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Old 03-24-2011, 10:39 PM
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Default Parking brake problem

An here's another one: hand brake can't hold the car. There is a Jaguar re-call about this and they replaced the affected part. Still not working, but they said it is the rear brakes. Took the cat to PepBoys and then Autozone and they both said the same: the rear brakes are fine, the adjuster is at its end, so no further adjustments can be made and the cable does not look stretched. Any chance Jaguar didn't change the part, installed the wrong one or made a mistake on the installation? Comments and suggestions are welcomed.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:00 AM
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jccarreras, when engaging the e-brake, is the first few inches of the pull really easy? If so, it is sounding like you have a caliper that is freezing up and the lever on one side is not engaging the e-brake. I have experienced something like what you are twice. Both times it was a bad caliper. It doesn't affect every day driving, but it simply does not allow the e-brake to engage.

As for the fix, there are two. You can buy a new caliper (last one I got was around $110 and I installed it myself, simple install). You can also remove the caliper from the car and tear apart the e-brake mechanism (just be careful with the rubber boot around the e-brake lever shaft) and then clean things up. Cost is more your time than anything.

If I remember right, if you jack up the car and engage the e-brake, where the e-brake becomes exposed on the underside of the car, there is a splitting bar that has the 1 cable from the e-brake lever inside to the 2 cables running to the rear wheels. This bar should be orientated so it is pointing side to side of the car. If it is pointing more towards one of the rear wheel, that wheel has the failed caliper. You can verify this by getting the rim/tire off on that side and watching the lever arm on the caliper engage. It should move about 1 inch, not a fraction of an inch.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:20 PM
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The little lever on the caliper must move back and forth TOTALLY freely. It must not have the slightest bit of dirt, corrosion etc on the pivot point. The cables need to slide TOTALLY freely in the sheaths.

Corrosion on the inner cable will bulge the plastic coating and then it binds a little.

The lever on the caliper must go ALL the way back to the rearward position every time you release the handbrake. If it does not, then you need to get things freed up.

As far as adjustment, there is place to take up slack in the cables under the car, at the front end of the cable (under the handbrake lever area).

A sure fire way to fix, is to put new cables, and new calipers.
The exact same results can be had if you undo the cables, free them up, then remove the lever on the caliper and next remove the dust shield behind that lever, and clean everything up so it is spotless.

I am sure you will struggle to find a mechanic who want to be meticuluos about this, so maybe do it yourself?

Good luck
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:21 PM
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Sorry for the delay everyone (long business trip) and thanks for the comments.
It makes sense! When pressing the breaks from cold they feel a little rough and then the pedal yields a bit more, which can be explained by a damaged caliper.
Checked the level and it is tilted towards the rear passenger wheel. Since I am already working on two restorations I think I will have a mechanic take this one. At least now I know what to tell him. Thanks again everyone!
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