How to Install an Emergency Brake Cable on a Ford Rangerby Jesse Vibbert
Replacing an emergency brake cable on a Ford Ranger is not difficult. The cable system has three parts: a front section that hooks to the emergency brake pedal, and two rear sections that hook to the secondary brake shoes on the rear brakes. When you push the emergency brake pedal, this pulls on the cables that run to a lever that pushes the secondary brake shoes out against the brake drums to hold the truck in place.
Removing the Emergency Brake Cable
Jack up the front and rear of the truck and place on jack stands. Place the front jack stands under the frame. Place the rear jack stands under the rear axle housing.
Remove the cable from inside the Ranger. Disconnect the cable from the brake pedal assembly and feed it through the hole in the firewall.
Remove the cable from the mounting bracket on the frame. Take off the adjusting nut and washer from the equalizer. Remove the cable.
Replacing the Front Emergency Brake Cable
Place your new cable in the hole in the equalizer. Replace the nut and washer. Run the nut halfway up onto the adjuster screw.
Replace the cable in the mounting bracket on the frame. Run the cable up to the hole in the firewall and feed the cable through the hole. Reattach the cable to the brake pedal. Adjust the tension on the cable until the cable has about one inch of play between the body of the truck and the cable.
Replace the cable in the mounting bracket on the frame. Run the cable up to the hole in the firewall and feed the cable through the hole. Reattach the cable to the brake pedal. Adjust the tension on the cable until the cable has about one inch play between the body of the truck and the cable.
Removing and Replacing the Rear Cable
Release cable tension by pressing the emergency pedal down and releasing it. Pull the cable back to the rear of truck. Both rear cables are removed and replaced the same way. Find out which one is bad and remove the rear wheel and the brake drum.
Release the front cable from the rear cable by removing the end of the rear cable from the equalizer and take the cable out of the bracket. The end of the cable is hooked to a lever on the secondary brake shoe. Remove the cable end from the lever on the secondary brake shoe.
Remove the cable end from the lever on the secondary brake shoe. Release the cable retainer from the wheel side of the backing plate. Press the spring steel retainer until it passes through the hole in the backing plate. Replace the new cable in the hole in the backing plate from the back side of the backing plate. Push the cable through the hole until the retainer snaps in place. Hook the cable end to the slot in the lever.
Place the emergency cable in the retaining bracket and reattach the cable end in the equalizer bar. Adjust the emergency brake, leaving about one inch between the truck body and the cable. Do not overtighten. Both right and left rear cables replace the same way. Jack up the truck and remove the jack stands from the the rear axle. Lower the rear to the ground. Jack up the truck in the front and remove the jack stands from the frame. Lower the front to the ground.
- "Ford Ranger and Bronco II Automotive Repair Manual;" Haynes; 1998
- "Chilton's Ford Ranger/Bronco II, 1983-90, Repair Manual"; Chilton; 1998
Things You'll Need
- Wrench set
- Socket and ratchet set
- Screwdriver set
- Lug wrench
- Safety goggles
- Emergency brake cable
- Do not adjust the emergency brake cable too tight.
Jesse Vibbert has been a master mechanic and has worked in automotive and truck parts stores for 40 years. He has recently written articles about automotive repair for various websites.