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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to get a little more mileage out of my 96 LX wagon 1.9L (about 155k). Worked all day today on one side only of the rear brakes and still not finished. Ran into all kinds of issues, mostly with brake line and cylinder fittings/connections. With the new brakes finally on, now I cannot get the drum (new) on. I have the brakes retracted as much as I can, but I cannot seem to get them quite as far as they are capable of going because part of the adjustment mechanism is being forced against the backing plate. I also cannot get one of the shoes to set all the way into the cylinder no matter what I do, stopping as much as an eighth of an inch short.

In my inexperienced opinion the problem stems from too tight of an emergency brake adjustment, preventing the brake adjusting mechanism from properly operating over its full range because of how tight it is pulled from behind the backing plate. (Pulling on the brake handle kind of confirms this, being very hard from the start and only being able to be reasonably pulled for a couple of clicks).

Is the emergency brake adjustment for my car underneath the car and pretty close to under the e-brake handle, and if so should I anticipate that it will be rusted frozen, and if so I would certainly appreciate any hints to make the adjustment as painless as possible? Or could I possibly get lucky and be able to access such an adjustment from inside the car under the brake lever console? Thank you in advance for any comments/advice.
 

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the adjustment for the E-brake is by the handle, lets see if I can explain this and not sound stupid...

ok there's the rubber boot that the ebrake slides in right.... on the driver side of that boot there's a 10mm bolt in there, stick your finger in the slit on the driver side along the ebrake handle you pull up on and you'll feel it, put a 10mm deep walled socket on there and back it off some till you can get your new rear drums on.

if that doesn't make sense I'll get pics for you.

and also again try tapping the shoes side to side to get them TOTALLY centered, had the same problem with my 92 LX, I put new shoes on and the original drums didn't fit, I tapped it 1/16th of an inch one way and it slid right on.

hope it all helps!
 

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If you have trouble feeling the bolt for some reason, you can remove the rear half of the center console. There are two screws, one on each side, that hold it in place. Remove those screws, then pull up on the handle and lift the console.

Casey
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so much for your replies. I took a day off from that project today, but I will get back to it in the morning and I will post an update here after I experience how it goes. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Now this is fun! I continued by removing the parking brake console cover simply because it looked filthy when peeking in there. I loosened the brake a fair amount but it made no difference. There was no indication of any movement on the rear wheel I was working on when working the parking brake, and I still could not get the brake drum on.

Upon further investigation I found that the e-brake linkage inside the drum, which I ultimately figured out was supposed to move freely, was rusted solid (on both sides of the car, and the car has been garaged for the most part over its life). After taking everything back off for about the fifth time and freeing and lubricating that mechanism, I put it all back together with still no luck. I still could not get the drum on and still saw no brake movement at all when working the parking brake.

After staring at it a while longer I moved to the driver's rear side to try my luck there. It only took me about 3 hours to take it all apart, clean and lubricate the above mechanism, change the wheel cylinder (I still had trouble loosening the connections and had to disconnect the brake line in a couple of places and reassemble part of it on my workbench [this is supposed to be my golf club workbench, not for automotive repair]), and put the new brakes on. On this side, the shoes were then moving when working the parking brake and the new brake drum went on quite easily.

Now it is back to the original side, where there is still no movement in the e-brake cable or shoes when working the e-brake lever, and I see no other possible cause now for being unable to get the drum on that side. It is close, but no go. I could possibly get the drum cut a little even though brand new (not my first choice), cut and do without the e-brake on that side of the car (only a last resort even though the e-brake system on this car has obviously not worked for a long time already), or try to repair or replace the e-brake cable. I noticed a section about an inch long perhaps a foot away from the wheel that had a thinner covering around the e-brake cable. The sheathing around this small section of the cable was split and the cable was pretty corroded. I first tried some lubricating spray there with no luck, then removed the damaged sheathing and sprayed some more, but as of the time I quit this evening I made no progress.

I am totally guessing as to whether this spot is even possibly the problem area or whether there could potentially be others, as I cannot see most of the cable run. In making a quick check on line, I have not even seen any place that sells replacement cables. If anyone has any suggestions on how I might best proceed next, I would love to hear any. Thank you in advance to any respondants.
 

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After doing a bit of research, it looks like Dorman makes replacement brake cables, under part numbers C94503 (rear left) and C95348. They are available through Rockauto.com.

As for the e-brake lever, it is pushed all the way back, correct?

Casey
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for finding the information on the e-brake replacement cable for my car. I failed to find it on my own but found it right away thanks to you.

I am not sure what you meant by the e-brake lever being "pushed all the way back," but I worked it back and forth on multiple different occasions and the right rear cable remains frozen, but the left (driver's) rear is operating.

In the end, I disconnected the bracket right behind the drum that helped secure the e-brake cable and that gave me enough slack to retract the rear shoes further and easily get the drum on (finally).

So the car is back together (such as it is), the brakes were bled (only the replaced rears at first, but the brake pedal went all the way to the floor after starting the car, so all four were then done), the car has been driven, and the brakes feel great. I will need to monitor the fluid/system closely for a while as I am hardly confident of my work.

The bracket I disconnected was moved to the other side of its mounting bracket (at least temporarily) and secured with two nylon ties through the original mounting holes. It seems fairly secure to me, but if it comes loose it is not too far away from the brake line.

I am considering replacing the frozen cable due to the age and condition of the car and the amount of confidence I have in my own car work (I already have part of it disconnected), but I did not have the car up enough to see the type, location, and/or condition of the other connections for replacing it. For anyone who might have done this particular job (right rear e-brake cable replacement), how would you rate it difficulty wise and are there any commonly encountered problems with this particular task that I might be made aware of?

Thank you in advance for any comments, and thank you again for your help and suggestions. It is very much appreciated.
 
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