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Old 03-23-2009, 09:14   #1 (permalink)
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Parking Brake/ Emergency Brake

Ok, there are gonna be some people that think I'm nuts, but oh well, I could use the help. I've got a 1982 F150 reg cab short bed 4x4 4spd manual. I've got no parking/emergency brake. A mechanic told me the parts are going to be obsolete b/c of the age of the truck. He told me he can get the lines and do it all for me for about $500. Now, in an effort to save myself some money, I'd like some input on here on where I could get the lines and how hard it is to do. Any advice on how to change the brake lines is greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:33   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Parking Brake/ Emergency Brake

Well, the parts may be obsolete, "someday", but not anytime soon.

Second, I'd tell the mechanic to screw off because he's trying to rip you out of 500 bucks. The Emergency brake is not operated by brake lines, it's operated by cable.

If you want to do the job yourself, I recommend buying a repair manual. Most of the time, little or no emergency brake is due to worn or out of adjustment rear brakes.

If you do attempt to replace the rear brakes, do one side at a time so you can always look at the other in case you forget what goes where.
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Old 03-23-2009, 15:58   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Parking Brake/ Emergency Brake

The mechanic told me that my lines/cables are "frozen". It's a Florida truck. Purchased brand new in Florida, lived in Florida ever since purchased. The pedal goes all the way to the floor, no hesitation. When I pull the release, the pedal will only come back up about 1/4 the way, then I bring it up manually. I am not really mechanically savvy. I can do minor maintenance, but nothing in depth. I had the rear brakes changed 2 months ago... new shoes, new rotors, and the drums cleaned. I don't even know how the parking/emergency brake works. In fact, the mechanic was saying I may need new cables for the front for the e-brake to work. I didn't even know that the front brakes were involved with the e-brake. So, please, any tips, advice, instructions, web sites, vendors for parts, ANYTHING that ANYONE can do for me to help me out, I'd GREATLY appreciate. Thanks!!
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Old 03-23-2009, 17:18   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Parking Brake/ Emergency Brake

Did the emergency brake work before having the rear brakes replaced? If so, the rear brakes may need adjusted out or they may have been installed incorrectly.

The E-brake has nothing to do with the front. Basically you have a cable that runs from the e-brake peddle to each of the rear wheels. When pressed, the cable will pull a arm in each of the rear brake assembly's and force the shoes out against the drums.

The way you describe the peddle being easy to push to the floor and won't fully return when released, sound like either a broken e-brake cable, it's not hooked up or the rear brakes are not adjusted out. I'd have someone else look at it that specializes in brake work.
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Old 03-23-2009, 17:51   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Parking Brake/ Emergency Brake

No, the e-brake has not worked since I got the truck in 2001. I see the cable running down the driver's side of the frame to the rear of the truck. Maybe is it possible that it's not hooked up to the pedal in the cab? Should I try to adjust the bolt on the cable? Maybe the line is rusted? It sounds like that mechanic was taking me for a ride telling me that I would need front lines too. Nice. He won't touch my truck again.
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Old 03-23-2009, 17:59   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Parking Brake/ Emergency Brake

Easiest way to check is crawl underneath and have someone inside to depress the peddle.
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Old 03-23-2009, 18:40   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Parking Brake/ Emergency Brake

Forgive me, but like I said, easy crap I can do..... When I have someone depress the pedal, the cable should pull tight? If it does (meaning it's hooked up to the pedal), what does that mean, seeing as how it does not work?
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Old 03-23-2009, 19:03   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Parking Brake/ Emergency Brake

Then it's either not hooked up properly at each rear wheel, the cable itself is stretched or out of adjustment, the rear brakes need adjusting out.
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Old 03-23-2009, 22:46   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Parking Brake/ Emergency Brake

great advice jwko.if your rear brakes were replace two months ago and the e-brake is not working,odds are its the cable.its not hard to change if you have done rear brakes before,but a little confusing at first if you havent.and since you wouldnt be confident on doing it yourself.i would call your local shops and get several estimates.$500 doesnt sound right.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:14   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Parking Brake/ Emergency Brake

Yea, I've changed brakes before.... just not drum brakes. I am the type of person where if I see it, I can do it. But I don't want to start it if I can't finish it. You guys have been very helpful! I'll check on that cable and update you. Thanks guys!!
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