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Parking Brake Adjusting and Cable Replacing
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Parking Brake Adjusting and Cable Replacing

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$15

Talent:

**

Tools:

Flathead screwdriver, 10mm wrench

Applicable Models:

VW Golf GTI (1999-00)
VW Golf GTI 1.8T (2002-05)
VW Golf GTI 20th Anniversary (2003)
VW Golf GTI 337 (2002)
VW Golf GTI GLS (2001)
VW Golf GTI GLX (2000-01)
VW Golf GTI VR6 (2002-05)

Parts Required:

New cable

Hot Tip:

Double check adjustment before finishing up

Performance Gain:

Proper parking brake function

Complementary Modification:

Replace parking brake cables

Unlike most cars that use the inside of the rear disk for the parking brake system the GTI Mk4 parking brake system uses the rear brake calipers to hold the car. The system is simple and the only down side is possible rotor warp if you are performing hard repeated braking and then set the parking brake. Adjustment is much easier than on the system that uses a traditional brake shoe inside the drum of the rear rotor. There are cables that run from the interior of the car to the rear caliper that is adjustable as the brake pads wear or when installing new pads. These cables usually last a very long time but are subject to fail from road debris or if there is a cut in the cable sheath moisture can become trapped and rust the cable.

You will need to raise the rear of the vehicle as well as remove the rear ashtray and cup holder to perform this work. Please see our article on jacking up your vehicle and removing the rear console.

Adjustment - With the rear of the car safely supported in the air and the ash tray and cup holder removed you will see the brake handle adjustment mechanism.
Figure 1

Adjustment - With the rear of the car safely supported in the air and the ash tray and cup holder removed you will see the brake handle adjustment mechanism. There is a long bolt that's comes from the rear of the parking brake handle that a compensator (red arrow) is attached too. In the slots on each side of the compensator are the cables that run to the brake calipers (yellow arrow). With the front wheels choked and the car in neutral, release the parking brake handle. You should be able to turn the rear wheels. Your parking brake handle should be fully engaged around the forth click when pulling up. Pull the handle up until the third click.

Adjustment - Use a 10mm wrench and adjust the compensator until you feel a fair amount of resistance when trying to turn the rear wheels by hand.
Figure 2

Adjustment - Use a 10mm wrench and adjust the compensator until you feel a fair amount of resistance when trying to turn the rear wheels by hand. Release the parking brake handle and check to see that the wheels turn free, without any resistance from the parking brake. Now pull the handle all the way up. It should stop around the fourth click and lock the rear wheels. Reinstall the rear cup holder and ash tray and you are done.

Adjustment - ThisPicture illustrates where the end of the cable sits in the retaining clip on the caliper (yellow arrow) and the ball end sits in the tensioning arm (red arrow).
Figure 3

Adjustment - ThisPicture illustrates where the end of the cable sits in the retaining clip on the caliper (yellow arrow) and the ball end sits in the tensioning arm (red arrow).

Cable Replacement - To replace the cable follow the adjustment steps but loosen the compensator until you can remove the ball end of the cable from the compensator (red arrow).
Figure 4

Cable Replacement - To replace the cable follow the adjustment steps but loosen the compensator until you can remove the ball end of the cable from the compensator (red arrow).

Cable Replacement - Next remove the other ball end (red arrow) from the tensioner arm and the circlip from the mounting bracket (yellow arrow).
Figure 5

Cable Replacement - Next remove the other ball end (red arrow) from the tensioner arm and the circlip from the mounting bracket (yellow arrow).

Cable Replacement - Remove the old cable from its supports (red and yellow arrows).
Figure 6

Cable Replacement - Remove the old cable from its supports (red and yellow arrows).

Cable Replacement - The twin screw clip (red arrow) can be reused if you carefully pry the clips away from the screw threads with a small screwdriver and then crimp down again to reuse.
Figure 7

Cable Replacement - The twin screw clip (red arrow) can be reused if you carefully pry the clips away from the screw threads with a small screwdriver and then crimp down again to reuse.

Cable Replacement - Pull the old cable out from the access tunnel where it enters the car (red arrow).
Figure 8

Cable Replacement - Pull the old cable out from the access tunnel where it enters the car (red arrow).

Cable Replacement - Installation is the reverse of removal.
Figure 9

Cable Replacement - Installation is the reverse of removal. The cable will only fit on the car one way but if you have some confusion the red arrow end goes to the caliper and the yellow arrow end goes to the compensator. Follow the steps for adjusting listed above.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:35:08 AM