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-   -   Parking brake cable ISSUES!!! (http://www.fordrangerforum.com/general-tech/51089-parking-brake-cable-issues.html)

kennyb 01-08-2012 07:12 PM

Parking brake cable ISSUES!!!
 
My parking brake cable snapped at the pedal, and I'm having a terrible time trying to replace it.

After locating the 3 bolts that hold the control assembly on and removing them finally from their awkward locations, I'm cannot seem to get the cable removed from the control assembly. I'm not talking about the actual cable connection at the pulley, but the metal lock nut thing that attaches the cable assembly to the control assembly. It seems to come up through the floor and a giant rubber stopper. Once I manage to get the control assembly free I don't see how I can remove the cable assembly through the giant rubber stopper. It doesn't seem that the cable assembly can be threaded through in either direction, and I don't want to force it and break something.

This seems like it should be an easy job, but there is little to no information online. No specifics, just vague "remove cable from assembly" and "thread cable through the firewall". Nowhere does it mention this hellish giant piece of rubber that I can't see how to remove.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

sgtsandman 01-08-2012 08:59 PM

Re: Parking brake cable ISSUES!!!
 
The rubber stopper is part of the cable. I had to hack the crap out of mine when I did the cable replacement in order to get the old one out. Just an FYI, the cable has to be fed down through the floor from inside the cab or you'll never get the rubber plug to feed correctly. Learned that the hard way. Also, some soapy water will help the thing slide easier into the hole in the floor.

kennyb 01-10-2012 05:25 PM

Re: Parking brake cable ISSUES!!!
 
Ok. I finally got the damn cable replaced, and thought I would share my experience as there has been limited info online, and maybe this would be helpful. I wish I had the foresight to take pics, but I was too busy cussing at my truck...

This is all coming from the perspective that my cable snapped at the pedal. If your cable did not snap, trust me and take the time to hold the cable tension at the pedal with a drill bit or screwdriver. This will become a pain later if you don't. O, and also this was on a '99 XLT, 2.5L, 5 speed MT.

1st disconnect the front cable from the middle cable under the truck right under the driver seat. The cable is wedged into the connector pretty good, but some WD-40 and prying got it lose. Then you have to disconnect the front cable "sheath" from the hole in the frame it attaches to. You will have to do this inside the cab as well.

Next was to remove the control assembly (pedal) from the cab. This proved to be more difficult than anticipated. There are three bolts (not two as some other websites suggested), and a little bolt for the brake sensor in the very back. The first bolt is in the bottom back by the floor. Second is at the top front just under the dash (This bolt didn't have enough clearance from the dash panel for my ratchet so I elected to use a hand wrench as opposed to taking the dash apart). Third bolt is in the back at the top of the assembly and I could only reach it with the pedal pushed down and a very long ratchet extension. By far the worst one to get in and out. You also have to remove the bolts holding the brake release to the dash.

Now that the assembly is unbolted, you have to remove the cable "sheath" that the cable runs through. It attaches to the bottom of the assembly by prongs that poke out of the top. These prongs have to be compressed inward for the sheath to fit out of the hole it the cable assembly. I made the mistake of using pliers to try and squeeze them down and it caused one of the prongs to get stuck open. Eventually I just had to brute force rip the thing off. If you are more careful (unlike me) you can use 1/2 inch ratchet over the top of the sheath to push down the prongs.

Next is the fun part. The rubber stopper in the floor that the cable comes through is part of the cable sheath and has to come out (as mentioned above). There is really no good way to do this. I used vice grips, a lot of WD-40 and dish soap, and even more tugging and cussing. Managed to break it free after about an hour.

