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Author Topic: E-brake adjustment that works.  (Read 22463 times)

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Offline Hoosier GXP

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E-brake adjustment that works.
« on: November 13, 2011, 09:59:01 PM »
While preparing my car for the long winter I decided to do a few adjustments I had been putting off. Since there has been some discussion in the past about our parking brake and its adjustment I decided to post this to show another way of adjusting other than the simple adjustment shown in the user manual. You will need a couple of special tools to preform this but the procedure is not above the novice ability level.

Here is a pic of the items you will need.

3/8's drive and extension

regular or needle nose pliers

flat head screwdriver

7mm allen socket (shown here) or wrench

disk brake piston remover (can be purchased at auto parts store for around 12 bucks)

(jack and jack stands not shown)



First you need to raise the rear end (you can do one wheel at a time if more convenient) and place the car on stands. Remove the rear wheels and then remove the rear brake caliper. You don't need to do any more than remove the two pins holding the caliper on, no need to unhook any of the brake fluid lines to do this.

Once you have the wheel removed use the screw driver and pry off the wire retaining clips shown her. Take note of how the wire is hooked to the caliper support so you will get it back together correctly. Be careful not to let it fly off and take note that they are inserted in the caliper at an angle as this will be handy when reinstalling them.



Locate the two 7 mm allen caliper bolts located on the rear of the caliper. You will have to remove the small black dust cover to access the pins shown here.


No need to pull the pins completely out, all you need to do is be able to pull the caliper loose. The pads do not have to be removed either but they may fall if this happens just set them back in when you are ready to replace the caliper.


Now you are ready to do the adjustment.
First you will need to figure out which part of the tool fits you brake this is a trail and error process so once you find it place the tool on the extension so you will have it for the other side.
With the adjustment tool inserted into the two holes in the caliper shown below apply inward pressure and rotate the piston clock wise until it stops. You will in most cases only turn it about one or two turns.




Tool inserted


You are now finished with the adjustment. Slide the caliper back over the pads and tighten the two caliper pins and replace the plastic covers. Now use the needle nose pliers to replace the wire retainer and remember that the holes are at an angle when replacing it. Be careful here as there is a lot of tension on this wire.



Once you have done the other side get in the vehicle and push the brake pedal down about half way and release, repeat until the pedal is firm. Your e-brake should now only move about two clicks and hold as intended.

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 09:46:35 AM »
Very nice write-up!

I do want to point out, however, that this method works, but only if you have the particular issue of the pistons being frozen (or really badly self-adjusted, I guess).  I tried this method first with my poorly operating handbrake and it didn't do anything.  I then did the cable adjustment and that 'fixed' it for me (as much as it worked, anyway).  BUT, if you do have one or both rear brake pistons seized, then this is your solution!
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Offline DeepBlueGXP

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 10:04:21 PM »
I did this tonight on my 07 GXP because of the parking break was not holding.  I had previously removed the center console and adjusted the nut all the way forward to the stop and it still would not hold. 

Tonight I removed the center console, lowered the parking brake handle, loosened the nut until it was backed out and not touching the bracket.  Followed the procedures that Hoosier posted and then depressed the brake pedal 8 times and felt a very firm brake pedal. 

I then adjusted the parking brake cable nut back up until it was against the bracket.

Pulled up on the parking brake 1 click, it would still rotate, another click and it started to get hard to rotate.  On the 3rd click I couldn't spin the wheel. 

Thanks for posting...

Offline snaponbob

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 10:48:23 PM »
In actuality, the caliper pistons are supposed to be screwed in whenever pads are replaced. Just thought I would throw that in there.
Bob Buxbaum
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Offline 1LILNDN

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2012, 02:52:24 AM »
 I have a ? . Is the piston turned Clock-wise on both Wheels . I know Mopar had left and right Threads.    :idk:    :huh:
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Offline Hoosier GXP

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2012, 08:04:37 AM »
I have a ? . Is the piston turned Clock-wise on both Wheels . I know Mopar had left and right Threads.    :idk:    :huh:

I turned mine clockwise on both.

Offline blackbirdracing

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2012, 09:48:10 AM »
I have an odd clunk coming for the right rear area, but when I apply the parking brake a little I can't hear it.

When i check things out tonight I will probably do this procedure also.

Offline snaponbob

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2012, 10:00:11 AM »
I have an odd clunk coming for the right rear area, but when I apply the parking brake a little I can't hear it.

When i check things out tonight I will probably do this procedure also.

While you are back there, check the three bolts that secure the axle bearing assembly to the hub.
Bob Buxbaum
snaponbob AT comcast DOT net
2007 Redline, Revalved Konis, Crazy alignment
FE3 front and Z0K rear bars, owner installed pwr lock buttons
catless downpipe, SP custom exhaustWester's tune
racing springs and adjustable perches
DDM ProBeam & Tower brace, CCW 18x11 wheels for racing

Offline blackbirdracing

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2012, 10:16:08 AM »
I read about that as well.  Thanks for the reminder.

Offline blackbirdracing

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2012, 09:08:51 PM »
So I'm doing this now...  What if I go to rotate the piston and it keeps rotating.  I have turned it atleast 20 times...

