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Parking brake shoes won't release loose rotor - pulls rotor back into place when released

710 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  brahoffm

Is there a way to kind of retract the parking brake shoes to allow me to remove the rotor? I think the shoes are stuck in a groove inside the rotor.

I tried the parking brake adjuster star, but when I look it seems the notches in the adjuster are missing or inaccessible (maybe the parking brake adjuster is installed wrong, or adjusted so much that the star adjusting part is moved away too much?).

Here is a picture of the parking brake adjuster - I tried grabbing the little nubs there but no luck:
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But I didn't see any threads or star extending from the adjuster on this rear passenger side.

Compare with the rear driver's side, where it's easy to adjust the parking brake shoes because the star extends out and you can see the thread:
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Why can't I see the star extensions or the threads on the passenger side? How can I remove the rotor when the parking brake shoes are not letting go? They are loose enough to rotate and move the rotor back and forth, it's just that the rotor is not coming off and feels like the shoes are stuck in a groove there.

I'm stuck and not sure how to proceed, because I planned to just loosen the adjuster to get the shoes to retract. But now what?

The rotor is loose and can rotate and slide in and out, ready to remove, but when I attempt to pull the rotor off I can hear the typical squeaks of the parking brake springs and the rotor comes out several mm and stops. When I release the rotor, the rotor is pulled back in place as if the parking brake shoes are pulling it back with their springs.

My theory is there is a groove in the area of the rotor where the parking brake shoes ride, and the shoes are stuck in that groove so any movement is just stretching the parking brake springs/clips but can't get the shoes to come out of the groove in the rotor.
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Is there any way you can slide something like a small putty knife (or 2) in the crack of the drum/rotor to force the shoes past the grove? If you are replacing the drum/rotor - you can get pretty rough with it :giggle: May need a torch to cut it off, cut at bottom away from the caliper/ hydraulics. You may need a new set of brake springs.
Might be time for a brake shop with good tools.
Do you know why the parking brake shoe adjuster on the stuck side looks so different from the other? Maybe I'm misinterpreting the adjuster and there is a way to get it working?

I'll look around for any cracks to access the parking brake shoes. From what I recall the only access is through the adjuster port, I don't remember seeing any other cracks. maybe I can hammer the adjuster to knock it out from between the two shoes to let the shoes collapse back together?
Yes the adjuster looks either broke on installed backwards. If you pound it out it might free it up, but you may need some new parts that may get destroyed.
Have you tried sending a 12mm bolt through the corrisponding port on the rotor? Using an impact?
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I did the bolt trick, combined with a BFH (3lb sledge) to get my rear rotors off.
I don't understand the bolt trick, did you take any pictures?
I tried finding a pic without any luck. Some rotors have a small 1/4×20 or 28 threaded hole between the mounting circle and the hole for the hub that you can thread a bolt into. You bottom out the screw on your axle flange, and you can keep turning, which basically pushes the rotor away from the flange.
If your rotors don't have this hole you can drill your own through the rotor and run a self threading screw into that.
Thanks, I'm still on the factory original rear rotors (2006) so probably going to need to do this soon.
Thanks, I'm still on the factory original rear rotors (2006) so probably going to need to do this soon.
I did the bolt trick, combined with a BFH (3lb sledge) to get my rear rotors off.
I assume when you did this, your parking brake shoes were not holding the rotor on. But if they were, did the screw trick remove the parking brake shoes with the rotor, and how did that affect the other parking brake components?

I'm wondering if the parking brake shoes will just pop off without tearing up much of the clips or springs etc. when the parking brake shoes are forcefully removed with the rotor this way (where the parking brake shoes are not retracted and riding in grooves inside the rotor)
I had planned on replacing all the hardware anyway, because anything left untouched on a michigan car is rusted beyond reuse after 10yrs.
the screw trick shouldnt hurt any hardware unless its already compromised. My shoes were hung up on the lip of the inner drum, so hitting them without holding outward pressure, just kept letting them slide back in there.
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I've also had to force those rear rotors off a few times on both an XK and a WK... parking brake hardware survived just fine each time. I think you're right about it being hung up on a groove worn into the inside surface of the rotor.

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