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trying to turn sprocket for e-brake adjustment

Hi guys,
I'm trying to tighten up our e-brake on our 86 Carrera per Wayne's 101 book and I'm having a tough time getting the sprocket in the rotor housing to turn. I can see the sprocket in the hole shown here:

and I'm using a flat head screwdriver to try and turn it but it seems stuck. I'm looking thru some of the other e-brake adjustment threads which have some good ideas but I haven't yet seen any tips for when the sprocket is stubborn like this beyond taking off the rotor. Anyone have any good ideas or do I need to remove the rotor?

Thanks a lot, guys!

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Pete, Riverside CT USA
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- 1986 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa
- 2018 Factory Five Mark IV 5.0L Coyote
Old 08-30-2020, 08:46 PM
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I have no suggestions for turning the star adjuster as things stand, but you may have another issue. You're missing the screws that hold the rotor to the hub. Might not make any difference once your wheels are attached, but I'm kind of a stickler for stuff like that.

The threads for the adjuster may be clogged up with gunk, making it difficult to turn the star. I think at this point, you may have to remove the rotor. Pretty easy job once you get the caliper bolts off, which some have difficulty with. And no need to take off the brake lines - just pry out the retaining clips and they'll just slide out to give you enough slack to hang the calipers out of the way. That'd also give you an opportunity to clean stuff up in there and check parking pads for wear.

Here's a thread I started when I had to give my parking brakes some love a few years back. It might give you some information or inspiration or something.

Parking brake dragging
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1987 ROW coupe, Marine blue, with a couple extra goodies.

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Old 08-30-2020, 10:40 PM
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The star adjuster sometimes gets hung up on the long vertical spring that runs alongside it. It's easier to turn the sprocket one direction, and a little harder to turn it the other direction.

This is the left rear wheel.

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Old 08-30-2020, 10:49 PM
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The right combo of socket wrench makes caliper removal easy. When my brake was locking up i pulled the wheel and rotor atleast 6 times in a couple hours. Its good to check on the shoe wear anyway. Noah definately needs new ones
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Old 08-31-2020, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canada Kev View Post
I have no suggestions for turning the star adjuster as things stand, but you may have another issue. You're missing the screws that hold the rotor to the hub. Might not make any difference once your wheels are attached, but I'm kind of a stickler for stuff like that.

The threads for the adjuster may be clogged up with gunk, making it difficult to turn the star. I think at this point, you may have to remove the rotor. Pretty easy job once you get the caliper bolts off, which some have difficulty with. And no need to take off the brake lines - just pry out the retaining clips and they'll just slide out to give you enough slack to hang the calipers out of the way. That'd also give you an opportunity to clean stuff up in there and check parking pads for wear.

Here's a thread I started when I had to give my parking brakes some love a few years back. It might give you some information or inspiration or something.

Parking brake dragging
Thanks a lot, Kevin! I will definitely check out the thread. Good point on those screws to hold the rotor to the hub. Happy to read your comments about removing the rotor and caliper without having to take off the brake lines as I was hoping to avoid having to rebleed everything... so that's good news. Thanks, again!

Noah - thanks for the pictures!

Quote:
Originally Posted by porsche930dude View Post
The right combo of socket wrench makes caliper removal easy. When my brake was locking up i pulled the wheel and rotor atleast 6 times in a couple hours. Its good to check on the shoe wear anyway. Noah definately needs new ones
Glad to hear the caliper removal isn't so bad. And that you can do it without messing with the brake lines.

Thanks a lot, guys!
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Pete, Riverside CT USA
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Old 08-31-2020, 06:18 PM
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if you are going to remove the calipers have a few long zipties or tie wire handy to suspend the caliper once free so you don't let it hang by the brake lines.
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Old 08-31-2020, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juanbenae View Post
if you are going to remove the calipers have a few long zipties or tie wire handy to suspend the caliper once free so you don't let it hang by the brake lines.
Got it - thanks! That makes a lot of sense.
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:02 PM
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I was lazy. I turned an orange Home Depot bucket upside down, slid it into the wheelwell, and rested the unbolted (but not detached) brake caliper on it so that the caliper wouldn't hang from the brake line. Otherwise, in the past I've used a coat hanger. But like I wrote, I was feeling lazy when I replaced the shoes on my 930.
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Last edited by Noah930; 08-31-2020 at 07:13 PM..
Old 08-31-2020, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah930 View Post
I was lazy. I turned an orange Home Depot bucket upside down, slid it into the wheelwell, and rested the unbolted (but not detached) brake caliper on it so that the caliper wouldn't hang from the brake line.
Nothing wrong with that! Whatever works, right?
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:13 PM
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Genius bucket idea, my wife threw out all the wire coat hangars!
Old 08-31-2020, 11:50 PM
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The star wheel is often rotated so it bottoms out, then further muscled to loosen (err tighten). Over time, corrosion will make it difficult to rotate to expand the brake shoes. Remove the rotor/drum and spray penetrating oil to loosen the corrosion. Ideally, clean, then add a bit of anti-seize to the threads, then reassemble and adjust.

