How to replace handbrake cable boots?

Discussion in 'Workshop Forum' started by DanielForest, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. DanielForest

    DanielForest True Classic

    I'm talking about the 2 inches long accordion boots just before the end of the handbrake cables, behind the rear calipers. After 40 years, they are not in really good shape. I ordered a pair from MWB. I was going to do a "small" 5 minute job in the garage: changing those boots.

    In French we have an expression: "Y'en aura pas de facile". Which means, there not going to be an easy one.

    After 30 minutes of work, I realize they are not easy to fit. I barely made it to fit the first "accordion row" over the metal end clip.

    I guess the "official" way is to remove the cable and slide the boots before refitting the cable.

    The "easy" way would be to split the boot in two and tie it with tie-wraps. I don't like either of these methods.
    (MWB site picture)

    Anybody have ever done that job?

    My next idea was to find a tube or a hose that fit over the handbrake cable mechanism. Pull the boot over the tube, slide the tube in place and drop the boot in place. If the boot was easy to extend that would work well, but I'm afraid it is beyond the capacity of the boot and I will simply tear it...:mad:
  2. It's a pain in the ass and is not really even supposed to be a technique. It can be done, very slowly, methodically and your fingers will hurt afterwards.

    If you want a faster solution with less swearing, use heat shrink tubing instead. Slide it over the spring and two metal collars, hit it with a lighter, voila done. If you want a really professional job, use a 2nd layer. lol
    lookforjoe likes this.
  3. DanielForest

    DanielForest True Classic

    Thanks Matt,

    I tried with a thin screwdriver and small pliers with no success. I will try my idea of slipping the boot over a tube (maybe a Pex). Your suggestion is good if nothing else work.
  4. Jefco

    Jefco Daily Driver

    Portland OR
    Make sure the boot is nice and warm so it's stretchy and use a lubricant; try not to think dirty while you put it on. ;)
  5. carl

    carl True Classic

    It never occurred to me that people actually replace these things. If function is the worry then just glom up the cable with grease and go find something else painful to do. If you insist then I agree that doing this on a workbench would make it slightly easier than trying to do it on the car.
  6. NEG

    NEG True Classic

    ^^^^^ that’s what I did, covered the cable in grease!

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