Removing a Parking Brake Cable

  • 1-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 25-75
What You'll Need
Jack & Jack Stand
Blocks for Tires
Tire Iron

Removing and replacing a parking brake cable may be necessary over the life of your vehicle. The parking brake cable is the cable that connects the parking brake pedal to the actual brake. This cable can weaken, loosen, break or stretch over time requiring replacement.

Step 1 - Setup Safely

Before removing a parking brake cable, you should block the front tires of the vehicle to prevent it from the possibility of rolling off your jack. Place stoppers in the front and back of both front tires to prevent movement. Jack your car at the rear axle raising the back tires. This will allow the back tires to spin freely. Always use a jack stand when working under your vehicle as an added precaution.

Step 2 - Remove the Wheel and Drum

Begin by removing the first rear wheel from the vehicle. After removing the wheel, remove the drum from the axle. After removing the drum, you should be able to see the brake shoes, brake mechanism and the tail end of the parking brake cable attachment. You should be able to see the parking brake cable and its attachment to the parking brake lever.

Step 3 - Remove Existing Parking Brake Cable

Start by removing the clip from where the cable attaches to the parking brake lever. Use your fingers to push the parking brake lever forward and remove the cable by taking the squared end of the cable off of the parking brake lever hook. Now, you need to get under the vehicle and trace the parking brake cable up toward the equalizer bar. You need to remove the cable by removing the bolts holding the cable support brackets to the frame of the car. Next, you can trace the cable further up to locate the brace holding to the car. You also need to remove the bolt holding this in place which will release the cable from the car. To completely remove the cable from the vehicle, you will need to pull the cable forward, toward you, sliding it out of the tube in the main assembly. Do not pull the cable from the wheel end, or from the brake shoe.

Step 4 - Install the New Cable

The installation of the new cable is basically the reverse of the removal process. You can install the new parking brake cable by feeding it toward the wheel end, or brake shoe. Insert the square end first and feed it in the opposite direction that you removed the old cable.

Attach the holding pin and strike into place to secure the pin. Next, use a screwdriver to actuate the parking brake lever by turning it clockwise until you have enough slack in your cable to allow you to slip it back into its hooks. Once the cable is in place, you can adjust the tension of the cable by turning the two nuts on each side of the equalizer where the cables attach. You want to ensure that the equalizer bar is horizontal to the ground. After the cable is in place, you can reassemble the drums and wheels and reattach it to your vehicle.