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Handbrake gave out - Can anyone tell me whats going on here?


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I went to pull the parking brake lever yesterday (Hand brake), and it completely gave out. I believe the PO converted it from a footbrake to handbrake at some point, as I'm not sure if the MJ ever came with a handbrake from the factory, and my Comanche is a melting pot of diversity when it comes to random parts being swapped into it by from other cars by the PO.

 

I crawl underneath, and I can obviously see why its not working, the rod that the cable is normally tied to is bent, and when its pulled the cable pretty much just slips off the rod.

I hop on the trusty internet to see if maybe I'm missing a clamp or something that holds it together and I can't find any information, or pictures even of a similar handbrake linkage configuration.

 

My questions are, is this even a Cherokee handbrake? Am I missing a part that holds it together? What the heck is going on under here? Any ideas for a good fix?

 

Thanks!

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6 minutes ago, 89 MJ said:

Could you post a picture of the handbrake from inside the truck? We should be able to confirm then if it is a handbrake out of an XJ. You are correct, no MJ came with a handbrake. 

Interior photos added!

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If you've got some adjustability as needed, I would personally use a different clamp like below. I know it's for braided wire, but would hold significantly better than the current style clamp. You could also do a permanent crimp like the black wire you have there, but that sacrifices being serviceable without cutting. Whether your lever is from an XJ or not, most operate the same essentially. Pulls on a wire/cable that pulls on the rear cables. So as long as you've got it like you do it will work just fine.

 

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1 hour ago, ghetdjc320 said:

You could also use the same style crimp connector that’s on the cable side of that pic: 

Thats not a bad idea at all.

Still curious whether this is even a Jeep handbrake to begin with, but I guess as long as its working now I don't need to mess with it. Just wondering how it "should" be put together for ease of replacing parts down the road, especially once I get that D44 installed because I know it comes with the lines attached on it.

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On 12/3/2021 at 10:15 AM, MYE Jeep said:

Thats not a bad idea at all.

Still curious whether this is even a Jeep handbrake to begin with, but I guess as long as its working now I don't need to mess with it. Just wondering how it "should" be put together for ease of replacing parts down the road, especially once I get that D44 installed because I know it comes with the lines attached on it.


That’s a handbrake from a Cherokee. The Comanche should have had a foot brake. The handbrake is a common swap thoug. The only “custom” part of this setup will be from the brake handle to the “equalizer”. From that point you use just stock components

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1 minute ago, ghetdjc320 said:


That’s a handbrake from a Cherokee. The Comanche should have had a foot brake. The handbrake is a common swap though

Awesome! Thanks a ton for clarifying.

I feel like I ought to buy you a beer one of these days for all your help on all these different posts haha

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3 minutes ago, MYE Jeep said:

Awesome! Thanks a ton for clarifying.

I feel like I ought to buy you a beer one of these days for all your help on all these different posts haha

Haha, if that’s the case, the club deserves its own brewery :L:. Happy to help

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The MJ foot pedal parking brake is a dangerously unsafe design prone to premature wear of the ratchet teeth, resulting in a tendency to release itself. Thus the handbrake swap. If I had my way there wouldn't be a single original parking brake on any non-museum truck.

 

There was a recall over this, but it only covered the 86 model year if I remember. Doesn't matter, they all do it, including the one on my automatic 91 that was almost never used.

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39 minutes ago, Minuit said:

The MJ foot pedal parking brake is a dangerously unsafe design prone to premature wear of the ratchet teeth, resulting in a tendency to release itself. Thus the handbrake swap. If I had my way there wouldn't be a single original parking brake on any non-museum truck.

 

There was a recall over this, but it only covered the 86 model year if I remember. Doesn't matter, they all do it, including the one on my automatic 91 that was almost never used.


Agreed, that should have been a recall for every MJ parking brake they made. My YJ one was equally terrible. I have had good success modifying the stock units though. Does require a good bit of fab work but holds exceptionally well now. 

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This is the XJ handbrake I’ve got sitting around to eventually go into my long bed. I want to say it’s a ‘92, there may have been slight changes over the years. The rod coming off the handle has a threaded bit to go straight onto the equalizer for adjustment. Looks like the OP inherited an interesting customization of the MJ parking brake cable and XJ rod to get them to work. Hopefully there’s still adjustment available at the MJ’s equalizer.

I personally don’t take issue with how the brake cable was crimped into the eyelet. If it was done correctly it should never need to come apart for adjustment, that should all happen at the equalizer end of the cable, and the crimps are more legit and definitely more compact than the cable clamps, provided they were done correctly. I’m not super excited about the fold-and-hoseclamp temporary solution for the rod. I’d like to see a more permanent way to keep the loop closed or at least something to stop the hose clamp from sliding forward and off, but it’ll work for now.

 

My memory of the recall for the ‘86 model year was that a batch went out that missed a heat treating step on a component that was unrelated to the problem with the ratchet stripping out. Also that the one member who tried to get something done about his outstanding recall just had FCA give him the runaround on it until he gave up.

But I agree with the consensus on handbrake being better than a foot brake. It’s much easier to release a handbrake beside you than three-pedalling a hill start, or reaching down under the dash to the pedal release handle, just to have the pedal fling whatever crap came off the bottom of your boots into your face when you do.

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4 minutes ago, AZJeff said:

Just a tidbit of nomenclature:  what is being referred to as the “splitter“ by many of the posts in this discussion is properly called the “equalizer” in parking brake assemblies.

Good point. I've fixed it in my post. Thanks.

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Thanks for all your input guys! I really appreciate it!

 

Another solution I thought may work would be to replace the rod that bends at a 180 degree with a threaded rod, or use a tap and die to put threads on the existing rod, then find a way to put some sort of hardware that could attach to the cable line. For the moment it is working OK, and I have plenty of adjustability on the other end to tighten it if need be. Luckily I have plenty of other things I need to do to the truck first so I'll have lots of time to come up with a more permanent solution. 

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