How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

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davelowe
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How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

Postby davelowe » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:30 pm

This guide refers to replacing the internal ‘throttle style’ handbrake lever on a Megane Dci 1.9 diesel, but should apply equally to a number of other models.

The reasons for undertaking this work include a broken release button, amongst other things...

Before starting, park the car on LEVEL GROUND and CHOCK THE WHEELS. TAKE ALL REASONABLE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS. This is intended as a guide only. Use it at your own risk.

Read this entire article before starting.

You need to obtain either a brand new assembly or one sourced from a scrap yard. I got mine in the UK by phoning 0800 0741313 and it cost £83 including VAT and delivery. You could probably source one cheaper if you are more resourceful than me.


Below is a list of the tools that you will need:

Image

From left to right, 13mm half inch socket, 250 – 300mm extension bar, half inch ratchet, T20 size torx screwdriver, flat blade screwdriver wrapped with masking tape to protect plastic trim when prising, 13mm spanner, steel ruler, sewing quick unpick (or a knife) and sewing needle with black thread doubled up.

1. Remove the trim at the front of the handbrake as pictured below. It prises at the sides and lifts up and off.

Image

2. Remove the plastic trim in front of this, pictured above in position. Prise at the sides of the narrow end (near the cables) – two lugs hold it in position. Also remove the small panel under the start button. Behind this you will find the ECU code reader socket. To do this, push down and pull forward the small handle shaped bit (see other pictures further down).

3. Unclip the gear stick gaiter – you can do this by hand – feel where the lugs are and pull gently. Lift it up over the gear knob (don’t try and remove that – it’s a nightmare) as shown below. You can’t take off the centre console without removing the gaiter. The easiest way I found to do this was to use the quick unpick sewing tool to undo about 20–30 mm of the stitching directly under the gear knob. You might also need to cut a wire tie with a sharp knife. Only undo enough stitching to open it up enough to remove the gaiter over the gear knob.

Image

4. Next you need to remove the top portion of the centre console (the part holding the cigarette lighter socket and cup/ashtray holders). Prise it along the length at the sides where it is secured by lugs. Once loose, reach underneath and disconnect the cigarette lighter wiring (as shown below – blue coloured). The lighter socket remains in the part you have removed (the yellow bit near my hand).

Image

5. Now you are in a position to remove the centre console using the torx screwdriver. There are 4 screws. Two are at the front:

Image

and two at the rear, one each side (slide the front seats forward for access) - note Haynes mention only one (this got me a bit puzzled for a while!):

Image

The centre console will now pull backward and upwards and out of the car.

6. You should now see this:

Image

It is an excellent time to vacuum the parts of your car you couldn’t normally reach. As you can see, I didn’t!

7. Use the steel rule to measure the amount of adjustment on the handbrake thread:

Image

As you can see on the photo, I have 22mm. This is a guide to when you re-assemble and calibrate the new handbrake assembly.

8. Using the spanner, loosen off the nut, until you can remove the brake cables:

Image

They slide out of the balancing bar. One is removed as shown above.

9. Disconnect the handbrake warning light connector – green lead (pull it off, it’s just a simple blade connector):

Image

You can also see one of the loose brake cables in the above photo.

10. Using the socket, wrench and extension bar, unbolt the four mounting nuts from the red studs. The handbrake assembly can now be removed. Both loose brake cables can be seen below:

Image

Image

In the above picture, you can see the wiring loom for the heated seat switches (not present on my car). Note the small black lug on the green-cabled warning connector. This is pressed into the handbrake assembly. Push it out using your thumb. It is hard to see on the photo as it is against black carpeting. Obviously at this point, I have removed the handbrake assembly. A post mortem on it will be performed later.

