Changing out parking brake cable? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 01-18-2008
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Changing out parking brake cable?

My parking brake cable is now shot on my truck. When you set the brake, after pulling the brake release, it sill stays set in place. Being that the truck is a manual transmission, and parking in gear is not the safest thing to do, I want to replace the cable. Before I do this, I have a few questions...

Is the parking brake cable hard to uninstall/reinstall?

Do I need any special tools for the uninstall/install?

Are the parking brake cables interchangeable between automatics and manuals?

Are the parking brake cables interchangeable throughout all of the ranger generations?
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Old 01-18-2008
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im gonna 10 min bump you because i dont even have a cable running along my frame any more ha
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Old 01-18-2008
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No special tools but first see which cable is broke.From the pedal to the adjuster or from the adjuster to the wheels.

edit
I just saw what year you have , it would be handy to have a torch to loosen the nuts at the adjuster.

Oh and Happy Birthday!!

Last edited by OTRtech; 01-18-2008 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 01-18-2008
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I had the exact same problem. Make sure you figure out which cable it is first to not waste money/time. It was only my right side that was hanging up, could not pull that cable out of the housing even after I pulled it!

No special tools, but you gotta STRETCH that thing. I wound up using the dremel to enlarge the opening of the "connector" that attaches the two cables on the drivers side rear.

Sounds confusing, but pull the whole cable system and you'll understand. Also grease the crap out of it before reinstall, to prevent future problems!
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Old 01-18-2008
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I've had three Rangers and they all get rusted in the E brake cables. Yours is a 2004 acording to your profile and all you may have to do is pull it off where they branch together and hang them down and oil them from the brake backing plate area Put oil in them untill it runs out the other end and they will work for a while. You will have to pull the cable back and forth to get the oil through the cable. They may last as long as a new set would last. You do have to let the oil drain out over night or it may get on you brake shoes.

Or you can put new ones in every two or three years.

I don't use the E brakes unless it's an emergency. Even when you use them all the time they still rust and lock up.

If you have to use them and they lock up sometimes you can get under and work the cables around for a while and they will release enough to drive home and remove the drums and pull the cable back inside.

I hate Ford E brakes. Hell, they have been using the same system since the 1950's and maybe before. They suck.

Oh, did I tell you I don't like them.
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  #6  
Old 01-19-2008
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HAHA!!! I just got done replacing my rear shoes because my parking brake cable froze up on the passengers side.. It melted the linings off. I will follow this thread closely.
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  #7  
Old 01-19-2008
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yep, almost did that once but I noticed the drag and stoped and got dirty and wrestled the cables until they backed off.

Never used the Emergency/parking brake again and put a block under the pedal so I couldn't.

Hey Ford, there has to be a better way. Where is Henry when we need him.
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Old 01-21-2008
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Thanks for the info guys. I'm guessing it's the second half of the cable, because I have to tug slightly on it near the axle to get it unlocked.

For the time being, I am going to drive it around like this... I'm not going out in the 20-30 degree weather if I can help it. I'm just hoping I never nail anybody in a parking lot due to forgetting it was in gear.
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Old 01-21-2008
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Winks I have my cable sitting here if you are interested in it. I just pulled it off the truck this weekend.

I can box it up and ship it out tomorrow.

No special tools are needed I tore my apart with a flat head screw driver. I didnt even tear the drums apart just took the cover off.
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Old 03-29-2008
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Icon4 Maybe I Don't Have To Replace It?

Guys, I've finally got time to install Zach's parking brake which he sent to me last month (Thanks again Zach). I wasn't sure how everything worked out, but after finding I had to remove the brake drum, I saw how this thing connects. After working with it for a bit, I think my problem may not be my brake cable, but the part that it connects to. You can see my new thread about that - https://www.ranger-forums.com/forum2...033#post915033

Just some photos if it will lead to any conclusions other than it being really dirty in there.






Last edited by winks; 03-29-2008 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 03-29-2008
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Can't see anything. Where's the link? I had to "modify" my brake cable spliter to get the stupid thing to work....was WAY too tight to do by hand, or even the way the manual says.
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  #12  
Old 12-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winks View Post
Is the parking brake cable hard to uninstall/reinstall?

Do I need any special tools for the uninstall/install?

Are the parking brake cables interchangeable between automatics and manuals?

Are the parking brake cables interchangeable throughout all of the ranger generations?
I know this is a really old thread, but I want to reply anyway for posterity. The cables can be tricky to take off/install, but as long as you take the entire thing off (take the drums off and disconnect the rear cables - one on each side - and disconnect the front cable from the lever), you should be able to get them apart much more easily.

Parking brake cables are definitely not interchangeable between all rangers. Automatic vs. manual doesn't matter, but wheelbase and the size of your rear drums are important, as well as the build date of your truck (occasionally).

What happens a lot of times is this: the rear cables have a plastic coating on them that frays/cracks over time right where they enter the housing. Water gets in and rusts and expands the cables, which then become hard to move in and out of the housing. This can either render your brakes useless (won't engage the brake), but more likely will cause the brakes to drag and wear out your shoes.

