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Parking Brake Shoe Making Noise

MrAl, MVS Volvo Forum member, asks about brake noise while driving his 1998 Volvo V70. Neil, MVS Moderator abscate, Erik and many others show him how to diagnose the cause of the brake noise — Parking Brake Shoe.


One of the rear wheels on this vehicle is making a rubbing noise especially when the brake is applied. I have been told it is because the rotor is ‘rusty’ and it needs replacement.

My question is, how hard is it to replace the rotor?

I have done about 10 brake jobs in the past on various vehicles but they were all on brake drum systems, not brake discs. How much harder is it to work on a brake disc system?

Are there any little replacement parts that should also be replaced , I remember little springs that were replaced on several brake drum systems, that came in a kit, and it was a good idea to replace them although not mandatory, so anything like that for the discs ?

Ozark Lee » This is my parking brake repair/replacement.

It finally quit raining in the Midwest long enough to replace the parking brake on my ’94 850 sedan.

The process starts with the usual block the front tires, get out your jack stands stuff. Jack up the rear wheels of the car and set your jack stands. As an extra precaution I leave the jack in place on the side I am working on.

The next step is to remove both rear wheels. I have an impact wrench so I do this step after the car is off the ground. If you are using the lug wrench loosen the wheel studs before you jack the car up.

The next step is to remove the rear calipers. The removal requires a 13 mm socket on the two bolts on the inside of the caliper as shown.
DSC01913.JPG DSC01913.JPG (206.86 KiB) Viewed 29218 times You now need to support the caliper so as to not stress the brake lines. I used some leftover audio wire but anything flexible that you can tie a knot in will do. At this point you use a 10 mm socket or wrench to remove the locating pin from the rotor.
DSC01915.JPG DSC01915.JPG (215.03 KiB) Viewed 29218 times At this point the rotor should be free. In my case there was considerable rust so a light tap with a hammer was required to free the rotor from the hub. Strike the center portion of the rotor, not the edge and not the dust cap. One tap should free it.

Now you can inspect your parking brake shoes. I have no idea how anyone could destroy parking brake shoes to this extent.
DSC01920.JPG DSC01920.JPG (218.55 KiB) Viewed 29218 times The nest step is to remove the old parking brake shoes. Haynes says to remove the lower spring first but I could not make that happen . My procedure was to remove the upper spring which is located just above the adjuster, by hand. At that point you can remove both the front and back halves of the shoes, along with the springs as one assembly by more or less twisting them around the parking brake mechanism at the bottom of the assembly.
DSC01923.JPG DSC01923.JPG (208.67 KiB) Viewed 29218 times The parking brake shoes and the lower spring after removal.

I had noticed, based on the noise under braking in the rear of the car, that the rear rotors were warped. At this point I jacked up the other side of the car, set another jack stand, and removed the other rotor. The clouds were looking ominous. I took the rotors to O’Reilly Auto Parts where Jim turned both of them. It cost an extra $7.00/ rotor on top of the $9.00 per rotor for the rotor portion but I had him turn the parking brake drum surface as well as the caliper surface.
DSC01925.JPG DSC01925.JPG (220.38 KiB) Viewed 29218 times The machined rotors, both the rotor surface and the parking brake surface was turned.

Since I dropped of the rotors to be turned I took this opportunity to clean up all of the stuff behind the rotor with brake cleaner. I also cleaned up the magnets on the ABS sensors with a cloth and a straight blade screwdriver.
DSC01922.JPG DSC01922.JPG (215.28 KiB) Viewed 29218 times The cleaned up brake back plane and ABS magnets.

The toughest part of the project, from here on, is getting the lower spring hooked back up to the new brake shoes. I have a drum brake tool that I have used on numerous GM and Chrysler vehicles but it was worthless in this application, I used a medium sized straight slot screwdriver to pull the lower spring back into the lower slot on the shoes. Hook one side and then pry the other. It would not go all of the way but I could get it to catch and then, with a tap of the hammer onto the screwdriver, I could seat the spring into the opposite brake shoe.

Once the lower spring is in place I added “just a touch” of grease to the rotating ends of the adjusters and then pulled the upper spring into its slots by hand. The upper spring does not have very much tension.

At this point check that both the front and back shoes are seated into their slots on the parking brake mechanism. Check each side with the help of an assistant (wife) to assure that the shoes extend outward when the parking brake lever is pulled. If the shoes do not extend outward on either side recheck that the center parking brake mechanism is seated in the slot on the shoes.
DSC01926.JPG DSC01926.JPG (205.47 KiB) Viewed 29218 times Properly seated shoes from below.
DSC01924.JPG DSC01924.JPG (215.33 KiB) Viewed 29218 times New shoes installed with springs.

From here on everything is easy. The next step is to mount the rotors and re-attach the calipers. I pulled them back into place, started the bolts, and then released the wires that I tied off to support them. Once they are in place and the bolts are started torque them down snug with a 13 mm socket. In noticed that the original had locktite(red) on the threads so I added locktite (red) as well. If you cannot get the rotor to go on, adjust the shoes up or down or side to side as necessary .

At this point you should adjust the shoes. There is a single hole, outside of the lug pattern and the locater pin, where you can insert a straight blade screwdriver, to adjust the parking brake. Prying up tightens the brakes while prying down will release it.
DSC01927.JPG DSC01927.JPG (215.69 KiB) Viewed 29218 times Adjusting the parking brake shoes.

Adjust them to a point where the rotor is just locked to the touch. Next you need to rotate the rotor and few revolutions. As the shoes center the resistance will decrease dramatically. Continue to tighten and spin until the resistance no longer decreases after the rotor is spun.

Now back each adjuster off by prying down 3 or 4 clicks. Each rotor should turn with “just a touch” of drag.

Now you should test the parking brake in the car. The lever should have good tension within 3 to 5 clicks on the lever. If you have more throw in the lever you need to adjust the cables.
DSC01929.JPG DSC01929.JPG (222.33 KiB) Viewed 29218 times Parking brake cable adjustment access through the center console.

The cable adjustment is accessed through the center console via a plastic plate at the lower front of the compartment. Use a straight blade screwdriver to pry the plate free from the bottom surface. Once open use an Allen head socket or key to tighten the lever, the Allen screw is – more or less – ½” inside of the access panel, to a point where the parking brake engages within the 3 to 5 click area of upward pull on the handle. After adjusting, release the brake and check that the parking brake is not dragging while the lever is in the released position. If it is dragging substantially you went too far with the cable adjuster – back it off.

Once the cable is correct replace the access panel in the center console by placing it back in place and giving it a whack by hand. It should snap back in place.

At this point all you need to do is re-mount the wheels, jack up each side, and remove the jack stands. Be sure to remove the front wheel block that you placed in step 1. You did pay attention as to which wheel was which didn’t you?

My brakes went from not working at all to working great

Without pictures and without the turning the rotors it would take 45 minutes or so. I just spent a little over 2 hours posting it. The posting takes longer than the job.

1998 V70 Rear Wheel Rotor Replacement

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