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Author Topic: e-brake cable issue, stumped....  (Read 1509 times)

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Offline dave1987

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e-brake cable issue, stumped....
« on: November 08, 2014, 09:46:27 PM »
So a few days back, I came home from work, pulled into the driveway and pulled up on the e-brake. I heard a "ping" and the handle pulled up without any resistance at all. The first thing I thought was "the cable broke". It was dark out so I didn't think anything else of it. I would get up early before work and pull out one of the spare cables I had in the shed and replace it, no big deal...

The next morning I lifted the car off the ground to get to the task of cable replacement. After crawling under the car, I quickly realized that the cable didn't break at all! The bracket the cable wraps around and connects to the e-brake handle on, fell off and hit the ground. The "ping" I heard the night before was it hitting the drive shaft before landing onto the driveway.

I figured the cable was stretched to much, and I already had to pull the e-brake handle all the way up to get the car to stay put on a slanted surface. I went and replaced the cable with the shortest of my spare cables, and all was good...for a little while...

The next morning I disengaged the e-brake, backed out of the driveway, and slowly started to drive down the street when once again, the ping! Yes, the bracket fell off AGAIN, with the cable intact!

So there is the adjustment rod for the e-brake, with the S shaped bend at the end which the e-brake cable bracket is connected/supported by. One thing I can think of, is that the "S" bend in the rod is worn, or the bracket's hole that the rod goes into has elongated and it can't be held on well enough with the wear. I have spare hardware for this in my parts collection, but I have a feeling it won't make a difference.

The other thought, is that something is binding in the drums, not letting the brakes release completely and the cable(s) get stuck in the "engaged" position. When the e-brake handle is lowered, the cable is still pulled forwards enough to clear the bracket and the bracket just falls off from lost tension.

And the last thought, maybe the wheel cylinders in the drums are sticking. The pistons are getting stuck, out, and the cable is "tricked" into staying pulled. If that's the case, arnt the cable return springs in the drum strong enough to push everything back out? And, could it be old/worn brake fluid, and a flush and bleed fix it?
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline amc49

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Re: e-brake cable issue, stumped....
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2014, 11:11:14 AM »
The wheel cylinders if sticking would make the brakes drag. They have nothing to do with parking brake which is a lever that works the brake mechanically and independent of the cylinders.

Brake fluid pretty much cannot 'wear out' to not work, only fill with enough corrosion remnant to stuff parts to not work. Simple bleeding/flush is not going to clear that sticking part away, the parts must be physically pulled, torn down and cleaned back up.

If parking brake is sticking inside drum you disassemble and clean up all pivot/sliding  points at the crossbar, lever and shoes. All springs that return the parking brake must be in good shape to retract too.

Offline dave1987

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Re: e-brake cable issue, stumped....
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2014, 11:59:23 AM »
So are we thinking maybe new drum hardware?
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline dave1987

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Re: e-brake cable issue, stumped....
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2014, 02:26:24 PM »
I think I figured it out. Went out and got new brake hardware kit, was getting ready to swap everything out, and I figured I would pull out the e-brake cable parts I had in the shed. Good thing I did, too. Turns out the bracket is NOT supposed to be bent the way mine was! The bend was so severe that it was allowing the bracket to drop down enough and fall off the e-brake pull rod on the handle when relaxed.

Now I'm wondering what caused it to bend so much!

Good bracket on the left, bad on the right.
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline amc49

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Re: e-brake cable issue, stumped....
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2014, 08:09:13 PM »
I would have simply rebent and reused same part, but then I haven't bought a hardware kit in some 40 years, always possible to make the OEM parts work and longterm.  Pretty rare to actually damage parts to where they will not work again there......... ............at least I have no trouble with it. I don't hesitate to slightly rebend spring hook ends or similar, and they go back to working fine if all else is right.