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E-brake adjustments Topic is solved

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

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E-brake adjustments

Post by subzerocarfanatic » Tue May 12, 2020 9:15 am

Is there a special way to adjust the ebrake on the C70 Convertible?
I called my self following the directions from Vida software yet I do not feel it is where I want it or where it should be.
I want it to have the new car hand brake feel where it is tight when pulled up 1/3 of the way.When I adjust the screw on the back end of the ebrake handle to where the handle is nice and firm when pulled up 1/3 the way like a new one should be the tires still spin freely like no brake is applied.When I try to tighten the rear shoes a bit to where is stops the rear rotor so it does not spin by hand then there is a constant rubbing of the pad.
I went back and forth countless times with this trying to get it in the sweet spot but failed still.

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Re: E-brake adjustments  Topic is solved

Post by scot850 » Tue May 12, 2020 11:56 am

The normal issue with parking brakes is the cables seize in the cable sleeves just forward of the rear wheels. So no amount of adjustment will fix the parking brake issue.

If you jack the rear of the car safely on the one side, pull the parking brake on (chock the wheels remaining on the ground first before lifting the car!!). If you can still turn the wheel by hand, the cable is seized or part of the mechanism in the rear hub.

Check both sides as you can get one side that will work, but as the cables have a balancer shaft just to the rear of the parking brake handle where you adjust the cables, if there is a huge imbalance (ie. cable seized on only one side) then the brakes will not work. The system relies on both sides working so the shoes pulling on both sides causes the leverage to lock the parking shoes.

The recommendations I and others give is:

Tighten up the parking brake shoes until they lock the rear wheel on one side, then back the adjuster off 2-3 clicks MAX. Some may do it only 1-2 if the wheel spins ok with no drag.

Then tighten up at the parking brake lever end until you get 4-5 clicks to the handle and it should lock the rear brakes.

If this does not work, then parking brake system maintenance is required. This is something that most owners of automatic P80 Volvos seem to avoid doing and wonder why they don't work when they try to use the parking brake.

Stripping the rear rotors and shoes, cleaning the parking brake drum out of the accumulated dust is a start.

I usually use a round narrow wire wheel on a drill to clean the drun area out, and then lightly score the drum with fine emery paper to give it a 'texture'.

If the parking brake shoes are in good condition (check for separation between the shoe material and the metal potion it is glued to), then I again roughen any glazing of the shoes with a courser grit of emery to remove any shine.

You can at this point ensure the cables are working freely by having someone pull on the parking brake lever while you grip the end of the cable with pliers or vice grips. While they pull the handle, try to resist the cable moving and feel if it is tensioning. Then have them release the parking brake lever and see if the cable goes loose or can easily be pulled back. A good sign of the cable having failed is splitting of the cable at the mounting point forward of the rear wheel under the car.

There are, or should be a plastic (why plastic) cable mount that holds the parking brake to the rear trailing arm. These usually split and fall off, or the aluminum rivet that holds it onto the trailing arm corrodes and fails. In this case it is often hard to find the hole to re-fit a hold down and rivet. Wire brushing and a light grinding will usually show the outline of the hole for the rivet, and a small punch will allow ou to push out the remaining portion.

Hope this is of help to you or others that find the parking brake system not working as is should.

Last thing. If you have to replace the parking brake cable(s) I suggest using Volvo OE only. Aftermarket ones are a crap shoot. The ones I have had are either poorly made or were not even of the correct length between the hub and the rear under body mount. So if you go the aftermarket route, check every part is in the same position as the originals. I know people complain about the high price of OE parts, but your car is at least 20 years old, so the part has done more than a standard car lifetime.

Good luck!

Neil.
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subzerocarfanatic
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

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Re: E-brake adjustments

Post by subzerocarfanatic » Tue May 12, 2020 2:31 pm

Thanks Neil,that was some very helpful info.The rear brakes...I just installed new rotors on front and rear,new ceramic pads as well.I cleaned up all the mounting hardware with brake parts cleaner, the rear pad retaining pins and clip that holds them in place were replaced as well.
The shoes still have tons of wear on them.In comparing what you said, i think where I went wrong was in the adjustment method, i tried adjusting the e-brake handle first then the shoe adjusting wheel on rear one side at a time. Thanks again, Chris

scot850
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:46 pm
Year and Model: 2000 V70 R
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Re: E-brake adjustments

Post by scot850 » Tue May 12, 2020 4:20 pm

You are welcome. As you will likely have the rear off the ground to adjust the e-brake, it would still be worth checking the cables for free movement.

Neil.
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

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