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  1. #1
    Veteran Member Three Rings nihil's Avatar
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    Oct 01 2007
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    DIY: B6 (emergency|parking|hand)-brake adjustment.

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    I searched around yesterday when I was trying to reconnect my parking brake cables, and found no such how-to, so I figured I would take some pictures of the process today. This is only required if your parking brake is too tight, if your parking brake is too loose, stop reading and go yank on your parking brake handle a dozen times. It's an auto-adjusting mechanism, and should tighten on its own. If you've replaced the cables, rear brake pads, or if it's too tight for other reasons, check that the cables are not frayed or binding anywhere, then read on.

    What you'll need:
    - 1x sacrificial flat-head screwdriver
    - 1x grinder/Dremel/file
    - 5x minutes

    Here are the instructions from the manual, many thanks to gotquattro for posting this in my earlier thread.


    Here is what the auto-adjusting ratchet mechanism looks like in person. There is a red circle around the "button" mentioned in the factory instructions, and an arrow indicating the direction it needs to be pushed. The drivers side cable attaches to a hook on the near side (not visible in picture), and is the inside toothed ring of the ratchet. The passenger side cable is attached to a hook that is the outside of the ratchet. There is an internal spring that pushes both of these hooks toward the front of the vehicle, and cams/locks that prevent them from moving toward the rear. This is how it automatically adjusts as the rear pads wear down. If there is too much slack, the spring pulls the hooks forward a click or two.


    If you do things the easy way, you wont get such a clear view of this part. To get this picture, I had to remove, in this order:
    - ashtray (easy, pull on it)
    - switch cluster for rear seat heaters/emergency door lock (pain in the ass, broke a tab)
    - armrest (not too bad, single 13mm nut, universal joint socket extension required)
    - armrest bracket (three more 13mm nuts)


    Luckily, you only have to remove the ashtray to activate the release button, if you have the right tool. This brings us to our sacrificial screwdriver and grinding implement. The picture below is what used to be a standard flat-head screwdriver, and by way of considerable grinding (I used a bench top grinding/sharpening wheel) is transformed into an Audi auto-adjusting parking brake mechanism release tool. Works on my B6, may be useful on other models?


    Step 1 - Remove the ashtray
    Here is the view you will get after doing so.


    Step 2 - Activate the release
    With the parking brake handle in as down a position as it will get while still giving you access to the button, insert tool, oriented as shown.


    Twist clockwise.


    If there is tension on the cables, the hooks should move backwards on their own. In my case, the parking brake had frozen this past winter, and I ended up disconnecting both cables in 20deg weather. After the cables thawed enough to move, the auto-adjusting feature moved both hooks as far forward as they would go, making it virtually impossible to reconnect both cables at the same time. I ended up getting the girlfriend to sit in the cabin and activate the release while I was at the rear pulling on, and re-attaching the cables.

    That's it. Stick the ashtray back in, and go for a drive.

    -------------
    For reference, here are some more pictures of the inside of the console, picking up after the ashtray removed view picture above.

    Switch cluster removed and wires pulled back.


    Armrest removed.


    Armrest bracket removed.

    .-.-.-.-.
    `-`-`-`-`

    2002 A4 1.8TQMS (sold)
    1982 MB Geländewagen 300GD
    1968 Charger R/T
    1987 Porsche 944


  2. #2
    Senior Member Two Rings windsorblue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 21 2007
    AZ Member #
    18995
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine

    Yes, I know this is an old thread. However, I found it extremely helpful and would like to thank the OP.

    Mods, any chance this can get added to the DIY section of the tech forum?

  3. #3
    Established Member Two Rings cosmokramer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 10 2010
    AZ Member #
    61264
    My Garage
    '02 Audi A4 1.8TQM
    Location
    Glendale, CA

    Props to nihil for this excellent DIY! I took off my armrest and discovered that one of my cables wasn't even on the hooks!

    (oh and thanks windsor blue for bumping--would have not embarked on this DIY today had you not bumped the thread--haha)

  4. #4
    Registered Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Jun 18 2010
    AZ Member #
    60399
    Location
    larne/n. ireland

    I need to adjust the cables on my 2004 a4 tdi quattro as the cables are too tight. I wanted to enlarge the photo's in this article but am prevented from doing so by an admistration block. How do i enlarge the pictures tosee how to carry out the adjustment. Brian

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Four Rings old guy's Avatar
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    Dec 28 2006
    AZ Member #
    14483
    My Garage
    '09 CC VR6 Sport
    Location
    Western Maryland
    Items for Sale

    Quote Originally Posted by chiefmechanic View Post
    I need to adjust the cables on my 2004 a4 tdi quattro as the cables are too tight. I wanted to enlarge the photo's in this article but am prevented from doing so by an admistration block. How do i enlarge the pictures tosee how to carry out the adjustment. Brian
    Try holding down your control key and use the scroll wheel on your mouse to see if you can enlarge the whole page.
    Motoza tuned Frankenturbo F21L mixed flow turbo plus a few more goodies.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Three Rings nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 01 2007
    AZ Member #
    21487
    My Garage
    Too small
    Location
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    Looks like imageshack changed policy since the original post. Not sure what I did with those pics, but here's a diagram that might help:


    .-.-.-.-.
    `-`-`-`-`

    2002 A4 1.8TQMS (sold)
    1982 MB Geländewagen 300GD
    1968 Charger R/T
    1987 Porsche 944


  7. #7
    Established Member Three Rings B6ayfour's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 21 2015
    AZ Member #
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    My Garage
    02 DG B6 A4 1.8tqm(Gone)/1999 Subaru outback (battle)wagon/2004 C5 A6 2.7t S-line
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    merrick/new york/usa
    Items for Sale

    bumping from the dead but i need a picture of this ratchet release tool. ive tried everything and i cant get the damn thing to release... if i could get a link to where to buy this tool that would be even more awesome...
    04 2.7t DG S-line
    02 1.8tqm DG sport suspension package SOLD
    Motoza Stage 1+, Painted color matched lowers, USP front end conversion and Cupra lip, s4 rear bumper, 18" USP reps, OBX catback exhaust w/o resonators, psi concepts test pipe, custom CAI with heatshield, Stratmosphere hyperboost DV, ECS poly snub mount, podi steering column boost gauge, cx racing fmic, forge TIP, genesis 380cc injectors, B6 S4 Brake Kit F/R, 2.0t coil packs.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Three Rings nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 01 2007
    AZ Member #
    21487
    My Garage
    Too small
    Location
    N/A

    I don't think there is an official tool. Mine was reluctant to budge, so I ground the side of a flat head screwdriver to give it a bit more leverage. I just drew a picture of it, I left the original in the car when I sold it. It's also quite useful for pulling those plastic lug bolt covers off.

    .-.-.-.-.
    `-`-`-`-`

    2002 A4 1.8TQMS (sold)
    1982 MB Geländewagen 300GD
    1968 Charger R/T
    1987 Porsche 944


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