Moral: replace the rear cables, as it is often the problem, particularly if they look old and you're rebuilding the drum brakes. That's all!
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Old 12-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN_Mike View Post
I know this is a really old thread, but I want to reply anyway for posterity. The cables can be tricky to take off/install, but as long as you take the entire thing off (take the drums off and disconnect the rear cables - one on each side - and disconnect the front cable from the lever), you should be able to get them apart much more easily.

Parking brake cables are definitely not interchangeable between all rangers. Automatic vs. manual doesn't matter, but wheelbase and the size of your rear drums are important, as well as the build date of your truck (occasionally).

What happens a lot of times is this: the rear cables have a plastic coating on them that frays/cracks over time right where they enter the housing. Water gets in and rusts and expands the cables, which then become hard to move in and out of the housing. This can either render your brakes useless (won't engage the brake), but more likely will cause the brakes to drag and wear out your shoes.

Moral: replace the rear cables, as it is often the problem, particularly if they look old and you're rebuilding the drum brakes. That's all!
i think the figured it out man. thiss is from 2008 WOW
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Old 12-11-2011
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Yeah, hence my use of the word "posterity". Capiche?
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Old 12-11-2011
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Yeah, hence my use of the word "posterity". Capiche?
why post is a old *** thread lmao
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Old 12-11-2011
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Dear god, do you have any idea how the internet works?
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  #17  
Old 07-18-2013
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Almost two years later I found this thread through a Google search. Thanks MN_Mike for updating an old thread with useful info.

I'm swapping the rear end on my B-series and am wondering what sort of issues I might encounter with the parking brake cables. My rear drums are going from 9" to 10" in the swap, so this gives me a heads up to a potential issue I didn't know about.
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  #18  
Old 07-18-2013
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Originally Posted by mephiska View Post
Almost two years later I found this thread through a Google search. Thanks MN_Mike for updating an old thread with useful info.

I'm swapping the rear end on my B-series and am wondering what sort of issues I might encounter with the parking brake cables. My rear drums are going from 9" to 10" in the swap, so this gives me a heads up to a potential issue I didn't know about.
No problem. I just happen to understand the internet unlike some folks around here (won't mention any names)
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  #19  
Old 07-18-2013
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So if I understand this correctly, the 9" parking brake cable won't hook up inside the 10" drums? Any idea what specific cables I will need? My truck is a 1994 B3000 cab plus long bed.
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  #20  
Old 07-18-2013
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Originally Posted by mephiska View Post
So if I understand this correctly, the 9" parking brake cable won't hook up inside the 10" drums? Any idea what specific cables I will need? My truck is a 1994 B3000 cab plus long bed.
What I ended up doing was visiting my local Ford dealership and (eventually) convincing them that my 2001 B3000 could use Ranger parts, but for a 1994... I'm not sure if that would be true. Aside from the dealership though, it is hard to locate these cables. Might try a Mazda dealer.
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  #21  
Old 11-07-2017
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Hey there- I have a 98 XLT 2.5 Manual. The front parking brake cable snapped and did so right at the brake control assembly inside the cab. The control assembly is out of the truck but I cant seem to see how the cable comes free from the slot that it rests in. There's only about 4 inches of cable past the metal knuckle that can be manipulated. Didn't know if someone might know a trick to this. Thanks in advance.
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  #22  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Cable insertion into pedal assembly

I'm having the same problem with figuring out how to insert the cable (and for that matter, how to remove the 4" stub of old e-brake/parking brake cable that's left after it snapped.

Anyone?

(this is for my friend's 2005 Mazda B3000, actually)
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  #23  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Ok so if you look at the whole assembly with the pedal facing you, you will notice some “teeth” on a gear in there. I had to have a second person but I used an old nail puller bar to move the gear up to the point I could get a screwdriver or a drill bit through the little hole on the side that all other forums speak of. Once that was done the old cable comes out very easily and the new one can be placed in very easily. Just be careful when removing the “drill bit” or whatever you chose to place in the retention slot. I had to leave mine in all the way until the unit was mounted back in the vehicle and the cables connected because at that point there was only one of me and I needed the slack pulled for connecting those cables. Hope this helps.
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  #24  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
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That was it! I finished a few hours ago and didn't follow up yet.

Once I got the assembly out, with the dangly leftover broken cable, I had to figure out how to get the old broken cable end off, then connect the new one.

1) The lever must be in the 'up' position. There is indeed a release hole where you put a drill bit or right-sized bolt to keep the lever and frame aligned just so (which allows the cable, and geared carrier, to rotate against the spring). The old end can then be rotated enough to come out.

2) Connect your new cable sheath to the pedal housing and feed the new cable through to where it needs to go and then beyond, so you can loop back with some slack to align the cable.

3) The end of the cable must be rotated about 30-40 degrees to clear the housing, so the ferrule at the end will come out. I did this by using two screwdrivers to turn the gears while my helper (my awesome teenager) fed the new cable in. (Truth: we forgot to do step 2 at first, so we had to undo the new cable, then feed it through the housing and click the sheath into place, then feed cable back in.) The 2 screwdrivers were used in a cam & pawl type of action: one held the gear in place under spring tension while I re-positioned the other one, using the rubber/vinyl pedal stop as the fulcrum for my screwdriver, repeat until the cable end could be inserted.

Of course, now I wish I had pictures.
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