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Thread: Parking Brake doesn't work SOMETIMES (works worse on hills/in drive)

  1. #1

    Default Parking Brake doesn't work SOMETIMES (works worse on hills/in drive)

    Okay, so on my '94 Grand Marquis, I like to use the parking brake when I park, especially on a hill. Unfortunately sometimes the pedal just plain doesn't work. Sometimes, especially when its on a hill, or in drive (just testing it, as you know you can't keep the parking brake engaged in drive), the pedal depresses with very little effort and it has absolutely no braking effect. So in an effort to see what was up, I just went outside, and while I was in park, pressed the brake down, absolutely no effort needed and it didn't feel like it was engaging ANYTHING. So I shifted to drive (the parking brake pedal came up with a snap), and the car took off fine. While moving forward at 5 MPH, I slowly pressed down on the parking brake, and it took me almost until the pedal reached the bottom of it's movable area when the I heard a sudden CLUNK coming from the rear tires, and the car started to slow down, eventually coming to a stop. Flipping to reverse and reversing at 5 MPH, I pushed down on the pedal, and it had a lot more resistance than it did before, I pressed down on the pedal and the car came to a halt (again, with that CLUNK in the back) after three clicks down on the brake.

    This is consistent all around, the brake has a hard time engaging while in drive, and is much more effective in reverse. After putting the car back in park, I pressed down on the pedal, and it worked (unlike when I started).

    So what's happening here, and what can I adjust to make it work?

  2. #2
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    are there any pads left in there? remove the rear rotors and have a look. its not uncommon for the parking brake shoes to delaminate and leave you with just a metal shell. Sometimes the backing plates rust, and the shoe retainers fall out, letting the parts flop around. If they are intact, it may just be an adjustment. It adjusts like normal drum brakes with the star wheel at the bottom to set initial position. If they need replacing, you need to remove the axle shafts to change the shoes.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

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    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  3. #3

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    I've managed to replace those parking brake shoes without pulling the axles on a 97.
    And the e-brake cable may need adjusting along with the shoes.

  4. #4
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    for all the bother of it, I'd use it as an excuse to change the diff oil and inspect the axle shafts. Probably takes about the same amount of time.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  5. #5
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    hmm... I'm actually still running the original pads on my 93. but flat lander and texas' lack of winter worth talking about make for long lasting parts.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
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  6. #6
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    pads or e-brake shoes? The shoes should never actually wear out, but the glue lets go sometimes and the friction materials falls off. At that point you're basically SOL and have to replace them if you want it to work.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  7. #7
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    yeah... wrong word... the e-brake shoes. Rear pads have been replaced twice. Fronts... about 4 times.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  8. #8

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    Okay, so let me get this straight. The brake shoes in the rear have different shoes for both the regular brakes and the parking brake, or do they use the same pad? If I had worn out pads, wouldn't that cause a horrible decrease in braking power? Don't get me wrong, I'll Jack it up and pull off the tire and stuff, see what's going on in there, but I'm just hoping I don't need a brake job. Pads on discs are easy. Shoes on drums...not so much. At least I'm not familiar with them.

  9. #9
    I post a lot... pantera77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmuletOfNight View Post
    Okay, so let me get this straight. The brake shoes in the rear have different shoes for both the regular brakes and the parking brake, or do they use the same pad? If I had worn out pads, wouldn't that cause a horrible decrease in braking power? Don't get me wrong, I'll Jack it up and pull off the tire and stuff, see what's going on in there, but I'm just hoping I don't need a brake job. Pads on discs are easy. Shoes on drums...not so much. At least I'm not familiar with them.
    They use shoes inside the rotor for the parking brake, which is a terrible design. Take the caliper off and knock the rotor off, shoes are probably either really badly adjusted, or have separated.
    You don't have to pull the axle to replace them, though I guess it would make it easier.

  10. #10
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    book procedure calls for pulling the axle. no idea how you'd get them in there without doing it. no room to work. people claim to have done it, but i cant see how.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  11. #11
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    angle nose pliers. It's a very tight fit, but can be done.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  12. #12

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    Okay, I'm officially confused. I pulled the tire off and we have rear disc brakes...but...how? I thought that was an LS model option! Okay, so the parking brake doesn't work with the disc brakes...uh....I'm looking at the outside pad right now and it looks brand new, never used. Could it be my rear brakes haven't worked ever?

