Handbrake cable pictures / fitment

justin-20V

Member
Hi all, just thought I'd add a few pictures & comments on changing the handbrake cables. The Forum (and Rick for helping supply these...) has been a great help and should definitely be appreciated by us all.

I changed mine a while back and had intended to do a full write up, but alas time has not been kind. A few pictures attached anyhow as this shows the layout for anyone not familiar (or those debating whether they need to buy a cable).

My cable was almost rusted through on the right hand side (in front of the fuel tank) and was definitely a 'save' prior to the mot. The front part of the cable is an odd design to say the least, but to be fair to Audi, both this and the rear cables on mine were the originals - anything that lasts 20 years can't be so bad...

A few quick comments:-

- A fiddly job, but nothing too difficult so allow time !
- My right hand cable was seized solid in the retaining bracket (picture 4). I had to unbolt and lower the fuel tank a fraction to get a socket on the bracket to enable this to be removed. A bit of 'persuasion' was required, but I got the bracket to release the cable ferrule in the end.
- I bent my exhaust head shield out of the way as the fixings were damaged anyway - the front handbrake cable will then pull through from underneath once you have disconnected the pin/clip at the handbrake lever. Use string in the pin hole as mentioned previously by other members. Once removed, attach the string to the new cable and pull it back through !
- I used ATE cables from Autodoc as they are an OE brand and fitted perfectly (both cables the same on my 2002 model). I decided to change the drums/shoes/cylinders at the same time as you need to remove these to disconnect the cables at the wheel ends, but obviously not a necessity. You can also just replace the front section of the handbrake cable on its own, but unless the rears have been changed previously I think it'd be a false economy.

My handbrake feels great now - it would definitely have failed the mot, so make sure you check yours if you can. Car ramps are the safest way of having a quick look if you have them.

I was a glutton for punishment so then went on to change the A/C G263 temp sensor whilst some of the trim was out - doable but not fun, comments for another day...

Hope the info/pics help a little.
 

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Tomscar

Member
Hi all, just thought I'd add a few pictures & comments on changing the handbrake cables. The Forum (and Rick for helping supply these...) has been a great help and should definitely be appreciated by us all.

I changed mine a while back and had intended to do a full write up, but alas time has not been kind. A few pictures attached anyhow as this shows the layout for anyone not familiar (or those debating whether they need to buy a cable).

My cable was almost rusted through on the right hand side (in front of the fuel tank) and was definitely a 'save' prior to the mot. The front part of the cable is an odd design to say the least, but to be fair to Audi, both this and the rear cables on mine were the originals - anything that lasts 20 years can't be so bad...

A few quick comments:-

- A fiddly job, but nothing too difficult so allow time !
- My right hand cable was seized solid in the retaining bracket (picture 4). I had to unbolt and lower the fuel tank a fraction to get a socket on the bracket to enable this to be removed. A bit of 'persuasion' was required, but I got the bracket to release the cable ferrule in the end.
- I bent my exhaust head shield out of the way as the fixings were damaged anyway - the front handbrake cable will then pull through from underneath once you have disconnected the pin/clip at the handbrake lever. Use string in the pin hole as mentioned previously by other members. Once removed, attach the string to the new cable and pull it back through !
- I used ATE cables from Autodoc as they are an OE brand and fitted perfectly (both cables the same on my 2002 model). I decided to change the drums/shoes/cylinders at the same time as you need to remove these to disconnect the cables at the wheel ends, but obviously not a necessity. You can also just replace the front section of the handbrake cable on its own, but unless the rears have been changed previously I think it'd be a false economy.

My handbrake feels great now - it would definitely have failed the mot, so make sure you check yours if you can. Car ramps are the safest way of having a quick look if you have them.

I was a glutton for punishment so then went on to change the A/C G263 temp sensor whilst some of the trim was out - doable but not fun, comments for another day...

Hope the info/pics help a little.
Hi Justin ... mine is also a 2002 and recently discovered that the handbrake cables should both have been the same length, the nearside one had been replaced by an Audi dealership around ten years ago with the wrong one ... although it didn't seem to make much difference and still worked fine 🧐
 

Howey

Member
Great write up! I think both cables are the same length if you have the 34l fuel tank!
Whats your plans for your old rusty center cable?
 

Tomscar

Member
Great write up! I think both cables are the same length if you have the 34l fuel tank!
Whats your plans for your old rusty center cable?
Hi Howey ... I checked my Vin code down at Audi, if the info they give me is correct then the cut off point for matching cable lengths was cars manufactured up to July 2002, although not sure if the 34l tanked cars are excluded from this ... it didn't seem to make any difference to mine with a 42l tank having the wrong cable, ironically installed by an Audi garage!
 

justin-20V

Member
Great write up! I think both cables are the same length if you have the 34l fuel tank!
Whats your plans for your old rusty center cable?
Yes, that might make sense, mine has the smaller tank. I know there were a few part number supersessions too which always adds a bit of confusion. The old cable has long since 'departed' I'm afraid - I suppose I could have kept it as a template, but alas too late now...
 