Now you have to get the new cable attached to the pedal and maybe get the old broken bit of cable off the assembly. Because of the automatic tensioner built into the assembly, this task can be difficult and I recommend a helper. If you put the assembly upside down, you can see some gear teeth. This is the tensioner and it is tightly spring loaded. The pedal needs to be in the "up" position like it would be if the parking brake is not engaged. Now, with the assembly upside down we had one person use a large screwdriver to push the gear inward while the other person held the assembly (a vice is recommended). When the tensioner is pushed all the way in, there is a hole on the side of the assembly that is just flat metal. Put something in there to hold the tension (drill bit, screwdriver, etc).

While the tensioner in this position, the old cable can be easily pulled out. The new cable must be thread through the assembly properly first (attach the new sheath to the hold in the bottom and run the cable up over the pulley from the bottom of the assembly. There is a little metal "window" that the cable must fit through so don't miss it). Push the little metal bead into the hole that the old cable was in and you are done. At this point I released the tension, but I'm not sure if that was required.

Now you have to put the pedal back in. This should be pretty self explanatory as the installation is the reverse of removal. The only hitch was getting the new rubber stopper back through the firewall with the assembly attached. This was once again a WD-40/Dish soap and brute force task. It'll fit but it might take a while.

Finally you need to make sure that the cable sheath is properly reattached under the car. If you kept the tensioner in position you can then just reattach the front and middle cables afterward and release the tension. Otherwise you may have to do a little tugging to make it work. Make sure that the front cable sits properly in the connector. Its a tight fit, so mine didn't want to sit in there right away. Pressed the brake down a few times and tugged on the cable a bit to be sure it was all the way in there.

I think that's it. Hopefully nothing was missed and that someone finds this useful.

MikeC. 01-18-2012 10:58 AM

Re: Parking brake cable ISSUES!!!
 
Jesus Christ Man!! Thank you for posting this! I looked all over the web and found nothing about how to replace the emergency break assembly, until I found this.

I had the exact same problem as you did and followed your walk through. (which was very accurate) Especially the part about cussing that damned rubber stopper out!

Any who, I just wanted to say thanks for the walk through man.

It was a HUGE help.

kennyb 02-03-2012 10:32 AM

Re: Parking brake cable ISSUES!!!
 
No problem! I had the same issue trying to find information about how to do this. Well, at least DETAILED information. Something more than "remove assembly", etc. Glad I could be helpful!

erika 07-24-2012 10:29 AM

Re: Parking brake cable ISSUES!!!
 
Hi guys--

I have a 1999 Ford Ranger XLT, and my parking brake cable snapped in exactly the place you described--up in the pedal assembly. I am currently on the road living in my truck, so I have very limited access to tools. I got a new front cable, but I'm concerned about having the required tools to do the repair.

I have a set of metric wrenches, a leatherman, and a set of pliers. It sounds like accessing one of the nuts for the cable could be problematic with just these tools.

Would you recommend waiting to do the repair done until I can get better tools? I'm not sure how much longer I want to leave this repair--if worst comes to worst, I'll bite the bullet and pay a mechanic to do it, but I'd rather do it myself.

Any advice would be appreciated!
Thanks,
Erika

kennyb 07-24-2012 10:25 PM

Re: Parking brake cable ISSUES!!!
 
Hi Erika,

I don't blame you for not wanting to go to a mechanic. I did it myself because the mechanic wanted $350 to do it.

IMO you should not attempt it without the right tools because you'll probably end up with a half done job you can't finish. Its been a bit since I did the work, but if I remember right, the bolts were standard and not metric. Could be wrong, but that's easy enough for you to check. Secondly you will definitely need some sort of lubrication to get the rubber stopper out. I'm not a little dude, and it took me about an hour of tugging and I was pretty wiped afterward. Third, one or two of the bolts were hard to reach with the ratchet alone. At minimum you'll need an extension I think, and one of the bolts was really flush up against the dash so I had to use a wrench to get to it because the ratchet socket wouldn't fit. Also, the tensioner can be a bitch without someone to help you, or at least a vice to hold the assembly in.

Pliers will help to pull the stopper out. I used vice grips which I think would work better.

