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Parking Brake Tension Release


drm12

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Hello, after 60K miles on my 2017 XLT, I needed to replace the rear brakes and rotors. I was able to get the drivers side done, using the proper tool to retract the piston, but my passenger side caliper is shot. I am struggling to find a way to release the parking brake tension so I can replace the caliper. It seems like I have to tear apart the dash and move a fuse box to get to the parking brake pedal. Please tell me there is an easier way!

Thanks!
 


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Jon M

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When I did mine on the '13, I think I just grabbed the end of the cable, on the caliper, with a vice grip, and pulled. It was pretty easy.
 




drm12

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Thanks - I was hoping that could be done. I put a little more effort into that method (more force than my original attempt at pulling it) and eventually got it.
 




Ironworker40

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That is a direct result from NOT using the parking brake. The worst thing is not to use the parking brake then the pistons and cables will freeze up. Best thing to do is use it even if its once a week. This also keeps the rear brakes adjusted.
 




drm12

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That is a direct result from NOT using the parking brake. The worst thing is not to use the parking brake then the pistons and cables will freeze up. Best thing to do is use it even if its once a week. This also keeps the rear brakes adjusted.

That is great advice and I am sure it is the root of many similar issues. However, I use my parking brake every day, as my driveway has quite an incline. My issue was that I wanted to see what others had done before I forced anything. My other issue (and I am embarrassed a little), is that I originally was attempting to pull the cable with the caliper unbolted to the assembly and I could not get much leverage. After bolting it back up and compressing the spring manually, I was able to pull the cable and work it out. It still was somewhat of a pain, as it had to be pulled out and up at the same time.
 




Ironworker40

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From your first post I assumed that you could not screw the piston back in and that was why you were replacing it. Glad you got it resolved.
 




drm12

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From your first post I assumed that you could not screw the piston back in and that was why you were replacing it. Glad you got it resolved.

I should clarify. My caliper piston was frozen. I had unbolted the caliper (the whole thing) from the bracket and could not get any leverage (especially since I did not want to damage the brake line). After I bolted the caliper back to the bracket, I could get enough leverage. I do appreciate your help - I need to get better at describing these things!
 




KayGee

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That's a bit disappointing to read that you needed rear brakes at 60K miles. I assume to accumulate that many miles on a 17, it must have been a lot more highway miles than city.

I just did the rear brakes on my 14 fusion which has almost 87K and was extremely disappointed to find an inner pad on one side worn all the way to the backing plate and the other 3 pads with ~1mm material left. I'm used to getting >100K, even into 125K+ territory, out of rear pads.
 




drm12

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That's a bit disappointing to read that you needed rear brakes at 60K miles. I assume to accumulate that many miles on a 17, it must have been a lot more highway miles than city.

I just did the rear brakes on my 14 fusion which has almost 87K and was extremely disappointed to find an inner pad on one side worn all the way to the backing plate and the other 3 pads with ~1mm material left. I'm used to getting >100K, even into 125K+ territory, out of rear pads.

I agree, and actually, I am closer to 50K than 60K. It is disappointing. I have been happy with the car otherwise. At least 50% of my miles are highway, but I do live in a mountainous area. In contrast, my wife’s Accord did not need brakes until 150K or so. I have been told that this is not too uncommon for the Explorers and the AWD/stability system may contribute. I plan on talking to the dealer about it, but doubt it will do much good. I am really surprised that the caliper started failing so soon.
 




Jon M

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I had to do brakes on my '13, just shy of 70k. Rear pads were OK, but had probably been replaced before 56k, when I bought it, but the rotors were almost down to 10mm. The front pads were nearly gone, but the rotors were fine, at 30mm.
 




KayGee

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I had to do brakes on my '13, just shy of 70k. Rear pads were OK, but had probably been replaced before 56k, when I bought it, but the rotors were almost down to 10mm. The front pads were nearly gone, but the rotors were fine, at 13mm.
13mm seems awful thin for a front rotor. 10mm seems thin for a rear rotor on an SUV, but these are car based, so it's at least the same as fusion rear discard thickness. I haven't checked min thickness on my 16 or 17 fronts, but have to assume it is at least 25-30mm.
 




Jon M

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13mm seems awful thin for a front rotor. 10mm seems thin for a rear rotor on an SUV, but these are car based, so it's at least the same as fusion rear discard thickness. I haven't checked min thickness on my 16 or 17 fronts, but have to assume it is at least 25-30mm.

Sorry, that should've been 30mm.

The stupid thing with the rear is that they only start at 11.5mm or something like that, and then discard is at 10mm, at least on the early ones with the standard duty brakes, which my '13 had. My rears ranged from 10.5-11mm on one side and 10.3-10.7mm on the other. Replacing the whole system was as much about the uneven wear as it was about upgrading to the HD brakes.
 




Mojo Jojo

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I'm in the process of replacing my parking brake control on my 2014 Ford Explorer. However, I can not seem to figure out how to loosen the tension on the cable. I have a factory service repair manual, and it says ...

"With an assistant, release the parking brake cable tension by pulling down on the front cable at the cable-to-cable union
until the parking brake control sector rotates to its stop and a 4 mm (0.15 in) x 150 mm (5.9 in) retainer pin can be
inserted."

I have a new parking brake control, with a pin inserted, so I see what is supposed to happen to the existing brake. And I see a cable to cable assembly under the car (I THINK it's what those instructions are referring to). I pull on it and nothing budges. I'm putting all of my weight into it, and NOTHING. Am I missing something? How can I get some slack in the line?
 




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