11. Re-assemble in the reverse order with the new part.

12. Notes:

a) Make sure you have adjusted the handbrake using the spanner so that there is no excessive travel on the lever, or that the brakes aren’t binding. I checked the latter by pushing the car back and forth on LEVEL ground. The former is fairly obvious, it should start to engage within a few clicks. You can use the measurement you took with the steel rule to get an approximate starting point. Take good care to get this right – a half turn of the nut will make quite a difference. Do this as soon as you have bolted the new assembly on and re-attached the brake cables (and before you have put any trim back).

b) Leave the gear stick gaiter as the last job. With it pulled up as shown in a previous photo, using the needle and thread and sew it back together. Apply a new cable clip if required. When it is finally pressed back into position, you will not be able to see your darning handiwork, but it is still worth taking a time to do carefully!

13. Un-chock the wheels, and CAREFULLY TEST THAT THE NEW HANDBRAKE WORKS PROPERLY.

I hope this was a useful guide.
Silver 08 plate 5dr 1.5dci Dynamique 106 Tech Run (re-mapped)

Red 03 plate 5dr 1.9 Dynamique dci120

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Ray
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Re: How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

Postby Ray » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:00 pm

stickied
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tallpaul
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Re: How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

Postby tallpaul » Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:01 am

brilliant guide, 2 questions: who is it that you phone for the part?, what is the part number?
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davelowe
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Re: How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

Postby davelowe » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:07 pm

tallpaul wrote:brilliant guide, 2 questions: who is it that you phone for the part?, what is the part number?


Basically all I did was a web search for breakers yards, then phoned around until I found one that had the exact trim and make/model as my car in stock. I got the guy to describe in detail the appearance to double check.

Its pot luck that you will get a yard that happens have the part removed. You could, of course, phone your local Renault dealer and give them your registration number and buy a brand new assembly. I suppose that is more 'fail safe' option, but I think you would be spending a lot more money.

I have no idea about the part number, but when I get back from work, I'll have a look at the old assembly and see if it is stamped with any numbers/codes.
Silver 08 plate 5dr 1.5dci Dynamique 106 Tech Run (re-mapped)

Red 03 plate 5dr 1.9 Dynamique dci120

Best advice for Megane owners: sell it before it bankrupts you!

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Re: How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

Postby AlexB » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:15 pm

Cool.

Just one comment and one alternative suggestion.

When adjusting the handbrake follow the manual as in our Links. The travel of the lever must be long. Most garages adjust it incorrectly.

These handbrakes often fail due to a broken plastic bit inside the handle. As an alternative to replacing the whole mechanism, just disassemble the handle, the one you hold in hand when pulling, find the broken bit or bits of plastic and put the corresponding number of screws through. Use a piece of cloth soaked in epoxy resin to fortify the plastic shell on the inside. This part is badly designed and is bound to fail anyway.
AlexB
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davelowe
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Re: How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

Postby davelowe » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:19 pm

AlexB,

Thanks for the feedback. I have the original broken assembly in the garage (in pieces) and meant to do a post mortem on it (and a fixit guide). You are absolutely correct in that the spring is held by a badly designed plastic moulding. The fault indeed lies in the moulding simply breaking away. It can be a superglue fix (or epoxy resin as you suggest). Obviously I didn't realise that at the time and so opted for the long winded route of replacement - you can't really take off the whole assembly on a daily used car and take it apart if you are a beginner like me. After I had the new unit working properly I knew I could take the old one to bits without worry. It really pisses me off that such poor plastic and design costs people such a lot of money.
Silver 08 plate 5dr 1.5dci Dynamique 106 Tech Run (re-mapped)

Red 03 plate 5dr 1.9 Dynamique dci120

Best advice for Megane owners: sell it before it bankrupts you!

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Re: How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

Postby AlexB » Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:14 pm

I just put the screws from the outside of the lower shell into the broken mouldings (three in my case). Superglue or any plastic glues do not work on this plastic, only the epoxy resin. It is important to make sure the lower shell does not move, it affects the travel of the button. The heads of the screws are not seen there and can be barely felt.
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ChrisM
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Re: How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

Postby ChrisM » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:00 pm

You don't actually have to unpick the gear lever gaitor, just lift him up out of the way the center consul will swivel around the gear lever once free, still gives good access to hand brake, saves a bit of time and some needle work, would be interested in fix it for lever with images as they speak a thousand words.
Great "how to" though, well done came in very useful indeed! :cool:

sakhtolo
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Re: How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

Postby sakhtolo » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:19 pm

How do you take just the grip part of the handbrake off? The button on my lever has gone in and the plastic bits inside have broken. I can't remember exactly but I think that I might have lost some of the plastic bits. Is it best if I just replace the whole lever?