Hope that helps

-Kenny

Dholm 08-16-2012 12:26 PM

Re: Parking brake cable ISSUES!!!
 
Thank you so much for this post, I am having to replace the whole assembly as well, and like you I couldn't find any extra information on how to do it. I have already had to replace my timing belt/ tensioner, U joint, a/c compressor etc. I can honestly say that this was a HUGE help

JGiddy 08-17-2012 11:06 AM

Re: Parking brake cable ISSUES!!!
 
I could've used that writeup before I took my truck in to have this and rear brakes done. lol... it was still worth it though

prw717 10-14-2012 08:10 AM

Re: Parking brake cable ISSUES!!!
 
I have a 92 ranger ext. cab and my parking brake was engaged then i heard a loud snap only to find out the cable broke but its still engaged at the rearend how do i disengage it at the rearend??

utahb3000 11-13-2012 05:54 PM

Re: Parking brake cable ISSUES!!!
 
Thanks for the great thread. I have a 1998 Mazda B3000, so I am assuming it is compatible with the Ford Ranger. I just recently had my parking brake cable snap at the pedal and need to replace. The question I have is where did you find only the cable to replace rather than the entire parking brake control assembly? When looking at the online parts sites, they only seem to provide the control assembly including the needed cable.

I actually bought a "front" cable from the local auto parts store and it turned out to be the middle cable, not the cable that comes off of the parking brake control.

sgtsandman 11-13-2012 07:45 PM

Re: Parking brake cable ISSUES!!!
 
Advance Auto Parts had them if I remember correctly but that was for a regular cab. I only remember there being three. One for each side and the cable to the mechanism. You may end up having to go to the dealer.

utahb3000 12-08-2012 09:58 PM

Re: Parking brake cable ISSUES!!!
 
As a followup, the cable I needed for my 1998 B3000 was the same cable used on the 1998 Ranger. Even though all the websites and computers stated it wasn't compatible with the B3000, it fit and works perfectly.

RangersDad 06-03-2013 12:30 PM

Re: Parking brake cable ISSUES!!!
 
3 Attachment(s)
Well more then a year after posting KennyB's post is still the most complete description of how to repair a snapped parking brake cable I was able to find on the internet. The Chilton manual is vague at best. I am going to do some editing of KennyB's post because I had some problems and I took some pictures to illustrate the process.

Now, there may be some differing points of view on removal of the mechanism. The truck is my sons, and not here right now. We in fact removed the mechanism and were unable to extract the remaining cable end. More later. The shop/mechanic that did if for me (NC) told me to reinstall the mechanism before installing the cable.

The picture 0223 shows the mounting holes for the mechanism. The brake indicator light switch has push on electrical connectors and does not need to be unbolted just disconnected. And that top rear bolt is tough to get to. The bolts are all 10mm.

Given we are working on a cable that parted near the control mechanism there is a better way to pop the anchoring mechanism, cable to parking brake predal assembly. The cable comes through the hole that you can see in the picture 0223 just below the brake switch. The pictures 0228 and 0229 show my preferred method for popping the connector loose.

I love hose clamps for these type jobs. Just use it slightly above the base of the splined connector andthe connector will pop right through the sheet metal when you tighten it down!
Referring to the first picture in this post, I have been advised that the job does not normally require removal of the assembly. And looking at the picture I wonder if the holes in the toothed part in and near the part that actuates the brake switch may not play a part in leveraging the toothed "cam" far enough to get a stiff wire, drill bit through the hole that holds the tension, when worked on in place. When pieces are lined up as shown the hole with the wire is from side to side all the way through the assembly. I did not observe the shop moving my toothed "cam" and inserting the wire to lock in place but I was told that a vise and a pry bar were involved.



Quote:

Originally Posted by kennyb (Post 706397)
Ok. I finally got the damn cable replaced, and thought I would share my experience as there has been limited info online, and maybe this would be helpful. I wish I had the foresight to take pics, but I was too busy cussing at my truck...