Howey

Member
Hi Howey ... I checked my Vin code down at Audi, if the info they give me is correct then the cut off point for matching cable lengths was cars manufactured up to July 2002, although not sure if the 34l tanked cars are excluded from this ... it didn't seem to make any difference to mine with a 42l tank having the wrong cable, ironically installed by an Audi garage!
Confusing as to what can be different on the later cars, we know the center is the same on all A2s and in TDI75 the rear brakes are the same and i presume so is the axle thats why i fought maybe its the tank? But perhaps its the fuel filter? Mines was registered may 2002 so mine should have both the same but if audi can get it wrong what chance do we have!!
 

Howey

Member
Yes, that might make sense, mine has the smaller tank. I know there were a few part number supersessions too which always adds a bit of confusion. The old cable has long since 'departed' I'm afraid - I suppose I could have kept it as a template, but alas too late now...
Yes thats what i was thinking, ahh well only an idea!
 

Tomscar

Member
Confusing as to what can be different on the later cars, we know the center is the same on all A2s and in TDI75 the rear brakes are the same and i presume so is the axle thats why i fought maybe its the tank? But perhaps its the fuel filter? Mines was registered may 2002 so mine should have both the same but if audi can get it wrong what chance do we have!!
Very confusing ... and to add a bit more ... the shorter cable was on the nearside on mine but the fuel filter is on the drivers side, or the side with the longer cable 😆😆 but it didn't make any difference, it still worked ... I wonder why Audi changed it?
 

jannes

Member
Nice write-up, thanks for taking the time!

I'm going to need to change the left side rear cable of my A2 one of these days, I suppose that's slightly easier than the driver side?
 

Tomscar

Member
Nice write-up, thanks for taking the time!

I'm going to need to change the left side rear cable of my A2 one of these days, I suppose that's slightly easier than the driver side?
Hi Jannes, same procedure for both sides, they just unhook like a mountain bike brake cable from the central one, my replacements came with new attachments.
 

jannes

Member
Hi Jannes, same procedure for both sides, they just unhook like a mountain bike brake cable from the central one, my replacements came with new attachments.
Thanks, was just thinking since I changed the other side last year and I remember lowering the fuel tank was a nightmare.
 

Tomscar

Member
Thanks, was just thinking since I changed the other side last year and I remember lowering the fuel tank was a nightmare.
Hi Jannes ... my offside one had been on for close to twenty years and the ferrule on the outer cable was corroded to the retaining bracket ... I cut through the brake cable with a pair of wire cutters and persuaded it off the bracket with wd40, a flat screwdriver and a small hammer 😆 ... thankfully didn't need to touch the fuel tank (42l/ 1.4 petrol)
 

jannes

Member
Hi Jannes ... my offside one had been on for close to twenty years and the ferrule on the outer cable was corroded to the retaining bracket ... I cut through the brake cable with a pair of wire cutters and persuaded it off the bracket with wd40, a flat screwdriver and a small hammer 😆 ... thankfully didn't need to touch the fuel tank (42l/ 1.4 petrol)
Thanks for the tips, doesn't sound too bad. With the driver side I had the same problem as Justin and had to lower the fuel tank an inch to make room which was a pain so as long as I don't have to do that again I reckon I'll be a happy camper. Should have changed the cable while doing the other side really but was too fed up to do it at the time but have to do it now since it has become impossible to adjust the hand brake.
 

Howey

Member
Thanks for the tips, doesn't sound too bad. With the driver side I had the same problem as Justin and had to lower the fuel tank an inch to make room which was a pain so as long as I don't have to do that again I reckon I'll be a happy camper. Should have changed the cable while doing the other side really but was too fed up to do it at the time but have to do it now since it has become impossible to adjust the hand brake.
You are adjusting the brake shoes i take it??
 

jannes

Member
You are adjusting the brake shoes i take it??
Yes, no way to adjust the rear section of the cable itself as far as I'm aware. I didn't inspect the cable yet for damage but compared to the new one on the other side it's pretty dead when pulling and releasing the handbrake lever so I assume it's just worn. When using the handbrake, there should be a good bit of back and forth movement on the handbrake "actuator" arm.
 

Howey

Member
Yes, no way to adjust the rear section of the cable itself as far as I'm aware. I didn't inspect the cable yet for damage but compared to the new one on the other side it's pretty dead when pulling and releasing the handbrake lever so I assume it's just worn. When using the handbrake, there should be a good bit of back and forth movement on the handbrake "actuator" arm.
Ahh i see i was concerned you may have thought hand brake adjustment was done by tightening the cable in the car.
 

justin-20V

Member
Nice write-up, thanks for taking the time!

I'm going to need to change the left side rear cable of my A2 one of these days, I suppose that's slightly easier than the driver side?
Yep, left hand side has better access (on the early TDI for sure)...
 
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