Anyone here ever changed the parking brake handle assembly? [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

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mosquitogang201
09-13-2013, 08:26 PM
I'm in the middle of changing the parking brake handle assembly in my 03 GAGT. I have the new handle bolted in, cable attached, and have reached the step that says it is a self-adjusting mechanism, to pull the handle up 4-6 times and it will automatically adjust to engage the brake, and that I should not try to manually adjust it. No matter how many times I pull the handle up it will not tighten enough to engage the brake. I know that the cable is good - it worked before I removed the old handle but the ratchet in the old handle was broken.

Do I have a bad replacement part here? Or is there anything I can do to get it to tighten up?

Starglow
09-13-2013, 10:19 PM
Since you have a GT I assume you have disc brakes on the rear....correct?

When you pull up the handle, are the cables in the rear moving at all or just not enough to engage the parking brake? You may need to jack up the rear end, remove the rotors and re-adjust the brake shoe actuators on each side to see if you can get the parking brake to work again.

Also make sure you are pulling the brake handle all the way up.

mosquitogang201
09-14-2013, 07:44 AM
Thanks for your input. After messing with it some more this morning, I came to the conclusion that my replacement part is bad. I got it adjusted so that the brakes would make contact within the throw of the cables, but when I apply any meaningful pressure on the brake, the springs in the "self-adjusting mechanism" slip and release all tension in the cable.

AaronGTR
09-14-2013, 07:52 AM
The brake shoe actuators in the rear only adjust the preset distance between the shoe and the inside of the rotor though. They should be set so when the handle is pulled up to full on, the shoes are tight enough inside the rotors to keep the wheels from turning. If they were tight enough before, they should still be correctly adjusted now. Adjusting them to close the gap isn't going to fix the basic problem of the cable not moving enough to apply enough pressure, and making them too close can cause the shoes to just get worn down and lose tension again.

I agree though that you need to check and see if the cable is actually moving in back. In my manual it doesn't say anything about it being a self adjusting mechanism. It says if you are re-installing an existing lever assembly you have to reload the spring mechanism that makes the handle go back down when you push in the release button, and that if you are putting in a new handle it comes pre-loaded, and you apply and release the handle four times to set proper adjustment. I don't think that has anything to do with the cable tension. As far as I can tell from the manual, there is no adjustment to the length of the cables.

It does mention when you are removing the old lever and installing the new one that you are supposed to jack up the car and unhook the cable equalizer at the rear and reinstall it when you are done. Did you do that? If not, it might have come loose. It's the spot on the rear sub-frame where the front cable hooks to the cable that runs side to side and hooks up to the actuators. Those all need to be connected and in their brackets. Same with the handle... make sure you have the cable connected properly to the reel on the lever and the cable sheathing is secured in the bracket behind the lever. Just like with bicycle brakes or a throttle cable, if those cables aren't secured in their brackets the steel cable inside them won't slide when you pull on it.


If all that stuff is in place, have someone pull on the handle while you are under the car and watch to see if the cables actually move and the actuator levers get pulled back. When the handle is pulled to full on, the level on back of the actuator will point out about 90 degrees from the brake disc and the end of the cable will just about get pulled all the way back to the bracket that holds it. If the cables are moving far enough, try to turn the wheels by hand. If you can turn them, then you need to adjust the pre-load on the brake shoes. You'll have to remove the rear wheels, brake calipers and brackets, and discs to do this. Turn the little wheel with the teeth on it to push the pistons on the actuator out a little more and spread the brake shoe. Put the disc back on temporarily and apply the parking brake, and try to turn the hub by hand with a crowbar between the wheel studs. Repeat process until both hubs stay locked with the park brake applied. :thumbs: