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Parking Brake Cable Adjustment

New 01/27/2005

How do you adjust your parking brake cable correctly? Jow do you know when it has been done correctly?

My understanding is if you use your parking brake, say once a week it adjusts you rear brakes.


Right but the cables can be adjusted also. There is an adjuster under the drivers side doors.
Mine is right under the B pillar. The front cable goes down through the floor and is threaded on the end. The Right rear comes across and meets a bracket that has a nut on it.
The nut is threaded to the back of the front cable. The Left rear cable is short and goes into a bracket that is part of the RR cable.

When doing my new cables, rear pads, rotors, and calipers this spring Car was jacked with rear wheels right off the ground.
IF new pads etc have been installed make sure the brakes are bled and the service brakes hold the wheels and release the wheels from spinning.

I did this leave the pedal in the full up position. See how much the cable hangs down.
Mine being new they were snugged up against the body.
Tighten the adjust to remove slack and that the rear wheels still turn.
Step on parking brake pedal or push it 1/2way down and that the parking brake light comes and the rear wheels still turn.
Now leave the pedal. Tighten adjustment so that both rear wheels will not turn with pedal 1/2 way down and will turn with pedal released.
I go one more complete turn of adjusting nut at this point.

I have always adjusted parking brake cables this way hand or foot ones drums or discs. Just the way I was taught.
Reason I was told is:
a) Guys tend to crank the pedal all the way down or pull the handle all the way
b) Women who in most cases do not have the arm or leg strength do not as they are afraid they can't get if off. {some women can not when the hubby or boyfriend last drove}
c) This also applies enough pressure against the release springs to make sure the come off if everything is not rusted.
Mine come off with a distinct thump against the floor.. {no worries as there is a foam ring on the adjuster to protect the underbody on our cars.
The rear pistons if the pads where installed right rotate out to hold the inner against the rotor and through the sliders apply the outer. {simplified, bit more goes on}

The cables normally seize where they enter their own housings. the cable has a coating, it wears road crap and moisture gets in and the start to hang up. I had to replace my front one due to the threads in the adjusting end being a mess from 7 years of Canadian winters.
The rear cables have a metal ring that seizes into hole in the caliper right near the parking brake lever


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