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Parking Brake Adjustment

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I've been trying to get the parking brake adjusted on my 88 Comanche for several years. It will hold in forward, but not in reverse (on a fairly steep hill). It did work at one time on the same hill. If I get the cables adjusted tight enough to hold in reverse the shoes don't release. I've replaced everything and had the drums turned. Could I have the shoes reversed? Any suggestions?

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The way they are designed, most parking brakes (including our's) do not hold nearly as well in reverse as they do forwards. Inherent design flaw.


Make sure the main brakes are adjusted properly, as the self adjusting mechanism seldom works as designed. AFTER that adjust the parking brake at the equalizer. That's about all you can do.

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Sequence is important, as mvusse posted ... but did not emphasize.


To adjust, first you should loosen the parking brake adjustment at the splitter. Then adjust the brakes so the shoes are just barely making contact with the drums. You should her a very light sound as the drum turns, but there should be no drag. If the drums are at all out of round, you'll hear a light sound at one or two points as you spin the drum.


Once the drums are adjusted, THEN you adjust the parking brake splitter. For the XJ, IIRC, the correct adjustment is when the brakes hold in the forward direction with the handle in the third (5th?) click. For an MJ, I guess that would translate to the third (5th?) click on the foot peddle.


However, it is correct that the design of the drum brakes makes them significantly more effective in the forward direction.

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