How to Adjust the Parking Brake on a 1998 Explorer

by Katebo
detail of a car tire image by Albert Lozano from

You can adjust the parking brake on your 1998 Ford Explorer right from your home driveway or garage, saving yourself time and money. You will know it's time for an adjustment when you find the vehicle slipping forward after you have engaged the parking brake when it is parked downhill. You need only a few tools purchased from your local auto parts retailer. If you normally do your own repairs, you probably already have these tools on hand. The only additional tool you may not have that you need is a cable tension gauge.

Step 1

Engage the parking brake by pressing it to the floor with your foot.

Step 2

Put two wheel chocks in front of the front wheels and two behind them. Raise the rear of the vehicle up with a floor jack, slide two jack stands underneath the Explorer's rear frame rails near each rear wheel, then lower the Explorer onto the stands.

Step 3

Get under the Explorer and hold the parking brake cable rod in place with your hand. You can recognize it as the rod in the center of the underside of the vehicle that has cables coming toward it. Tighten the equalizer nut with your pliers six turns.

Step 4

Find the equalizers at the rear drums inside the wheel wells. Put the cable tension gauge behind the equalizers and set the tension up to 600 pounds max.

Step 5

Ensure that the rear wheels won't spin. Then disengage the parking brake and check to see that the rear wheels spin easily and freely. If not, repeat the adjustment.

Raise the vehicle, remove the jack stands, lower the vehicle, and remove the wheel chocks.

Items you will need

  • 4 wheel chocks
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Pliers
  • Cable tension gauge

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