This is all coming from the perspective that my cable snapped at the pedal. If your cable did not snap, trust me and take the time to hold the cable tension at the pedal with a drill bit or screwdriver. This will become a pain later if you don't. O, and also this was on a '99 XLT, 2.5L, 5 speed MT.

1st disconnect the front cable from the middle cable under the truck right under the driver seat. The cable is wedged into the connector pretty good, but some WD-40 and prying got it lose. Then you have to disconnect the front cable "sheath" from the hole in the frame it attaches to. You will have to do this inside the cab as well.

Next was to remove the control assembly (pedal) from the cab. This proved to be more difficult than anticipated. There are three bolts (not two as some other websites suggested), and a little bolt for the brake sensor in the very back. The first bolt is in the bottom back by the floor. Second is at the top front just under the dash (This bolt didn't have enough clearance from the dash panel for my ratchet so I elected to use a hand wrench as opposed to taking the dash apart). Third bolt is in the back at the top of the assembly and I could only reach it with the pedal pushed down and a very long ratchet extension. By far the worst one to get in and out. You also have to remove the bolts holding the brake release to the dash.

Now that the assembly is unbolted, you have to remove the cable "sheath" that the cable runs through. It attaches to the bottom of the assembly by prongs that poke out of the top. These prongs have to be compressed inward for the sheath to fit out of the hole it the cable assembly. I made the mistake of using pliers to try and squeeze them down and it caused one of the prongs to get stuck open. Eventually I just had to brute force rip the thing off. If you are more careful (unlike me) you can use 1/2 inch ratchet over the top of the sheath to push down the prongs.

Next is the fun part. The rubber stopper in the floor that the cable comes through is part of the cable sheath and has to come out (as mentioned above). There is really no good way to do this. I used vice grips, a lot of WD-40 and dish soap, and even more tugging and cussing. Managed to break it free after about an hour.

Now you have to get the new cable attached to the pedal and maybe get the old broken bit of cable off the assembly. Because of the automatic tensioner built into the assembly, this task can be difficult and I recommend a helper. If you put the assembly upside down, you can see some gear teeth. This is the tensioner and it is tightly spring loaded. The pedal needs to be in the "up" position like it would be if the parking brake is not engaged. Now, with the assembly upside down we had one person use a large screwdriver to push the gear inward while the other person held the assembly (a vice is recommended). When the tensioner is pushed all the way in, there is a hole on the side of the assembly that is just flat metal. Put something in there to hold the tension (drill bit, screwdriver, etc).

While the tensioner in this position, the old cable can be easily pulled out. The new cable must be thread through the assembly properly first (attach the new sheath to the hold in the bottom and run the cable up over the pulley from the bottom of the assembly. There is a little metal "window" that the cable must fit through so don't miss it). Push the little metal bead into the hole that the old cable was in and you are done. At this point I released the tension, but I'm not sure if that was required.

Now you have to put the pedal back in. This should be pretty self explanatory as the installation is the reverse of removal. The only hitch was getting the new rubber stopper back through the firewall with the assembly attached. This was once again a WD-40/Dish soap and brute force task. It'll fit but it might take a while.

Finally you need to make sure that the cable sheath is properly reattached under the car. If you kept the tensioner in position you can then just reattach the front and middle cables afterward and release the tension. Otherwise you may have to do a little tugging to make it work. Make sure that the front cable sits properly in the connector. Its a tight fit, so mine didn't want to sit in there right away. Pressed the brake down a few times and tugged on the cable a bit to be sure it was all the way in there.

I think that's it. Hopefully nothing was missed and that someone finds this useful.


modelageek 06-03-2013 12:56 PM

Re: Parking brake cable ISSUES!!!
 
I don't see any thread of Kenny's that has pictures, but you do not need to remove the brake to change the cable even if the cable broke inside the brake


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