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Emergency Brake Emergency


Paul Falabella
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Yesterday I pulled the car out and set the emergency brake to check the tranny fluid. The dash light for the brake did not light. Got back in popped the brake off and went for 10 mile drive. Got back home and noticed smoke from the rear wheelwells. Rear wheels were hot also. Apparent the return spring on the E-brake pedal release is weak and left the brakes partially engaged. From now on I will release the brake and lift the pedal with my foot. 

 Just a heads up.

Paul

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I would hope the return springs on the backing plate would have enough strength to assist in ensuring the rear shoes move away from the drum for a full release.  If the controlling cables have too much residual stiffness in them, then that could be an issue, too, even if they were "renewed" a little while back.

 

The "brake" light should be, I suspect, a simple contact switch.  Perhaps its function and adjustment (to be "lit" after the first two clicks of the pedal's ratchet are engaged, for example) might need to be verified.

 

If those rear shoes survived, then they're now "well-cured" and ready for whatever you might desire to throw at them.

 

NTX5467

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OK. Cleaned the contacts on the park brake dash light, seems to be working. Didn't feel like jacking up the car but read the shop manual. There is a park brake cable adjuster, just forward of the rear end. I am assuming this can be adjusted to take up the slack and pop the park brake pedal up all the way,correct?

Thanks

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As you state above there is an emergency or park brake adjustment just forward of the rear axle. Also there is a fairly hefty return spring to release the park brake at this point as well. Also you will see a rubber grommmet/washer that holds the park brake cable adjusting rod in place so it does not hit the torque tube. Back in the day, you could tell if the car hoitting a bump in the road was a Buick because you could hear the brake cable spreader hit the torque tube because this grommet was worn out.

Joe

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There is a park brake cable adjuster, just forward of the rear end. I am assuming this can be adjusted to take up the slack and pop the park brake pedal up all the way,correct?

 

 

Tightening this will pull the cables tighter and also pull the activating arm on the rear shoes tighter at the same time. The net effect of adjusting this is you will have less pedal travel when activating the parking brake. Making it too tight will result in applying the parking brake when the pedal for the same is in the off position.  If this was so loose that there was a lot of slack, then the net effect would be that the parking brake would not be activated till the pedal was close to the toe board.

 

Not sure if the manual has a procedure for the adjustment or not.  I know the 67 manual does as I helped someone adjust theirs. 

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 The net effect of adjusting this is you will have less pedal travel when activating the parking brake. 

This is what I'd like to do. Rear end was done about 1 1/2-2 years ago as was the park brake. I am assuming there is some play due to stretching of the cable. There is no tension in the first 1 1/2 2 inches of peddle travel,then the brake applies. But the peddle will move at the slightest touch. I'd like to snug it up a bit. At least now I think the dash light is working.

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There is about 2" of almost  no tension,peddle very soft. Then about 4" inches of tension till fully set. It's that first couple of inches I'd like to firm up so the pedal arm stays firm on the brake light switch button.

Then tightening the adjuster may help out.

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While adjusting be sure the cable and sheath are attached to the firewall and frame; otherwise a lot of the pedal movement is just taking slack out of the loop.  If it hasn't been done recently remove the pedal assembly to clean and lubricate (and a light coat of paint if needed); while it is off you can see if the cable moves freely.

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