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Old 03-29-2023, 12:53 PM   #15
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: North of North of Toronto, Northern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,137

1999 SL2
2001 SL1
Default Re: Parking brake ineffective with adjustment screw full tight -97 SL1

Originally Posted by steve seibel View Post

1) So I want to set the adjusters in the brake drums so that there is a *slight drag* on the brakes -- and this adjustment is made with the parking brake handle *down*, right?
Yes, back off the adjustment screw a bit and the parking brake should be fully down. Adjust the shoes using the star wheel till there is a slight drag when rotating the drum by hand.

Originally Posted by steve seibel View Post
2) Doesn't this in essence mean the brakes are dragging when I'm driving? That's not a problem?
The brakes will drag at first and they will settle. Shouldn't be a problem to be concerned about.

Originally Posted by steve seibel View Post
3) So, at present, I can't stop the car from rolling with the *parking brake*. There's *some* resistance to rolling, but I can still push the car. So what is stopping the handle from just rising a few inches higher-- a few clicks higher-- when I pull on it? It's nowhere near how high it can go if I set the adjustment nut to the full loose position. (It's in the full tight position now.) Is there something about the geometry of the cables from handle to the brake drums (thanks for the photo btw) that puts a limit on the total travel of the cable which is *independent* of whether or not the shoes are being pulled tightly against the drums, and also is *independent* of whether the handle mechanism has risen to the highest possible position that you would get with the adjuster nut full loose (all the way up)? Can someone explain how what that limit is?

I think the limitation is the length of the cable itself. It basically controls a leaver at the drum that compresses the brake shoes. The cable is at full stretch and it's still not enough to compress the shoes. As I understand it, you have to adjust the shoes to counter that.

If you have ever worked on a pedal bike with hand brakes (with cables not hydraulic) you can relate it to that. There is an adjustment at the hand brake to tighten the pads and when that adjustment is fully consumed you have to go to the brake pads themselves and shorten the cable length.

1999 SL2 MT (311,300 km @ 01/2023)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

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parking brake, sl1, sl1 '97

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