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Does anybody have a working parking brake? How? (Read 14241 times)
Dec 3rd, 2012 at 7:33am

Gary Cook   Offline
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Glendale, AZ

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It's been a long time since I posted.  Some of the old-timers are still here and might remember the guy who took his C3 to Spain.  That's me.  I was on here regularly around 2005/2006 when I restored my 77 and moved to the Canary Islands.  Well..  It's been mainly a hanger queen for one reason or another.  Mostly related to travel and time to do anything since I moved. 

Now it's time to take it through the Spanish vehicle inspection process (ITV).  I've worked out all the paperwork so I don't have to modify it to euro standards, bringing it in as a "returning resident" with my wife.  But I've got a serious problem with the parking brake.  It just does not hold.  I've done absolutely everything with almost zero improvement:

Everything is new.  Some parts 2 or more times.

1.  New rotors.  Old ones were fine though.
2.  New parking brake shoes.  I've probably tried a dozen sets.  Some from Corvette parts vendors such as Corvette America.  Tried riveted.  Tried bonded.  Destroyed a few.  Tried Delco.  Tried Raybestos.  Raybestos is on it now. 
3.  All new hardware..  Springs, etc.  Two sets.
4.  New stainless cable..  Twice.  Tried a second one in case the cable was stretching under pressure.
5.  New parking brake lever.  Not related to the problem but it was replaced for cosmetic reasons.

Not one part has been overlooked.  The backing plates are the only original pieces and they look fine.

So how can I make this hold?  It seems to work pretty good in reverse.  You can yank on the handle and it will stop the car pretty quickly.  Not sure if it will lock the wheel.  Forward, it takes forever to stop the vehicle.  I don't think it will pass inspection.

I've even tried tightening the adjuster until the brakes are rubbing the drum.  That helps a little but I don't think it's good enough. 

I tried to grind a set of shoes to match the shape of the drum.  No success. 

It's strange to me that it works pretty good in reverse but not forward.

I really need a solution.  Tired of driving it around the neighborhood only!

Thanks.  GC
« Last Edit: Dec 3rd, 2012 at 9:00am by Gary Cook »  
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Reply #1 - Dec 3rd, 2012 at 8:13am

68-73   Offline
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Welcome back Gary, I've had the same problem. they hold in rev but not to good forward. It just a crappy design. You can try my conversion & make it work with a switch. The linear actuator holds very well & pulls it tighter than the hand break & you end up with more room in the cabin.
Alan Smiley
http://108.60.3.46/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1238682246
 
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Reply #2 - Dec 3rd, 2012 at 8:40am

Binnie   Offline
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When I had my new '77, the emergency brakes would not hold the car going forward and that was new from the factory.  The brake will hold the car provided there is no power to the wheels.  I have no clue how GM got away with using that design for so many years.
 

1977 ZZ4, 650 Speed Demon, 1.6 Rollers, Patriot Headers, TKO-500, Wilwood Brake Calipers & Master, Hydroboost, Hydraulic Clutch, Steeroids, Composite Monosprings, Bilstein Sports, DeWitts Rad

...
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Reply #3 - Dec 3rd, 2012 at 9:05am
TX 73 stock   Ex Member

 
I tinkered with mine to see if I could lock the rear wheels and it never came close. could barely lock them up in the rain. glad I'm reading this. I'll take fixing it off the list.

Good Luck Gary,

Charlie
 
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Reply #4 - Dec 3rd, 2012 at 9:19am

Gary Cook   Offline
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Thanks guys.  Glad to be back.  This is really bad.  I didn't worry about it in California.  There were no inspections.  Here you have to go through it every year.  I had no idea they would put it on some rollers to test it.  I was hoping for a magic cure.  Even something that lasts 5 minutes.  Long enough to do the test.  Seems like I saw something about coating to increase friction.  I need to research that again. 

Alan..  Your fix is cool.  The new large Opel (and Buick in the USA) has an electric switch PB.  Here I'm afraid the inspectors would question it since it doesn't look at all stock.  It might work for the test but fail the visual.  The first time through with an import is pretty thorough.  What would be a good fix is a cable operated disc brake.  Probably would cost an arm and leg to buy and install.

Binnie.  I agree.  What a piece of garbage design! 

It's really hard to do any major work here.  No skills and no parts.  I've got the only C3 on the island.  Never seen a C1 or C2 here.  There was a couple of C4's but they are gone.  Same for the C6.
 
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Reply #5 - Dec 3rd, 2012 at 9:27am

Gary Cook   Offline
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Here's what I was thinking about:

http://www.carbinite.com/applications/steel.html

Textured to increase friction.  I would have a set coated and probably use them once a year to pass inspection!

