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How-to clean bell cranks (ebrake stick fix)

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by spidy3, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. Feb 17, 2011 at 7:13 AM
    #1
    spidy3

    spidy3 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    For those that have the red "brake" light stay on after you release the e-brake or your e-brake doesnt feel like its released all the way... here you go
    (my first write-up, sorry if its all over the place haha)

    Tools I used - Lift, impact with 21mm, small flat head screwdriver, medium flathead screwdriver, hammer, dykes, flat file, round file, bench vise, whiz wheel, anti seize, liquid torch.


    1 you can check the first and second pivot point without taking wheels off the ground...
    make sure the pin that attaches the cable on the right (coming from the front) moves freely. If not, remove the pin and clean and lube it up good then put back together.


    2 Now check the second pivot that is located on the rear end...
    If that doesnt move easy, remove the bolt (think its a 14mm) and clean it up and lube it alot.


    3+4 here are pictures of the bell cranks that you will be removing
    Now here is where you need to jack up the rear end and remove your tires and drums. It doesnt matter if you lift and do one side at a time or lift the whole rear.


    5 I start with removing the clip and pin that on top of the bell crank.
    then I take the spring off (use needle nose pliers or dykes)


    6 After that and once you get your brake drum off you will see the 2 bolts that hold the bell crank on. Remove those 2 (12mm?) bolts (i took one out before pic) and you will have to lift up a little on the cable thats in bottom of picture to get hook on bell crank off of it and out.


    7 Bell crank off truck
    Pull back the rubber boot, try not to tear it and dont take it off all the way, you will use it to make sure you put it back together correctly.


    8 You will see a horseshoe clip (yes there is an open end on it someplace) if they are really rusted then it looks like its all enclosed. I use a flathead screwdriver and hammer and with finesse kind of chisel the clip open and off (you will reuse if possible so try not to break)

    Now using a hammer and punch (or something similar) get that pin out that the horseshoe clip was holding in.


    9 once the pin is out you will separate the 2 parts of the bell crank. Notice the rust on flat piece on the right, thats main reason it sticks. You will need to sand off all that rust (i use a whiz wheel and works great if you have access to one)


    10 Then you will clean out all of the rust from inside the outer part of bell crank. If you have a round file try and clean where the pin goes through on both pieces

    Clean the pin and horseshoe clip and get all the rust off and lube up pin when reinstalling.
    Slide the boot back over the fatter piece of bell crank when done.

    Dont forget to put spacer back in behind the 2 12mm bolts.

    After reinstalling you can pull on the cables that attach to bell cranks and you should see and feel the bell cranks move freely and the spring will pull it back in after you let go of cable.


    Any questions feel free to ask, meant to take more pics but the flat rate drive in me took over haha


    *not responsible for anything broken, installed incorrectly or any of that other bad stuff. Try at own risk*

    2011-02-12 12.37.40.jpg
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    2011-02-12 12.44.57.jpg
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    2011-02-12 13-1.01.34.jpg
    2011-02-12 13.09.41.jpg
     
  2. May 6, 2014 at 3:22 AM
    #2
    Ta Tonka

    Ta Tonka Active Member

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    Not much yet - Just bought it - looking to see what is out there
    subscribed b/c Im going to have to do this fix soon...
     
  3. May 9, 2014 at 8:28 AM
    #3
    lovedr79

    lovedr79 Active Member

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    its not too bad of a job. did mine awhile ago. thought it was the shoes going bad until I noticed that OH! why is this in and the other one out........
     
  4. May 9, 2014 at 8:59 AM
    #4
    slander

    slander Well-Known Member

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    Mine seized up 3 years ago and that was with daily use!!! I am going to try this as a last ditch effort to get my parking break back. Toyota wants 200+ per side for new bell cranks, which is nuts!!
     
  5. May 9, 2014 at 5:28 PM
    #5
    Freki

    Freki Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.

    Planning on getting it done tomorrow
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  6. May 9, 2014 at 6:43 PM
    #6
    Mod

    Mod Well-Known Member

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    Every time I peek at the brakes after a full service, those points get a shot of dry lube. Had a Dodge RAM POWER lock tight on me because all that stuff was crudded up. It's a cuss fest getting it working again.

    Excellent writeup. A ton of thoughts put to print in a small space.

    A new camera bub,,the flat rate one isn't cutting it. Feels like I shotted a 1/2 bottle of Beams Devils cut looking thru the fuzz.
     
