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Old 11-17-2012, 01:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smoking brake

Please point me in the right direction. I just happened to use my emergency brake this mornin while transporting my camper. When I got home (13 miles) my rear drivers brake was smoking. I can't help but think it was the emergency brake not fully releasing. What causes it to hang up? Does it just need to be disassembled and cleaned out? Is it out of adjustment? I don't mind attempting it if it is just cleaning and adjusting but if it is going to be a huge deal I will let a shop do it.

Can anybody lend me a little advise?
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The parking brakes on our trucks is like the older drum brake was and the "driving" brake is a rotor/pad system in 1. As long as you pay attention and remember how things go back together, you should be able to handle it. If it was smoking, the pads are probably in need of replacement. Make sure the wheel spins freely and doesn't drag.
There is a member here whose name is Jack (FMRVT I think is his screen name) that is VERY knowledgeable about brakes. Hopefully he can chime in.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good point. I am done towing for the year so I really don't use the parking brake much. I was wondering if I can crawl under there and release or loosen the emergency brake shoes without hurting much. I am not afraid to take everything apart and clean the emergency brake assembly then readjust just soni can drive it down the road safely for a while. I know I need to get it fixed properly but I don't have a lot of time and it is cold outside.

I will ultimately get both sides fixed and fixed correctly before boating season but wonder what everyone else would do just to make it safe to drive for the time being.

If I knew what the torque spec was on the caliper mounting bolts and the slide bolts I would probably work on it tonight
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The parking brake shoes (they don't work worth squat in an emergency, so it's better not to call them that) are cable activated. It's possible that the cable stuck within it's sheath due to rust and kept the driver's side parking brake shoes engaged.

Check the cables for free operation. You can also loosen the shoes, but that's just putting a band-aid on the problem.

Also check the slide pins on the calipers. If they hang up it can at least cause accelerated wear of the pads, and at worst, it can damage the rotor beyond reuse and kill the caliper pistons as well when the worn pad drops out.

BTW, Jack's username is FMTRVT.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sorry for the late response guys but I'm from the Jersey Shore and we're a little distracted right now.

There is no way to say if it's the parking brake or service brake without getting in there. A quick check of the slide pins can be done without removing the wheels, just crawl behind the axle, loosen the slide bolts about 1/4" back and see that the pins move in and out freely.

The frequent parking brake system issue is the backing plates rusting and allowing the shoe retention pins to pull through allowing the brake shoes to move around. This situation can lead to the brake shoes in constant contact with the drum area, a more prevalent issue then the cables handing up.

The only adjustment in the parking brake system is at the shoes to expand them. The cable system works on a balanced force method, where the cable springs at the shoe attachment is balanced against the take-up spring at the pedal apply mechanism to keep the cables taught.

To really inspect the system, it's pull the wheel, caliper and rotor to see what is going on. If the shoe assemblies need to be replaced, it's best to remove the hub to get easy access. When my guys were running parking brake shoe tests they quickly adopted the remove hub to replace shoes approach.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks guys for all the help and responses! Dropped truck off this morning and they quickly looked at it. The problem was a rusted up cable. They took the hub off and inspected everything inside and said everything checked out fine. They cleaned and worked the cable over pretty good to make sure it was back in working order. Test drive showed it was running cool as a cucumber. What a relief!! Cheap and easy fix!

Thanks again and I always learn something with your posts!

Todd
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The cables don't seem to be that common Todd. But the next time you are under the truck look carefully at the backing plate in front of the axle at the 9 or 3 o'clock position. Check to see if the backing plate is rusting where the little pin head is sticking through. I had to replace mine a few years ago and yours should be about due. Some grease added there can help to hold off the rust through.
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you for the info! I will definitely check that out next time. I drove it 250 miles yesterday and it didn't burn to the ground so that was a bonus! But I will check out that pin deal and rust.

Thanks again or all your help!!
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SOLD. 2002 Crew Cab SB 4X4, XLT Lariat, BTS Trans, 6.0 cooler, DP Tuner F-6 Stock, 60T, 80T 80E, AutoMeter gauges, AIH delete, AIS, Gen2WW, EBV delete w/pedistal, Zoodad, HX Crossover, 203 stat, Coolant filter kit, Rotella ELC, 5W40 CenPeCo Syn, Terra Grappler 285/70/17, Monroe Reflex shocks, intercooler wrap removed, Roll-n-Lock, Recon cab lights, 230,000, DrawTite brake controller, AIC module, BTM, Dieselsite boot kit and intercooler boots
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