It don't stop...

As a matter of fact my new spare calipers the piston doesn't stop either... 

Also the op failed to mention that the tool he shows only kinda works. You have to use the 4 post end at an angle, as shown in his picture.


« Last Edit: February 20, 2012, 09:32:52 PM by blackbirdracing »

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2012, 09:47:57 PM »
So I'm doing this now...  What if I go to rotate the piston and it keeps rotating.  I have turned it atleast 20 times...

It don't stop...
Are your pads heavily worn?  The pistons may have come off the ends of the adjuster threads.  This happened to me on my old Audi.  You have to turn while pushing the pistons in, to get them to engage onto the ends of the threads.  Once they hook on you'll know it, as they only take a couple of turns to fully retract.
"That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too." (Monty Python)

Offline blackbirdracing

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2012, 10:26:00 PM »
I was a pushin.  But like I said even my new GM calipers do the same thing.. 

Offline blackbirdracing

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2012, 10:37:53 PM »
Well nonetheless, I put it back together e brake works way better.

The cluncking noise is 100% gone.   Thanks to this forum my car is fixed.

Thank you very much.  Keep up the good work and I won't have a choice but to go premium.

Offline DeepBlueGXP

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2012, 07:04:44 AM »
Since I did this to mine, the brakes feel way different.  The rear brake pads looked almost brand new with almost 80,000 miles on the car.   Now the brakes are firmer and feel like the stopping power is better.  It's as if the rear brakes were not engaging before and are now. 

Offline blackbirdracing

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2012, 08:58:52 AM »
Since I did this to mine, the brakes feel way different.  The rear brake pads looked almost brand new with almost 80,000 miles on the car.   Now the brakes are firmer and feel like the stopping power is better.  It's as if the rear brakes were not engaging before and are now.

I have the same feeling.  Look Like new at 42k miles...

I'm just glad that Damn clunck is gone!!!   No to figure out why my diff keeps pushing fluid out the vent tube.

Offline rlhammon

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2012, 08:21:02 AM »
While you are back there, check the three bolts that secure the axle bearing assembly to the hub.

Help me out with this please...

I've noticed a "clunk" noise in the right rear, and I spent some time this weekend with a buddy trying to diagnose.  I have a fair amount of seepage of fluid around the right seal at the CV joint, and we noticed some lash there as well.  Our thought was that I needed to replace the CB joint, but looking up prices on that, I found it much more economical to get a whole axle assembly (~$85 for the assembly, and $200+ for the CV joint only).

Anyway... now I'm wondering if what I have a brake issue instead.  I only hear the "clunk" when the right rear goes over some road imperfection (bump, pothole) and it has to be at speed... <15 MPH and I don't hear it (at least not over the rumble of no exhaust and a hi-flo cat).

Sounds like Bob has some knowledge here about another issue with the bearing assembly... I'd be interested to hear what's been seen by others.

Offline snaponbob

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2012, 08:50:19 AM »
Help me out with this please...

I've noticed a "clunk" noise in the right rear, and I spent some time this weekend with a buddy trying to diagnose.  I have a fair amount of seepage of fluid around the right seal at the CV joint, and we noticed some lash there as well.  Our thought was that I needed to replace the CB joint, but looking up prices on that, I found it much more economical to get a whole axle assembly (~$85 for the assembly, and $200+ for the CV joint only).

Anyway... now I'm wondering if what I have a brake issue instead.  I only hear the "clunk" when the right rear goes over some road imperfection (bump, pothole) and it has to be at speed... <15 MPH and I don't hear it (at least not over the rumble of no exhaust and a hi-flo cat).

Sounds like Bob has some knowledge here about another issue with the bearing assembly... I'd be interested to hear what's been seen by others.

The hub bolts are known to loosen up, even just in commuter cars. Mine have not, but I had my hubs apart when I installed APR wheel studs, so I used the proper (per service bulletin) thread locker and recommended torque. But, I still check them from time to time. A few years this was a big point on the two BBs. But, the symptom usually has ABS or ESC warnings.

Rich, if are getting a "clunk" in the back, it may be best not to assume anything. If you are replacing a half shaft, inspect EVERYTHING back and do a complete "nut and bolt" inspection/tightening. A shock could be loose or internally broken, rubber exhaust hanger ripped, ANYTHING !!!! Jacks stands and flashlight time.

(BTW, that said, had I done a better job of that before Nats, the exhaust would not have come apart half way through day two and my co-driver might have taken the win instead of second.  :banghead: :censor: :mad: )
Bob Buxbaum
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FE3 front and Z0K rear bars, owner installed pwr lock buttons
catless downpipe, SP custom exhaustWester's tune
racing springs and adjustable perches
DDM ProBeam & Tower brace, CCW 18x11 wheels for racing

Offline rlhammon

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2012, 09:08:49 AM »
The hub bolts are known to loosen up, even just in commuter cars. Mine have not, but I had my hubs apart when I installed APR wheel studs, so I used the proper (per service bulletin) thread locker and recommended torque. But, I still check them from time to time. A few years this was a big point on the two BBs. But, the symptom usually has ABS or ESC warnings.

