Jump to content

Handbrake Pawl GT6 Mk3


Recommended Posts

Hello all


I think I'm starting to understand the domino effect of owning a classic! I have been stripping out the interior with a view to renovating the interior bodywork prior to new carpets etc but as the handbrake is now fully accessible I thought I'd investigate why it doesn't ratchet up like modern cars. Ever since I bought it applying the handbrake seems to be pot luck if / when it catches.


I found a breakdown of a herald diagram as attached showing the early / late mechanisms. Mine is push button to release type. As can be seen on the photo my Pawl just flaps there - I'd have thought there should be a spring or something to ensure the pawl in engaged with the ratchet all the time until the button is pressed. 


I know the previous owner fiddled with it - could he have missed out a spring somewhere?


I hope its a valid question this time as I am building up the pile of 'T-shirt' questions!






Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you are missing the spring under the button.


Older sports cars might have had a "fly-off" handbrake.   The driver would pull up the lever and press the button to engage the pawl.

To release, they then briefly pulled up on the handle again, the pawl would disengage and the brake release.

The driver could snatch at the handle and just go.


Quicker than the conventional which you should have of grabbing the handle, pressing the button to release the pawl and lowering the handle with the button pressed.

Removing the spring is a bodge that some would do and call it, "fly-off", but as you may have found it is clumsier than a true "fly-off".



Link to comment
Share on other sites



They can prove to be a bit of a puzzle! The only spring required is the long one behind the push button. Tension on the assembly comes from the handbrake cable itself. If it is not ratcheting up correctly it can be because the pivot has become sloppy, and this will be obvious if the handbrake lever can be moved from side to side. The pivot should be a shouldered steel pin and some washers, held together by a circlip in a groove. If any bits are missing, or if the bracket has spread for some reason, that will be the cause of the ratchet problem.

A good fix for pivot issues is to replace the pin with an appropriate sized bolt, washers and a nyloc jam nut. I did this after becoming sick of the circlip pinging off. The whole assembly now feels a lot more secure.


Good luck


Steve C

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...