Question about 2003 Ford Ranger Regular Cab

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Emergency brake How do I adjust the emergency brake?

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  • riding Jul 03, 2008

    There is no adjustment where the cable splits. I assume you meant to adjust the tensioner on the drum brakes.

  • Barry Kephart Jun 16, 2013

    I have drums off to replace brake shoes. Cable came off the piece that actuates the emergency brake and I need ti losen cable so I can put piece back on cable. I have both back drums off for replacement of shoes. Driver side is one that came off.

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There are two adjustments on is under the car where the cable splits into two and the other is by taking off the rear wheels and adjusting the piston inside the rear discs

Posted on Jul 01, 2008

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Have your rear brakes inspected for excessive wear and to make sure the E-Brake Cable is not broken.

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Pull up on the emergency brake pedal with your hand to see if the light will go off. If it will. there is a slack adjustment for the cable going back to the rear brakes. If it won't then the switch is bad or out of adjustment. It's located on the emergency brake pedal

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The adjuster is all the way closed and the drum wont go on


If we are talking about the rear brake and it is a drum brake(some have rotors), the drum brake is also your Emergency brake.

The Emergency brake has a cable and it often is self-adjusting. What has probably happened in your car is that the adjuster has tightened up and the OFF position is too tight for the thickness of the new brake material.

The cable winds on a reel in the Emergency brake assembly for those units with self-adjusters. Simple lock-nuts manually adjust the cable on other units.

So what you want to do is unreel the self-adjuster by keeping your fingers clear and pushing a release tab on the Emergency brake cable reel. Or manually back off the manually adjusting lock nuts on the brake cable. You may have to work loose the rust in the pivot at the backing plate.

Once you get the pivot to fully swing into the drum, the adjuster will contract enough for the drum to fit.

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Adjust the Emergency Brakes
  • 1 Raise the car on a car lift. While using a car jack may be tempting, do not use it. A car jack is much too unstable to properly support a car for long and should at least be reinforced with safety stands.2 Locate the emergency brake adjustment. It will be found underneath the car, roughly in the area where the emergency brake pedal is located in the interior of the car.
  • 3 Adjust the emergency brake using either a screwdriver or a wrench, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. The brake line will be visible and in most cases will need to be tightened. This can be accomplished by turning the emergency brake adjustment so the line becomes tighter.4 Test the emergency brake again by parking on a sloping road and engaging the emergency brake, again noting at what point it engages when it has beenpressed and at what point it is fully engaged.5 Repeat the adjustment process until the emergency brake will engage properly. Take care not to adjust the emergency brake too tight, or it will always be engaged, which will damage your hydraulic brakes as well as the emergency brake.

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1994 mercury grand marquis. My emergency brake light will not stay on when the brake is on. The bulb has be checked and it is still go. I need this for it to pass inspection


Hello, These controls are very simple. You need to have the switch adjusted in the holder under the dash or more slack in the adjustment cable.

The way this works is the contact switch needs to extended far enough to activate the bulb. If the Emergency brake is too tight, the contact switch does not get enough room to extend. There is adjustment in the holder for this. What usually happens is the contact switch has extended for a worn system.

When new Emergency brakes are installed or the brake cable is adjusted, someone should have reset the Emergency brake holder. Now the Emergency brake switch does not have room to work. The cable does not move far enough to allow the plunger to move under the dash. You need to either adjust the holder or loosen the cable.

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I replaced my rear brakes. Does the emergency brake automatically adjust itself?


Yes.....and no. Emergency brake should have been checked during brake pad replacement.
Most do adjust to new pads...ie: return to factory adjustment setting due to new pads .

The E brake lever should be applying braking to the wheels after three clicks are heard during application of the Emergency brake.

Lift rear of car and apply emergency brake to the third click. Now both rear wheels should drag equally but not be locked up.
.
If not, adjustment required.

However, late model cars need a scanner to pull back the pistons and install pads.

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first you need to check the rear brakes ,the emergency brakes work off the rear brakes, there is an adjustment on the center of cable that goes between both rear brakes,hope this is some help,thanks robert b.

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first, jack up the rear and adjust the brake shoes themselves, then you may have to adjust the e-brake cable underneath.. sometimes the adjustment is on the e-brake handle....

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Check the hardware for the drum emergency brake inside the the rear disc brakes, these pads are for your emergency brake, there should be an adjustment bolt that just sits between the two pads. Also, check the cables running to this set of pads to make sure they were connected properly. After you have checked the drum emergency brake, follow the cables in the undercarriage and look for the point at which they combine to another single cable, this is the point where the actual cable pressure adjustment is located.

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