DIAGNOSIS AND TESTING - PARKING BRAKE
NOTE: Parking brake adjustment is controlled by a cable tensioner. Once the tensioner is adjusted at the factory, it should not require further attention. However, there are two instances when adjustment will be required. The first is when a new tensioner, or cables have been installed. And the second, is when the tensioner and cables are disconnected for access to other brake components.
The parking brake switch is in circuit with the red warning lamp in the dash. The switch will cause the lamp to illuminate only when the parking brakes are applied. If the lamp remains on after parking brake release, the switch or wires are faulty, or cable tensioner adjustment is incorrect.
In most cases, the actual cause of an improperly functioning parking brake (too loose/too tight/won't hold), can be traced to a parking brake component.
The leading cause of improper parking brake operation, is excessive clearance between the parking brake shoes and the shoe braking surface. Excessive clearance is a result of lining and/or drum wear, drum surface machined oversize, or inoperative adjuster components.
Excessive parking brake lever travel (sometimes described as a loose lever or too loose condition), is the result of worn brake shoes, improper brake shoe adjustment, or improperly assembled brake parts.
A condition where the parking brakes do not hold, will most probably be due to a wheel brake component.
Items to look for when diagnosing a parking brake problem, are:
Rear brake shoe wear.
Drum surface machined oversize.
Front cable not secured to lever.
Rear cable not attached to lever.
Rear cable seized.
Brake shoes reversed.
Parking brake strut not seated in shoes.
Parking brake lever not seated.
Parking brake lever bind.
Adjuster screws seized.
Adjuster screws reversed.
Richard Harvey Jr.
'04 TJ, X, 4.0, Auto, Silver, D30/D44 w/LS & 4.56's, RC 4" Series II, PA 3" BL, Advanced Adapter's TC Bracket, 15x12 Eagle Alloys 058, 15/35-15 TSL, 4x K/C DayLighters & Windshield Mounts, Ventvisor's Bugsheild, Door Sill & Window Vents, Fabtech Front Bumper & homemade Rear W/ Backup Lights, Hurculiner.
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