DIY: Hill holder disable! Holding me up for the last time....

Many people may say “Isn’t this a feature? Why would you want to disable it?” Well, it is nice when it is working fine especially if you live in a hilly area and get a daily use from it. But for many this is a ticking time bomb waiting to basically lock up the brakes that will not allow your car to move.

For those curious of hill assist, this is what it can do. As pictured above you hold the car on a slope with the vehicle in gear and the clutch to the floor, without the brake down. This allows you to use just the gas and clutch to leave a stop without sliding back into a car behind you.

For those curious of hill assist, this is what it can do. As pictured above you hold the car on a slope with the vehicle in gear and the clutch to the floor, without the brake down. This allows you to use just the gas and clutch to leave a stop without sliding back into a car behind you.

I have had moments with it in my Forester where it takes a few seconds to disengage, makes me look like I can’t drive stick (kills the car) or holds a small amount of pressure on the brakes making an obnoxious squeal as I reverse from a parking spot. Since replacing my clutch it has gone even further to holding up car for five plus seconds forcing me to drive through it by slipping the clutch and having the brakes dragging. After it happened three times in one drive I decided enough is enough.

So how does this system work you may ask? A cable that connects the clutch pedal to a brake system in the engine bay right below the brake master cylinder. When the clutch is down at a stop it will pull a lever and pressurize the brakes. There is an ability to adjust it but at this point I just want it not to exist.

In this DIY you will see what I think is the quickest and simplest method of disabling it. We will leave all the parts in their locations which can allow it to be put back use if you ever need. This took me right around 25 mins with getting my tools out and taking the photos to help put this DIY together.

Tools necessary for this job. 3/8th ratchet, 3/8 socket set, 3/8th extension set, 14mm open end wrench. The only sockets you will need are an 8 mm and 10mm 1/4 socket and a 10mm 3/8th socket.

Links! 3/8th ratchet Milwaukee 3/8 electric ratchet Grey pneumatic socket set

Milwaukee 3/8 electric impact ATE long nose plier set Craftsman 1/4 socket set and ratchet

Gearwrench 14mm ratcheting wrench

What tools do you need! These are the assorted tools that help me complete the job! An 8mm and 10mm 1/4 socket, with an extension and ratchet. A 10mm and 14mm wrench. A 10mm 3/8th socket and ratchet or impact in my case. A pair of pliers and pocket screwdriver can be helpful.  Links!  3/8th ratchet   Milwaukee 3/8 electric ratchet   Grey pneumatic socket set    Milwaukee 3/8 electric impact   ATE long nose plier set   Craftsman 1/4 socket set and ratchet    Gearwrench 14mm ratcheting wrench

What tools do you need! These are the assorted tools that help me complete the job! An 8mm and 10mm 1/4 socket, with an extension and ratchet. A 10mm and 14mm wrench. A 10mm 3/8th socket and ratchet or impact in my case. A pair of pliers and pocket screwdriver can be helpful.

Links! 3/8th ratchet Milwaukee 3/8 electric ratchet Grey pneumatic socket set

Milwaukee 3/8 electric impact ATE long nose plier set Craftsman 1/4 socket set and ratchet

Gearwrench 14mm ratcheting wrench

Nothing in the parts department today, so we will move right.

We begin by popping the hood and locating the hill assist unit. It is located beneath the master cylinder and intercooler. If you want you can remove the intercooler but I find there is more than enough room with the air pump removed.

Hidden beneath plenty of hoses and wiring. There is the hill assist hiding back there.

Hidden beneath plenty of hoses and wiring. There is the hill assist hiding back there.

Taking the air pump out is straightforward, we will start with the hose connection and electrical connector. These are located near side the engine.

Hose is in the top of the image and the connection is gray and just visible in the 7 o’clock position.

Hose is in the top of the image and the connection is gray and just visible in the 7 o’clock position.

Next we will located the black box behind the battery and push the tab in to lift it out. This will expose the lower bolt that holds the pump down. The other two being located on the strut tower. Removing these will allow the pump to pop right out.

IMG_20190527_135600.jpg
Two bolts may hold your air pump in. Mine was broken off awhile ago. Remove those! All three bolts are 10mms.

Two bolts may hold your air pump in. Mine was broken off awhile ago. Remove those! All three bolts are 10mms.

Connection and pump hose still here but air pump long gone.

Connection and pump hose still here but air pump long gone.

Now you will be able to see the hill holder . Taking a open ended 14 mm wrench you will need to hold the lock nut. On the front of it resides a 8mm nut. With the 14 held in place break the 8mm nut free and begin to remove it. Now you can spin the 14mm nut ran out you can put the 8mm nut back on and tighten them. There should be no tension on the cable.

Get a good hold on the rear bolt with your 14 mm. Next you will use the 8mm to break them free of each other.

Get a good hold on the rear bolt with your 14 mm. Next you will use the 8mm to break them free of each other.

Here is a top view of the two separated..

Here is a top view of the two separated..

Here are the two nuts if you intend on completely removing them.

Here are the two nuts if you intend on completely removing them.

At the end of the cable I put the two nuts back on and tightened them up. There is no tension on this now but all the parts are still in place. I left this in case I ever decide to attempt to properly adjust it and use it once again.

At the end of the cable I put the two nuts back on and tightened them up. There is no tension on this now but all the parts are still in place. I left this in case I ever decide to attempt to properly adjust it and use it once again.

For those looking to complete remove it. You need to remove the clevis pin that holds this cable to the clutch pedal and completely remove the cable from the car.

For those looking to complete remove it. You need to remove the clevis pin that holds this cable to the clutch pedal and completely remove the cable from the car.

With the tension released you can now celebrate the end of the tyrannically hill holder cable. Congrats! If you want to take it even further you can unhook the cable from the clutch pedal and remove it completely. I am a guy who likes the ability to back track if I need to, so leaving it in place but tensionless makes me content.

Everything back home and the job is complete.

Everything back home and the job is complete.

Dan EngstromComment