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Stuck parking brake & my dealer saga.

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Yamasaki, May 9, 2010.

  1. May 9, 2010 at 10:41 AM
    #1
    Yamasaki

    Yamasaki [OP] Yamaha + Kawasaki!

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    So I took my '03 Tacoma in to the dealer the other day to get the frame checked and the ball joint recall done. While they were down there I asked them to have a look at the parking brake since I was having issue with it.

    Well, they passed my frame. Tech put a large dent in it with his hammer (prob 1/2 inch deep) and told me, yeah its rotting but there is no perforation. We will see ya in a year.... Confidence inspiring to say the least.

    Then he comes to my parking brake. Points out the levers which go into the back of the drum and says. 'See this left one?' Its jammed. We need to replace the entire assembly'. Also, he mentioned rear brakes were at 3mm and had been dragging and would need to be replaced. Writes up an estimate of about $750.... I passed on this repair, thought I would look at it myself. Basically, the tech saw surface rust and immediatly thought he would have to replace the entire assembly. Rust scares techs in states where they see so little.

    So I go home that night and take some PB blaster and soak the parking brake levers. Since I hate doing drum brakes, the next day I take it to a local brake shop to have them replace the rear drums and lube the parking brake to see if they can get it to work. 10 minuites later they call me out to show me the rear brakes are at 70% and they were not dragging. They did a great job cleaning the assembly from the inside and now guess what.... The parking brake works. $70 and I prob could have done it myself for much cheaper....

    I guess the moral here is if you have rust on your underbody and you live in a no-rust state, techs are not going to want to touch your vehicle and assume that everything with rust needs to be replaced. Learn how to be your own mechanic. Damn though, if this was one of my parents they would have just paid. Its actually kind of infuriating. Parking brake works great for now so I think its fixed, unless you see a new help me post on here soon :D


    Cliff notes: Dealer wanted to charge me $750 for a job I could have done myself for a little PB blaster and some patience.
     
  2. May 9, 2010 at 2:53 PM
    #2
    Manlaan

    Manlaan Well-Known Member

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    That pretty much echos my same experiences.

    On the frame check, I ended up with a nice dent in my frame with it passing :/

    For the bell housing (parking brake assembly), both were seized up. Dealer told me I needed rear brakes as well at 3/32nds. They also told me my passenger cv boot was leaking, although I think the service writer got messed up since the rear axle seal with lots of oil in the brake area.

    Prices they quoted me, although not quite as high as yours...
    Bell cranks (2) - $342
    Rear brakes - $200
    CV Boots - $250 (not sure if this is the price for the axle seal or cv boot)

    I ended up doing all the work myself. Granted that new shoes are only like 5/32 (or is it 7/32), the passenger one was full of gear oil as well. I figured since I had the brakes all apart anyway, I'd just replace the shoes while I was at it. For the bell cranks, I took it one step further and took them completely apart, ground off the rust, repainted and greased them up good, and put em back on.

    As far as your parking brake goes, if you only used pb blaster, it'll eventually get seized up again as that wears off. If they took the whole thing off and cleaned it up, it'll last a bit longer, until rust starts to form again. Grease will help it of course, and a good coat of Rustolium doesn't hurt things a bit. Long story short... No matter what you do, it'll eventually seize up again.
     
  3. May 9, 2010 at 3:17 PM
    #3
    Yamasaki

    Yamasaki [OP] Yamaha + Kawasaki!

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    My understanding on this was that if I began using it frequently (as the previous owner did not) then it should stay in pretty good shape. I guess we shall see though. Whole can of PB Blaster only costs $4. I'kk just keep oiling the $hit out of it
     
  4. May 9, 2010 at 4:34 PM
    #4
    biggdog747

    biggdog747 Well-Known Member

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    as a toyota tech i find that bs and those guys should be fired. you can unbolt the ebrake pivots from the backing plates and take them apart. you just have to be careful not to crack the housing. i charge an hour a side and our labor rate is 90 an hour. what i do is unbolt them from the backing plate and the take off the C clip. using a vise open just the width of the pin head. drive the pin out of the housing. using a file remove all the rust from the housing and the pin and arm. use anti seize lube put it all back together and you will not have a problem with it again.
     
  5. May 9, 2010 at 8:16 PM
    #5
    kato

    kato Well-Known Member

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    this was a good one to read for myself. I realized the other day that my driver side p.b was stuck. Knowing that my brakes don't have much life left in them i went ahead and ordered some new ones. When they come in i intend to change them myself, and address the p.b issue.

    Any of you guys have some tips for me. I intend to open up the drum housing immediately take a photo so i have got something to reference. Than with a little patience hopefully i will have some new brakes:)

    Kato
     
  6. May 9, 2010 at 8:35 PM
    #6
    Manlaan

    Manlaan Well-Known Member

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    Having an automatic, I'm guilty of not using mine much at all as well. I try to remember to cycle it a few times a week though.

    Using it should help keep the rust worn down so it doesn't build up and sieze. Using it also helps with adjusting your rear brakes, so by all means.

    I would double check if they put some grease in the rubber boot before spraying it with pb blaster, as doesn't that also break down greases and oils to some degree? The grease they put in will do a lot more for keeping things moving than the oil in pb blaster, and pb blaster will probably start to deteriorate the boot.

    I suggest to just check their function in part of your oil change routine, as having them seized on makes a bad day for gas mileage, shoes, etc and takes a whole 10 sec to do. (check to see where the adjustment bolt is (should be touching shield), pull brake, check adjustment bolt position (1/2" or so from shield), release brake, check bolt position (back on shield)). Of course you can also test to make sure your parking brake is holding.
     
  7. Jan 7, 2011 at 11:28 AM
    #7
    gman88

    gman88 Active Member

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    I'm doing some research on bell cranks. I bought my automatic 4WD 2003 Tacoma this summer with 44K miles from a dealer. They put about $1000 bucks into it and I purchased an extended warranty (which I just used for water pump - so I replaced timing belt for just the cost of the part). When I bought the truck the mechanic showed me that he "freed up" and lubricated the bell cranks. A few months later, the local dealer that did the water pump wanted about $200 to free up the bell cranks. I asked what the parts costs, and they said no parts are involved. All labor. Given that it appears I will have to do this numerous times for as long as I own the truck, how do I know if the bell cranks really need attention? I was going to have my local mechanic do the work, if it is just a clean and lube kind of thing.
     
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