UPDATE:  I just contacted the company.  I'll keep you updated.
« Last Edit: Dec 3rd, 2012 at 10:03am by Gary Cook »  
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Reply #6 - Dec 3rd, 2012 at 9:58am
blue 77   Ex Member

 
Gary Cook wrote on Dec 3rd, 2012 at 9:19am:
Binnie.  I agree.  What a piece of garbage design!

Bought mine new.  Fresh from the dealer's lot the parking brake did not hold if you applied power.  Very bad GM design.  The best you can hope is that it will hold the car from rolling if in neutral, but it will not hold against power. Roll Eyes

Dale
 
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Reply #7 - Dec 3rd, 2012 at 10:50am

68-73   Offline
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In the old days when I used to change lots of drum breaks I would take the breaks shoes & put them against the drum then file it until it fit perfect. Made a Hugh difference.. You might want to make sure they fit real snug. I know on the blue vette they hold forward & in reverse now. You could also rig a switch on the break handle to engage & disengage the er breaks...then it wiould look real Wink
Alan Smiley
 
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Reply #8 - Dec 3rd, 2012 at 10:52am
TX 73 stock   Ex Member

 
I'd try roughing up the drum and make sure the pads are clean. just might be enough to hold it real good for a minute.

Charlie
 
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Reply #9 - Dec 3rd, 2012 at 11:45am

Gary Cook   Offline
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Glendale, AZ

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I spent all day fitting a set of parking brake shoes to the new drums.  Didn't help plus ended up cracking the shoes at the rivets after a couple of parking brake stops.  I switched to the Raybestos and Delco bonded shoes.  At least they aren't cracking under abuse. 

Tried roughing up the pads too.  Zero results.
 
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Reply #10 - Dec 3rd, 2012 at 7:38pm

Maximus79   Offline
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in the road,take it!"
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Welcome back,Gary!!  Smiley Smiley ...Might be dumb on my part,but I rarely,if ever,use my parking brake in my 79.Not sure,but doubt the design is any different than on the 77 I had.There are no hills in my area I would park on,without a curb to turn my wheeels into.But now that this has come up on the forum,I'm going to go out & test them. Today I just paid over $600 having the brakes repaired on my 99 Mit. Galant.I started feeling some 'vibration',& some resistance during acceleration.Turns out the caliper on the right front had siezed up enough to overheat the rotor enough that it cracked.And these were slotted & cross drilled upgrades I put one a couple yrs ago.Im financially strapped & moving out of the house,so they are now back to stock style.Im thinking my mileage should improve some now.  Roll Eyes Wink
« Last Edit: Dec 3rd, 2012 at 7:39pm by Maximus79 »  

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Reply #11 - Dec 3rd, 2012 at 9:47pm

olddiver   Offline
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GC
This might be a waste of time but I've been looking into the
All-Pro 4x4 companys All-Pro transfer case mounted Disc parking brake system. Runs about $375.00 with all the parts. If you can make it work, let us know. If its a waste Undecided please don't tell anyone it was suggested by me. Thanks
....Mark
 

Upon the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who on the threshold of victory they sat down to rest, and resting they died.
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Reply #12 - Dec 4th, 2012 at 12:19am

Gary Cook   Offline
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Glendale, AZ

Gender: male
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Mark.  If I were still in California, I might give it a try but here in the land of Renaults, no way!   Smiley  If I get in trouble there is no way out of the mess.

Maximus..  Thanks.  Good to be back and have the '77 back at the top of my priority list after so many years.  This didn't go exactly as planned.  I thought I might be semi-retired over here.  I'm working and traveling more than ever!  That's a good thing in these times.  The hills around here are like San Francisco.  If you aren't going up, you are going down.  A parking brake is a necessity unless you only hang out at the beach! 

 
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Reply #13 - Dec 4th, 2012 at 2:12am

Maximus79   Offline
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in the road,take it!"
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I did live in Espana about 3 yrs,but never made it to the Canary Islands.Would love that weather rite about now! Undecided
 

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Reply #14 - Dec 4th, 2012 at 7:35am

Gary Cook   Offline
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Glendale, AZ

Gender: male
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It has been raining here like Seattle for almost 2 months.  We went through this 2 years ago too.  We painted the house and before all the paint dried, it poured rain for weeks.  Washed off all the paint on a wall!  But it's nice most of the time.  Similar to S. California at times.  We have a lot of micro-climates on our island because of the tall mountain and volcano.  We're on the wet side when it rains. 

So I'm collecting info to fix this brake when the weather clears. Smiley 

 
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