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Thread: Emergency Brake only holds in reverse

  1. #1
    Registered XJGraham's Avatar
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    Default Emergency Brake only holds in reverse

    What have I done wrong? The emergency brake on my Grand only holds in reverse. And it holds quite well. If I could only make it do that in drive as well. Any suggestions? I put new hardware kit, shoes, cables and adjusters are free and moving fine.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Registered Davids35121's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJGraham View Post
    What have I done wrong? The emergency brake on my Grand only holds in reverse. And it holds quite well. If I could only make it do that in drive as well. Any suggestions? I put new hardware kit, shoes, cables and adjusters are free and moving fine.

    Thanks in advance.
    I believe this is a symptom of reversed front and back shoes. I know this is what happens on a regular drum brake. May not apply here.
    97 ZJ, Laredo 4.0, 2WD

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    Registered XJGraham's Avatar
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    That could have caused the problem but both shoes are the same front and rear. Thanks for the idea though.

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    Registered DaveG55's Avatar
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    Do the parking brakes hold the car from moving (forward or reverse) when the transmission is in neutral?
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

  5. #5

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    THIS IS A VERY COMMON ISSUE...MINE DOES IT TOO I just have not fixed it yet.

    There were several posts over the past few months on this and I bought a E-brake hardware kit from my local parts store for like 15 bux and planned to install that and see what happens. If that doesn't fix it then I was gonna dig up those posts to find the answer.

    good luck

  6. #6
    Registered XJGraham's Avatar
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    Hello again,

    I found the older posts on this issue. I took it apart and reassembled it and it seems to hold better in drive now. It is still not great but better to say the least. Reverse it still holds it really well. It will hold in neutral no problem. It may be I just have not adjusted it properly but I can feel the shoes dragging if I tighten it up more. Thanks for everyones help.

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    Registered Billy Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJGraham View Post
    Hello again,

    I found the older posts on this issue. I took it apart and reassembled it and it seems to hold better in drive now. It is still not great but better to say the least. Reverse it still holds it really well. It will hold in neutral no problem. It may be I just have not adjusted it properly but I can feel the shoes dragging if I tighten it up more. Thanks for everyones help.
    The e-brakes are adjusted exactly the same as your father's and grandfather's service drum brakes.... with a brake spoon until they start to drag and then back off one click.

    Your FSM has the detailed directions.
    -br

    Helping one another is why we are all here on Jeeps-Unlimited, or should be.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Ray View Post
    The e-brakes are adjusted exactly the same as your father's and grandfather's service drum brakes.... with a brake spoon until they start to drag and then back off one click.

    Your FSM has the detailed directions.
    Well for 8 yrs, that is how I basically did it at the time I would replace the e-brake shoes, but independent of that I also have adjusted the cable too a few times.

    BUT the WJ procedure opened my eyes that maybe the proper adjustment is a combination of the 2 and not just like grandpa's old drum brakes? I would think the PROPER ZJ procedure would be like that of the WJ???

    http://www.wjjeeps.com/parking_brake.htm

  9. #9
    Registered The Q's Avatar
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    Default Try this:

    Try manually adjusting the parking brake shoes. I had my brakes done at a local shop and they left them like yours. They didn't work going forward but grabbed pretty well in reverse. I put the rear end on blocks so I could turn the rear wheels freely. Them I spun each wheel and adjusted the associated parking brake shoes until they almost touched the drum. I did this for both sides and my parking brake works great now. Nothing was stuck, but the adjuster never adjust the parking brake to work correctly.

    HTH
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  10. #10

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    Both of my vehicles work the other way. With the parking brake on, you can go in reverse, but not forward. My '93 ZJ has rear drums, and my '89 Chrysler has rear discs with a drum-in-hat parking brake like later Jeeps. I just assumed the self-energizing nature of drum brake shoes made them hold better going forward than backward.

    Both vehicles' parking brakes hold when parked, in both directions, even on hills. I'm just talking about holding when in gear and applying some throttle.

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    Registered DaveG55's Avatar
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    I'm curious why you want the "parking" brake to hold the vehicle when it is in gear?
    Why would you ever put a vehicle in gear, set the parking break and then get out of the vehicle?

    If it will keep the vehicle from rolling while in neutral then it seems to me that it is doing it's job.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

  12. #12

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    How well it holds in gear will give you an indication of how well it will hold on the steepest of hills, and also of the overall condition of rear brakes (on a drum setup). Also, some states, as part of the safety inspection, will check to see that the parking brake can hold the vehicle in gear up to 1500RPM. Don't know if MD checks this way.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG55 View Post
    I'm curious why you want the "parking" brake to hold the vehicle when it is in gear?
    Why would you ever put a vehicle in gear, set the parking break and then get out of the vehicle?

    If it will keep the vehicle from rolling while in neutral then it seems to me that it is doing it's job.
    It's also called an emergency brake, that is if your normal brakes have a hydraulic failure you can still stop.

