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Old 06-04-2019, 01:46 PM   #1
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Help with parking brake

My parking brake wonít hold. 2002 7.3 E-350 EB.
Any advice? I looked through some old threads but didnít see anyone who had successfully solved their problem or written about their solution. Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:11 PM   #2
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I have the same issue, I have new rear brakes and have tried to adjust the drums and cables as tight as possible but I think I just need all new cables, they are probably stretched out. Mine is a 96 7.3 and its a problem because If I forget my brake is set I don't really notice with the diesel torque and don't have a dummy light, so I probably stretched it out smoking my brakes out at least one time.
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:54 PM   #3
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New parking brakes shoes + remove any glazing from the drum inside of the rotors. Scotchbrite wheel works fine. Soft organic shoes are best for parking brakes, which should be the cheapest option anywways. Then properly adjust the star wheel. For even better holding, bed them in. Just like regular brakes but at low speeds instead. Then re-snug the star wheels again after doing this.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:47 AM   #4
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New parking brakes shoes + remove any glazing from the drum inside of the rotors. Scotchbrite wheel works fine. Soft organic shoes are best for parking brakes, which should be the cheapest option anywways. Then properly adjust the star wheel. For even better holding, bed them in. Just like regular brakes but at low speeds instead. Then re-snug the star wheels again after doing this.
Thanks for the feedback. Can you explain what the star wheel is?
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:52 AM   #5
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The star wheel is the slack adjuster on brake shoes. All drum brakes (besides air brakes) have them. On primary drum brakes, there is also an arm which automatically moves the star wheel to take out slack. But parking brakes (and most trailer brakes) don't have this, so you have to adjust the slack out manually. There is a slot on the backing plate to reach this, but it's a PITA and usually easier to pull the rotor off and do it from the from.

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Old 06-05-2019, 10:09 AM   #6
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My parking brake didn't work worth a dam (well, not at all actually) until I replaced the rotor and shoes (with the integral parking brake drum) , and freed up all the rusted internal parts. The adjuster, springs and little parts rust quickly, but can usually be cleaned up pretty well. With new shoes and properly adjusted, it worked ok and would hold on a moderate hill, but it wasn't long before I forgot it was on, and smoked the shoes. I've done this more than once, but a quick scuffing of the drum and shoes, along with another adjustment will fix them up. It's a bit of a pain to adjust them, just finding and removing the rubber plugs was a chore the first time, requiring a flashlight and mirror. I find it easier to remove the rotor, clean everything up, scuff the shoes and drum and then adjust the shoes until I can barely slip the rotor back over the shoes. After that, it's just a few turns of the adjusting wheel to get them to the point where you can't turn the rotor, then back off the wheel a couple of clicks until the rotor just turns. To break in new shoes, or well scuffed old ones, going a moderate speed (20mph?) apply the parking brake gently a few times to get the shoes heated up, then allow them to cool without applying them.
https://www.wagnerbrake.com/technica.../break-in.html
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:19 AM   #7
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Turn the star-wheel until the drum binds..or barely slides over the shoes when it's re-installed........then back off the star wheel a handful of clicks until the drum spins freely....done.


*Edit: ...Posted this before seeing artictraveller's post above....same thing...and yup the star wheel is behind the rubber plug in the backing plate.
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by carringb View Post
The star wheel is the slack adjuster on brake shoes. All drum brakes (besides air brakes) have them. On primary drum brakes, there is also an arm which automatically moves the star wheel to take out slack. But parking brakes (and most trailer brakes) don't have this, so you have to adjust the slack out manually. There is a slot on the backing plate to reach this, but it's a PITA and usually easier to pull the rotor off and do it from the from.

I went to Napa and they didnít know what to sell me. On my 2002 7.3 does anyone know what wheels the parking brake works with? One front? Both front? Both rear? Also, is it rotors or drum? Any insight is much appreciated.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:09 AM   #9
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The parking brake is on both rear wheels. They are "drum in hat" which means the parking brakes are drum brakes that are inside the service brakes, which are disc. When you order pads, you have to ask for "shoes". Napa does have them, that's where I got mine.

https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/RTST...earchIndex=App

BTW - guessing by your questions, you haven't tackled much brake work before. I'm not sure this is the vehicle you want to practice on, since 8,500 rolling into something will cause much more damage than 3,000 pounds. At the very least, you might wan to buy a repair manual. I like AllData but there's other good ones too. https://www.alldata.com/oe-info-student-and-diyer
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:11 AM   #10
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The parking brakes are only on the rear wheels. The only parts normally needed to be replaced are the shoes, unless the rotor/drum is scored or rusted. With rear disc's, there is a drum as part of the disc. It's like a hat attached to the rotor, with the shoes inside. If you need new shoes, just take the old ones down to Napa to be matched.
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