With the "drum in hat" parking brake, the cable goes through the backing plate to the shoes. With the older parking brake built into the disc brake system, the cable attaches to a lever on the back of the caliper.
If the drum-type brake isn't holding, is it because the pedal reaches the floor? That would equate to a stretched cable, or worn shoes, possibly from the brake being stuck partially applied due to a sticking rear cable. If the pedal does not run out of travel, or it is the multiple-pump design, suspect glazed shoes and braking surface, or one of the linings has broken off from its frame. A loose lining will rotate enough to prevent full contact and brake pressure but it will still provide enough resistance to pedal travel to make it appear normal.
With the parking brake built into the caliper, the pads are kept in adjustment by applying the parking brake. If one or both rear cables are rusted tight, the service brake pedal will gradually go lower to the floor as the rear pads wear. That's an additional clue but it might not be very noticeable. The secret is to apply the parking brake, then look at the two rear cables to see if a shiny spot is showing where they exit the metal casing. If all you see is surface rust on one of them, it isn't applying.
Friday, August 6th, 2010 AT 1:08 PM