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Old 05-02-2019, 08:37 AM   #1
petef
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2002 E250 Emergency/Parking Brake Cable Tension Adjustment

Emergency/Parking Brake works but the main cable has a slight bit too much slack evident by peddle not coming all the way back up to the released position and the eBrake light on dash sometimes remains on. I checked the travel of the levers at each wheel and it's releasing as it should be.



I also have to press the eBrake peddle all the way to floor to get the brake to hold. CABLES simply need more tension! Something like 1/2" more tension.



Problem is, I don't see any tension adjustments under the vehicle. The point where all 3 cables connect has no adjustment. (as most other vehicles have an adjuster here).



The only way I can see to adjust the tension is to change the short cable that's located in front of the intersection of the 3 cables. In other words, I have 2 cable connectors with a short cable between them that are located just prior to the point where the 3 cables meet.



What are my options for adjusting the cable tension?


--pete--
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File Type: jpg eBrakeCables_190427 (4) (Medium).JPG (200.2 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg eBrakeCables_190427 (1) (Medium).JPG (222.2 KB, 4 views)
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:50 AM   #2
65comet
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Re: 2002 E250 Emergency/Parking Brake Cable Tension Adjustment

This is one of those situations where you've been screwed by a bean counter trying to save the company money. They figure the e-brake will get almost no use, so why put in an adjuster. Your's must have gotten a lot of use and stretched the cables. Your only option is full cable replacement. Or chock the wheels if you have a parking paw issue or very steep hills to park on. I don't recommend, but have seen guys pull the two cables closer together inside that slide clip and hold them shorter with clamps. That is at you're own risk.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:02 AM   #3
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Re: 2002 E250 Emergency/Parking Brake Cable Tension Adjustment

Quote:
Originally Posted by 65comet
This is one of those situations where you've been screwed by a bean counter trying to save the company money. They figure the e-brake will get almost no use, so why put in an adjuster. Your's must have gotten a lot of use and stretched the cables. Your only option is full cable replacement. Or chock the wheels if you have a parking paw issue or very steep hills to park on. I don't recommend, but have seen guys pull the two cables closer together inside that slide clip and hold them shorter with clamps. That is at you're own risk.
Thanks for the response! Just now, I came up with an idea to solve this. I'm going to design & fabricate a replacement brake cable connector that has an adjustable length using one metal tube that slides inside the other with a pin or bolt that hold the position. As long as I know there's no other adjustments built into the cable system, I'll make the effort to do this.


Another Idea that expands upon the fix you mention above is the make a spacer the same exact size as the "bullet" that's on the end of the cable. Then split it in half so that it can be placed onto the cable behind the original "bullet". That would serve to tighten/shorten the cable by 3/8". If I added one spacer to each connector that would buy me 3/4" shorter cable. Hmmm I think I'll try that first! Thanks for the INSPIRATION!!!

--pete--
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:44 PM   #4
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Re: 2002 E250 Emergency/Parking Brake Cable Tension Adjustment

Got it! Pics tell the story. It was tricky. I had to grind the original end/bullet to a point in order to get the tip back into the connector once the spacer was installed. This will be very difficult to take apart in the future.


I had to use a tie down strap with some makeshift hooks to pull on the cable in order to get enough slack to work the end back into the connector.


Bottom line, this bought me about 3/8" shorter cable length. The spacer is exactly 0.36" long. See drawing for more details. It was actually a lot of work, but better than replacing the entire 2 cables from the peddle to the center link.


Now when I release the eBrake the peddle comes all the way upward and shuts off the eBrake light on the dash.

PS: Yeah that black eBrake tool is home made. I made it the other day just for this job. Would not have been able to do this job without that tool. Handles are 16" long and I needed every bit of leverage to get the rusted cable freed up and disconnected.



--pete--
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File Type: jpg eBrakeCableEndSpacer (11) (Medium).JPG (164.9 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg eBrakeCableEndSpacer (8) (Medium).JPG (204.2 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg eBrakeCableEndSpacer (10) (Medium).JPG (175.2 KB, 2 views)
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:43 PM   #5
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Re: 2002 E250 Emergency/Parking Brake Cable Tension Adjustment

Good job. Probably how I would do it. With today's sue happy people I couldn't say I recommend doing something like that, only give you an idea to follow on your own in case something goes wrong.
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:22 PM   #6
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Re: 2002 E250 Emergency/Parking Brake Cable Tension Adjustment

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Good job. Probably how I would do it. With today's sue happy people I couldn't say I recommend doing something like that, only give you an idea to follow on your own in case something goes wrong.

Yeah, you're right. Good fix for the DIY'er, but not for a professional shop.

Any non-standard fix could be a risk.



--pete--
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