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Frozen e-brake #840622 10/09/07 05:46 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 87
PETE_YK Offline OP
Getting the Wheeling Fever
Winters comin and my e-brake (usually the left side) is already freezing during the night...not exactly the best thing for when i have to speed to work in the morning. I dont mind parking the truck in gear but is there a effective way to fix this? Thanks.

88' Xtra cab, 22RE, 5 spd, alumi flat deck, 3" BL, 35" muds...awaiting SAS.

'02 Ram, 4.7, REV 'Shooter' wheels wrapped with M.T. Baja claws.
From the Off-Road World
Re: Frozen e-brake [Re: PETE_YK] #840623 10/09/07 08:31 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 12,153
4Crawler Offline
Web Wheeler
I think folks living in cold country just park in gear. In low range, 1st gear it'll hold pretty well.

Re: Frozen e-brake [Re: PETE_YK] #840624 10/09/07 10:52 PM
Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 675
mnwolftrack Offline
Rock Warrior
There are a few places the e-brake can sieze up. The first place it can sieze is the lever-arm under the cab under the passenger seat. But if that siezes, it normally pulls both rear cables tight, not necessarily just one (it depends on how balanced the rear cables have been adjusted). The next place they like to sieze up is at the drums themselves. It's a bit of work do to, but it can be cleaned up and anti-siezed to last a couple years (here in the rusty north) before more maintenance. I normally have to touch things up once every few years. The arms that the rear cables connect to at the drums are steel, but the small housing they run through on the outside of the drum (has a rubber bootie over it) is aluminum, and things corrode here. If this does not move freely, it is likely what is seized. In order to fix it, I often have to take the lever off, which requires disasembling the brakes and removing two 10mm nuts and disconnecting the parking brake cable. In the worst cases, I've had to bash the lever back and forth with the aluminum housing securely in a vice. And in the worst of those cases, I've busted the housing. You may want to try pulling up the rubber bootie first before disconnecting or disassembling and see if you can free it up (lots of lube too).

In addition to this lever arm, there's a small rotating "v" shaped bracket inside the drum that connects on one end to the lever with a short cable and on the other end to the rest of the braking system. Chances are, this is siezed up too (though it's much easier to unsieze).

Once it's all freed up, make sure to put some antisieze on the lever arm and housing, then pull the bootie back down. Then, make sure to use your parking brake regularly. It helps prevent any buildup of rust, and once every year or so, check to see if it needs more antisieze applied. Also, the use of the rear parking brake is what adjusts the rear brake pads, so if your parking brake hasn't worked for a long time, your rear brakes might not be functioning at their best.

Furthermore, if your rear brakes aren't engaging anymore because the parking brake is out of commmission, you'll want to read my article on rusty rear brake lines:


4Crawler--too bad you don't have to deal with this in sunny cali!

Re: Frozen e-brake [Re: mnwolftrack] #840625 10/09/07 10:57 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 12,153
4Crawler Offline
Web Wheeler
4Crawler--too bad you don't have to deal with this in sunny cali!

Well, have had it happen once on my VW (front wheel drive). Rear brake shoe rusted to the drum and would not break loose, tire just skidded on wet pavement.

Re: Frozen e-brake [Re: 4Crawler] #840626 10/09/07 11:51 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 392
1986xtracab Offline
if it's the brake lever, you should beable to pull it out and free it up in a vise. there is a pin the holds the l shaped lever in the housing that bolts to the drum backing plate. seperate the lever and small housing and clean and pack that sucker with anti seize,. they still used that design up untill the new tundras. I get them all the time at work.

1986 xtra-cab 22re
stock everything
1991 bed
Re: Frozen e-brake [Re: 4Crawler] #840627 10/10/07 12:19 AM
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 456
dknight Offline
mnwolftrack's post is exelant.
I've found that the rubber boot causes more harm than good - at least in a truck that gets used in mud and deep water - it seems to hold in more than it keeps out. Once the lever is free, and the boot is cut off, it is easier to keep it clean and lubed. After being in mud give it a good blast with the pressure washer. Whenever you have a lubricant nearby give it a little dab or spray.

Re: Frozen e-brake [Re: PETE_YK] #840628 10/10/07 07:40 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 15,887
kewlynx Offline
Toyota & Classifieds Moderator
Pete, I park in gear. MNWolf's reply is very good. One of the other things I do going into winter is pull down the spare tire and clean/lube all the goodies up there too.
Antiseize and PB Blaster!


Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

**ubi apis- ibi salus**
Re: Frozen e-brake [Re: PETE_YK] #840629 10/10/07 12:31 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 837
ACES_HI Offline
Rock Warrior
Im always able to free up the brake pivot arms by spraying silikroil in where the arm goes into the housing and working the arm back and forth with a bfh and pulling on the cable alternately until its free. I never disassemble the rear drum and it seems to work.

'04 Taco x-cab 3RZ FE stock (daily driver)
'90 x-cab 22RE stock
'82 Hilux 6" lift (ACES HI)
'82 2-Hiluxs' Rally Edition (parts)
'81 Hilux 3" lift (parts/restore)
Re: Frozen e-brake [Re: ACES_HI] #840630 04/26/09 09:35 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 212
outdoorfan Offline
Im always able to free up the brake pivot arms by spraying silikroil in where the arm goes into the housing and working the arm back and forth with a bfh and pulling on the cable alternately until its free. I never disassemble the rear drum and it seems to work.

Yeah, I know. Old post. But I am dealing with this right now. For the last couple of years I've gotten away with doing this every six months or so. But last fall they seized up on me (just the right side this time) only a few weeks after having hit them and having freed them up. So, I took care of that, but only a few days later the problem came back. So, now I think I need to actually take things apart and get rid of the corrosion. I also live in wonderful Minnesota.

Re: Frozen e-brake [Re: outdoorfan] #840631 04/27/09 02:52 AM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 882
missouriman Offline
Rock Warrior
what year truck?
mine are 85's

the 85's have a different arm then the newer one's.

I have:
taken the lever out and pried the metal, rusty lining out of them. leaves them loose. I used a drill bit to help cut through the metal. don't drill or damage the pot metal to much!

also taken the newer pivots and replaced the arm with the one from the 85.
the newer one's don't have the metal sleave in them that I can tell.

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