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#1620184 - 09/05/2018 11:06 Mot woes and handbrake cable route
GrahamL Offline
Forum is my job

Registered: 17/12/2005
Posts: 3530
Loc: Pothole City
Does anyone have a pic or remember for sure the route of the nearside handbrake cable around the exhaust?

When my coupe failed the MOT on handbrake/rear brakes 3-4 years back I replaced the rear pads myself and then left a set of new handbrake cables in the boot for them to fit if required.

They were needed and the garage fitted them with the nearside cable going over the top of (and touching) the exhaust. I remembered there was a heat shield tube over the original Fiat cable so got some heat resistant tape and wrapped the part where the cable was above and against the exhaust and it's been fine like that ever since.

There doesn't seem to be any allowance for fixing the cable anywhere above or below the exhaust without it touching and the service manual doesn't give any clues on the exact route.

Now for the last few years at each MOT they've complained that the handbrake cable is touching the exhaust, even though they fitted it like that and to be fair there really doesn't seem to be any alternative.

Does anyone have a pic of the proper method?

As usual I got advisory on handbrake efficiency so thinking about fitting new pads again and maybe new handbrake cables, even though cables and pads have only done about 6K miles since being replaced. When I replaced the last set of pads they were so smooth and glazed over they were doing almost nothing, almost like the rear brakes doing so little they were just polishing the pads smooth over time. Maybe the new pads have gone the same way already.

Emissions only just passed this time too, so maybe time to replace the 10 year old sports cat. I see various cheap coupe cat's on ebay but assume they are rubbish, so what are people fitting as an alternative?

The exhaust is a big bore stainless system completely welded together from end to end (yes, really) so the cat will need cut out and a new one welded in place so any recommendations for a big, high flow cat would be welcome.

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#1620189 - 09/05/2018 11:21 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: GrahamL]
Dazvr6 Offline
Club member 1313
My job on the forum

Registered: 23/10/2013
Posts: 1259
Loc: Staffs
My cable went under the exhaust and that's how I fitted the replacement. No mot issues for 2 years like that.

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#1620190 - 09/05/2018 11:23 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: GrahamL]
godders Offline
Club member 1575
On a journey

Registered: 16/05/2006
Posts: 142
Loc: Surrey Hills, U.K
Under!

Looks weird but I questioned this with Joe recently too!

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#1620191 - 09/05/2018 11:28 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: GrahamL]
DaveG Offline
Club member 311
Forum is my life

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 6954
Loc: Lightwater, Surrey, UK
I can get you a picture tonight if nobody else can do it earlier. I thought the n/s cable went under the exhaust, do you still have the plastic clips on the fuel tank and the metal "clip" (kind of J shaped thing) that the cable passes through? the only thing is that various aftermarket exhausts may take slightly different routes requiring the cable routes to change slightly? I have 2 different aftermarket systems on both Coupes but IIRC the cables are routed the same on both.
_________________________
1996 Portofino 20vt & 2000 Pearl White Plus
1985½ & 2016 2017 Fiat 124 Spider + XF Sportbrake

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#1620192 - 09/05/2018 11:29 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: GrahamL]
GrahamL Offline
Forum is my job

Registered: 17/12/2005
Posts: 3530
Loc: Pothole City
Cool, thanks, so under is the proper route and presumably it's still touching the exhaust?

It's a non-standard exhaust without that middle expansion box and the handbrake cable appears to still be running through the available clips but just over rather than under the exhaust. Probably doesn't make much difference if it's still touching the underside of the exhaust via the normal route.

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#1620201 - 09/05/2018 12:27 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: GrahamL]
Dazvr6 Offline
Club member 1313
My job on the forum

Registered: 23/10/2013
Posts: 1259
Loc: Staffs
Mine still touches the exhaust.

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#1620203 - 09/05/2018 12:36 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: GrahamL]
DaveG Offline
Club member 311
Forum is my life

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 6954
Loc: Lightwater, Surrey, UK
Yes, underneath but still touching IIRC
_________________________
1996 Portofino 20vt & 2000 Pearl White Plus
1985½ & 2016 2017 Fiat 124 Spider + XF Sportbrake

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#1620290 - 11/05/2018 09:08 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: DaveG]
mr_nobut Offline
Club member 993
Making a profit

Registered: 06/05/2009
Posts: 322
Loc: bristol
Having been under mine yesterday fitting new rear pads and discs for upcoming mot, mine definitely goes under and has a 'ribbed' metal sleeve where it passes under the back box. To get it to go over would be a challenge unless back box was different to a standard exhaust. Hope you get it sorted!!

I find the handbrake cables, rear discs and pads need swopping every 2-3 years to satisfy mot!! rolleyes
_________________________
inky goodness!!

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#1620294 - 11/05/2018 09:26 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: GrahamL]
DaveG Offline
Club member 311
Forum is my life

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 6954
Loc: Lightwater, Surrey, UK
I did get some pictures but they're not very good because the car's not jacked up very high and I can only just squeeze underneath to look. My cable definitely passes underneath but is not touching, in fact there's a good 1 inch clearance, but this looks to be because that section of the exhaust is shaped upwards and away (and then is shaped downwards again further back). This is on a Blueflame cat-back system.

