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Parking Brake Adjustment

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by GLOCKer, July 29, 2019.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. GLOCKer

    GLOCKer Active Member

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    If all goes well, I'll be buying a boat this coming Saturday. I am going to take some time Friday to adjust my parking brake to see if I can get it to work; I don't want to see my Explorer in the lake!

    When my bud from work helped me rebuild the rear in my Ex, we put new shoes on the rear, but I specifically remember him NOT adjusting the parking brake and I figured it was something I could accomplish later.

    If I understand this correctly, there is an access hole in the rear brake backing plate and I need to use a flathead screwdriver in that hole to roll the gear inside of the Ex upwards until there is the proper amount of tension on the E-brake? If this is the case, do I do it with the brake set or not set? Thank you!
     
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  3. Mr. Alligator

    Mr. Alligator Elite Explorer

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    Adjust e-brake (parking brake) star wheel with parking brake released. Set the star wheel so that the parking brake grabs, then back it off just a little. This will allow the tire to spin freely, until the parking brake is applied.

    Good luck.
     
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  4. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    The parking brakes don't hold very well even when adjusted normally. So any adjustment that allows the wheel to spin freely won't hold the parking pads well. I've done rear brakes a dozen times in these 2nd gen's, maybe more. The best results I've gotten is from adjusting them very tight(sliding the rotor off/on). I make the parking brakes as tight as I can, so the rotor will just barely push on with wiggling etc. That leaves it dragging a bit ... but, it will rotate freely after driving it once.

    You can get it tighter by adjusting it through the back hole of the plate. If the rotor has any wear so there is a ridge of old metal at the edge, I/you can't get it as tight by how I've done it. You would have to adjust it from the hole to get it snug enough.

    Basically the parking brake components have a short range of movement. It takes a certain amount of clearance to keep the rotor from dragging. The less clearance you have in that, the more force the mechanism will apply to the rotor. So it can work well, you just have to reduce the play/clearance as much as possible.
     
  5. GLOCKer

    GLOCKer Active Member

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    Well, I shimmied my fat ass under the Explorer to adjust the parking brakes and now I'm seriously frustrated.

    I pulled the rubber cap off the adjustment hole and on the passenger side I can't see the adjustment wheel at all. On the driver side I can barely see it if I look in the hole at an extreme angle. I can just barely touch it with a screw driver and I can't get any adjustment on it.

    And just to test it out, I put my Ex in neutral and set the parking brake and it rolled down the driveway without any resistance.

    So in a word I'm screwed. I need to tow a boat this Saturday with the Explorer and launch it. And then I need to be able to park everything on my driveway which is on a hill. And I wont have a parking brake by then.

    How come earlier models are self adjusting but my 1998 isn't? Seriously pissed here.
     
  6. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    It's nearly impossible to do it through the holes without first seeing how the assembly operates. The spring running next to the adjustment wheel is the resistance to moving that dial or wheel.

    If you do it with the rotor off just to see how to tighten it up, then you'll be able to work it out from the hole in the backside, with the rotor on.

    It's easier to rotate it in one direction(example tightening) and much harder to go the other way. It just takes some time to figure it out, but begin with the wheel, and rotor, off to watch it while you rotate it. You'll get it done once you see it.
     
    Last edited: July 30, 2019
  7. Mr. Alligator

    Mr. Alligator Elite Explorer

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    ^^^ agree with CDW.

    GLOCKer.... Take off your rotors and see what is happening. Not to tough. You have done far more difficult work. You got this!

    Even if you don’t, which you will get this, just make some chocks out of 4x4 chunks. You got this.

    Good luck.
     
  8. GLOCKer

    GLOCKer Active Member

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    I'm not sure I will have time to do this for a couple of weeks. I have one rubber chock from Harbor Freight. I may go buy another one.

    My work schedule sucks! I work 12 hour rotating shifts at night. Luckily I'm going to day shift at my precinct in a couple of weeks. Then on my days off I will actually have time to accomplish stuff like fix my parking brake!
     
