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I bought a 1999 2500 / Cummins 5.9, Quad Cab, 8' bed recently with a few issues.  I got the engine running and replaced all the brakes (Rotors & Pad up front, Drums, Shoes, & Wheel cyls in the back).  The parking brake didn't work when I bought the truck and it still does not work. 

  *  I have checked and double checked both rear brakes for assembly errors and found none. 

  *  I performed the rear drum brake adjustment with the parking brake cable  very loose

  *  I have tried to follow the cable adjustment procedure in the 1998 & 2001 factory service manuals but they really don't make sense.  The procedures are essentially the same in the two manuals.  Both say; Mark the tensioner rod 1/4" from the edge of the tensioner, tighten the adjusting nut until - (2001) the mark is no longer visible or (1998) the mark moves into alignment with the tensioner bracket.  The relative position of the mark on the tensioner rod to the tensioner  or tensioner bracket does not change.  Also, the manual is very clear that this is a one time adjustment only, it should never be used to adjust the parking brake to compensate for wear. 

 

I purchased a Dorman brake cable adjuster (shortener) but the cables in this truck appear to be approximately 2 inches to long (longer than the Dorman adjuster can compensate for).  With the OEM tensioner nut tightened all the way the park brake pedal goes all the way to the floor without applying the parking brake.  I've removed the parking brake pedal assembly but can see no problem.  I suspect that a previous owner may have installed a wrong cable.

 

Is there a listing of the correct length cables for the front, intermediate, rear right, and rear left parking brake cables?

Can anyone explain the correct procedure to adjust the cables following a brake job?  I have attached a file showing the 1998 & 2001 adjustment procedures.

 

Thanks!

 

 

Park brake adjustment.pdf

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Wild,

 

Welcome.  I am not sure what is available to a member vs test drive, but in our download section we have the factory PARTS MANUALS.  I just did a quick look at my 2001 and there are 8 part numbers just for the drivers side parking brake cable (just the one connected to the drum).  Depends on exact manufacture date and etc.  And that is not including the disc rears, that is a whole different section. 

 

Don't get hung up on the written procedure for parking brake cable adjustment.  If the rear brakes are adjusted properly, you should never need to readjust the parking brake cables for wear in the brake linings, (that should be adjusted at the brake.) only for stretch in the cables.

 

Think of the parking brake as the lever you push with your foot.  This pulls a cable   That cable then connects to a balancer (or splitter), that pulls the two cables that actually pull the levers in the drums.  (there could be other cables in the system, but they are just to lengthen, the visual is the same)

 

Disconnect the lever and front cable from the balancer.  Verify that when you push the foot lever the cable that should pull the balancer moves about 1.5".  when you release the brake you will need to pull the cable back as there is no spring attached now.  (you may want to have a  friend pull it back as you slowly release the lever.)  This should move without hindrance.

 

remove rear wheels and drums.   Ensure that when you pull each parking brake cable the cable pulls easily and freely (only the spring is your resistance.) and the brakes linings should physically move as you pull the cable.

 

you adjust the cables so that as soon as the parking brake lever begins moving, the levers on the rear drums begin moving.  Its that simple, don't overthink it based on increments.   I suspect you will find one of your cables is not moving freely.

 

GL, HTH
Hag

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Thanks for the tips.  I've confirmed that all cables move freely, and that both brakes (right and left) actuate when the cables move.  I've confirmed that the front cable moves when the park brake pedal is pushed, and that it can be pulled back when the pedal is released.  My problem seems to be that there is too much slack in the cables and not enough movement by the pedal to overcome the slack  The balancer works to split the movement between the left and right.  The pedal is capable of pulling the front cable over 2 inches.  The parking brake mechanisms work to push the show out when the cables are pulled at the balancer.

 

Your comment, that there are 8 part numbers just for one of the cables, is my concern.  I think the opportunity to get the wrong cable is great.  I also notices that several of the cables are discontinued by Mopar, and the aftermarket selection is less likely to be able to pinpont the correct cable.  I did not realize that parts manuals were available on this forum.  I will do some research.

 

Additional suggestions are appreciated.

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Wild,

 

Awesome!   you have checked all the right stuff.  It sounds like someone along the way replaced a cable with the wrong thing.  (or the originals have stretched tremendously.)  (now thinking of it, could the rear axle have been swapped from another truck?  I can see that being an issue.  Quick axle swap to get the job out, not realizing the park brakes didn't operate......)

 

You use the word slack.  Does this mean that the 2 inches of travel does not move the rear actuators,  or the cables are too long and you don't have enough adjustment in the threads?   if it is the axle swap i bet this is the case.

