I got under the vehicle again today, to redo the handbrake adjustment, and it turned out to be a couple of hours of a job, 5 in total !!
I appreciate Richards advice that it is easy to get at everything, and to some extent I agree, but this is not a job for the faint-hearted if you haven't been under the transmission tunnel inside panels. Initially, I made the mistake of tightening the shoes in the drum first, and then checked the free play on the handbrake lever. This is the wrong way around - it needs to be done by releasing the brake shoes right off, and then adjusting the two nuts at the top end of the handbrake cable.
Unfortunately, although Richard rightly says that the adjuster nuts are easily accessible, what isn't mentioned is the the nuts sit in an indentation in the transmission floor, and this prevents one getting two spanners, a 20mm and a 16mm, onto the nuts to turn them enough to take up any slack. And this also assumes that the nuts will turn in opposing directions and are not stuck due to corrosion and rust and weather. Mine were jammed tight.
So therefore one has to take the cable off the handbrake lever, and drop it down under the vehicle, spray it liberally with releasing oil, and then gradually free it up, until it will adjust freely backwards and forwards. Sounds simple ? Well, no so simple - to release the cable you have to take out the electric window switch pack [straight forward], and pull off the pin holding the cable to the lever. Then, in my case I realised that there was no way to push the locating pin back through the lever and head of the cable. This is where the work starts - you have no option but to remove the whole centre console, including the head of the gearshift, the heating controls panel, and both tunnel side panels.
Then you need to pull the pin that keeps the lever connected to to the cable quadrant, so that eventually you have the lever free to lift upwards vertically, to allow you to lift the whole centre console up and out. This finally gives you access to the lower cable locating pin, which you can now pull out, allowing the cable to be pulled through the floor from underneath the vehicle.
Obviously, it is important to make a note of all the screws, nuts [under the armrest storage box, look carefully and pull up the flat base in the box, it comes out] which hold the back of the console, and bolts, and keep a note of the plugs that fit into all the various connections - heater control plugs, window pack plug, handbrake lever switch plug, gearshift mode plug, etc.
Finally, if requiring less travel on the handbrake lever, open up the adjuster nuts on the cable and push it back through the floor. It will be a bit of a fight to reconnect it but a vice grips on the cable, to lever the head of the cable upwards, is useful in getting the pin back into the lower quadrant. Then, with the handbrake off, get back under the vehicle and do the brake shoe adjustment again, as per RAVE.
All that's left to do is replace all the centre console parts, remembering to reconnect all the plugs, and put the screws back in their correct places.
And all done in under five hours - just.