Rich, if are getting a "clunk" in the back, it may be best not to assume anything. If you are replacing a half shaft, inspect EVERYTHING back and do a complete "nut and bolt" inspection/tightening. A shock could be loose or internally broken, rubber exhaust hanger ripped, ANYTHING !!!! Jacks stands and flashlight time.

(BTW, that said, had I done a better job of that before Nats, the exhaust would not have come apart half way through day two and my co-driver might have taken the win instead of second.  :banghead: :censor: :mad: )

I must have been still asleep when I read this... I am aware of the three hub bolts (and my are all loctited and have been for years now), I was thinking you were talking about on the rear differential side, not the wheel side.

I did the whole jack stand and flashlight routine this weekend.  That when we determined the CV joint has about 4-5x the lash on the passenger side than on the drivers side.  Exhaust hangers are good, and we can't find anything on the suspension, though I haven't pulled the right rear coilover to determine if there is an issue there.  I have a fair amount of leakage / seapage (vent tube perhaps?) on the passenger side of the differential.

It's <$90 for the axle assembly, and $12 for the differential seal... so I think we'll attack that and pull the coilover off as well to see what's going on there.  While I'm at it.. I'll check the brake adjustment (to keep this post on topic).

Offline snaponbob

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2012, 10:43:30 AM »

That when we determined the CV joint has about 4-5x the lash on the passenger side than on the drivers side.  Exhaust hangers are good, and we can't find anything on the suspension, though I haven't pulled the right rear coilover to determine if there is an issue there.  I have a fair amount of leakage / seapage (vent tube perhaps?) on the passenger side of the differential.


Just the fact that the CV boot is damaged/leaking is sufficient reason for replacing the half shaft. When you say "lash", in/out, up/down, what? If there is any play at the CV joint, leaking or not, it's toast. If the left side CV joint is exhibiting play, it might be best to do it now instead of waiting for a possible failure. At $90, it's cheap insurance. Remember, it's the same age as the killed one !!!!  :2c:
Bob Buxbaum
snaponbob AT comcast DOT net
2007 Redline, Revalved Konis, Crazy alignment
FE3 front and Z0K rear bars, owner installed pwr lock buttons
catless downpipe, SP custom exhaustWester's tune
racing springs and adjustable perches
DDM ProBeam & Tower brace, CCW 18x11 wheels for racing

Offline Bottoz

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2012, 12:23:41 PM »
Where are you getting these $90 entire half shafts? Just a word of warning, if they are remanufactored A1-Car Done Axles & CV-Joints... I wouldn't buy them. NAPA, Advance, Autozone and the others usually stock these cheap replacements, and offer a lifetime warranty. Every single A1-Cardone half shaft I've used (4 total) have broken after one weekend of use. Granted, it was on a non-Kappa car, and yes it was during road course racing (2600lb car + driver, no Launches, 130hp). But, they broke. 20+ year old OEM half shafts have preformed better than brand new re-man'd A1-Cardone half shafts.

If you're going to replace them, IMO, I'd go with an OEM option if available. Or, for big bucks you can get the DSS axles in THIS thread.

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Offline rlhammon

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2012, 04:27:23 PM »
Where are you getting these $90 entire half shafts? Just a word of warning, if they are remanufactored A1-Car Done Axles & CV-Joints... I wouldn't buy them. NAPA, Advance, Autozone and the others usually stock these cheap replacements, and offer a lifetime warranty. Every single A1-Cardone half shaft I've used (4 total) have broken after one weekend of use. Granted, it was on a non-Kappa car, and yes it was during road course racing (2600lb car + driver, no Launches, 130hp). But, they broke. 20+ year old OEM half shafts have preformed better than brand new re-man'd A1-Cardone half shafts.

If you're going to replace them, IMO, I'd go with an OEM option if available. Or, for big bucks you can get the DSS axles in THIS thread.

Familiar with the reman ones you speak of... and I've been talking to a local (to me) place that has OEM in box available listed on their parts list.  They have confirmed to me today via e-mail that it is new OEM.  Other wise the best price is about $175 for stock left over from Wilmington, of which both of those places are relatively close to me (I'm in Michigan).  I need to lay my hands on the local axle though before I pay for it.

Offline miller11386

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2012, 11:32:32 AM »
Photo links are dead :(
Check out Miller's Youtube Channel HERE

Offline kennysabarese

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2012, 11:47:42 AM »
Yeah Hoosier, if you could re-upload the photos using the forum instead of photo bucket they'll hang around forever, I want to try this and could really use the pics!
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Offline Hoosier GXP

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2012, 02:05:13 PM »
Not good. I was cleaning up some old folders on Photobucket. I didn't realize that if I deleted files there it would have an effect on the ones I posted. I thought once they were on the forum they would remain. I don't have the original files any longer. Sorry for my foul up.

Offline kennysabarese

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Re: E-brake adjustment that works.
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2012, 02:12:18 PM »
Yeah gotta attach to the forum, not link them.

Here is the service manual on the parking brake, it has an adjustment procedure on the last two pages. Not sure if it's the same thing.

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