How to Remove the Parking Brake Cable

by Contributor

From time to time, the cable that runs from the parking brake lever inside the vehicle to the actual brake will weaken, break or simply stretch. When this happens, you must replace the cable for safe operation of the vehicle. To remove the cable there are a number of safety measures to perform before undertaking this job.

Chock the front tires to prevent the vehicle from rolling forward off the jacks that are under the rear axle. Without stoppers in front and behind the front tires you risk the vehicle rolling forward or backward and falling off the jack stands. If you are under the vehicle when that happens, you will be seriously hurt if not killed.

Jack the rear axle of the car up to allow the back wheels to rotate freely. Place jack stands under the rear axle to stabilize the car as you work under it on the brake system.

Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel and take the wheel off the vehicle. Once you have removed the wheel you need to remove the drum from the wheel. The drum may stick a bit so gentle tapping may be required to loosen it from the wheel. Once the drum is off the wheel, you will be able to see the brake shoes. The brake mechanism and the end of the emergency cable attachment point can be located. Remove the old cable by disassembling the mechanism. Exercise caution to dismantle only to the point where the cable comes free.

Remove the old cable by feeding it through the opening and thread the new cable back through the opening. Reattach the brake mechanism. Now it is possible to remount the drum and attach the rim and wheel.

Use the socket wrench to loosen the two bolts that hold the end of the cable to the inside of the wheel. For seized bolts, apply a small amount of penetrating oil. Allow the oil to work for about 15 minutes and then try again. Disconnect the cable from the backside of the wheel.

Follow the cable forward and locate where it enters the inside of the car. Move inside the car and find the cable. Continue to follow the cable until you locate the attachment point either on the console or next to the brake in the floorboard of the driver side seat.

Loosen the nut that applies tension to the cable until the cable is free from the parking brake handle and mechanism on the inside of the vehicle.

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.