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Handbrake adjustment & allen screw location

[Saab 900, 9000, 93, 95]

The rear caliper allen screw allows for handbrake adjustment and piston retraction. The allen is located on the rear caliper about half way down. There is a 14mm bolt that you must remove to access the allen. You turn the allen counter clockwise to retract the piston (to install pads).

Allen location on the caliper (for Saabs that handbrakes adj on the rear)

Warning!Make sure you are using jackstands to prevent the car falling on you!

Rear handbrake adjustment

STEP 1 Remove the rear 14mm bolt to expose the allen
STEP 2 Jack the rear of the car up
STEP 3 Intall the rear wheel
STEP 4 with the rear wheel off the ground turn the allen screw in until the rear wheel spins one complete circle and re-install the 14mm bolt to cover the allen

Thanks to Mark Maidens for contributing to this FAQ!

Information on how to adjust 93 Handbrake on 2001 model (should be similiar on all cars)

Please note that the following can be very easy, however should there be a problem that arises it can be very difficult, frustrating and not for the faint hearted! Accept the following points as advice, I will accept absolutely no liability for any damage or injury etc from your actions.

STEP 5 Jack up the rear of the vehicle and have ready a collection of tools (remember to support the front wheels using chocks). Use axle stands or specialist workshop equipment. DO NOT use a jack alone.
STEP 6 Release the handbrake.
STEP 7 If you intend to fit brand new handbrake shoes: from the passenger side of the car (nearside UK edition), unscrew two nuts holding the centre exhaust heat shield and bend back (this will not cause damage if careful). Under this will be the adjustment bar for the entire handbrake system. Unscrew this nut (not all the way) to slacken the brake. If you do not intend to replace the shoes then ignore this point.
STEP 8 Remove both rear road wheels and place to one side. The discs should turn freely provide you have complete point 2. (You may have had to apply the handbrake to unscrew the road wheel bolts)
STEP 9 Saab states that if one wheel is holding and the other is not then there is a cable fault. If the cables (at the rear of the discs) move when you pull them back and forth then there is no fault, if the remain stiff then yes there could be a cable fault. Seek advice from Saab, but my advice would be to coat in WD40 (spray thin based oil) and wait for a day and try again.
STEP 10 Rotate the disc until the access hole is roughly at the bottom. Use a torch to look for an adjuster nut. An AA Maglite with fibre optic adaptor may come in handy.
STEP 11 Using a flat screwdriver attempt to turn this adjuster nut by forcing the star shaped nut up or down to tighten. Unfortunately there is no set way as it all depends on which way round the
adjust nut was placed.
STEP 12 Keep turning this star shaped nut until the disc tightens so you cannot turn it anymore. The nut should turn with relative ease. Once the discs tightens then turn the star shaped key in the other direction. If the nut is turned just once then this should allow the disc to turn. That is where
the disc and handbrake shoes are correctly adjusted. Repeat procedure on the other side.
STEP 13 Both rear discs should match in adjustment. Refit the road wheels. (still keeping the vehicle of jacks). Apply the handbrake to 3 clicks. If the wheels turn the see point 3 and do the opposite in tightening the handbrake adjuster nut. Keep tightening until the wheels stop turning. Release the handbrake and check if the wheels turn. If they do re apply handbrake and check a few times. If you have got to this point quickly then well done go and make yourself a cup of tea. If you have not then start pulling your hair out.
STEP 14 Problems arise when you cannot turn the star shaped adjust nut (back inside the disc). If you cannot turn it then it will have seized because of the heat and perhaps a rushed Saab service adjustment.
STEP 15 Back to the rear discs. Using a torque key (star key) loosen the disc screw (brass in colour may have faded). Remove brake pads. (you will need copper grease when re-applying). To remove see Haynes manual or similar.
STEP 16 Remove handbrake spring from behind disc. Remove brake calliper by undoing the calliper bolts. (There are four bolts do not touch the two smaller ones furthest out but the two bigger ones closer to the hub instead), you may need a breaker bar. BEFORE YOU UNDO THESE NUTS – INVEST IN A TORQUE WRENCH WHICH COVERS 80nm. WITHOUT THIS THE CALLIPER WILL BE TIGHTENED INCORRECTLY.

STEP 17 No need to remove brake pipe. Remove the calliper and position on support. I used an old axle stand I had kicking about. This will support the brake pipe.
STEP 18 Fully unscrew the brake disc screw and remove disc. If the disc feels attached to the shoes behind , then slacken the handbrake with reference to point 2.
STEP 19 Check for wear and damage to the shoes which depend on age/mileage of vehicle they may need replacing. You will now be able to see the star shaped adjuster nut more clearly. Try turning it now. If it is still seized then you will need to remove by prising the two shoes apart.

STEP 20 Fitting new shoes is a nightmare as putting the shoes back together is a long drawn out affair. The worse part is attaching the to small but tightly coiled springs on either side. I used a pair of long nose pliers. Good luck with that one.
STEP 21 Once adjuster removed then place into vice (or monkey wrench) and un-seize. If it will not un-seize then persevere. Clean and apply high melting point grease. If you do not got any then use copper grease.
STEP 22 
18. Re-attach un-seized adjuster nut back between the brake shoes – this
will take patience and watch your fingers. Once on – observe which way the
star key turns to loosen/tighten.

19. Place disc, calliper and pads back together. (FROM HAYNES – TIGHTEN
CALLIPER BOLTS TO 80nm). Do the same procedure on the other wheel if
likewise seized.

20. Observe point 6 and follow instruction. Hopefully soon you will have a
brilliantly adjusted handbrake.

This process takes time if it goes wrong. Allow yourself plenty of time to read this, the Haynes guide and possibly seek advice from Saab. Best of all be patient with it and if it hacks you off take regular breaks like I had to! Please note that my way was the hard way, hopefully yours wont be. Good luck!
STEP 23 Re-attach un-seized adjuster nut back between the brake shoes. This will take patience and watch your fingers. Once on observe which way the star key turns to loosen/tighten.
STEP 24 Place disc, calliper and pads back together. (FROM HAYNES TIGHTEN CALLIPER BOLTS TO 80nm). Do the same procedure on the other wheel if likewise seized.

STEP 25 Observe point 6 and follow the instructions. Hopefully soon you will have a brilliantly adjusted handbrake.

This process takes time if it goes wrong. Allow yourself plenty of time to read this, the Haynes guide and possibly seek advice from Saab. Best of all be patient with it and if it hacks you off take regular breaks like I had to! Please note that my way was the hard way, hopefully yours wont be. Good luck!

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