XK8 and XKR Handbrake Improvement Modification
by Dick Maury
It really seemed silly that a newer modern car these days has a handbrake that will not hold a car on but the slightest incline. Not sure what to do about it on my XKR so went about checking things out. I first made sure the handbrake shoes were not worn out and were adjusted properly. The cable seemed to be working fine, it just took two hands and a really hard pull to put the handbrake on where it would hold. Even then, it would not hold on a steep hill. Under the car where the cable comes out of the body it meets a lever. There is a long and short end on the lever and this is to apply leverage to increase the pull on the handbrakes from the handle in the car. I wanted to increase the pull so the only way was to lengthen the longer end or move the hole toward the center pivot point on the shorter end. Seemed like a simple way to do things. Below are pictures of before and after.
The picture on the left is a stock pivot arm. The picture in the center shows before and after. The cable attachment is still on the drilled piece. This one was put on a car and greatly improved the braking for the effort. I wanted a bit more so ended up drilling a hole even closer to the center line as the picture on the right shows. The only real problem was that the cable bracket coming from the rear brakes had to be ground on the edge so it would clear the center boss. Not a big deal. The brakes work great and you don't have to use both hands anymore. Of course when you are through mounting it back in place, the rear connecting link will need to be adjusted to the point where the brakes are just before dragging. Also pay attention to the spring configuration as there are two return springs and they need to be put back just like they started.