  7. May 10, 2014 at 5:05 PM
    #7
    lovedr79

    lovedr79 Active Member

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    I pulled mine out and ran them over the wire wheel on the grinder
     
  8. May 10, 2014 at 5:11 PM
    #8
    NYTaco04

    NYTaco04 Member

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    Definitely try this before spending $200 for new bell cranks. If you live in the salt belt like me they will rust and seize up in a couple years at best anyway. I have owned several toyota trucks with this style e-brake and I almost consider this "routine maintenance" in western NY.

    The first time I did mine I didn't have a manual or instructions but it is pretty straight forward. I also used a 3M stripping wheel to clean all of the rust off after the bell cranks were apart and grease them before reassembly.

    Also check the intermediate lever (pic 1) where the front cable meets the rear cable. Even after cleaning mine, the e-brake handle didn't feel like it was releasing all the way. Found a ton of rust built up and not letting the intermediate lever return all the way. I just used PB blaster and compressed air to blow it all out and it worked like normal again.
     
  9. May 10, 2014 at 9:16 PM
    #9
    dispatch55126

    dispatch55126 Well-Known Member

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    Mine were/are sticking. I had thought that I had traced it to the equalizer bolt and bushing. Less than $10 in parts at the dealer. Both of my bell cranks move fine but I still get the brake light from time to time. I think I have it traced to the intermediate bracket spring(?) mounted on the frame. Its the bracket and spring that connects the ebrake lever and cable running to the brakes. The spring doesn't fully pull the ebrake back when released.

    That being said, I do notice that my brakes drag slightly after using the ebrake so it probably wouldn't hurt to clean them.
     
  10. May 11, 2014 at 9:37 AM
    #10
    Freki

    Freki Well-Known Member

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    Cleaned the bell cranks, played with the adjuster bolts, wd40'd everything I could find and my parking brake light is still on.

    It seems to be completely disengaged unless I'm totally missing something.

    Any ideas? Could it be electric? The parking brake lever is hitting the switch in the cab that I assume would make the light go off but maybe something's wrong with the wire?

    Soooo sick of seeing that red light it's like it's taunting me.
     
  11. May 11, 2014 at 10:12 AM
    #11
    Mod

    Mod Well-Known Member

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    You could jumper lead the switch wiring terminals on the firewall plug-in point to see if the light goes out. Light goes out,,bad switch 99% of the time..

    Bad grounding of that switch could be your culprit.

    Might try adjusting that switch first, if you haven't already. Just till the light goes out,,stop there and jam nut tight again. If you drive that switch plunger to a bottoming point inside, you can destroy those contacts inside real fast and it will/could be stuck on. So,,just till the light goes out, then jam tight.
     
  12. May 11, 2014 at 11:29 AM
    #12
    lipster

    lipster Well-Known Member

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    Check your brake fluid level...
     
  13. May 11, 2014 at 1:57 PM
    #13
    skeezix

    skeezix Well-Known Member

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    Good write-up! If the camera that you used to photograph has a "Macro" switch or button, you may want to try enabling the Macro mode and see if you can't get a better focus. Other than that, good work!
     
  14. Jun 6, 2014 at 5:47 PM
    #14
    Snowman

    Snowman I have a problem for your solution…

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    I took mine apart today to see if I could unseize them. The driver's side was so bad that it was beyond repair. The boot was full of salt and corrosion that when I opened it, it was like dumping out a salt shaker.
    Ordered a new set today. Guess I'll have to pay more attention to them in the future! I figured the boot wasn't damaged or loose, must be okay. I sure was wrong haha
     
  15. Jun 6, 2014 at 9:36 PM
    #15
    Mod

    Mod Well-Known Member

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    Must be made out of Dana steel,,you know,,the bad batch.
     
  16. Jun 7, 2014 at 5:36 AM
    #16
    lipster

    lipster Well-Known Member

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    actually, the housing is aluminum, the shaft and pin is steel.
    Very bad combination.
     
  17. Jun 7, 2014 at 5:44 PM
    #17
    Snowman

    Snowman I have a problem for your solution…

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    Zing!
     
  18. Jul 11, 2015 at 7:52 PM
    #18
    ClevSix

    ClevSix Well-Known Member

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  19. Jul 11, 2015 at 9:07 PM
    #19
    Snowman

    Snowman I have a problem for your solution…

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    Check out my build
    That's the set I purchased. Worked awesome and easy to install.
     
    ClevSix likes this.
  20. Jul 12, 2015 at 1:09 PM
    #20
    Mod

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