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Unread 12-18-2007, 02:36 PM   #1
DeclarationDay
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Redford MI
Posts: 72
Parking brake tension assembly- cheap repair

Hello, new guy here. I did a cheap fix on my parking brake tensioner assembly today, and thought I'd share the info.

I bought my YJ a few months ago, and one of its quirks was that the parking brake cable wasn't tight enough. I crawled under the frame to wrench down the nut, and it was hopelessly rusted shut; any attempt to turn it would have snapped the bolt.

So I went to the Stealership yesterday to buy a new tensioner assembly, and they wanted $32 for it. I though this was a bit high, so I decided to tackle the problem myself.

I would have had more detailed pictures of the repair, but doing a write-up didn't occur to me until after I was done

First, I cut off the old bolt and nut, along with the hook that held the head of the bolt to the primary parking brake cable detent:



I opted to replace the old tension bolt with a larger diameter one, so I used a dremel tool and grinder bit (I'm sure you could just drill it too) to enlarge the hole on the cable detent. I purchased an 8" long bolt and self-locking nut from the hardware store, and assembled the parts. Note, the bolt has to be much longer than the original one because it also replaces the hook assembly.



Works perfectly, total cost: $1!

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Unread 12-18-2007, 03:59 PM   #2
jonnyri
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Providence, RI
Posts: 251
I did the exact same thing. with a couple modifications...

I used 3/8" threaded rod, 2 locking nuts at the adjustment - one on each side to tighten the threaded rod to the bracket, and another two regular bolts tightened against each other at the equalizer.
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Unread 12-18-2007, 06:31 PM   #3
timatoe
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1990 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeclarationDay
Hello, new guy here. I did a cheap fix on my parking brake tensioner assembly today, and thought I'd share the info.

I bought my YJ a few months ago, and one of its quirks was that the parking brake cable wasn't tight enough. I crawled under the frame to wrench down the nut, and it was hopelessly rusted shut; any attempt to turn it would have snapped the bolt.

So I went to the Stealership yesterday to buy a new tensioner assembly, and they wanted $32 for it. I though this was a bit high, so I decided to tackle the problem myself.

I would have had more detailed pictures of the repair, but doing a write-up didn't occur to me until after I was done

First, I cut off the old bolt and nut, along with the hook that held the head of the bolt to the primary parking brake cable detent:



I opted to replace the old tension bolt with a larger diameter one, so I used a dremel tool and grinder bit (I'm sure you could just drill it too) to enlarge the hole on the cable detent. I purchased an 8" long bolt and self-locking nut from the hardware store, and assembled the parts. Note, the bolt has to be much longer than the original one because it also replaces the hook assembly.



Works perfectly, total cost: $1!
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Unread 12-18-2007, 06:46 PM   #4
Btwngreengray
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Lewiston, Maine.
Posts: 116
I had the same problem with the tensioner being rusted stuck and stuff, but it went fairly easy for me. I just used buttloads of PB Blaster and heat till the nut came off. I polished the whole assembly on the bench grinder and now it looks good as new. The dealership here wanted over $100 for a new one. I also changed the cables at the same time and did my rear brakes. All in a day's work.
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Unread 12-18-2007, 07:07 PM   #5
DeclarationDay
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oops, double post.
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Last edited by DeclarationDay; 12-18-2007 at 07:21 PM..
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Unread 12-18-2007, 07:08 PM   #6
DeclarationDay
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Redford MI
Posts: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Btwngreengray
I had the same problem with the tensioner being rusted stuck and stuff, but it went fairly easy for me. I just used buttloads of PB Blaster and heat till the nut came off. I polished the whole assembly on the bench grinder and now it looks good as new. The dealership here wanted over $100 for a new one. I also changed the cables at the same time and did my rear brakes. All in a day's work.
Yeah I did the rear brakes too, and though the cables have some rust on them they still work fine. Replacing them is probably a good idea, but I don't want to spend the $$ replacing non-critical parts that still work.
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