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  • Brakes: E-brake cable.

    Well once again I need so of your expertise. And as always your input is appreciated in advance.

    My left rear E-brake cable is frozen in the tube going into the backing plate.

    I got the ball end of the cable out of the E-brake actuating arm on the rear shoe, so the cable is free from the shoes. 2 issues here though, 1} there is a tube inside of the backing plate tube that makes the opening smaller and closer to the cable diameter. But this does not allow the ball end of the cable to come thru the backing plate inlet tube.
    How does the cable slide out of the BP inlet tube? Does this inner tube come out of the larger tube to allow the cable with the ball end to slide out?

    Issue 2} If the inner tube does come out, how do you get it out?
    The inner tube is flush with the end of the outer tube so I can not grab it with pliers and pull it out. I dont see a way to get anything up inside it in the inseide area of the inlet tube to push it out.

    And a 3rd issue is it is all frozen solid and I have been PB blasting it for days and I still cannot get it to budge. I have tried going up to next guide closer to the cab and standing on the cable to pull on the cable with my 200# of belly fat and even bouncing on the cable....not a budge.

    Any ideas folks?

    I feel like I need to go inside the backing plate area and drive the inner tube outward but I just think anything I try to do that with will just wedge in there and also damage the cable and the BP inlet tube.

    HELP...

  • #2
    Disconnect the cable assembly from the backing plate, coil it up as small as you can without kinking it, and submerge it in the bottom of a bucket with enough kerosene or mineral spirits to cover the cable. May take several days, but I've had good success with this method. Hope this helps.

    Dan Miller
    Auburn,GA

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ROADRACELARK View Post
      ... coil it up as small as you can without kinking it, and submerge it in the bottom of a bucket with enough kerosene or mineral spirits to cover the cable. May take several days, but I've had good success with this method. Hope this helps.

      Dan Miller
      Auburn,GA
      I used the same method on my 53 and it's good as new. Well close to the same method. I used "extreme green" parts washer fluid.
      Rob in ND
      \'53 Commander resto-mod (work in process)

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      • #4
        I guess I did not make myself clear in my description.

        The cable is wedged into the backing plate.

        Maybe I am misunderstanding you guys too, are you saying take off the backing plate with the cable still in it and submerge it in a pale or bucket of MS or KS?

        The cable will not come out of the BP, that is what I am trying to do.

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        • #5
          This is a truck, right? (Always helps to specify year and model, since not all models are assembled the same way.)

          The end of the E-brake cable is a short sleeve with a flange on it. The socket on the backing plate is tube welded into the hole. The flange on the E-brake cable sleeve acts as a stop to keep the cable from going all the way into the backing plate.

          You have already soaked the area with penetrating oil. Now take a propane torch, or better yet, an acetylene torch, and heat the tube on the backing plate, which will cause it to expand away from the sleeve on the cable. Heat it red hot if you can, certainly smokin' hot. While the tube is hot, take a hammer and about a 1/4" flat-ended pin punch and tap firmly on the end of the sleeve. It is rolled over a bit on the end, giving you a surface to drive against. Move the punch in a circle about the cable end as you tap. If it refuses to budge, let it cool, or chill it with water, heat it once more, and try again. Eventually, the heat/cool cycles will break the rust bond, and it will come out. Then follow Dan's advice.

          PS: I recommend the acetylene torch because it is a pinpoint source of heat, and will get the tube hot before much heat transfers to the inner sleeve. It's differential heating that does the trick. One part undergoes thermal expansion much more than the other. That generates literally tons of force that crumbles the rust crystals into dust. A colder torch with a bigger flame heats the whole thing up, and the differential effect is lessened. But eventually, it ought to work.
          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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          • #6
            Sorry again, yes it is a truck. But it is a 2R10 3/4 ton wit 14"x2" brakes. The E-brake cable is completely unshielded. just a bare cable running thru guides on the frame, then thru the tube in the BP, small spring inside the BP and a big ball on the end to hook into the groove on the E-brake actuater arm on the rear brake shoe.

            The cable is frozen where it enters the BP. It is so frozen I keep spraying it with PB blaster and stepping on the cable ahead of the next frame guide up the line to pull on the cable to unstick it and now the cable broke. I still need to get it out of the BP so I can install a new one either way.

            I will try heat now, keep you posted.

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            • #7
              Great I got moved to "tech talk"...the death sentence for legit questions.

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              • #8
                Well...you wouldn't believe how much time I have spent looking through the truck parts book trying to find a detailed picture of the parking brake assembly you have.(There are pictures, but not enough detail for my sastifaction.) I have one of the 3/4 ton trucks with the body off the chassis. I have never given much thought to the brake cable assembly because I have not worked on that project for some time. I went out and looked and, sure 'nuff, the cable goes into a tube in the backing plate like you describe. I don't have the wheels off, so I don't know what it looks like inside the drum and backing plate.

                Anyhow, I came back and got into the manuals. It is amazing at how many different configurations of hand brakes there were for the various trucks. Finally, I abandoned my search through the parts manual and got the shop manual.

                According to the shop manual, you should be able to release that ball end of the cable from the lever inside the backing plate and the "stop" (what ever that is) and pull the assembly (ball & spring) out of that tube. Of course, that means you'll still have to free up the cable from all the rust and crud in the tube.


                I have replaced several of these hand brake cables on cars and trucks, but never a 3/4 ton model. Good luck with yours.
                John Clary
                Greer, SC

                SDC member since 1975

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the research John. That is kinda what my manual is saying, but I am sure the ball end itself does not come off of the cable end. It is part of the cable end.
                  But then the problem arises, the ball is too fat to come out of the tube, but the tube looks to be 2 pieces, and the spring on the cable pushes against that I guess.

                  Now to just get the cable loose and figure out how to get it out of the BP tube.

                  I will look closer at the ball end I guess.

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                  • #10
                    Revisiting this topic since I am daily driving my truck these days.

                    Anyone know of a cable builder?
                    I have one of the ends for my e-brake cable and just need to get a replacement made for the cable.

                    I have tried everything that has been suggested and I can not get the cable stop out of the inlet tube. The cable busted back when this thread was new, and I did get it pulled out of the tube finally, but still not the cable stop. I have resigned to just get a new cable and use it in 2 pieces and over lap it and clamp it together, fold back on itself and clamp again. We hang our human lives on cables like that at work all of the time. I am confident it will hold the e-brake. I will just slide it in from the drum side, then forward thru the center adjuster and clamp thenm together.

                    I have one of the pieces so a cable builder can get the cable size and ball end style correct. Anyone have a contact for a guy? Anyone know a guy who knows a guy?

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                    • #11
                      Control Cable in Santa Fe Springs.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks Alan I will look them up.

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                        • #13
                          Called up Control Cable and talked to a Vic, he said no problem, what is ball end size {0.375} and cable size {0.132} and lengths {12" x2 pieces} and he said $20 each and he will send them out monday....awesome. I have some clamps to clamp them together once I fish them thru the backing plates and around the center pull. E-brakes enroute.

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