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Thumbs up e-brake / parking brake adjustment - extra tips

Hi all,

A couple of weeks ago I went about adjusting my parking brake as I was not getting a good hold.
With Waynes and a Haynes in hand I went at it. I was able to get a decent hold out of the
adjustment methods outlined in Waynes, however over the next couple weeks I began hearing
some rattling / knocking sounds from the rear brake area, mostly on initial take off. Today I
decided to have another look at the adjustment but decided I would remove the rotors to get
a better view of the parking brake. Turned out that I had too much play in the cable and as
a result had adjusted the cog to it's extreme limit. Here is some photos to illustrate the
ajustment process:

First I removed the rear caliper. There are two 19mm bolts that hold it on ...


Now that the caliper is loose, remove it from the rotor and place it to the side, I used a 2x2 that
I have as my hood prop to support the caliper so I didn't bend the hard line to the caliper.


Then remove the two phillips head screws on the front of the rotor. These are the last thing
holding the rotor in place, so once they are disconnected, pull that baby off and have a look at
the parking brake mechanism.


After about 5 seconds it was pretty clear where my problem was, I had a bunch of slack on
the cable, so I adjusted the two nuts on the cable, to remove the extra play, but still not
compress the actuating mechanism. You can see how much I needed to adjust the cable in
this pic.


After that I put adjusted the cog back to it's shortest length, as seen here


Next I slid the rotor back on and put one of the phillips head screws back in to hold it in place.
I then went and pulled the hand brake lever to see if it was holding; it was but not as tight as
I wanted. I removed the phillips screw holding the rotor on and pulled the rotor off again. I did
this for two reasons: First I wanted to check if anything had "poped" into a new resting place
when I pulled the lever that first time, and resulted in the need for a big adjustment.
And second (pretty embarassing) I put the rotor on 180 degress from where it was supposed
to be. When you put the rotor back on make sure you line up the cog adjustment
holes like this


Nothing had "poped" into a new resting place so I made a small adjustment at the cog, put
the rotor back on, screwed one of the phillips back in and pulled the lever ... perfect, released
the lever ... perfect.

Repeated the process for the other side and went for a test drive, and trip a to the office (right next
to the track) to check out the Grand Prix. Stopped on a steeeeep part of the parking garage
at work and tested out the parking brake, worked like a champ.

Hope this helps for anyone going about adjusting the parking brake for the first time

Cheers,
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randon
Old 07-29-2005, 05:35 PM
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Brandon,

Excellent pics and writeup!

If you put a dab of fingernail polish on the end of the wheel stud opposite the adjuster hole and next to the same stud on the rotor ... it is easy to align the correct hole and stud when reinstalling the rotor. Four wrong ways to put that rotor back on ... but just one right!

Your E-brake assembly doesn't appear to need it, but once you have the caliper and rotor off ... if rust is encounterd on the adjuster, or on the flexing parts attaching to the cable ... I always take another couple of hours to disassemble everything with visible rust, clean, and reassemble with anti-sieze compound on all of the rotating/rubbing parts. A rusty adjuster can be difficult, if not impossible, to adjust in the future!
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Old 07-29-2005, 06:39 PM
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Good stuff Warren, keep the additional tips coming guys
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Old 07-29-2005, 06:52 PM
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Sometimes you need to "spinn" back the cog to get the brakedrum on and off if its worn.
Also when adjusting the cable you must adjust both sides and pay attention to the balance bar behind the brake handle or you wont get the same brake power to both wheels.
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Old 07-30-2005, 01:30 AM
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My balance bar is driving me nuts. For the life of me, i can do nothing to affect it. The left side is always visible. The right side of the yoke comes into view on the 5th click.

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:44 PM
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Your gonna need to do some adjusting here

If your that far off, the cog won't give you enough adjustment to balance them out. Big adjustments at the cable, small adjustments at the cog. Hope that helps.
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Old 09-07-2005, 10:28 PM
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Here's some more tips:

If you remove the clip holding the brake line to the trailing arm at the point where the hard line connects to the flex line, you can push the whole line through the hole far enough to rest the caliper on the trailing arm so you don't have to prop it or hang it with wire:



Sometimes when you're trying to adjust the toothed adjuster, it seems to bind and won't turn no matter what you do. What's happening is that the toothed wheel is binding on the shoe retaining spring (see second to last picture in first post). If you poke your screwdriver blade between the body of the adjuster (not the toothed portion but below it) and the spring, you'll move the spring away from the toothed wheel enough to free it up.

when reassembling the toothed wheel into the body of the adjuster, always use antisieze compound.

Brother, if you remove the hand brake boot in the car, there are two inspection holes that let you see the position of the bar there. If you can't get them even, loosen your two 17 mm locknuts and adjusting nuts on both cables up and back them off all the way. Then use a screwdriver through the inspection holes to pry the balance bar until it's even. Go back to the wheels and tighten the adjusting nut until it's snug on the metal sleeve. Do this evenly to both sides, then adjust from there.

When making the adjustment, first adjust the adjusting star until the rotor is so tight that you can't budge it by hand and the adjuster won't turn any more, then back it off from there. This helps to center the shoes on the inside of the rotor. Once you have this basic adjustment made, proceed to adjust the cables with the locknuts. Tighten the adjusting nuts until you have just a bit of axial play in the cable, then lock them with the locknuts.

HTH,

ianc
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Old 09-12-2005, 08:15 PM
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I just finished this earlier today. I didn't remove the calipers, but Ian, thanks for the technique. That one looks like a winner.

I did the adjustment and had the lines all loosened up. I pulled them out and pushed them back in and then tried really hard to match the threads. 20 threads exposed on both sides. Now I get 4 clicks with an even equalizer yoke. That was always my problem. I don't think I was ever getting the right e-brake to engage before but now it definitely is. I did some simple green cleaning too.

I had the back end of the car up on jack stands for about a week now. When I restarted the car, it let go a bunch of smoke for about 5 seconds. All went away. I guess a bunch of oil drained into the cylinders. Runs well.

I almost made a tragic mistake though. I drove down my street and started turning on to my own private test track. (2 mile ridgeline) Then I remembered that I only snugged the lug nuts. Limp home. I turned all the lug nuts about a 1/4 turn more. I really need a torque wrench.
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Old 09-12-2005, 08:25 PM
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Gotta watch those lug nuts. I did that with a friend of mine when working on his Mini. His wheel almost came off about a block from my house. Luckily we were able to find the nuts and I toted my jack down there with no damage done. Phew.

Yeah, I had to pull out my left cable this weekend. Damn thing was sticky and wasn't releasing all the way. When I got it out, I could barely move it by hand. A lot of WD40 and it's moving freely again.

Tip: If you ever have to replace the hand brake cables, remove the heater cables from the flapper boxes to give you enough slack to move the hand brake assembly around in the car. Trying to do it without is a new kind of torture! And take one of the seats out! It's worth it. When putting the seat back in, put the rear bolts in first.

ianc
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BMW 135i. Nice. Fast. But no 911...

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Old 09-12-2005, 09:47 PM
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And don't forget to bling up those calipers while you're in there.

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1980 911SC Targa - Sold
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Old 09-12-2005, 09:57 PM
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But make sure you put the lettering on the right way
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Old 09-12-2005, 10:16 PM
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Previous owner. It looks good though. The letters are all individual stickers.
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Old 09-12-2005, 10:17 PM
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