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Parking break advice needed (update)

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by smack, Oct 3, 2002.

  1. smack

    smack 1/2 ton status

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    Trying to get my parking break working right once and for all and I need some help.
    Anyone know where to find a new sheath for the front part of the cable (the one that goes up into the cab and has a spring)? LMC sells what seems to be on the cable itself and not the flexy, spring sheath thing. Mine doesn't spring back anymore and as a result the pedal won't return all the way up without falling back down.
    Second, how in the hell does that adjuster bracket work?? Mine just pulls the cable straight through and doesn't grab the bracket for the driver's side rear wheel.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    I don't think the sheath for the front brake cable is seperate. The whole thing is one piece as I recall.

    I *believe* if the e-brake cables are tight, the drum brake releasing is what actually forces the pedal back up, not anything else. I could be wrong though, I can't recall if the bracket under the driver sees tension, or just locates the brake cable away from any body/frame parts.

    The adjuster bracket in the rear on your truck should be closer to the rear drivers side tire than mine, which is underneath the driver. Just tighten the nut back there until the parking brake works. Don't tighten too much or the cables can snap or fray.

    On well worn e-brake cables, I've put a couple of washers (or even another nut, but larger so you don't have to turn it too) underneath the adjusting nut, but only because the cables were so stretched that the nut bottomed out before the cables were pulled tight enough to work.
     
  3. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    I second Dorians comments, the actual brake inside your drum is spring loaded and it will return the cable.
    As for the cables being stretched, I saw the other day at Kragen's an adjustable braket for that. It basically puts a curve in cable that takes the slack. And it's cheap.
    IceMan
     
  4. smack

    smack 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    What's that spring for, then on that front cable and could anyone be so kind to send me a picture of their adjuster/tensioner bracket. I spent an hour under there and have concluded that mine MUST be missing something 'cos I see no way it'll pull both cables.
    Thanks again all,
    smack
     
  5. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    Well I'm thinking about how the cable operates...you step on the pedal, the pedal pulls the cable towards the front of the truck, right?

    The "cab end" of the cable clips into that bracket underneath the driver, correct? If it is clipped to that bracket as I believe it is, unless the outer cable end stays clipped in place, and some other piece in that section of cable moves, the tension is from the drums. I now kind of remember that as the cable is pulled forward, that cable under the cab DOES tighten that "spring" up somewhat, but I'm not certain. If my truck was here, I'd check for you. Makes sense though, my dads e-brake won't hold the truck on a hill very easily, yet the e-brake pedal come up fully no problem.

    No pictures, but I *think* the changeover to your style of e-brake was '84. Definitely later than '83.

    More of a test of my memory than anything else, that bracket in the rear is slightly "L" shaped, "free floating" (not bolted to anything) and the passenger side cable is the one that has the adjusting nut/threads on the end of it. The drivers side cable (the "armored" portion from the backing plate) clips into that bracket just like underneath the drivers seat. Am I right?
     
  6. smack

    smack 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    My cable comes off the pedal assembly in the cab and bends down to a bracket under the driver's door hinges. The sheath is a braided like thing and after the bracket there's a spring with a metal coupling on the cable. The cable continues to the front/back coupler. Then the cable goes through a hole in the distribution bracket and continues on to the passenger wheel. The adjusting nut in the bracket connects to the cable that goes to the driver's wheel. When you're under the truck and pull on the whole cable (similar to stepping on the pedal) only the cable that's continuous (going to the passenger wheel) pulls. Nothing happens at all on the driver's cable! I've had this problem awhile and when I did my axle swap I rebuilt all the brake hardware so I know that's all good. Seems to me it's binding on that front spring piece and only a hard pull towards the rear of the truck brings the cable back down through the cab allowing the pedal to return fully up.
    ??????????
     
  7. smack

    smack 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    I just posted a crude drawing in the member's rides section title ebrake schematic.
    How do I put a link in here to the photo? duh?
     
  8. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    If your cable is not coming back it could be rusted on the inside, I know the cables on the rear section of my truck are doing that and I will replace them soon because when I release the breaks the stay engaged until I go down and pull on them.
    IceMan
     
  9. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    You've tried tightening the adjuster nut at the back? With that design, tightening that nut up should tighten the whole system up, and "even out" both rear brakes.
     
