Emergency brake question...

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Traci Ann, May 13, 2006.

  1. Traci Ann

    Traci Ann Domestic Engineer

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    Back to the other side of the rainbow!
    We've just put new drum brakes on the back of our Dodge 15-passenger van. We put in new cylinders and pistons, new shoes and new springs.

    Now we are trying to figure out what to do with the emergency brake on the passenger side. We still have the wheels off so we can mess with it a little.

    When we push the e-brake pedal down, the e-brakes on both sides engage.
    Then when we release the e-brake, only the driver's side releases.

    But it is very easy to use a screwdriver to release the passenger side e-brake. It's not even much of a pry. It is harder than it should be obviously.

    Anyway, we've done this a few dozen times - with the same results. Everytime we have to pry the passenger side e-brake with a screwdriver to release it.

    We've been told that the line is stuck and that we just need to replace it. What we don't understand is why it will slide one way just fine (to engage it) but it won't slide the other way to release it.

    I'm sure that we haven't given this enough thought, but can anyone point us in the right direction?

    Is there anything we can do to get this thing to work without putting in a new line?

    Thanks,
    Rob & Traci
     
  2. danb98577

    danb98577 Well-Known Member

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    By line, do you really mean cable? As far as I know all passenger/light trucks use stranded cable contained in a tube(part way at least) which operates the e brake levers. Could be one of the strands has been dinked by a rock and is dragging-kinda rare. More likely rust/crud inside guide tube from brake backing plate. Inspect the cables where they exit the tube for damage. Try using a lube/solvent on the cables and work some into the tube. Be very careful NOT to get any thing on shoes. I would also inspect cable clear up to the point where it attatches to the adjuster. You never know, something weird may be hanging it clear back there.
    But there is a spring of some sort that pulls the e brake lever back to home position inside the brake shoe assembly-look it over. Compare with the side that is working. Look again. People get turned around on spring and even brake shoe positions from one side to the other. It happens. I have a hunch this is where the problem lies.
    I owned a 1972 1 ton Dodge van years ago. What a beast!!!! Good luck-Dan
     

  3. Traci Ann

    Traci Ann Domestic Engineer

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    Yes we mean cable. We can see the spring move both when engaging and releasing, but the actual brake is not moving.
     
  4. swamp man

    swamp man Well-Known Member

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    Dang,that's a wierd one.New springs,and still no return?I'd hose her down with brake parts cleaner,and if it still doesn't work,shorten the return spring.Dodge came kicking and screaming into the 20th century,and sometimes requires cave man tactics.
     
  5. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    i come across that every now and then.
    dissasemble and clean/oil the whole cable system and itll work fine again. any part in the e brake "line" to the shoes, clean it and oil it.

    rust flakes will jamb up ebrakes easy.
    and yes your cable or part of it might be ruted inside the jacket and itll have to be replaced.
     
  6. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Your foot has tremendous pressure to activate the brakes.

    The spring to return them is not so strong.

    Rust inside that cable is causing resistance.

    --->Paul
     
  7. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    With the cable disconnected try and move it in the housing and see if it binds. the oil doesn't work well as it attracts dirt and seizes the cable again. New cables are coated to keep dirt and rust out and don't need lube.
     
  8. Traci Ann

    Traci Ann Domestic Engineer

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    Back to the other side of the rainbow!
    Thank you everyone for your help.

    I think paul may have refined what everyone else was saying...

    We'll have to get back to the brake cable in a bit.
    Now we have more pressing problems!

    See our new post on the van.