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How to Replace the Emergency Brakes in a Dodge Caravan

by Contributor

Emergency brakes were originally used to stop a vehicle during a failure of the regular brakes. However, emergency brakes are now used primarily to keep the vehicle from moving while parked because the regular brakes on a Dodge Caravan rarely fail. Emergency brakes most often need to be replaced as a result of disuse, which can cause the components to rust and seize.

Step 1

Determine which type of emergency brakes your Dodge Caravan will need. Emergency brakes typically function by activating the regular braking system on the driving wheels. The emergency brakes for the Dodge Caravan use drum brakes on the rear wheels.

Step 2

Release the parking brake pedal completely and raise the vehicle. Remove the rear wheels with a socket wrench and pull the brake drums off the wheel studs. Clamp a pair of locking pliers onto the parking brake cable just behind the rear body outrigger bracket.

Step 3

Detach the automatic adjustment lever and its spring from the leading brake shoe with a socket wrench. Remove the lower return spring and the tension clip that secures the upper return spring to the automatic adjuster assembly. You will now be able to disconnect the upper return spring.

Step 4

Disconnect the hold-down clip and pin for the trailing brake shoe so you can remove the trailing brake shoe with a socket wrench. Detach the parking brake actuating lever and strut from the brake support plate. Disconnect the automatic adjuster assembly, hold-down clip and pin from the leading brake shoe so you can remove the leading brake shoe with a socket wrench. Disconnect the parking brake actuator plate from the leading brake shoe with a socket wrench.

Step 5

Clean the backing plate thoroughly and apply brake lubricant to the eight brake shoe contact areas. Lubricate the brake shoe anchor but ensure there is no grease on the brake shoe linings.

Install the new rear brake shoes by reversing the removal procedure. The automatic adjuster will adjust the brake shoes during the road test.

Items you will need

  • Brake lubricant
  • Rear brake shoes
  • Locking pliers
  • Socket wrench

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