How much of a PITA are the parking brake shoes & springs? - Page 2 - JeepForum.com
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post #16 of 23 Old 09-17-2019, 02:25 PM
99wjtx
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Originally Posted by GmanWJ View Post
Sad part is the parking brake still isn't all that effective ...

It's not just you either. I've done WJ parking brakes a few times across two vehicles and I've never gotten what I consider a really good hold out of any of them. There are a couple of guys on here like Uniblurb (are you listening Uniblurb?) who have made a science out of it and have apparently gotten decent results but most of us struggle every year around inspection time.


1999 WJ Limited 4.7/NV247
2001 WJ Laredo 4.7/NP242
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post #17 of 23 Old 09-17-2019, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 99wjtx View Post
It's not just you either. I've done WJ parking brakes a few times across two vehicles and I've never gotten what I consider a really good hold out of any of them. There are a couple of guys on here like Uniblurb (are you listening Uniblurb?) who have made a science out of it and have apparently gotten decent results but most of us struggle every year around inspection time.
I'd like to say I have it down to a science but I don't 99wjtx. The parking brake shoes are just too small to expect it to hold something as big as a WJ. I believe the curb weight of my 04 4.7 Limited is 600+ lbs more than my 96 4.0 ZJ yet the parking brake shoes are hardly any larger. And you can tell the WJ is just bigger altogether where it would need additional holding power. Not that the ZJ is very good in having an effective parking brake either.

Luckily I'm in a rural area of Ohio that doesn't have emissions testing or safety inspections; including a parking brake hold test. One thing I do is on the inside of the rotor hat I'll take some med emery cloth and sand it at a diagonal pattern or cross-hatching. This is on old or new rotor drum insides and it tends to cause more friction with the parking brake shoes where they may hold better. Coupled with new shoes at least you may have a chance of passing inspections from what I've heard about the testing.

96 4.0 ZJ Laredo, 2004 4.7L WJ Limited, 96 4.0 XJ (son's)


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post #18 of 23 Old 09-18-2019, 05:42 AM
99wjtx
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The Texas inspection procedure for the parking brake is vague. Here's it is taken directly from the official document:

"Inspect Parking Brake for and reject if: Parking brake will not hold the vehicle in place when, with the engine running, the vehicle is placed in forward gear and the engine is accelerated enough to cause a slight pull on the braking mechanism."

It makes no mention of a specific RPM, apparently unlike some others states. The good thing is, it gives the inspector some discretion to generally always pass you but it also gives the evil opportunistic inspector a reason to try and sell you brake repairs. I made the mistake of going to a brake shop a few years ago and of course he failed me. I ended up going to another place and they passed me.

Anyway, it's kind of ridiculous for a state to put a "one size fits all" standard on something like a parking brake because as far as I know, the manufacturers don't adhere to any kind of standard with respect to what constitutes a correct hold. Parking brakes are obviously more important to some manufacturers than others!

1999 WJ Limited 4.7/NV247
2001 WJ Laredo 4.7/NP242
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post #19 of 23 Old 09-18-2019, 06:16 AM
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No inspections here but my driveway is on a slight incline so use the parking brake to be nice to the transmission.

Will agree that the parking brake stinks. Twice, after installing new shoes/hardware, I've had other drivers drive with the parking brake on. They just couldn't tell it was on. Now I have to constantly adjust it to keep it working properly. My '07 Subaru Impreza has the same style of parking brake, drum inside disc. It works fantastic. No periodic adjustments or anything. And can't drive with it engaged.

Wasn't there a difference between manufacturers of the shoes where some had additional pad material and work better?
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post #20 of 23 Old 09-21-2019, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice - I did the passenger side today. I hoped to do both sides, but that bloody upper spring...

Basically, I wasted *hours* trying to stretch the spring into the hole in the upper shoe *after* installing the pins and hold-down clips. I tried brake pliers, extra-long needlenose pliers, screwdrivers, everything - couldn't make it work.

After a *lot* of swearing (no tool-throwing, remarkably), I had another read of this thread, then took the shoes off, hooked the upper spring into the lower shoe and engaged the shoe with the actuator, finagled the spring into the upper shoe without stretching it, and then used the shoe itself as a lever against the axle flange to stretch the spring and twist the upper shoe into place.

Still needed a lot of grunt to do that, but it took just minutes. Now I know the trick
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post #21 of 23 Old 09-22-2019, 02:37 PM
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Teach me the trick! Pictures!


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ok mostly just repairs, but we are closing in on a lift
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post #22 of 23 Old 09-22-2019, 03:10 PM
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I didn't take any pictures but I've done it on two or three occasions and it works great. As I remember it, you put the bottom spring on the shoes and then position them in place without the center locks on them initially. Then, move one shoe off the "ledge" closer to the other and put the top spring in place on both shoes. From there, with one shoe in final position while holding it with one hand, you take your other hand and use the other shoe itself as leverage to stretch the spring and pop the shoe into place. They should stay in position so that you can then lock the center tabs into place on both shoes. Once you see it, it's easy.

Apologies - I don't remember any of the correct terminology for the parts!

1999 WJ Limited 4.7/NV247
2001 WJ Laredo 4.7/NP242
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post #23 of 23 Old 09-23-2019, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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My technique's a bit different to 99wjtx. I hook the upper spring into the lower shoe, then feed the spring up behind the actuator. Get the lower shoe's "nose" engaged in the actuator, and then get the other end of the spring hooked into the upper shoe. This takes a bit of trial and error, as you're *not* stretching the spring yet and you've got the axle hub flange in the way. I don't want the lower spring fitted yet, as I need the other end of the upper shoe free to move.

Once you've got both ends of the upper spring engaged, you just have to use brute force. Pull up on the upper shoe, twist it and lever it against the hub flange until you can get the "nose" clear of the top of the actuator and then simply turn it into place (make sure to wear gloves during this bit). The lower shoe is kept more-or-less in place by the actuator, axle shaft and flange, so you can use both hands on the end of the upper shoe if necessary.

Then it's just a matter of fitting the hold-down clips and star wheel adjuster. I fit the lower spring last - that's simple enough with long-nose pliers.
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