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Discussion Starter #1
As part of my 'million mod month' I had the rear suspension off. With everything reinstalled, the parking brake cable seems to have shrunk. I've disconnected/reconnected it before, and I know it's a tight squeeze normally, but this is ridiculous. It's like an inch of cable disappeared. The handbrake handle is all the way down. The ends of the cable are fully seated in their brackets.

To see just how tight it is, I cranked down the parking brake arms with clamps so that I could get the cable in place. As I suspected, after the clamps were removed the tension is so tight that the parking brake is set solid even though the handle is down.

I can't imagine what could have changed. I missed something, obviously. Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
(tap, tap, tap) "Is this thing on?"

The reason I'm concerned about this is safety - it seems like a red flag. If I reassembled the arms, uprights, etc. just as they were, where is the change that made the cable too tight? We're talking about the suspension here, something I don't want to be goofing around with...
 

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Nein Kinder
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I have a 2011 Elise SC, so presuming your brakes are the single-piston Brembo units like mine...

...I can think of two possibilities. The parking brake lever on the caliper attaches to a star-shaped boss and is the secured with a nut. Perhaps the lever is off one tooth. The other possibility is that the piston needs to be screwed in to account for new brake pads. The piston has two holes on its face. Use some needle nose pliers to screw it in a few turns into the brake body. Applying the handbrake will try to rotate the piston out - this is the automatic adjustment feature for the handbrake.

I just removed my calipers, painted them and then replaced them. Even though I was simply replacing the old pads, I screwed the pistons in before replacing the pads. I was able to install the parking brake cables on the calipers with everything else hooked up by pulling the cable into place with some pliers grasping the end (about 10 - 15 lbs of force). Then I applied the brakes once or twice with the foot pedal to set the pads. Finally, I set and released the parking brake handle 3 or 4 times to adjust the parking brake.

Glen
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input, Glen. Your description is exactly what I've experienced in the past when I've disconnected the cable. Good to know about the levers. Although that can't be the problem as I did not disassemble them, I can use that as a last resort to get the handbrake back to normal.

Though I didn't change the pads, I screwed the pistons in a bit and the calipers went on without a lot of effort. That said, I'm going to try driving them in further to see if that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yep, it was that simple. I had screwed the pistons in just a bit when I reinstalled, which has been sufficient in the past.

I unpinned the center cable to release the tension, pulled the calipers, and screwed the pistons in eight or ten more full turns. After reassembling, I was just able to reconnect the cable. It's still tighter than usual, two clicks on the handle to set the brake solid. But we're back in business. Thanks, Glen for leading me to the solution.
 
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