need help: 92 Ford Tempo GL emergency brake

Old 01-08-05, 03:34 PM
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need help: 92 Ford Tempo GL emergency brake

This is my first time here and thought I would ask this question. My car's inspection runs out at the end of the month. I think all is ok except for the emergency brake, which does not work. The brake light does come on, I think but it does not stop. I'm not sure exactly what is wrong with this. If it isn't a hassle, can somebody tell me ideas and should I try to look at it or should I take it to a mechanic? Finances are very limited right now but I also realize that I have to have it fixed or it wont' pass inspection. Please help.
Old 01-08-05, 04:58 PM
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It could be something as simple as your rear brakes are out of adjustment. In the rear, there's a star adjuster that tightens up the shoes. The parking brake should be "self adjusting", but a lot of times it doesn't work that way. If you're familar with doing a brake job on the rear brakes, then go ahead and rip into it. If your rear shoes are toast, then replace the shoes with new ones, and adjust it all. Your parking brake should come back to working order. Keep in mind that the rear brakes have a lot of springs, and you may just want to go to a mechanic if you've never dealt with them before.
Old 01-08-05, 06:20 PM
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when it was inspected last year, it failed and I managed to luckily get by with it. at that time, the inspector said it could be adjusted from inside. is he wrong?
Old 01-09-05, 03:42 PM
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Old 01-09-05, 04:27 PM
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The inspector may be right but...
If your rear shoes are beyond safety margins an adjustment won't help, and won't turn off your light
You may want to inspect them or have them inspected
Many in-a-jiffy chains and localy owned places will inspect them for free

If they just need an adjustment,I believe your adjustment is the same as the Escorts:

1) Firmly apply the brakes several times while driving backwards
This will seat the shoes in the drum
2) Remove the console trim around the lever to access the adjusting nut, it'll be obvious w/o the trim (sometimes a deep socket & long extension will work w/o removing the trim)
3) Pull up on the lever for 7 clicks-thats where it should engage
It probably doesn't so...
4) Tighten that adjusting nut on the lever
You'll probably have to tighten it quite a bit before you feel any difference

Normally I would have the rear wheels in the air and adjust it till there was some drag when I rotate them
Old 01-10-05, 06:58 PM
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didn't manage to have much time at it but we got the console out and didnt' have a deep socket so will have to work at it tomorrow. It seems really, really loose though. We tightened it some and then drove it down the road a pop and it did hold and actually stopped when the emergency brake was applied. However, it later stopped. We think it still needs a lot of tightening as all we had is a wrench. Does this sound like it was just loose and it might work or could it be something entirely else? thanks for all the help.
Old 01-10-05, 09:39 PM
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I would go to the library and get a manual on it if you have not worked on a brake system before.
Sounds to me like the rear brakes are out of adjustment (like was said previously), and you should inspect the brakes before messing with the adjustment on the e-brake handle.
I'm sure you can locate a neighbor who will help you adjust the rear brakes.
Also, I'm sure you do not live in Indy, or I would offer to do the work for you.

Good luck, and remember: The more you learn, the less you'll have to pay to get the work done!!!!
Old 01-11-05, 02:46 PM
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Never adjust that nut unless you are sure the rear brakes are adjusted properly.You may have to back the nut off to where it was before.Adjusting the rear brakes is easier than adjusting the cable and is the correct way.The parking brake is not meant to stop your car from a roll just keep it from drifting while parked.Your owners manual will tell you how to use it properly.

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