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Park brake doesn't hold

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by 30coupe, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. Nov 29, 2013 at 5:27 PM
    #1
    30coupe

    30coupe [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My new to me 2004 Tacoma Xcab 4x4 5 speed SR5 TRD park brake doesn't seem to do much, which will suck for launching my boat next summer. So I need to get it working. The truck has the fresh frame recall and the park brake cables look new from the back anyway. I have't crawled around under it yet, maybe this weekend.

    Can any of you Taco experts point me toward what I should check first. I'm hoping it's not the rear brakes themselves or worse still a rear bearing seal. I've done them on other trucks and tractors, and it's usually neither cheap nor enjoyable work. I'm hoping they just didn't get something adjusted correctly when they put it all back together. My past experience with too many of the dealer shops is what has led me to do so much of my own work on vehicles.

    Any helpful suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    BTW: searches haven't turned up much on the park brake not holding well, just on it locking for the most part.

    Thanks, guys and gals.
     
  2. Nov 29, 2013 at 8:44 PM
    #2
    JJ04TACO

    JJ04TACO Well-Known Member

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    My guess is the rear shoes are shot. I would first check that and while you have the drum off you can have someone actuate the brake from the cab while you verify the cables are moving freely. There may be a way to adjust the parking brake itself but I can't remember how to do it. Any shop manual should have a how to or search here for instructions.

    oops I see you searched it already....
     
  3. Nov 29, 2013 at 9:15 PM
    #3
    Alderleet

    Alderleet Ace of Spades

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    Well, first things first:

    Jack up your rear end, and pull your wheels/brake drums off.

    If you have a shot inner axle seal, this will be a tell-tale sign, as you will have grease/diff fluid all over inside it.

    If thats the case, you're boned and its a spendy replacement.



    If that checks out to be okay ^^^

    then adjust the parking brake.
    http://www.lieblweb.com/ebrakeadjustment.html
    http://www.weekendwheeler.com/tacoma-maintenance/tacoma-rear-brake-adjustment/
    http://www.customtacos.com/forum/showthread.php?t=133875
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz36LXOxc1g
     
    tacofor4 likes this.
  4. Nov 29, 2013 at 9:30 PM
    #4
    30coupe

    30coupe [OP] Well-Known Member

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    What makes the axle seal replacement so spendy? I've done them on other vehicles and they were a pain in the butt, but not really expensive. I know it means buying seals and brake shoes, but neither of those is especially expensive. Is there something else to the Toyotas that add to the cost?
     
  5. Nov 29, 2013 at 9:34 PM
    #5
    BamaToy1997

    BamaToy1997 Wheel Bearing Master

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    Hell, the adjustment is the easiest thing in my opinion to do. Check to be sure that when you pull the parking brake, that the rear cables are being pulled properly. Simple and easy without having to remove the wheels.
     
  6. Nov 29, 2013 at 9:36 PM
    #6
    tomtom

    tomtom Well-Known Member

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    This.

    Similar symptom, parking brake handle pulls way, way out and the e-brake won't hold. Works fine after adjusting.
     
  7. Nov 29, 2013 at 10:00 PM
    #7
    JLee50

    JLee50 Well-Known Member

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    $5.40 combined for all inner/outer seals for the rear axle. I've never done it myself but I don't see why it'd be that expensive.
     
  8. Nov 30, 2013 at 7:20 AM
    #8
    BamaToy1997

    BamaToy1997 Wheel Bearing Master

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    Have you done the rear differential axle seals before? They are a bit labor intensive, requiring a press and some special tools depending on which seals are being replaced at the wheel.
     
  9. Dec 1, 2013 at 4:48 PM
    #9
    30coupe

    30coupe [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Got a chance to work on the e-brake this afternoon. I pulled the drums and the brakes and seals were good. The bellcranks were rusted solid though. Penetrating oil, a hammer and a pry bar plus some patience was all it took. Once I had both sides loosened up, I went back to the lever to adjust. The "tech" at the Toyota store hadn't even bothered to tighten the adjusting nuts. I can't help wondering when you put in a new frame and new e-brake cables front to rear, how do you not notice the non-moveable bell cranks?

    Oh, well, at least it only cost me about an hour and a half and the e-brake works great now! Now I just have to wait for my O2 sensor to get here so I can install it and get that glaring CEL to go out.
     
  10. Dec 1, 2013 at 5:56 PM
    #10
    BamaToy1997

    BamaToy1997 Wheel Bearing Master

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    To be honest, when he swapped out the frame, I am sure he didn't even pull the wheels off the axle. That is just extra work that is not needed.
     
  11. Dec 1, 2013 at 6:51 PM
    #11
    30coupe

    30coupe [OP] Well-Known Member

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    True, but when he hooked up the new cables it would have been quite apparent that the bellcranks were frozen solid. I know they had the wheels off because they put new tires on the truck. They didn't pull the drums, but that is understandable for a tire change. As a simple matter of liability, wouldn't you think they would make sure things worked after the frame change? Or at least tighten the adjustment nuts on the brake cable?

    Things like this are why I do as much of my own work as I can...well, that and I'm kind of cheap.:wink:
     
  12. Dec 2, 2013 at 6:59 AM
    #12
    BamaToy1997

    BamaToy1997 Wheel Bearing Master

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    Since I wasn't there, I couldn't tell you for sure. We have no idea how he went about swapping the parts, and the process could be different that what you or I would do. Their job is to replace the frame, not to verify that every component reinstalled is working properly. Yes, a good tech would probably check to be sure things such as the parking brake was adjusted properly. Just saying that in a frame swap, most techs will try to move over the parts in as large a group as possible. It is really easy to overlook a parking brake issue. Frame replacements are a labor intensive job. That is why when I was running my section of the shop, we had a QC guy who looked over all jobs to verify things were right. I do agree it SHOULD have been caught. Just saying that without us knowing the process, it could have easily been something that was not even looked at.
     
  13. Dec 2, 2013 at 6:42 PM
    #13
    30coupe

    30coupe [OP] Well-Known Member

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    If you were managing their shop, I'd probably be more likely to have them work on my vehicles. I have no doubt swapping the frame is a crappy job with MANY things that have to be checked in the process. Unfortunately, too many shops these days are more concerned with moving things through than with quality control. It is certainly not limited to Toyota shops, nor this one in particular. I just happened to have to deal with this one because they had the truck I wanted.

    At any rate, it certainly wasn't that much of a job, nor did it cost me anything, so I'm not horribly upset.:smash:

    I did discover another thing I need to chase down today. I had to haul a trailer load of leaves to the local landfill/compost heap today and I discovered that the 4 wire plug on the Taco is apparently not working. I didn't have time to figure out why yet. I suspect it may not have been properly grounded to the new frame. At least I hope that is the only issue. Auto wiring is almost as big of a PITA as plumbing in my book. :puke: House wiring is no problem, but 12 volt stuff, especially when you have a plug in connector involved is a pain. I'm pretty sure it is not the trailer lights because they worked two weeks ago when I used the trailer behind my F150. Maybe tomorrow, I'll dig into that, do the gray wire mod, and do the power port mod while I'm at it.

    That's one thing about having motor vehicles, you always have something to work on! :frusty:
     

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