ChrisM
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Re: How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

Postby ChrisM » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:17 pm

How do you take just the grip part of the handbrake off?
Well there is a question. Not so much how do you get it off but how do you make it look good when you put it back on!
To get it off:
Unpick all the stiching on the back of the leather.
slide a flatblade screw driver into the seam and gentally pull it apart, the leather is glued to the plastic shell, lift the leather off the top part of the shell, bit of coaxing and pulling it will peel away carefully, if you look inside the hole where the button is you will see the shell is in 2 halves so pull leather back until you reach or just pass the front half join.
Pop off top shell, held on by plastic tabs.
you will see two cross head screws undo these to remove the handle completly, and all will be reveiled about how crap this hand brake really is!!! was never designed to last at all.
Mine had jumped the spring and the SELF TAPPER, yes self tapper that holds the metal lever in place had fell out, this silly tiny spring, held in with aforementioned self tapper, is what actually operate's your hand brake ratchet right back at the base of the leaver, I will post some pictures as you have to see it! really; you do! I have cut my spring so it sits lower on the I supose you could call it the fulcrum, it is less apt to pop out now as it is not bending, there is a tiny hole in the plastic base shell this spring sits in, which enables it to compress, how this small hole and long spring work for more than 2 years I have no idea, the tail is to long so it bends, the base of the spring does not sit deep enough in the hole to get a proper base so evntually it bends and gives way, result button stays in, no tension on the ratchet, handbrake KAPUT!
Self Tappers and tiny spring - Really RENAULT for a hand brake! :no :no :mad

__spc__
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Re: How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

Postby __spc__ » Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:22 pm

First-rate post (and thread) - thank you!
5dr 1.6VVT Hatch, Pearl Black Megane Dynamique + Comfort Pack, '53 plate

SHROSS
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Re: How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

Postby SHROSS » Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:54 pm

Just after I took delivery of my 1.6 megane 2 sedan , I stoped at a the local super market to grab a bite . When I got back in the car . I couldnt release the hand brake !!!! the release button was missing !!!!! (lol)

I broke the handle section open , just to be able to release it . Anyway , I noticed the release button is plastic and it relighs on a small hook to keep it in ! (not the best desighn !) The next day I took all the little parts with me to work , and piced it all together how it should work . Then in my lunch time I machined a billet aluminium release button . that evening I assembled everything and bonded it with a strong industial epoxy . just have piece of mind , that that stupid plastic button wont just fall out again !

__spc__
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Re: How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

Postby __spc__ » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:33 pm

Well, my repaired handbrake button finally failed for good, locking my handbrake 'on', and in rush hour traffic in the centre of town, too! :oops:

I've found a new part for £140 on eBay, and using this guide will replace it myself. The car's 8yrs old, so I can just about tolerate paying that kind of money for a new part - but certainly not the £250 Renault want to fit a replacement.

Judging by the photos and what I know of the hand brake assembly, can't be more than hour's work to replace the unit...
5dr 1.6VVT Hatch, Pearl Black Megane Dynamique + Comfort Pack, '53 plate

davelowe
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Re: How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

Postby davelowe » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:16 pm

I paid around £80 for my replacement from a yard. Maybe inflation is higher than I thought! Let us know how you get on.
Silver 08 plate 5dr 1.5dci Dynamique 106 Tech Run (re-mapped)

Red 03 plate 5dr 1.9 Dynamique dci120

Best advice for Megane owners: sell it before it bankrupts you!

__spc__
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Location: Bridgend, UK

Re: How to: Replace the 'throttle style' internal handbrake

Postby __spc__ » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:36 pm

I'm after a new part, not used.... Should give me 5yrs trouble free usage...
5dr 1.6VVT Hatch, Pearl Black Megane Dynamique + Comfort Pack, '53 plate


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