 

GL!

 

Hag

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2 inches of cable movement will not move the rear actuators.  With the pedal all the way to the floor, and the tensioner nut as far as it will go on the balancer, the cable is still not tight.  It's pulled straight, but you can easily pull on it (under the truck) and feel the tensioners move until the shoes are against the drums.

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  • Administrator
17 minutes ago, Wildlife said:

Your comment, that there are 8 part numbers just for one of the cables, is my concern.

 

There is several models of trucks with short box vs. long box, standard cab vs. quad cab, Danna 70 or Danna 80 axle. Etc.

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I've been looking through the Downloads section - GREAT INFORMATION!!!  But..... where are the Parts manuals?  I've looked at Service manuals, Transmission manuals, Engine manuals, ABS manuals, etc.  But no Parts manuals????

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1 minute ago, Wildlife said:

I've been looking through the Downloads section - GREAT INFORMATION!!!  But..... where are the Parts manuals?  I've looked at Service manuals, Transmission manuals, Engine manuals, ABS manuals, etc.  But no Parts manuals????

 

Right here...

 

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Wild,

 

when you pull the balancer, would the 2" be enough? 

Which type balancer do you have?

image.png.e5e3da1ce9f947b5a52b1c8c0622d872.png

The one on the left seems to be the rear drum.  if it is, you have a harder time adjusting the one brake.  it seems they got the lengths exactly correct for the passenger side, and you just adjusted the other side to match.  There seems to be NO way to adjust the overall length of the main cable....?

 

Hag

 

 

Edited by Haggar
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The one on the left (fig 69).  Two inches on the balancer would be enough to apply the brakes, but I can't get the cable taught with the e-brake pedal fully up.  All the cable movement simply pulls the slack out of the cables, it doesn't apply the brakes.

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Grrrrr,

There is not much for you except getting the correct cable.   Look for signs of a rear axle swap.  (new U bolts, damage on spring eye bolts etc.)  If you see this, then you will know they just swapped an axle from a truck and didn't swap the brake cables, as they were close but not close enough.  and therefore you just need to source the right cable.  

 

It will help you know that there is really nothing designed wrong, just a wrong match of parts.  it will suck in some ways because you won't know exactly if it is correct until you have put it all in. 

 

You could measure what you have and "try" to make sure the one you will replace it with is x shorter....

 

Looking at the 01 parts manual  there seems to be an "intermediate" cable.  Could you purchase a shorter version of that.  (it looks like there is a cable attached to the lever.  two cables coming from the wheels, and hook to the balancer, one being longer and going to... an intermediate cable.)(i hate the parts book just says cable, parking brake for a description on all of these.....)  would you be able to buy a custom cable from someone like https://push-pull.com/wire-rope-assemblies/

I don't know them specifically, but I know we purchase wire rope assemblies from different manufacturers at work.  Someone has to make smaller brake/throttle type cable assemblies.  Good luck!

 

Hag

 

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The intermediate cable on my truck measure 15" from end to end (not including the connectors.  Rock auto identifies a 17" and a 15" cable, both come with connectors, but they fail to mention whether or not the connectors are included in the length dimension.  I have ordered a 15" cable.  I have also ordered a 13" cable that I found for another vehicle that comes with the same ends.  Hopefully one will do the job.

 

Thanks for all you time and insight, and for providing the parts book link (I've bookmarked it).  When I get this figured out, I'll post the answer.

 

PS:  the axle appears to be original

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  • 2 weeks later...

The new "correct" intermediate cable (Raybestos BC94688) was exactly like the OEM cable on my truck, both measured 15" (no stretch in the old cable).  I also purchased an AC Delco cable kit (18P1691 - not listed for any 1990 Ram), that included two cables one measured 13" long.  The 13" AC Delco cable  and the 15" OEM cable had identical ends.  I installed the 13" cable and was able to adjust the parking brake to operate as it should.

 

I found a part number on the front cable (p-brake pedal to intermediate cable), it is correct according to the parts book - 52009404.  I removed and inspected the parking brake pedal mechanism and found no problems. I did not find part numbers on either the right or left rear cables (intermediate to right or left drum).  My best SWAG is that the right cable is not correct, but shortening the intermediate cable compensated. With the shorter intermediate cable parking brakes on both drums apply, neither drags when released.

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Glad you got it!  

My suspicion was one was not correct and the long one seemed to be most likely the culprit.   Just  surprised someone replaced it and never got it working....  That's what made me think it was a rear axle swap and no one ever checked it.  I like parking brakes.   Even on an automatic.

 

Thanks for the update!

 

Hag

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