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jenjoygryffindor

Stuck Parking Brake

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Hoping someone has ideas on this issue. I recently had my 90 Reatta up on jackstands working on the starter and had set the parking brake just in case. After I was done and went to release the brake, I pulled the release and it 'popped' like it should do but the light didn't go off on the dash. I've had that happen sometimes when the brake would get stuck, and after a reset of the brake and another release, it would be free and the light would go off.

But this time I tried to reset the brake only to find that it doesn't work. The cranking plate seems to be stuck in the on position but when I went to pull the release, nothing happens. I'm not entirely sure how the cranking system works, but I can't see anything that might be causing it to stick. I don't know if there was something maybe behind the plate that is causing it to stay in place.

Anyone have any suggestions or ideas? Thanks!

Jennifer

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Jennifer,

Sounds like you just need some lubrication.

So when you pump the pedal, can you only hear the sound of the spring expanding?

Go to your auto parts store, and get some lubricant (preferably not WD-40, but that may work as a preliminary lube). Make sure the lubricant you get has a straw attached.

To make things easier, remove the black plastic trim piece above the pedals. just a few T-15 Torx screws.

First, you need to lubricate the rocking ratchet assembly:

IMG_7775.JPG

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Second, the ratcheting gear won't go back in to place if it doesn't have enough tension on it. The retracting spring is located under the car beneath the driver's floor pan. Check to see if that is broken (highly unlikely).

If on the off chance your ratcheting gear is frozen, just lubricate the place in the picture below:

IMG_77751.JPG

I Expect your ratchet rocking assembly just froze up at the wrong place. There's not enough tension on the spring under the car to pull the gear back into place, and you can't move the gear because the rocker is froze up.

IMG_7764.JPG

Just another note.. Do as much as you can without having to remove the pedal. Removing the pedal entails dropping the column, and removing the entire dash. Avoid this at all costs.

Hope this helps! :)

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is that the extemt of the non release problems ? or is there a chance that something is broken and you have to get the truck with a hook ?

i have heard and read of early lumina disc brake parking mechanisms that were a big problem. i have never used the parking brake because of that fear, also florida doesn't have any hills . i had the driver rear caliper replaced due to a leak.

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I use the parking brake occasionally and is not much of a brake even in tip-top condition.

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Slightly off subject, but you would think auto makers would make it easier to work on vehicles.

My recent example, I have a 2002 GMC pick-up and it would not pass inspection because the parking brake would not hold the car in gear. The first question that popped into my head was why won't it hold, I never use it, it should be like new. I have 92,000 + miles and am on the original brake pads.

This truck has rear disc and the parking brake is internal shoes that act on part of the special rotor. Upon disassembly, I found that the parking brake pads are bonded to a steel stamping that resembles a "horse shoe", the open end has an adjustment wheel like old brakes and they were all the way in like they came from the factory. Apparantly they were installed off center and one of the pads was worn almost to the metal stamping.

OK, I'm thinking about replacing them even though I don't use them, just to keep the auto inspection police happy. Now the kicker......... the opening in the metal stamping is too small to slip over the axel........ so you must pull the cover on the third member, drain the oil, unclip the axels, remove the 4 axel (per side) retaining bolts, then pull the axels about 2 inches so the parking brake shoe assembly will slip over the smaller part of the axel.

What a joke...... it would have been so easy to design the horse-shoe shaped stamping with a larger opening, put in a longer adjustment screw assembly. And there would be no problem.

Turns out

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Replacements may be. Remember where the dust seal on a front hub must be pushed out the back and cut off the axle while replacements are designed to push in from the front ?

What does the FSM say ? They do not pivot in the center ?

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I'll throw my opinion in on parking brakes. As with any mechanical device that uses tension and friction, along with free movement, all parts must function. Lack of use is the single worst enemy of this type of system. This is especially true in the rust belt. If you don't move those levers, arms, pivots, cables, they will sieze. Movement, along with proper lubricant, will help prevent that. I have done more brake jobs than I can count. I can't even begin to tell you how many I've done where it is obvious they never used the parking brake. The Reatta rear calipers are complex to say the least. The rest of this system is very basic in operation. Bottom line: use your parking brake occasionally. Keep it functional just as you would your suspension.

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