But I can see how a custom design might take a more straight-line/direct route and end up being in the same place as the handbrake cable, so that it may not make much difference if the cable goes above or below, it will still touch the exhaust.
_________________________
1996 Portofino 20vt & 2000 Pearl White Plus
1985½ & 2016 2017 Fiat 124 Spider + XF Sportbrake

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#1620300 - 11/05/2018 10:39 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: mr_nobut]
GrahamL Offline
Forum is my job

Registered: 17/12/2005
Posts: 3530
Loc: Pothole City
Yes, for my exhaust I don't think there's any option but to have the handbrake cable touching it, either above or below. So it doesn't really make any difference and isn't causing the poor handbrake performance... I think I'll just tell the MOT guy that it's meant to be like that. rolleyes

Was really just wondering if I was missing some clips that held the cable clear of the exhaust, so good to know that's not the case at least.

The original Fiat handbrake cables (no longer available) had the ribbed metal sleeve for heat protection but the aftermarket versions don't and the sleeve isn't available as a separate part from Fiat.

I remember when the Fiat cables were still available the consensus was to always fit the original Fiat parts as the aftermarket cables were rubbish and didn't last. Now that only the aftermarket cables are available no one seems to mention that anymore!

Originally Posted By mr_nobut
I find the handbrake cables, rear discs and pads need swopping every 2-3 years to satisfy mot!! rolleyes


Haha, yeah that's about where I am now... 3 years but only about 5-6K miles covered. I've already got Brembo rear pads to fit so will maybe just do the handbrake cables as well and hope they make enough improvement.

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#1620306 - 11/05/2018 12:06 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: GrahamL]
DaveG Offline
Club member 311
Forum is my life

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 6954
Loc: Lightwater, Surrey, UK
There is a clip attached to the fuel tank and I managed to snap mine off, but it should superglue back on. Without that clip the cable will hang down lower, so there may be scope on yours to avoid that clip and hence have the cable hang lower and perhaps even hang clear of the exhaust? I see a few cars on the road with very low hanging handbrake cables, I guess that's not an MoT fail (yet)?
_________________________
1996 Portofino 20vt & 2000 Pearl White Plus
1985½ & 2016 2017 Fiat 124 Spider + XF Sportbrake

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#1620316 - 11/05/2018 14:30 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: GrahamL]
Rob40 Offline
Enjoying the ride

Registered: 24/06/2007
Posts: 866
Loc: Carlisle
If they're so concerned about the brake cable outer sleeve touching the exhaust, cover that portion of the exhaust with some exhaust wrap, and maybe the cable, that should stop them from whingeing!
_________________________
This is how it should have come out of Torino!

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#1620319 - 11/05/2018 16:10 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: Rob40]
GrahamL Offline
Forum is my job

Registered: 17/12/2005
Posts: 3530
Loc: Pothole City
Originally Posted By Rob40
If they're so concerned about the brake cable outer sleeve touching the exhaust, cover that portion of the exhaust with some exhaust wrap, and maybe the cable, that should stop them from whingeing!


Now that is a good idea!

I wrapped the part of the downpipe where it goes through the guard at the sump as there was some movement there, so I might even have some of the wrapping bandage stuff left.

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#1620322 - 11/05/2018 16:25 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: GrahamL]
DaveG Offline
Club member 311
Forum is my life

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 6954
Loc: Lightwater, Surrey, UK
Originally Posted By GrahamL
I wrapped the part of the downpipe where it goes through the guard at the sump as there was some movement there

I'm surprised there is movement of the downpipe at that point because that is upstream of the flexible joint: even if the engine moves on the mounts, the engine/exhaust manifold/turbo/downpipe should move together. You could always remove the guard plate and refit with more or less washers so that the guard is a tight fit, or there is gap, if you prefer a gap...?
_________________________
1996 Portofino 20vt & 2000 Pearl White Plus
1985½ & 2016 2017 Fiat 124 Spider + XF Sportbrake

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#1620338 - 12/05/2018 00:41 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: DaveG]
GrahamL Offline
Forum is my job

Registered: 17/12/2005
Posts: 3530
Loc: Pothole City
Originally Posted By DaveG
I'm surprised there is movement of the downpipe at that point because that is upstream of the flexible joint


It must just be slightly loose at the turbo so it can rotate a few degrees.

Just spotted that the Pagid handbrake cables on Eurocarparts are different from the set I got from Alt Autos and they have the silver heat shield, so will get a set of those to try and then run them below the exhaust when I fit the new Brembo rear pads.

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#1620374 - 13/05/2018 10:56 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: GrahamL]
chipped Offline

Making a profit

Registered: 14/10/2009
Posts: 286
Loc: devon, england
I had to get rid of my sports cat.
I put on an ebay cheap one and it made no difference to anything apart from passing the emissions.
Apparently they are cheap because they don't have a lot of the expensive metals inside so they don't last as long, but they are cheap and easily replaced.

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#1620423 - 14/05/2018 12:59 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: GrahamL]
neil_r Offline
Enjoying the ride

Registered: 16/08/2007
Posts: 780
Loc: Germany
I'm not sure if the "original" cables were really any better a fit. I have used noname, Textar (same parent company as Pagid?) and ATE. They all work fine as long as the calipers themselves are fine. The ATE ones are much more solidly made though and feel like they are worth a little extra.

The weak point is always the rubber bellows that disintegrates after about 3 years and lets water into the cable sleeve.

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#1620428 - 14/05/2018 13:33 Re: Mot woes and handbrake cable route [Re: GrahamL]
GrahamL Offline
Forum is my job

Registered: 17/12/2005
Posts: 3530
Loc: Pothole City
All the handbrake cables probably "fit" OK I think the issue may be how much they stretch when pressure is applied and also over time.

As with all coupes the rear brakes and handbrake were never great on my first coupe with the original Fiat parts but they were never so bad that after fitting new pads/discs/cables it was a borderline MOT fail 6000 miles later especially considering the car is now dry use only.

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