Mechanics

HOW DO I UNSTICK MY PARKING BRAKE?

2003 Ford Ranger • 63,000 miles

My parking brake is stuck on my 03 ranger. The release works but it's not releasing the breaks from the drum. I'm parked on a hill. Ive tried the rocking it back and forth, setting and rereleasing the break, pulling on the cable manually. Any help?
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Whiskeyjack227
September 3, 2012.



Take a hammer and hit the backing plate are under the truck on the effected side. If that does not work, a shop will have to work with it to release it but you will need cable, drum and more.

Roy

If you had the parking brakes on for extended period of time and there are leakages, the shoes can stick and so would the slave cylinders.

Try reversing with sudden jerks.

KHLow2008
Sep 3, 2012.
Thanks guys. We ended up pulling the tires of and using a hammer on the drum. It did sit with the brake on for about 4 days. Needless to say, that mistake will not happen again.

Tiny
Whiskeyjack227
Sep 3, 2012.
There's more to the story than sitting for four days. That's not uncommon and doesn't adversely affect other brands of vehicles. Ford has been famous for decades for having sticking parking brake cables even on cars and trucks that are less than a year old. Many owners know to use the parking brake at least once every day or never at all.

When they first get sluggish and don't release, crawl underneath, (with it in park or the wheels blocked), and you'll see the first 1/2" of the cable coming out of the outer casing is shiny indicating it hasn't retracted back to the released position. Flexing that outer casing vigorously with both hands will often help them retract under spring pressure. You may also be able to push the cable back into the casing by hand.

Lubricating a sticking cable is never the permanent fix. They must be replaced. Many aftermarket cables from the auto parts stores are less likely to develop sticking problems than replacements from the dealer.

If you do not see that shiny area on a cable that appears to be sticking, it may not be the cable. If banging on the backing plate as suggested frees it up, suspect grooves worn into the drum side of the backing plate. There are six raised surfaces called "lands" that the shoes ride on. Lack of a high-temperature brake grease when installing shoes can lead to grooves wearing in that the shoe frames catch on and stick applied. Some people try to file those grooves down but that can let the shoe sit at an angle and possibly chatter. The proper fix is to replace the backing plate and lube those six surfaces. That lube is usually overlooked by do-it-yourselfers.

Caradiodoc
Sep 3, 2012.