Sherwood
Old 09-02-2020, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 911pcars View Post
The star wheel is often rotated so it bottoms out, then further muscled to loosen (err tighten). Over time, corrosion will make it difficult to rotate to expand the brake shoes. Remove the rotor/drum and spray penetrating oil to loosen the corrosion. Ideally, clean, then add a bit of anti-seize to the threads, then reassemble and adjust.

Sherwood
Thanks, Sherwood. That makes sense. I'll take off the rotor/drum and clean it out in there and that'll hopefully solve my problem. Thanks!
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Old 09-02-2020, 10:11 AM
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Kudos for having the courage to ask questions you knew may invite ridicule and scorn.

Unfortunately, Wayne's book is of limited help.

I shot a quick videos when I adjusted my brake. Maybe it will help you visualize this repair.



My old notes from this repair:

I found it impossible to adjust the star with the rotor on.

Trying my first parking brake adjustment.
I could barely see into the rotor view hole with my light.
Didn't see anything that looks like a sprocket.

So, I decided to try removing the rotor to look inside and adjust it and see what's happening.
I got the lower caliper bolt off using 3/8" ratchet with 19mm socket.
Had to use a pipe on the ratchet to break it loose.
Then I just used a ratcheting wrench to spin it off (a few degrees at a time)

But, I was able to move the caliper aside without opening the brake lines.
This was done by prying off the retaining clip at the hard/soft coupler.
This allowed me to push the entire brake line back and rest the caliper on the suspension.
I had to remove the brake pad sensor clip in order to have room to pry properly.

On a related note, I was struggling with how much to adjust the parking brake shoes so they would not rub even when disengaged.
What I did to test for rubbing was to reset the brake to “zero”. Then I put the rotor on and spun it to see what the baseline should feel/sound like (no rubbing)

It was too difficult for me to adjust the sprocket with the rotor on. (Expand until fully engaged, and then back off 4 clicks) So I had to repeatedly remove/adjust/replace until it felt close. At one point, the rotor would not go back on, then I backed off the parking brake a bit.
I was told this was wrong, so this might be a repair best left for a professional.

In my final config, there was a minor rubbing sound only for like a few degrees of rotational travel. Not sure if this just meant the entire mechanism just needs to shift and settle (since it can be shifted around) I figured if it was too tight, it would be rubbing at all 360* of rotation.
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Last edited by sugarwood; 09-02-2020 at 01:19 PM..
Old 09-02-2020, 01:15 PM
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A vintage brake adjusting tool has a longish screwdriver-type blade set at about 60 deg., an ideal angle to lever that star wheel in the desired direction. Alas, even cars still with rear drum brakes, self-adjusting mechanisms have made manual parking braking brake adjusting a “lost art”.

Sherwood
Old 09-02-2020, 01:30 PM
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Thanks, Sugarwood and Sherwood! I really appreciate your help!
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Old 09-02-2020, 02:17 PM
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Lots of great info here - especially the part about adjusting the parking brake via the cable instead of the sprocket.

Dumb parking brake questions for your entertainment
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Old 09-02-2020, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by megerian View Post
Lots of great info here - especially the part about adjusting the parking brake via the cable instead of the sprocket.

Dumb parking brake questions for your entertainment
yeah, thanks, Megarian! Lots of good stuff. I love the thread title, too - that feels like me.
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Old 09-02-2020, 03:21 PM
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Pete, it may pay to check the cable where it enters the hub/brake assembly. My outer cable had lost something and when the handbrake lever was pulled the outer cable on one side would disappear into the hub instead of pulling the inner cable. I fixed it by putting a small hose clamp around it so it was too big to slide in.
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Old 09-02-2020, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah930 View Post
I was lazy. I turned an orange Home Depot bucket upside down, slid it into the wheelwell, and rested the unbolted (but not detached) brake caliper on it so that the caliper wouldn't hang from the brake line. Otherwise, in the past I've used a coat hanger. But like I wrote, I was feeling lazy when I replaced the shoes on my 930.
i sit on the bucket and use the wire or zips as i suggested.

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78SC PRC Spec911 (sold 12/15) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7I6HCCKrVQ
(build thread >) http://forums.pelicanparts.com/california-southwest-us-az-nv/443725-plunge.html
Old 09-02-2020, 04:14 PM
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