1998 Ford Escort – Changing the Emergency Brake Cables

Now I am going to start off by saying that I am not a mechanic, but a guy that likes to work on things and save myself some Check here to find this agency. The reason I changed the emergency break cables is, here is Texas you have to have your car inspected every year and when I took my escort in it failed because the emergency break did not work.

On this escort there are 3 different cables that make up that system. There is one that goes from the hand lever inside the car to a part that I call an equalizer. What it does is adjust itself to pull on each of the other cables equally. From there a separate cable goes to each rear wheel. Those 2 cables were the only ones that I had to replace. The parts were around 65 dollars at our local parts store.

The first thing I did was jack the rear end up and take the wheels off. Then I removed the break drums. I removed the center console cover that was over the emergency break lever and loosened up the adjustment nut all the way off so that I would have enough play in the cable to disconnect the other 2 from it.

Now to disconnect the 2 rear cables from the single cable other people told me that I would have to take the exhaust off but when I got underneath the car I was able to pull the exhaust to the side to get the nuts that held the heat shield off. Once I got that out of the way I was able to disconnect the 2 rear cables on that end. Further on back there were a couple of bolts that held the cables in place that I had to take off. The last thing I had to do to get the cables off was disconnect the cables at the drum.

I will suggest to you that you go ahead and replace the rear breaks while you have everything apart. I have to go back a little bit and say that when I got the cables I noticed that they had different part numbers so I had the parts people mark on the box which side was which. The main difference was the little mounting bracket that was on the cable.

When installing the cables I just worked my way backwards. I connected the new cable to the break drum mechanism then I ran the cable back and attached it to the solid bracket and then ran it back to where it connects to the center cable. Once I had both rear cables back in place I connected them to the center cable and threaded the adjustment rod back up through the floor and then to the break lever. I went back and reinstalled the heat shield over the exhaust and I was finished under the car. I put the wheels back on and lowered the car back down, torqued the lug nuts and then made the final adjustments at the break lever and installed the console.

Test the emergency breaks by engaging it, start the car and let the clutch out and see if the breaks hold you in place. From start to finish the project took about 5 hours time.

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