    If the brake doesn't hold very well while in gear going forward then it isn't going to stop you very well and it is not doing its job.

  14. #14
    Registered DaveG55's Avatar
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    Don't know about the state safety inspection thing, we don't have that here - just local emmissions which is bad enough.

    As for the emergency thing, out of curiosity I have tried stopping with the "emergency" brake before and you may as well have nothing. So to me, say what you will, that's a wash.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

  15. #15
    Registered adgjqetuo's Avatar
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    My 98 ZJ always did the same thing. No matter how much I adjusted it, or played with the shoes - it never held going forward. But in reverse, it would almost drag the tires against the pavement. I couldn't ever figure it out.

    I had trouble with passing inpsection too - I eventually got someone who forgot to test it, and since NJ is every 2 years I was good to go.
    Mike

    Silver 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Overland Edition
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG55 View Post
    As for the emergency thing, out of curiosity I have tried stopping with the "emergency" brake before and you may as well have nothing. So to me, say what you will, that's a wash.
    It used to work very well on my ZJ, it could lock up the rear at any speed before I changed the wheel bearings, now it holds in reverse only. Seems to be a common problem, but definitely a problem, the brakes should stop you. I'm surprised nobody has solved it the problem.

    FWIW, I did do the "proper" procedure of adjusting the star wheel, etc. Didn't help.

  17. #17

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    I'll admit to being occasionally forgetful in taking off the parking brake when leaving home in the morning. I'll back out of my space just fine, and then when I put it in drive to go forward, no go. I've also had the parking brake stick in the winter.

    Just last week, I was leaving our development in my Chrysler when I smelled fuel vapors. I stopped, put it in park, put the brake on and got out to check under the hood. Turned out I had a fuel leak, so I needed to turn around and go back home. I backed up a good 50 feet to the first drive where I could turn around, and when I put it in drive, POW! EEEEEEEEEE! I forgot to take off the parking brake and was dragging the rear wheels (fwd).

    Maybe that's why the drum-in-hat setup on my Chrysler holds so well in drive, it's not getting power applied to those wheels.

  18. #18

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    I'm playing around with this problem now (1996 ZJ, E-brake works in reverse ONLY).

    ....and I have a nice big R on the inspection sticker to prove it.


    This Jeep isn't long for this world anyway, so I'm trying to avoid spending $$$ on someting (parking brake) that never gets used, for the short time we're gonna keep this Jeep.




    1st time:
    drums rusty, shoes rusty (plenty of 'meat' on them, just cruddy), actuator frozen on passengers side.

    I free'd up the pass side, cleaned most of the crud out, and adjusted pass side.

    Reverse worked much better now, kinda held once going forward (inspection guy says it has to hold @ 1300rpm's), then ~1100rpm it went free, then offered no resistance.





    2nd time:
    ground down what surface rust was left inside the drums, removed, cleaned & reinstalled adjusters, worked on PS actuator that had been frozen some more, cleaned up shoes a little more, adjusted them much tighter:

    worked great in reverse now, still absolutely nothing going forward.







    3rd time (just now)
    figured out that actuator pushes on rear shoe first,
    then the actuator itself sildes forward, actuating the front shoe.

    Any texture/rust/corosion on the backing plate behind the actuator is going to hang up this sliding forward,
    so I stripped it down to the backing plate (should've done this first, but was looking for easy fix),

    ground down all mating surfaces on the backing plate,
    where the actuator slides & where the shoes ride against the backing plate.

    I also completely cleaned up the actuators, ground them smooth & greased them.

    Cleaned the shoes up till they looked like I just pulled them out of the box, completely cleaned up the drums till they looked great,
    even swapped drums side to side, incase there was some wear patturn contributing to this,
    put it all back together, cranked the adjusters tight......


    and it still only works in reverse.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpnjim View Post
    and it still only works in reverse.
    Damn, was hoping for a solution.

    I never did fix mine either, and no longer have the ZJ. I still have my 93 with rear drums from the factory, that brake works so well it will skid the rears at any speed.

  20. #20

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    Well, I ended up cranking the star wheels more than I normally would, cycled the brake a few times (which loosened up the drag a little), then repeated that a few times.

    Then backed the star wheels off, so there was still some slight drag in reverse (none going forward).
    Brake worked great in reverse (as always), and pretty good going forward.

    In drive I was able to hold 1200, or so RPM's like this, but it would start to move after that.
    Since the inspector said he tests @ 1300-1500 rpms, I cranked the star wheels some more, and it holds at 1400+ now.

    I'll have her take it for reinspection tomorrow, and dial the adjusters back to zero drag when I get home from work.


    My best guess is, after almost 100k miles, there is just too much slop in the actuators, backing plates, etc to have them be effective without overtightening them.
    You can see the whole brake assembly shift back & forth, through the adjuster hole, as you rotate the wheel backward, then forward. (without the parking brake applied).

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