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Hand brake cannot hold on my Lockheed drums  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 08-22-2005 06:35 pm
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edward_davis
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I have had some problems getting my handbrake to hold on the lockheed self-adjusting drums.  I've follwed the shop manual's guidelines in "adjusting" the rear brakes: with the car off, pump the pedal 5-10 times after exhausting the brake booster.  So the shoes are in the proper position, and after bleeding the brakes, I have no problem stopping with the pedal.  But the handbrake won't do it at all.  I can make it slow the car down a tiny bit, but it won't keep her from rolling even on the shallowest driveway ramp. 

I even took apart the cable end at the left drum and tightened it down, again following the manual.  I can pull the hand lever and move the drum levers to their maximum travel, but the e-brake still won't hold the car.

What can I do to get my handbrake to work properly?

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 Posted: 08-22-2005 11:01 pm
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Mark Rosenbaum
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Most of the braking is done by the front brakes.  Don't assume that the rear brakes are working simply because the car stops when you step on the brake pedal.

Put the car up on stands.  Place a prising bar between the backing plate and the protruding handbrake lever.  Spin the rear tire and, while it's turning, pull hard on the prising bar to activate the brake.  If the wheel doesn't stop quite abruptly, the problem is in the brake itself.  If it does, the problem (on this side at least) is in the linkage.  Repeat for the other side.

From your description, it sounds like the rear brake mechanism is not working.  If that's the case, there must be something worn, broken, and/or incorrectly assembled.  You'd need to remove the brake drums, take a good close look at the parts involved, and deal with any issues that are present.  Note that the handbrake mechanism and self adjuster mechanism are inter-related.

A linkage problem is almost always due to misassembly, misadjustment, or wear.  Make sure the link assembly is put together properly (see attached photo).  There should be no real looseness or wear at any of the clevis pins or their holes.  The cable's clevis attaches to the left brake's lever, and is adjusted so that the brake levers are initially just loose.  Normally the brake levers begin moving before the cockpit lever reaches its first detent notch, and should be fully engaged by the time the cockpit lever reaches its fourth or fifth detent notch.

Attachment: pivot.jpg (Downloaded 90 times)

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 Posted: 10-12-2005 03:09 pm
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DanHolmes
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Im probably a bit late here (!)but following on from Marks post I would suggest you take a look at the condition of the shoe surface - even a tiny leak onto the shoe will cause it to slip when you apply the handbrake. A cylinder kit is often a way forward but the additional life you get is a bit 'hit and miss' - the cylinder may last a week or it may last a few years! I always prefer to replace the entire cylinder!

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 Posted: 10-12-2005 06:33 pm
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edward_davis
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I rebuilt the cylinders right after I got the car in June of this year.  The passenger side was leaking badly and had fluid all over the shoes.  I've cleaned them with brake cleaner and they seemed as good as new, but could that be the problem?  Also, the driver's side cylinder was sticking in front: too much grime from the slight leak around the bearing.  So the two pads on that side are not evenly worn.  I've gotten all the hydraulics to work, after the application of some elbow grease, so that's not a problem.  Could the damage/ imbalance to the shoes create the e-brake problem I'm having?

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 Posted: 10-13-2005 01:50 am
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Mark Rosenbaum
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Don't know for sure if uneven wear on one side would cause the self adjuster to malfunction, but even if it did, I don't see how it could affect the other side.

I also don't know what effect being saturated with brake fluid would have on a brake lining, but I doubt it's beneficial.  Replacement brake linings are inexpensive and readily available, and it would be prudent to replace yours on a 'just-in-case' basis. 

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 Posted: 10-13-2005 09:25 am
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DanHolmes
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I think your problem may be in the contaminated linings. I am not sure how much new cylinders cost in the states but over here (UK) they are the equivalent of about $38 (US) - in other words, for the relatively small price of the cyliinders and shoes it is better value (in my opinion) to just replace the lot with new items.

You also have the peace of mind that your braking performance will be much better and more reliable - particularly if you drive the car everyday with lead boots on like I do!

Last edited on 10-13-2005 09:26 am by DanHolmes

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 Posted: 10-13-2005 09:39 pm
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John Kimbrough
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Several months after having my brakes rebuilt by a very "reputable" garage, I began having the same problem with emergency brake not adjusting.  Thinking something might be amiss in the rear brakes, I took of the left wheel and drum and checked everything over.  All seemed fine.  I almost gave up, stumped, but decided to check out the right side.  What I found was a brake adjuster that was not installed properly.  It was totally disconnected and just jamed in there. 

Reassembled correctly, the brake adjustor worked fine again. 

Sadly, had to write off another "reputable" garage......   John 

 

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