frayed and required replacing
  • The old cable really needed to be adjusted as the emergency brake was not working very well at all - did not really engage until almost all the way up - would hold the car in place in a parking situation but that's about all
  • New cable installed and properly adjusted, I think, and engages when the handle is pulled about 1/3 of the way up but the harder I pull it does not make very much of a difference - the way it is now it may slow the car down but would not stop it in an emergency situation - the cable is threaded in the two undercarriage locations with the grommets that came with the unit and it fit well into the outside of the rear of the brake drum backing and is firmly held in place by the retaining C ring
  • The rear brake mechanism is the old style with the hook that the ball fits into
  • I have looked at a lot of old threads and have not come across anything that has shown me the light and hoping someone has a keen eye and it is a simple fix - those simple fixes are few and far between. Thanking you in advance for you help. See pictures....
Thanks, Carl


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Can Opeler
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3,486 Posts
Make it lock sooner than 1/3. Mine starts dragging at the first click.

Keep in mind the rear brakes do almost nothing. They are not going to slow you down quickly in an emergency. You shouldn’t be able to push the car when the parking brake is pulled. That’s it.
 
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Carl, I'm not a brake expert, but have you done a manual adjustment on those rear brakes ?
That's easy to forget as domestic cars have had self adjusting brakes since the early '60s
Properly adjusted you will have more pedal, and less slack in the braking system.
You did ask for a simple fix.....so even if this doesn't help, at least it was simple !
 

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Opel Rallier since 1977
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2,278 Posts
The rear brakes actually do a fair amount, but as noted, this type of hand brake is not going to stop you anything like the regular full braking system. If you lose either half of the system, you have to push a lot harder on the pedal to get the car to slow anything near like normal.
 

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As recommended by others, check the rear shoe adjustment first.

Another thing that can affect the effectiveness of the rear brakes is shoe glazing. They can be roughed up a bit for more bite (wear a dust mask if the shoes are older as they probably contain trace amounts of asbestos).

Once the shoes are adjusted, THEN adjust the e-brake cable itself.

The e-brake on an Opel, properly adjusted, WILL slow the car down appreciably (I’ve experienced front brake failure and done exactly this!). It can certainly lock the rear tires at will, as I can attest from my teenage years whilst doing 180 degree turns on asphalt.
 
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1970 Opel Gt - Purchased July 1972 - Chartreuse - restored - 3000 miles as of 02-16, 2021 -
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712 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had adjusted the brake shoes to the point that you can just get the drum back over the brakes but will double check that just to be sure and also will rough up the the shoe. Thanks for the tips. Carl
 
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