E-brake adjustment that works. - Pontiac Solstice Forum

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Old 11-13-2011, 07:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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E-brake adjustment that works.

While preparing my car for the long winter I decided to do a few adjustments I had been putting off. Since there has been some discussion in the past about our parking brake and its adjustment I decided to post this to show another way of adjusting other than the simple adjustment shown in the user manual. You will need a couple of special tools to preform this but the procedure is not above the novice ability level.

Here is a pic of the items you will need.

3/8's drive and extension

regular or needle nose pliers

flat head screwdriver

7mm allen socket (shown here) or wrench

disk brake piston remover (can be purchased at auto parts store for around 12 bucks)

(jack and jack stands not shown)

[IMG][/IMG]

First you need to raise the rear end (you can do one wheel at a time if more convenient) and place the car on stands. Remove the rear wheels and then remove the rear brake caliper. You don't need to do any more than remove the two pins holding the caliper on, no need to unhook any of the brake fluid lines to do this.

Once you have the wheel removed use the screw driver and pry off the wire retaining clips shown her. Take note of how the wire is hooked to the caliper support so you will get it back together correctly. Be careful not to let it fly off and take note that they are inserted in the caliper at an angle as this will be handy when reinstalling them.

[IMG][/IMG]



Locate the two 7 mm allen caliper bolts located on the rear of the caliper. You will have to remove the small black dust cover to access the pins shown here.
[IMG][/IMG]

No need to pull the pins completely out, all you need to do is be able to pull the caliper loose. The pads do not have to be removed either but they may fall if this happens just set them back in when you are ready to replace the caliper.


Now you are ready to do the adjustment.
First you will need to figure out which part of the tool fits you brake this is a trail and error process so once you find it place the tool on the extension so you will have it for the other side.
With the adjustment tool inserted into the two holes in the caliper shown below apply inward pressure and rotate the piston clock wise until it stops. You will in most cases only turn it about one or two turns.
[IMG][/IMG]

Tool inserted
[IMG][/IMG]

You are now finished with the adjustment. Slide the caliper back over the pads and tighten the two caliper pins and replace the plastic covers. Now use the needle nose pliers to replace the wire retainer and remember that the holes are at an angle when replacing it. Be careful here as there is a lot of tension on this wire

[IMG][/IMG]

Once you have done the other side get in the vehicle and push the brake pedal down about half way and release, repeat until the pedal is firm. Your e-brake should now only move about two clicks and hold as intended.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe Im missing something, but all thats doing is putting the piston back into the caliper and youre just putting pressure back into the system by pumping the brakes. Moving the piston back out to where it was before you turned it back into the caliper. Seems that if you just pump your brakes after shutdown, it would do the same thing as the procedure you just went through.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ophidia31 View Post
Maybe Im missing something, but all thats doing is putting the piston back into the caliper and youre just putting pressure back into the system by pumping the brakes. Moving the piston back out to where it was before you turned it back into the caliper. Seems that if you just pump your brakes after shutdown, it would do the same thing as the procedure you just went through.
From same thread on Sky Forum...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomatoSoup View Post
Correct. But there's a known issue where the rear pistons can seize or bind in place. This may not be noticeable in footbrake use, since most stopping power is from the fronts, but it certainly affects the handbrake. The OP's procedure will (hopefully) un-bind the pistons if this happens to be your issue. If it's not your issue it won't improve anything (but nor will it hurt).
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Interesting thread. My E-Brake is pretty much useless right now so this is definitely worth a shot. I read on Sky Roadster you can also try going in reverse and at the same time holding the e-brake in and pulling it up and down to adjust the cable.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Instead of that tool: A block of wood and a C-Clamp should work I would think... I've never met a car that hasn't been able to be corrected with those two tools.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Koobie : Instead of that tool: A block of wood and a C-Clamp should work I would think... I've never met a car that hasn't been able to be corrected with those two tools.
The C-clamp only works for "normal" calipers, like those on the front. If you use a C-clamp on the rears you will either waste you time or, once you apply enough force to move the piston, break something. The rear piston cannot be pushed in, it has to be turned to run it up the helix that makes the hand brake work.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ah I see. Thanks for the heads up. I'll order the tool the OP has today.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I know this is an old thread. But would this also work for adjusting both calipers that way they both get the same amount of pressure. Because my Left side tightens more then my right.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bluesulfur View Post
I know this is an old thread. But would this also work for adjusting both calipers that way they both get the same amount of pressure. Because my Left side tightens more then my right.
Are you saying that one side turned in more than the other. If so I would think that that may remedy the problem.
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I haven't done this adjustment yet. I was wondering if it would work for my problem. When i pull the ebrake up. The left side locks more than the right. I guess you can say the brake pads on the left tighten more than the right. Thats whats going on right now.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I just replaced my pads. The ebrake was barely holding. The drivers side rear piston turned in many turns, the passenger rear only 1-1/2 turns. Now works great. I think one or the other was seized. Wow, do my brakes work great now, AND the ebrake.

By the way, the cube sold at O'Reillys doesn't fit. Returned and used needle nose pliers.

Awesome write-up Hoosier GXP.
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Last edited by AztekzRpurty; 02-24-2012 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I know there has been some concern with the tool I used. To be honest I have the GM tool set for these types of calipers and with all its "parts" none of them work any better than the one I bought at AZ. As some have discovered a little ingenuity works just fine.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesulfur View Post
I haven't done this adjustment yet. I was wondering if it would work for my problem. When i pull the ebrake up. The left side locks more than the right. I guess you can say the brake pads on the left tighten more than the right. Thats whats going on right now.
For as little amount of time this takes to do, I'd give it a try.


And for the record the cube works, you just have to use the 4 post end at an angle.
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Im going to give it a shot hopefully it does fix it, and don't messing anything up :P
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Well i started to do it right now. And then i turned it 1 full turn and then i put it all back together and i picked up my ebrake. and saw that it wasnt fixed so i decided to go back and turn one more more time to see if that works but now i cant even put the caliper back The piston is like popping out. it wont even fit any more. any help please. I hope i wont ahve to bleed the brakes. thank you.
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