  10. smack

    smack 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    Again, maybe my truck is missing something because tightening it doesn't do anything and if I pull on the cable it doesn't pull that side at all -- seems like where the cable first goes into that balancing bracket I'm missing something, like a grommet or something that grabs the whole bracket.
    ???
     
  11. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    Never tried, but try going to your picture, right click on it, copy the address, then post that address in this discussion.

    I believe the LMC catalog shows this stuff too, but I don't have the catalog handy. Cars also use this same setup.
     
  12. smack

    smack 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    I dunno, maybe they're rusted, hard to tell. Guess I should just splurge and replace 'em all but I wanna figure out how this damn balancing bracket works first!!
    Please, anyone, if you'd be so kind as to get me a picture of your bracket assembly tonight I'd appreciate it greatly!
    smack
     
  13. smack

    smack 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    My LMC catalogue has a good picture but doens't have the same sheath thing on the front cable and no additional parts on that balancing bracket.
     
  14. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    Yeah, maybe it is missing something. Pictures would help you out I'm sure. Are you near any wrecking yards though? The 80' RWD (and some big FWD) cars are setup the same way.

    I think all the points where the cables go into the brackets, should be secured with those "finger clips" like the one on the cable in the cab. (to the floor)

    Been awhile since I've messed with one of these systems though, and my memory sucks sometimes.
     
  15. smack

    smack 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    No problem, thanks for the quick responses, I'm heading home now and I'll try to take a snapshot of the thing. All the wrecking yards out here rip/cut those cables out so they're not gonna help.
    I'll post the pixs tomorrow.
    And thanks again,
    smack
     
  16. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    With that bracket in the rear, either one or both of the cables should clip into it, but other than the two cables running through it, and the adjusting nut/stud which is on the end of the drivers cable apparently, there is nothing else that goes on it.

    Sounds almost like your "clips" are broken off somewhere, and the sheating is moving, and not the cable. Like I said earlier, if you know what those "finger clips" are supposed to look like (same as backing plates) if there are some broken, you'll notice where they SHOULD be.
     
  17. smack

    smack 1/2 ton status

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  18. smack

    smack 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    Correction, the continuous cable goes to the driver's side and the adjuster cable goes to passenger.
     
  19. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    Ok the setup in link 1599 (the "tensioning/equalizing" bracket) LOOKS fine. You can see the "finger clip" I keep mentioning on the cable below the one with the stud/nut on it. Tightening that nut SHOULD tighten the whole system up as I said earlier.

    In pic 1600, the spring you are talking about right there, LOOKS like that stopper (closest to the rear of the vehicle on the cable in that pic, should be crimped to the cable tightly) should pull that spring tight as you push in on the pedal. If the actual black cable slides THROUGH that spring "stopper" without compressing that spring, then that should be your problem. If it does slide through without compressing the spring, I'd try taking a pair of vise grips, and try smashing that round piece so it grips the cable, but I'm thinking you won't be able to create enough force to re-crimp it. If that won't work, perhaps try crimping the vice grips to the cable right behind the stopper. Probably still won't hold up to full pedal application, but if you only depress the pedal a bit, then let off and release the brake, it should spring back up.

    The "finger clip" shown on the body mount bracket for that section of cable, is that held tight to the bracket, or is it loose? Looks like the only "finger" visible needs to be pryed out a bit so it won't slip back through that hole.

    Don't believe anything e-brake wise in pic 1600 is serviceable seperately, If you were to buy it from GM or LMC, it would all be one piece from the pedal to that connector under the body. (which is easy to get apart actually)

    Nothing VISIBLY wrong that I can see in those pics.
     
  20. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: Parking break advice needed

    Just did this to NoAngels 88. The cables were toast (all 3). The new replacements from GM (my cost about $110) were not like the originals in a metal sheeth. They had plastic outer shells and the inner cable also had a protective plastic sheeth (better here in the Salt belt than the originals with metal sheeths). I hooked up the front cable only (at first), pushed the pedal and then hit the release. The front spring pulled the pedal back slightly, but not much. It wasn't until I did the back two cables, hooked them to the front one, and adjusted them properly that the pedal pulls all the way back. I think the front spring is there to keep tension on the cable in the parking brake is released (to keep the cable from hitting the frame/exhaust/etc.). So basically Dorian's explanation is correct, and I would recommend getting GM replacement cables as others tend to fail/stretch after a short amount of time. Hope this /forums/images/graemlins/1zhelp.gifs
     

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