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Help! 91 c4 parking brake

jrick

New member
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
1
Location
Jefferson, TX
Corvette
91 l98 convertible
Howdy, all, from a new member in Texas,

Just purchased a bright, shiny, red 91 L98 convertible and love the drive! However, when I went to get it inspected I discovered that the parking brake wouldn't hold. First thing my mechanic wanted to do was change pads and rotors. As they needed changed anyway (rotors were out of tolerance) no big deal. But it didn't fix the problem. Changed the calipers. No fix. When I pull the PB handle it ratchets. And, yes, I am familiar with the 3 pull adjustment. Still doesn't fix the problem. As the cable pulls the actuating lever to its stop, I would think a shorter cable wouldn't pull it any farther. So cable appears to be good.

Mechanic has tried adjusting the free play at the actuating lever on the caliper but it seems that doesn't have any effect, either. I did read on one forum that when making the adjustment at the caliper, the self-adjuster at the handle should be deactivated. Is that entirely necessary?

Any ideas? (Other than move to Oklahoma or Arkansas where they don't do inspections!)

Can the rear brake/parking brake assembly be converted to either an earlier or later model mechanism?
 
Last edited:

dougelam

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
453
Location
Michigan
Corvette
2002 Roadster


If this is your brake system you need to find another mechanic!
And if so
Your calipers have nothing to do with the park brake

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forrest

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 9, 2014
Messages
86
Location
new port richey FL
Corvette
93 polo green
Howdy, all, from a new member in Texas,

Just purchased a bright, shiny, red 91 L98 convertible and love the drive! However, when I went to get it inspected I discovered that the parking brake wouldn't hold. First thing my mechanic wanted to do was change pads and rotors. As they needed changed anyway (rotors were out of tolerance) no big deal. But it didn't fix the problem. Changed the calipers. No fix. When I pull the PB handle it ratchets. And, yes, I am familiar with the 3 pull adjustment. Still doesn't fix the problem. As the cable pulls the actuating lever to its stop, I would think a shorter cable wouldn't pull it any farther. So cable appears to be good.

Mechanic has tried adjusting the free play at the actuating lever on the caliper but it seems that doesn't have any effect, either. I did read on one forum that when making the adjustment at the caliper, the self-adjuster at the handle should be deactivated. Is that entirely necessary?

Any ideas? (Other than move to Oklahoma or Arkansas where they don't do inspections!)

Can the rear brake/parking brake assembly be converted to either an earlier or later model mechanism?



Before you go spending money, try this First off i have found that these are not parking brakes that just pull on the Handle. you need to step on the the brake pedal and Then pull the Ratchet. When I was doing Vehicle Inspections in NJ we had a lot of cars failing until this procedure was done. it appears that it is a Brake lock not a brake Apply
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
Messages
13,453
Location
CenCoast CA
Corvette
71 04 12 19
Before you go spending money, try this First off i have found that these are not parking brakes that just pull on the Handle. you need to step on the the brake pedal and Then pull the Ratchet. When I was doing Vehicle Inspections in NJ we had a lot of cars failing until this procedure was done. it appears that it is a Brake lock not a brake Apply

The above is dead wrong. In the case of a safety item, such as brakes, if you don't know how the system works, don't post advice. Find another thread in which to prognosticate.

The base brake system and the parking brake system do not interact.

To apply the P-brake, you pull up on the P-brake handle. If the parking brake is not working properly, get a copy of the Factory Service manual and follow the instructions in it to diagnose the problem then repair it.

The problem might be the actuator handle, the cables or the caliper lock parking brake at each rear wheel.
 

DonB

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 25, 2015
Messages
339
Location
Chicago
Corvette
2019 ZO6 in Elkhart Lake Blue
Before you go spending money, try this First off i have found that these are not parking brakes that just pull on the Handle. you need to step on the the brake pedal and Then pull the Ratchet. When I was doing Vehicle Inspections in NJ we had a lot of cars failing until this procedure was done. it appears that it is a Brake lock not a brake Apply

That sounds more like a "line-lock" than a parking/emergency brake. NEVER in all my years have I hears of such a procedure for a parking brake.
 

dougelam

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
453
Location
Michigan
Corvette
2002 Roadster
Hib I've never worked on one of those for a brake issue, does it have separate brake shoes for the park brake like the pic or internal caliper locking?
I Googleed calipers and didn't see any that had a internal park brake

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Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
Messages
13,453
Location
CenCoast CA
Corvette
71 04 12 19


If this is your brake system you need to find another mechanic!
And if so
Your calipers have nothing to do with the park brake

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

The above is not correct. The rear calipers have everything to do with the parking brake because...they ARE the parking brake.

Also, I have no idea where that drawing came from, but it wasn't a Factory Service manual and it is NOT the P-brake for a '91. It shows a general layout of the 84-87 parking-brake assembly.

The 88-96 P-brake is completely different because it uses a caliper lock type parking brake, ie: you pull the p-brake handle and the rear brake pads are mechanically applied to "lock" the rotor in place.

My advice to the OP is to get a Factory Service Manual for a 91 and follow the instructions in it to make both the adjustments to the caliper lock assembly and, after that, the cables and the p-brake lever. FSMs can be purchased from CAC sponsor, Zip Products.
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
Messages
13,453
Location
CenCoast CA
Corvette
71 04 12 19
Hib I've never worked on one of those for a brake issue, does it have separate brake shoes for the park brake like the pic or internal caliper locking?

84-87 has the separate, little brake shoes, like 65-82 had.
88-96 has not shoes only rear brake calipers that have mechanical caliper lock parking brakes.

I Googleed calipers and didn't see any that had a internal park brake

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May I suggest that you stop relying on Google to find information about a safety-related system such as the brakes? I submit that the Factory Service Manual is almost always is a better source than Google. All 88-96 FSMs clearly show the caliper lock P-brakes in their "rear brake caliper" sections.

I'll add that the caliper lock p-brake requires a special adjustment procedure which requires to people to perform. Details on this are in the 91 FSM.
 
Last edited:

dougelam

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
453
Location
Michigan
Corvette
2002 Roadster
May I suggest that you stop relying on Google to find information about a safety-related system such as the brakes? I submit that the Factory Service Manual is almost always is a better source than Google. All 88-96 FSMs clearly show the caliper lock P-brakes in their "rear brake caliper" sections.

I'll add that the caliper lock p-brake requires a special adjustment procedure which requires to people to perform. Details on this are in the 91 FSM.
Point well taken ☺
I do believe that I made a comment and no recommendations on a repair!

And may I suggest you follow your own advise as well!
If it indeed is a "safety-related system" then we should be directing him to a trained technician.

FSM's can "clearly" confuse owners that are not trained, capable or equipped to perform such tasks!

JMO of course


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