TJ emergency brake adjustment - Rubicon Owners Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
Rubi Wheeler
 
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TJ emergency brake adjustment

Over the past year or so ive become well acquainted with my rear TJ drum in hat emergency brake. I am not a brake master or anything, but I am old enough that I have replaced a set of drum brakes on a vehicle before. Over time, and some good advice from brake wizards, this is what I now use for adjusting my rear parking brake to get a solid lock up without having to pull the handle to the roll bar.


If your parking brakes are new, I would suggest first seating the pads to the hat. I do this by adjusting my pads until they are firm against the parking brake hast and then go for a small, slow drive around the neighborhood. Don't go far and don't go fast. As you drive, slowly pull up on the brake lever and then release. Do it a hand full of times and then let the brakes cool.


After everything is cool, go back and adjust the slack out. What I like to do now is before I adjust anything, I raise my parking brake handle 3 clicks. Then, I adjust my parking brakes till the hit the hat solid. Then, I let the parking brake down down and adjust each side 3 more clicks and test how it holds. If the handle goes more than 3 clicks and the hold is not so good, I will go another 3 clicks. With the second adjustment of 3 clicks, I will drive it a bit and then set the brake and test for hold. If the parking brake handle goes more than 3 clicks, I will adjust 2 or 3 more clicks at a time and retest until I get a rock solid hold at no more than 4 clicks


Its important to drive a bit to be sure you are not adjusting things too far. You will now if its too tight, lets just say you will smell it.....


Anyway with this, my parking brake does not suck anymore. I only have to pull it up 3 clicks and its rock solid.


Also note that you need to be sure that your parking brake cable has not been monkeyed with, like mine..... I burned up a set of good centric parking brake pads due to a previous owner wanting to adjust parking brake throw at the cable adjuster. I you think yours has been meddled with, its easy to set it back, just back it off until the parking brake levers on the back of the backing plate are at rest when the handle is all the way down. Then, adjust it forward until I click of the handle starts to move these levers.


I am no brake genius, but maybe these steps can save someone the learning curve I had to go through.......
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Last edited by windkn0t; 04-05-2017 at 03:30 PM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 08:07 AM
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That's super helpful!

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2006 LJ, not stock
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 09:11 AM
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Good tips! One thing I will add, and this is because of where I live with rain, snow, etc.... when I have the rotor/hat off or when I am replacing the parking brake shoes... I will put antiseize on the threaded parking brake shoe adjuster. Just ensures I can adjust it when I need to for years down the road.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
Rubi Wheeler
 
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I am going to add one more thing to this.... When seating parking brake shoes to the drum, the shoes matter. Ive noticed that NAPA shoes, when seating them in, will wear away much more than a premium brand like Centric. So, when making the initial adjustment AFTER seating, you may have to adjust the NAPA pads in a lot further than a Centric or other premium pad. Depending on how far and how aggressive you are in seating, you may have to actually back out on the Centric pad adjustment to get 3 clicks on your parking brake handle. Just keep this in mind IF after seating, you have little adjustment to take up OR you have to back your pads off. Some pads are softer material and all pads will wear differently.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 09:54 PM
Rubicus Maximus
 
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Thanks windkn0t, You got my attention and adjusted my Emergency Brake today getting ready for Moab.

I did not know how it worked but after some internet research figured it out. I'm old school and grew up with drum brakes so understood the star adjuster.

Took a few tries to figure out the correct rotation to tighten the star adjuster. From the rear driver side (left side) counter clockwise and the passenger side, turned right or clockwise to tighten.

Went from an EB handle that needed to be pulled close to the top to now at the 3 click position

Still will recheck to be sure it's where it needs to be.
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Last edited by sierrabob; 04-06-2017 at 09:58 PM.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 02:24 AM
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I have a question that is a little off the topic of the thread but in a way on?
I have never had a vehicle that uses separate shoes/pads for regular braking and parking brake before. My Rubi "tophat" rears are the first.
How can the parking brake shoes even wear out unless the wheel is turning while the brake is applied?
Dumb question?

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geroux View Post
I have a question that is a little off the topic of the thread but in a way on?
I have never had a vehicle that uses separate shoes/pads for regular braking and parking brake before. My Rubi "tophat" rears are the first.
How can the parking brake shoes even wear out unless the wheel is turning while the brake is applied?
Dumb question?
I would assume you can "wear out" the shoe's when driving with the brake partially set. I have accidentally done it!

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
Rubi Wheeler
 
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My pads, and my rear rotors were ruined due to the previous owner adjusting parking brake throw at the cable end. I did not know this at the time and subsequently wasted another set of good pads and centric rotors, but life lessons have a cost.


Under ideal conditions, the pads really don't wear that much or that quickly. The way brake shoes are set up, they scrub just a bit in the hat and eventually, this will cause a small amount of wear. This will be evident when you start noticing you have to lift the handle higher to get the same clamping force. This is why the emergency brake has the screw type adjusters. as the pads wear, you adjust the slop out with them.


In all honesty, the last parking brake pads I EVER changed out was due to a bad axle seal soaking the pads. If you don't do dumb stuff, they will last forever. If you do dumb stuff, or if dumb stuff just happens, now you know how to set up a new set.
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Last edited by windkn0t; 04-07-2017 at 12:38 PM.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 09:22 PM
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Thanks for the post. I am one of the dummies who adjusted the slop with the cable. I will attempt to correct it soon. I had no clue my rear disc brakes also had a drum.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kennyz View Post
Thanks for the post. I am one of the dummies who adjusted the slop with the cable. I will attempt to correct it soon. I had no clue my rear disc brakes also had a drum.


When resetting the cable, just take your time. I had my rotors pulled when I reset my parking brake cable, but I really don't think you need to do that. Start out by over loosening the cable and then verify that the parking brake engagement arms are resting fully in their slot in the backing plate. Then, start tightening up on that cable until you just barely see it move, then back it off. At this point you are good. Being ocd like I am, I had a friend pull up and release my parking brake lever while I played with the cable adjustment to get just the right throw. Totally a waste of time now that I think about it, but it was part of the learning process.


In the future, follow the 3 click steps with adjustment that I listed above to adjust your parking brake in the future. Its simple and it works. Last summer I helped a guy adjust his parking brake when I was camped @ buck island on the Rubicon. We were talking while he was hunting up a large enough rock to use as plan B for his weak parking brake. This guy was under the assumption that the PB used the disk brakes, so there is a lot of misconception about how they work. And done right, you don't have to live with sucky parking brakes.
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