  13. #13
    No mean-spiritedness here. IPreferDIY's Avatar
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    The pads on the rotor are controlled by the main hydraulic system. The parking brake shoes are controlled by the cable. A problem with one would not affect the other. The rear pads should wear less than the front pads, but if there's no wear, then it might be a stuck caliper.

    2000 Grand Marquis LS HPP, a hand-me-down in 2008 with 128,000 km; 175,000 km as of July 2014
    mods: air filter box "tuba" (in place of the "trumpet"), headlight relay harness, J-mod (around 186,350 km), 70mm throttle body, NKL4 PCM (from a 2000 CVPI, nothing great there)

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by IPreferDIY View Post
    The pads on the rotor are controlled by the main hydraulic system. The parking brake shoes are controlled by the cable. A problem with one would not affect the other. The rear pads should wear less than the front pads, but if there's no wear, then it might be a stuck caliper.
    Okay, so take off the caliper and knock off the rotor, there should be brake shoes in there as well? And an adjuster?

  15. #15
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    adjuster is on the back side of the plate, should be down at the bottom, accessed through a slot. It may have the rubber plug in there yet.

    Make sure there is friction material on the parking brake shoes before you fool with adjusting them. No point making it tighter if the shoes need replacing.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  16. #16
    No mean-spiritedness here. IPreferDIY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmuletOfNight View Post
    Okay, so take off the caliper and knock off the rotor, there should be brake shoes in there as well? And an adjuster?
    Yup. It should look like this:

    http://youtu.be/xejJ0IA3gew?t=3m21s

    I don't necessarily endorse whacking the rotor with a hammer the way they show it. But, someone else did mine, so what do I know. I had let a shop do what was supposed to be a simple brake cable fix, and they discovered the friction material had separated from one of the shoes. They had to pull the axles; but, like gadget said, it was a good excuse for changing the differential fluid, which I probably never would have bothered doing.

    BTW, when the video refers to the adjustment in the caliper, that's different than the adjuster for the shoes that gadget is talking about. AFAIK, the parking brake is basically a drum brake within the rotor, but without the hydraulics.
    Last edited by IPreferDIY; 10-21-2014 at 05:46 PM.

    2000 Grand Marquis LS HPP, a hand-me-down in 2008 with 128,000 km; 175,000 km as of July 2014
    mods: air filter box "tuba" (in place of the "trumpet"), headlight relay harness, J-mod (around 186,350 km), 70mm throttle body, NKL4 PCM (from a 2000 CVPI, nothing great there)

  17. #17
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    I use a rubber mallet if I'm saving the rotor and it's being stubborn... or the 4# persuasion and hit the body around the lugs to get the rust to let go. I try to avoid contacting the pad surfaces if at all possible.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  18. #18

    Default Parking Brake doesn't work SOMETIMES (works worse on hills/in drive)

    Well I'll be damned. I never knew there could be a drum brake inside the rotor..I tried to tell my dad that and he just out right told me I was nuts and that there was no way it was possible. But I guess it is!

    Well looks like tomorrow I'll jack the car back up and get all the stuff off, see if I can't get it adjusted.

    Do you guys recommend lifting the car by the differential, or no? My dad about flipped at me today when he came home and saw that I had the front wheels chocked and only one wheel raised off the ground (lifted on the frame right in front of the rear right wheel), and then a supported by a jack stand. He said something about damaging the suspension or something.

  19. #19
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I lift mine by the diff often. Also never paid much mind to only picking one wheel up. If you aren't leaving it that way for months it won't hurt anything.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  20. #20
    No mean-spiritedness here. IPreferDIY's Avatar
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    One benefit of raising it by the differential is that the rear control arms don't get subjected to the stresses they would if lifting by the frame. Another is that if you're putting the ass end on jack stands, you only need to do one lift. The car was obviously made to be lifted one wheel at a time since that's how the factory jack works, but I wouldn't leave it like that for long.

    Something that seems odd to me is that the back cover of the differential sticks down enough to get in the way. You don't want to be lifting by the lip of the cover, so why the heck do they make it like that?
    Last edited by IPreferDIY; 10-21-2014 at 07:53 PM.

    2000 Grand Marquis LS HPP, a hand-me-down in 2008 with 128,000 km; 175,000 km as of July 2014
    mods: air filter box "tuba" (in place of the "trumpet"), headlight relay harness, J-mod (around 186,350 km), 70mm throttle body, NKL4 PCM (from a 2000 CVPI, nothing great there)

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