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How to Make Parking Brake Adjustments in a Ford Explorer

by Contributor

Make a final adjustment to your Ford Explorer parking brakes to remove slack from the parking brake cables, and doing so at home and save yourself time and money. Make sure to purchase a cable tension gauge to help you gain the right tension for your parking brake cables. Use the technique below on your 1991 to 1999 Ford Explorer.

Press in on the parking brake pedal to the lowest position towards the floor. Raise your Ford Explorer rear wheels in the air using a jack and support the back wheels using jack stands.

Get underneath your Ford Explorer and grip the threaded rod of the parking brake cable adjustment to prevent it from spinning, then use your pliers to tighten the equalizer nut six full turns past the original position on the parking brake cable rod. Locate the cable rod in the middle of the vehicle with the parking brake cables coming towards it from each rear wheel.

Use your cable tension gauge to measure the right tension. Attach the gauge right behind the equalizer mechanism. There are equalizers at the right and left rear drum on the inside wheel well. Place the cable tension at 40 to 600 pounds.

Release the parking brake pedal. Verify the rear wheels spin freely.

Make sure the parking brake cables have enough tension to make the parking brake tight against the wheel well when applied and also are loose enough to release the tension after the parking brake pedal is release. Repeat Steps 2 through 4 if the cables are not adjusted properly.

Lower your Ford Explorer using your jack and remove the jack stands from the rear wheels.


  • Work on your Ford Explorer when the brakes are cold, meaning after the vehicle has sat for a while, not warm from driving.
  • This guide is based on information for your 1991 to 1999 Ford Explorer. Check your owner's documentation for your specific model year for the right tools, methods and parts for your Ford Explorer.

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