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Guide: Handbrake button engagement lock (no more drift knobs!)

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It's a well-known fact that NS is the Synagogue of the Internet.

However, in a glorious demonstration that Yahweh both exists and performs miracles, folks on NS still spend between ten and thirty dollars on drift knobs. Oy vey!


But that's all about to change. I'm about to pimp your wallet.


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Difficulty = 3

Where 0 is lowballing, and 10 is paying retail.


Time Required = Under 2 hours



If a car falls in a garage and no one is around to hear it, does the guy under it make a sound?

Don't get under a car that isn't supported by stands, always wear eye and ear protection, don't look at a welding arc with the naked eye and hot stuff burns mmkay.


Tools Required

  • Mig or tig welder
  • Angle grinder with 1mm disc
  • Drill
  • 4mm and 5mm drill bits
  • 400 grit aluminium oxide sandpaper (wet & dry)
  • Razor knife
  • 4mm x 0.75 tap with pin vice (optional - I had to clean up the thread of my nut after welding, you may not)

Consumables Required

  • M4x35mm hex head bolt
  • M4 nut
  • Tiny cupboard handle (10mm Bud knob from Bunnings)
  • M4x35mm thumbscrew (alternative to the handle and bolt combo - should be smaller and more subtle)
  • Self-priming paint


  • Keeping the handbrake button depressed for drift
  • Being a mad tightass, spending 10 bucks or less
  • Compliance with legislation by retaining 100% factory handbrake operation with the thumbscrew removed or disengaged (note that it's probably still not legal unless you actually remove it)
  • No shiny blob on the end of the handbrake to alert cops to the car's usage
  • Ability to stop on hills and park like a regular car, then cut sick in cul-de-sacs


Step 1. Unbolt the handbrake lever, unclip the rear handrake cables from the yoke attached to the pull cable, then remove it from the car.


Step 2. Take a bolt, thread on a nut and tightly thread it into the knob.


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Step 3. Cut the head off the bolt, then thread the nut back over the chopped section to cut the thread into shape.


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Step 4. Remove the handbrake cover, inspect the button pushrod mechanism, then mark the hole to drill. Should you be doing this mod to a lever that doesn't have a padding bracket like this, weld something on to allow the thumbscrew some distance to thread on prior to hitting the pushrod.


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Step 5. Drill the hole, starting small and ramping up to 4mm. Test and when satisified, expand the top hole to 5mm to avoid binding near the nut. Take note that you must scrape off any burs on the inside of the handbrake, as they will interfere with the pushrod. A knife or flatblade screwdriver can be used.


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Step 6. Thread a nut on a spare bolt, run it into the hole and align the nut.


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Step 7. Apply dog.


Use Dog.jpg


Step 8. Carefully weld the nut in place. Grind smooth the outer face of the nut as needed.


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Step 9. Run a 4x0.75 tap through the nut if it's difficult to thread in the thumbscrew.


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Step 10. Test fit the thumbscrew, measure the excess length (allow 1mm for the rubber handbrake cover), thread on a nut and cut to length.


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Step 11. Seal the weld with self-priming paint.


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Step 12. Install the rubber cover and mark the hole for the nut.


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Step 13. Remove the cover and drill a 5mm hole at the marked point.


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Step 14. Reassemble and check the action of the thumbscrew. Hold the main button, thread in the thumbscrew and the main button should be locked in place. Hold the main button, unscrew the thumbscrew 5mm and the main button should have full motion, and engage the sprocket when raised.


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Step 15. Install into car and test.


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Edited by pmod

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This is pretty awesome, might actually give it a shot on the R33 as removing the handbrake cover is a pain!

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This is pretty awesome, might actually give it a shot on the R33 as removing the handbrake cover is a pain!


Cheers man, definitely give it a shot. Of all the DIY stuff I've done it's probably my favourite idea, since it works so much better than anything available in the aftermarket (no rattling drift button, the handbrake cannot engage even by accident and the rubber cover is locked in place), is really easy to implement, removable in 3 seconds so virtually un-defectable and is absolutely dirt-cheap. If you're only using it on track days, then just pop a bolt in and lock it in place with a nut, washer and crush washer for a total cost of 50 cents.

Edited by pmod

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This is pretty awesome, might actually give it a shot on the R33 as removing the handbrake cover is a pain!


I've actually done this to my brothers 33 because you can't get buttons for them. I didn't use a screw through I just put a small hole right through so to thread a ziptie right through while holding the button down to make it stay in

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