Okay, so I took my Liberty in for an oil change to my local Jeep dealer. While there, I asked what it would cost to do a parking brake adjustment at the back wheels. I was quoted $175-$225, depending on how long it took. I was a little surprised at that and decided it was best if I just took the time and learn to do it myself, which today, I finally did.
The process was pretty straight forward; I started by blocking the front wheels and then jacking up both sides at the rear of the Jeep and removing the tires & wheels; I used a ¾" impact socket and air impact gun. Since the rear rotor/hubs had never been removed, I had to remove the four factory-installed retainer clips / push nuts from both rotor/hubs. These mainly hold the rotor/hubs in place while traveling down the assembly line. It isn't necessary to replace these once removed, but I went ahead and bought two new ones for each side. (Autozone / Dorman 13441 is a variety pack with 5 different sizes.
Next, I had a choice of removing the two smaller bolts of the caliper, which I think may allow the brake pads to fall out, or the larger bolts and remove the entire assembly. I went with removing the entire assembly, using a 18mm socket. These larger bolts would be the ones at the very top and very bottom, on the back-side. I had to use a 19" breaker bar to get those larger bolts to loosen up, and since you are working from the inside of the rotor, there just isn't much room to use an air gun. Once the two bolts are removed, carefully pull the caliper assembly off the rotor. Make sure that you support the caliper assembly once removed so as not to put undue stress on the brake line.
At this point, you now have access to the star adjuster. I adjusted it six clicks on both sides and then put the rotor/hubs back on before checking the parking brake. (I should have written it down as I went, but I believe to tighten the passenger-side, I turned the star-adjuster clock-wise and the drivers side counterclockwise. As seen in the last picture, the gap will INCREASE, that is, you will see MORE threads if you are tightening the shoes as this pushes the shoes farther from center.) I felt this wasn't enough, so I did an additional three clicks on both sides and rechecked the brake handle. I easily could have gone a few more clicks but decided that since this my first time, I'd go conservative. If you take the adjustment too far, the brake shoes will rub inside the hub and the last thing I wanted to do was burn up them up. If you way over adjust them, the shoes will be pushed too far from the center of the axle hub and you won't be able to re-install the rotor/hub. I spun the rotor hubs and felt that where was no friction, so I called it good. Next time, I'll know that I can be a little more aggressive in the adjustment.
Now, it's just back to reassembly, starting with the rotor/hub; install the replacement push nuts if you want, though as previously mentioned, they are not required. Next, install the caliper assembly. Carefully side the caliper and brake pads back over the rotor, starting at the top and then sliding the bottom in over the rotor. Getting the two bolts back in was a little awkward, as you can't really see too well to line up the bolts with the holes; you just have to finesse it a bit to get the alignment right. Once you get both sides installed, make sure you torque down those bolts.
As noted earlier, you don't have to use the retainer clips / push nuts (Autozone, Dorman brand #13441), but I decided to anyway. Put the wheels back on, making sure to torque down all the wheel lug nuts. I found ratings of 85 ft. lbs. to 100 ft. lbs, and 85 ft. lbs to 110 ft. lbs. Looking in the owners manual shows a specification of 95 ft. lbs., which almost seems like nothing; I have a motorhome that the lug nuts require 475 ft. lbs.
Do a short test drive to make sure all sounds and feels well, and check the parking brake back in the driveway... success! While I will have to do it again in the future, I'l take that opportunity to change the brake fluid too. I now know that no way is it worth it to have the dealer do the adjustment; with a little time and a couple of basic tools, you can do it yourself and save $200+.
Sorry I don't know how to line up the pictures better with the appropriate text listed below each picture...
2012 Jeep Liberty Sport 4-wheel Drive
Last edited by JeepLibertyKK; 03-09-2014 at 03:17 PM.