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Thread: Does your E-Brake work? Mine Doesn't...

  1. #1

    Does your E-Brake work? Mine Doesn't...

    This is on a 1986 Fiero frame:
    O.K. so it used to kinda work when I first bought my car about 1 1/2 years go. A few months after I bought it, I drove across town with the Ebrake on(but not all the way on). .....DOH!!!!!
    Nothing smoked and the car still stops very well with my regular brakes. I checked my rear brakes and they are fine. I tightened my cable using the loosen/tighten adjuster located in the back. The E-brake handle would go all the way up as far as possible but was still loose.
    Finally, I added some nuts to the very end of the cables next to the wheels to take up some slack out of the cable and now, I can pull the E-Brake handle as tight as I could get it and it deffinately gets tight but doesn't apply pressure to the brakes to keep the car from rolling.
    What can I do?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Does your E-Brake work? Mine Doesn't...

    If I were you...I'd get the car fixed by a mechanic if you can't fix it...the last thing you want is your car rolling away...could be an expensive lesson...ouch ...don't count on your gears holding you in place while your parked
    A Prancing Horse will ALWAYS back away from a RAGING BULL

  3. #3
    Senior Member cowans's Avatar
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    Re: Does your E-Brake work? Mine Doesn't...

    Frog... The E-brake lever on each rear caliper MUST have enough cable slack to allow it to self adjust. What I mean by that is as you pull your handbrake on, the caliper lever manually pushes the pads tight! As the lever reaches full 'detente', it then 'resets' itself as the pads wear. My guess is that putting those xtra 'nuts' in , your caliper will not be able to reset itself (in order to remove slack ((by wearing pads))). The key to this is you stated you drove with E-brake on..... your pads would be reduced in size, prematurely, but if the caliper E-brake lever is not able to complete its 'detente', then there will always be too much slack! The easy way to describe this is to play with a caliper on a bench. Simply push the lever forward to it's stop and return. The caliper piston has 'jacked' a 1/16" inward, and the lever has reset to 'jack' the piston again. I believe your 'reduced cable slack'(nuts) will not allow the lever to reset.
    then maybe I'm dead wrong!!
    Sandy

  4. #4

    Re: Does your E-Brake work? Mine Doesn't...

    Well, I didn't add the extra nuts to reduce the slack until weeks after my E-brake stopped working. First I just tightened the brake cable adjuster (in the back of the car) with no posotive results. A few weeks later I assumed I needed to tighten the lever by other methods, so I tightened the lever by reducing the slack that had appeared in the cable by adding nuts to shorten the pull.

    I am curious to if you are saying the E-brake is "Self Callobrating / Self Adjusting" in some way? Maybe if I just take all the nuts out and replace the rear brakes and set up the cable system back to the origional position, the E-brake and piston will then re-adjust?

  5. #5
    Senior Member cowans's Avatar
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    Re: Does your E-Brake work? Mine Doesn't...

    I am curious to if you are saying the E-brake is "Self Callobrating / Self Adjusting" in some way? Maybe if I just take all the nuts out and replace the rear brakes and set up the cable system back to the origional position, the E-brake and piston will then re-adjust?
    It is hard to explain.... the E-lever rachets the caliper piston inward on each stroke...(only if the lever is allowed its full travel((by that I mean if the lever's moment starts at 1 o'clock and stops at 4 o'clock)) then it will rachet the piston another degree inward... so you must have full lever moment.. If you do replace the pads, verify that you can manually move the lever enough to rachet the piston inward. WARNING: be sure to have a manual with you that will explain how to 'PUSH BACK' (un-rachet) the piston, or you will never fit the caliper & pads back on! I can't remember how it's done and I'm at work so, no manual at my reach...maybe do a search on Pennock's Forum. Verify that both caliper levers are free and not seized! If you do replace a caliper, make damm sure you remove ALL the hardware before returning the old one(casting).
    Good Luck,
    Sandy
    Note: after re-reading your 1st entry, my guess is that perhaps 1 of your levers is seized, and so, while the E-brake handle is now tight/hard, the actual lever(being seized) is not appling pressure to the appropriate pad... just a guess!

  6. #6
    Senior Member cowans's Avatar
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    Re: Does your E-Brake work? Mine Doesn't...

    What's with my font size on the last post?
    Sandy

  7. #7

    Re: Does your E-Brake work? Mine Doesn't...

    O.K. That makes a bit more sense.I didn't post this question on Pennock's because I was thinking it had something to do with the "Stretched Chassis" that threw the whole E-brake system off a bit. That's one reason I was making things a bit more difficult because I know things are modified and changed by the designer when chassis are stretched, but since I didn't build this car, I thouhgt I may have been missing something. Thanks for the info though! -Paul

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