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Old 07-24-2010, 08:30 PM   #1
Kubica
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Parking Brake Issue

SO I decided to do rear rotors today, and thought my parking brake could use adjustment. I had previously noticed that only the passenger side wheel brake was holding.

Got the new rotors on, adjusted the shoes via the adjusting wheel so the rotors wouldn't turn by hand, and backed them off a few turns so they were easily turned by hand. Problem starts when I went to adjust the cables under the brake lever . . .

I had loosened both nuts prior to adjusting the shoes. I pulled the lever up three clicks after pulling on the lever several times to seat the cables. I tightened up the passenger side with no problem and tested it by trying to spin the wheel with it on and off.

When I went to adjust the drivers side nut, i got it turned about three rotations until I heard a "twang" sound like the cable de-tensioned suddenly. It is now difficult to tighten the nut anymore because it feels like the bolt is no longer tight, and is trying to spin when I rotate the nut. The whole nut and bolt combo now has some play and obviously won't tighten. With the brake lever pulled four clicks, the right wheel wont budge, but the left wheel will turn about 45 degrees and then show a good amount of resistance, but not nearly enough to hold the car.

Anybody have any suggestions? Or know how the nut/bolt combo at the front works? How does tightening that nut tension the cable? Do I need to re-seat the bolt somehow?

Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:38 AM   #2
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Is it possible the cable disconnected from a mounting point below the car, and now has too much slack?
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:04 PM   #3
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I'm not 100% positive, but I don't think you're going to be happy...

Search realoem.com for the parts, but I believe you snapped the cable and as I just wrote about 10 mins. ago, think it's a pitb diy.

There's a thread of a guy who did this, so search for that, Kubica, and I'm really sorry to tell you that you might have an issue.

So you're looking for some adjoining piece between cable and nut, but I don't think you're going to find it...mine just has the 'bowden' cable, though perhaps there's a way to attach it from under the lever and not have to remove all that needs to be removed to otherwise replace the cable...and they show as left and right handed, so be sure to get the correct side!

Sorry, man, I hope I'm wrong.

Adendum...if you look at the parking brake parts themselves, I'm wondering it there's a small chance that you just broke a spring or expanding lock/star screw.

So I think I'll say remove wheel and rotor and have a look.

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Old 07-26-2010, 12:13 PM   #4
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lol; check to see if you can take out that adjusting bolt, I think you may of snapped it off. I did the exact same thing to my car. cost me about 700 dollars to repair the damage. I just wished that I would of taken it to the shop. Those adjusting thing are very tricky, therefore I recommend anyone on here that wants to tighten their parking brake, that they should take it to the pros. One small misstep and you can snap the cables right off;

here's my thread when I snapped my cables not too long ago:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...055&highlight=
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies guys.

I'm fairly certain that I didn't snap the cable. When I pull the handbrake, there is some resistance at the wheel, just not enough to hold the car.

I'm not too too worried, since the left side brake wasn't holding at all before.

I forgot to mention that my shoes were completely worn down to the metal. There was zero pad material left on the shoes. I'm about to order a replacement set now, so i will have everything apart again soon.

Here is a thought- maybe the cable was being hung-up somehwere. Since I needed to expand the shoes so much to get them close to the rotors, I may have used up all the slack on the back end of the cable that was there before the adjustment. Remember that this side didn't work before the adjustment. Then I loosened the nuts at the front, creating slack at the front. And when i tightened the nut at the front more than i backed it off, it created enough pressure to free up the cable, maybe? Now maybe i just have too much slack on that side?

I guess my primary problem will be getting the front adjustment nut/bolt seated again properly, so once I get the new shoes on, i will be able to adjust again.

I'm not sure what a bowden cable is, but it must attach the that bolt somehow. . .

Now there is too much slack in that cable, which is why it won't engage the brake 100%
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:56 PM   #6
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the bowden cable is the cable that's a one piece thing between handbrake and brake...meaning it includes the threaded end that you tighten the nut on on e-brake handle.

I hope you're right and suppose it's possible if it was that far back it might have snapped into place is all...

But, I think Dan was saying that you should see if you can remove the threaded end from the handle, then that means it is the cable...as in, needs to be replaced between brake and handle...anyway, hope it's just a little thing, but new brake assembly will confirm.

And, if you're only getting shoes, think it'd be worth it to get the replacement kit and maybe the locking piece and star screw assembly also...as in, replace whole thing at that point...for the extra $25 might save you some hassle.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmax View Post
the bowden cable is the cable that's a one piece thing between handbrake and brake...meaning it includes the threaded end that you tighten the nut on on e-brake handle.

I hope you're right and suppose it's possible if it was that far back it might have snapped into place is all...

But, I think Dan was saying that you should see if you can remove the threaded end from the handle, then that means it is the cable...as in, needs to be replaced between brake and handle...anyway, hope it's just a little thing, but new brake assembly will confirm.
Hey thanks. This, along with a few of those photos from the thread above shed some light on my issue.

The threaded end of the bowden cable (the visible portion under the lever) definitely does not come out when tugged. It is still attached to the cable.

Before I started with the adjustment, the threaded piece was secured, and the nut would freely rotate along the threads. Now, the threaded piece tries to spin when i rotate the nut. It's like the whole cable is trying to rotate, not just the nut.

I need to get this threaded piece seated again properly, I believe. So what prevents the threaded portion from rotating under normal circumstances when the nut is rotated? That's my issue right there.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:19 PM   #8
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I worked both my nuts down tight together a little at a time, so one issue might be you're off balancing the e-brake handle.

Try backing off other nut and working them both to nearly the same distance from end of threaded end...but until you do that...level their tension at handle, you won't know whether you've adjusted them properly at the brake...so as I said, a pitb to keep going back and fine tuning...which took me quite a while.

In my opinion, I think it's better to back them off further from rotor and just make up for it a little by tightening cable a little more. But, having said that, I'm about 2-3 clicks off from the manual...saying that full 'on' is about what, 7 clicks? Maybe 5? ...anyway, that, or that mine are also worn down might be why I'm not holding on a very steep hill...but I don't live in San Fran, so not terribly worried about it yet!

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