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How does parking brake linkage work?


Paisano

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Hi,
92' Ford Ranger XLT with 2.9 V6.
My parking brakes barely engage when tested. I replaced the cables last year with a rear axle assembly swap . Notice how that cable fitting is not seated into the drum brake backing plate hole? Would that prevent the parking brakes from pressing onto the drums?
I'm going to drill out the diameter of those holes, so the fitting can be pressed in properly.

How does the emergency brake linkage in the attached photo work anyway? How does the one cable from the foot operated pedal, pull two other separate cables?
Is the linkage connected correctly? I think I should have a full understanding of this before I repair.

P_20230507_114734_1.jpgP_20230507_120045.jpg
 
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RonD

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Parking brake cables use whats generally called an "equalizer" to transition from the one cable at parking brake pedal end to the two cables going to parking brakes in the rear wheels

In 1992 Ranger you should have this type: https://www.2carpros.com/images/question_images/232004/original.jpg
And you do
'
Looks like at least one of those cables is the wrong one, too big for the back plate(drum) and too big for the equalizer

And the cable at equalizer WITHOUT the threaded rod should be routed through the slot in the bracket like in the drawing
So remove that and reroute it
Get the correct cable for the other wheel
 
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rumblecloud

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basically there are three cables. One from the emergency/parking brake. One for the left rear and one for the right rear. There are some springs and brackets at the connecting point of the front to the two rears. I think that is shown in your first image. There shouldn't be a lot of play in those connections (the spring retainer helps with that). In your second image, that piece shold be seated all the way into the backing plate. The tabs on that fitting when fully seated will keep the cable from just backing out -- which is prolly what's happening now.

I don't think I would be drilling out anything just yet.

I'm sure someone will come along with a more detailed explanation than mine. So stay tuned
 

Paisano

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I was uncertain as to what cables I should buy when I installed the axle assembly with backing plates. The cables are for a 92 Ranger with 2.9 V6
But the rear axle assembly with drum brake backing plates I retrofitted, is NOT for 92' Ranger. The rear axle fits something like 99' Ranger with 3.0 V6.
So I bought cables based on overall length and cable end type of the old cables (which I had to sever because they were hopelessly stuck in the old backing plates).

So I'm not sure what parking brake cable part numbers to get anyway. Because again, cable linkage is for 92 Ranger. And backing plates are for 99 Ranger. Once I figure out the correct cables, it shouldn't be much of a problem to fix it. I already know how to overhaul drum brakes.

I'm going to hold off on doing anything till I know the full score on this. The rest of the brakes work fine.
 
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rumblecloud

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I hadda pull the cables on my 94 in late fall of last year and have not replaced them yet . stuff just gets in the way.
Mine will be easy compared to yours - I hope. Good luck with your fix.

r
 

Paisano

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I think the best thing for me to do right now is purchase 2 or 3 parking brake cables that look like a good fit.
I'll hold the parts up to the attachment points on the truck to check for fitment, without installing. If they don't fit, I'll return for a refund.

But I might have to reinstall the cables I already have and increase the diameter of the backing plate holes.

By the way, you know that bulb-looking cable fitting that seats into the backing plate hole? What is that called?

Does anyone happen to know the parking brake cable lengths on my year/make/model?
 
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Paisano

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I got the driver side rear parking brake cable connected to the parking brake lever in the brake drum. It seems to be the right fit at both ends even though I have not connected it to the equalizer yet.

And I think I made a breakthrough with the rear passenger side brake cable. I totally missed this before. I just looked at a photo and diagram for a similar early nineties' Ford Ranger. The fitting is supposed to go through a bracket that is mounted on the leaf spring eye. Then the equalizer is suspended on the cable forward of the bracket.

I currently have this bracket mounted with the correct size hole.

So the cable I already have is probably the correct one. And I'm thinking the other cable fitting didn't fit into the backing plate for one of two reasons: It wasn't pushed in with enough force, or the hole in the backing plate needs to be widened slightly because it's a 99' Ranger backing plate.
 
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Paisano

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Hey Guys,

I have both rear parking brake cables attached to the levers in the brake drums. I took the opportunity to combine this task with brake shoe and wheel seal replacement.
You know how I had trouble pushing those brake cable fittings through the holes in the backing plates? All I needed to do is flatten those locking tabs a little bit with pliers.
Then they seated in the holes with no problem. And the 92' Ranger parking brake cables ended up working in 1999 and later Ranger backing plates I have.

I'm not ready to hook up the parking brake cables to the tensioner and equalizer yet. I need to do some reading on this first. And I think there are steps for this in my Chilton manual.
I might ask a couple questions on this later.
 
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Paisano

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I haven't worked on the tensioner and equalizer yet. It's too hot. Some days it reaches 116 degrees in my garage.
 

Paisano

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The parking brake linkage is completely installed now. I also did the initial adjustment of turning the nut 2-1/2 inches up the threaded rod, according to the Chilton manual as seen in the photo. Before I do the final field adjustment, is there any chance the parking brake shoes could get stuck in the engaged position if I don't do the final adjustment properly?

I have not done any testing yet, nor have I engaged the parking brake pedal.

P_20231001_135030_1.jpg
 
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RonD

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No, you can't over tighten parking brakes inside the drums, unless they were not assembled correctly, even then it would be hard to do

Standard method to adjust Parking brakes is to hold out the release handle and pump the parking brake pedal until its staying at the same height

Parking brakes can lock up in the winter, if water gets inside the parking brake cable's sheaths it will freeze over night and one or both cables won't release in the morning
Real pain when that happens, lol
 

Paisano

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I don't think I understood how the adjustment process worked for this. I set up the tensioner and adjuster without engaging the parking brake pedal. I started backing out of the driveway to go to the store, thinking I could finish the adjustment and setting of the pedal height later.

I didn't realize when I did the initial adjustment of the tensioner/equalizer, it pulled the cables and parking brake pedal taut, even though I never engaged the pedal. So I got stuck in the driveway with parking brakes locked up, The pedal was rock hard. I could not budge it. So I backed out the adjusting nut on the threaded rod, and I was able to drive again. So no parking brake yet.

So I see now the cable adjustment has to be set at the same time, and coordinated with the pedal height. I need to get this done in a few days. Can you tell me how you set up your parking brakes in a few steps? My manual has the procedure. But sometimes people can explain it better if they have their own variation of the procedure that works.
 
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RonD

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Parking brake pedal should be all the way up, released

Loosen equalizer until it starts to sag, i.e. the 2 cables to the rear have no tension, and the 1 cable to the front has no tension
Tighten it back up until sag is gone
Test parking brake pedal
 

Paisano

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I'll respond tonight after work. Thanks Ron.
 

Paisano

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Not sure of any additional steps you took Ron.
I pretty much did the same thing you did, and the parking brakes and pedal locked. And pedal was in full upright disengaged position...so there was nothing to disengage with the release handle. I had to back off adjuster nut to unlock the parking brakes. The Chilton procedure starts off with applying the parking brake.....tighten equalizer nut 2-1/2 inches up the threaded rod.....check cinch strap for less than 1-3/8 inch........
Fully depress pedal........tighten equalizer nut 6 more full turns...then adjust if needed
 
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