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Holding brake problems

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Hacra, November 28, 2019.

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  1. Hacra

    Hacra Elite Explorer

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    Hey all, in need of some advice again.

    I have replaced my rear brakes; discs, pads and shoes last summer, rear brakes work good, only thing that really doesn't is the holding brake.

    I have unstuck the mechanism that spreads the shoes (parking brake lever?) and greased them, but it would seem only one side of the shoes moves when holding brake is engaged and with quite liberal star wheel adjustment the holding brake barely just holds the car.

    Also can the spreader be removed without removing brake shoes (i hate installing those springs).

    When the holding brake pedal is pressed, it goes all the way to the floor.

    Am i better off buying new backing plates with working spreader mechanism and everything else or am i getting way ahead of my self with this and am missing something important.

    And if i have to buy new backing plates are these the right ones:

    Ford Explorer 8.8 Right Backing Plate

    Ford Explorer 8.8 Left Backing Plate

    Also there's just the lever mechanism

    Edit:

    When i took it all apart i noticed upwards/downwards movement with the lever mechanism, afaik. this shouldn't be there and someone remedied it by welding L shaped bracket under the lever. Not sure i want to go that far yet.

    I will take it all apart again this upcoming weekend in attempt to make it work again.
     
    Last edited: November 28, 2019
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  3. Hacra

    Hacra Elite Explorer

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    Also, if i decide to replace the cable (which is probably original), in how many parts/pieces is it in and do i need special tools?

    Front
    Intermediate
    Rear L
    Rear R?
     
  4. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    I don’t recall how many pieces the cable is, but no special tools needed.
     
  5. 96eb96

    96eb96 Well-Known Member

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    It is a flimsy mechanism.
    No special tools except locking pliers (to get the cables apart).

    The original cable is likely frozen. The one that usually goes is the right rear (the long one).

    Take it apart and see if there is free movement in the sheaths. The aftermarket cables aren't that great either, some don't last or simply don't fit.
    As for the backing plate, some guy a while back posted a thread on how he repaired it. I know what you mean by the upwards downward movement, but I got mine to kind of work.
    Not worth to invest any money in it.
     
  6. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    I’m pretty sure I don’t have any of the e brake hardware installed inside of the drum. Even low mile and rust free, it’s a weak system. With the automatic I see no real benefit to fighting with it.
     
  7. Hacra

    Hacra Elite Explorer

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    If law here wouldn't state that it NEEDS to work, i probably wouldn't even touch the system as i RARELY even use it. Got yearly inspection in upcoming monday, i will have a busy weekend i presume...
     
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  8. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    Understandable. I had that issue. I found a “better” mechanic.
     
  9. Hacra

    Hacra Elite Explorer

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    Update: Managed to adjust the star wheel adjuster quite a bit to make the brakes hold and they apparently somehow do.

    I did check the lever mechanism and as you touch it, it wiggles up and down like crazy, i might have to replace the backing plates eventually.

    Now; no good deed goes unpunished, i did change my rear bumper license plate light domes to new ones and noticed "small hole"... as i was poking around, might have to buy or make new rear bumper, gotta love road salt!

    Rust.jpg
     
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  10. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    Make it! Built in receiver. D rings. Beef.
     
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  11. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    The parking brake cables are the weakest link in that system I think. My five trucks have worked generally, but only a couple have worked well. I believe it's a degree of cable adjustment or seizing that stops them from working right, or they are are poor.

    My latest white 98 has great parking brakes, so far all I have checked are the brake pads. I look forward to inspecting the system more, maybe the cables are new etc. I know the parking brake holds strongly in this truck, and I hope to find out how that is.
     
  12. Hacra

    Hacra Elite Explorer

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    I am tempted to buy new cables, but if the brakes pass the inspection i'll leave 'em on for one more year, until it's time to stress again.

    Edit: i was going to change rear diff oil as well, but if i needed to replace the backing plates i didn't want to proceed yet as i'll have to open the diff cover anyway then.
     
    Last edited: November 30, 2019
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  13. Hacra

    Hacra Elite Explorer

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    Well, this ended up being bigger project than i wanted.

    Found the post: [SOLVED] 96 Explorer 8.8 Parking Brake Won't Engage

    Has the necessary repair procedure which i HOPE will work.

    Now, the question is, what is the correct orientation of the lower actuating lever, as i never figured out how that monstrosity of mechanical engineering works.

    Edit: I stole these pictures from @97RangerXLT post

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Is this the correct orientation ?
     
    Last edited: December 3, 2019
  14. Hacra

    Hacra Elite Explorer

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    As mentioned above, these aren't my rear axle pictures, but yes, doesn't hurt to change the bearings and seals while you're there.
     
  15. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    I'm sorry, good to hear. Those pics looks really bad, I was worried.
     

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