  9. drdoom

    drdoom Well-Known Member

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    Have you checked the actuating arms for corrosion? They often rust and seize up completely. Mine looked like something dragged up from an ancient shipwreck, but a little cleaning and they work fine.
     
  10. GLOCKer

    GLOCKer Active Member

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    I'll have to take a pic under my Explorer. Its absolutely, amazingly clean.
     
  11. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Even with a very good working parking brake, I wouldn't rely on it to hold your vehicle perfectly on an incline, let alone with a boat on it. To me, launching a boat, is really a two person job anyways.

    Once you figure it out, you will be able to adjust both sides in less than 5 mins. I go by feel when adjusting these. Even if you can't see the wheel, you can feel it moving. Once you know where to adjust, you won't even look as you do it.

    Cable slack is another thing to consider in this system. Too much, and all the adjustment at the rear, won't help.
     
  12. GLOCKer

    GLOCKer Active Member

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    I just got into the driver side. I adjusted the parking brake to where it was holding the rotor. I confirmed the peddle is working and pulling the cable to set the parking brake. I put it all back together and the thing still rolls down my driveway full speed with it set. No difference. I can't get the screwdriver on the adjustment wheel at all through the backing plate hole so further adjustment won't happen.

    At this point I'm not even screwing with the passenger side just to get the same result.
     
  13. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Might need new E-brake pads. That's a fun job to do.........Not!
     
  14. GLOCKer

    GLOCKer Active Member

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    They are new. No signs of wear.
     
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  15. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    I'm sorry to hear that. I used a lot of words to describe how I get them to work. Really the key is to get them as tight as possible, tighter than you feel it needs to be. Then it may work okay(not wonderfully), but okay.
     
  16. swshawaii

    swshawaii Elite Explorer

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    If you can't reach the star wheels with a flat blade screwdriver try something with a smaller shank. Ideally a "quality" parking brake adjuster tool (spoon) works best. Avoid the flimsy Lisle 50700 adjuster that bends. Release the parking brake on level ground and turn the star adjuster wheels until they are tight against the drums then loosen 3 to 4 "clicks" or just enough where the shoes are not dragging. May take a few tries but the pedal should hold when about half way down.

    https://www.amazon.com/Tools-287-Br...ocphy=9032759&hvtargid=pla-680972388445&psc=1
     
  17. drdoom

    drdoom Well-Known Member

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    Verify with a helper that you are getting proper movement at the actuating arms.
     
  18. GLOCKer

    GLOCKer Active Member

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    I checked it ad the actuating arm is working. I'm wondering if the adjuster is installed backwards? This is the driver side and the adjuster star is towards the rear.
    [​IMG]

    On the good side though, the underside of this thing is pretty clean for being over 20 years old.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    I think the adjuster can go either way, but the wheel should be best aligned with the hole. It gets longer as it tightens on the rotor, that one looks a lot looser than mine have been. I've got more threads showing at mine, and my rotors and pads were new one to two years ago(pads two years, rotors one). The rotor should be relatively hard to install if the adjustment is fairly tight.

    You want it to drag a little when it's first put on. Swshawaii is right about the pedal needing to begin to apply some force at about half way down. It should need a good long stroke to apply the brake well, so hopefully that one doesn't need lubricating or a new cable etc.

     
  20. Runnin'OnEmpty

    Runnin'OnEmpty Well-Known Member

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    I believe the adjuster is indeed on backwards, if I'm orienting that pic correctly. (I did this job recently) and
    the driver's side star wheel was to the front of the access hole. The passenger side star was to the rear of
    the access hole. As Don said, that adjuster is backed all the way in and too loose. If you're adjusting while
    on a creeper under the vehicle, imagine the starwheel needing to turn clockwise to tighten (looking from the
    rear). Both sides tighten CW, but you're turning the adjuster "down" on the driver's side, and "up" on the
    passenger side.

    Sorry I couldn't make this even more confusing.....lol
     
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  21. GLOCKer

    GLOCKer Active Member

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    Cool. I'll regroup on Friday when I'm off work again. Hopefully I can get the adjuster off,cleaned up, and reinstalled in the correct orientation without monkeying too much with the rest of the parking brake.
     

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