Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

Emergency brakes

Bo Dillingham

Well-known member
Jun 23, 2001
Cortland, NY, 13045, USA
1965 crimson pearl (2002 cadillac?)
Regarding my poor old 65, I was recently told that the old Corvette emergency brakes are best REMOVED!!! The guy who told me owns a Corvette service business, and claims that the e-brake system is the leading cause of rear bearing failure. He told me that while he was replacing my rear bearings.
I have to admit that the e-brake stuff looked real bad and real rusty, and that car has not had functional e-brakes for probably ten years, but I find it hard to believe that they are really that bad. Have you any experience like this? Is there an improved system out there? Is this guy right?

Thanks again,


Bo, Your old brakes may have been bad and in need of being replaced, however the e-brakes will not (properly adjusted) cause any undo stres on rear wheel bearings. No vette leaves my shop with out e-brakes, while they may be a PITA to install and adjust, they do work. You do need to adjust them from time to time though, because they are not self adjusting, and, while we are on this subject, they are not adjusted by the cable, they are adjusted throuh a hole on the outboard side of the rotor and are adjusted just like old drum brakes. Then you adjust the slack out of the cable. I can not understand why a "Corvette Shop" would not want to put the e-brakes on, it seems like more money to the shop, to me............and less liabilty..........Steve PS The leading cause of rear bearing failure is non use, and the second is normal wear, tear, and miles......

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Nov 9, 2000
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
What Steve said plus...........

all of the e-brake pieces are available in stainless from Stainless Steel Brake Company which will eliminate the rusting and siezing problems. Our '81 has perfectly operating e-brakes and they are still all original. If they are used regularly they will not sieze up. The big problem is the ones that haven't been used for years and then someone applies them. Now they won't release because of all the rust.

All they are is a little drum brake and there is no way they could cause any extra stress unless they were partially applied and dragging all the time. Even then I can't see it causing a bearing wear problem.



Parking Brakes

Bo, I can't believe that any reputable Corvette shop would tell you that the parking brakes should be removed!!! That set-up works fine and will not cause any problems if they are not seized up and are properly adjusted. The best thing to do is install stainless parking brake hardware, new shoes, and a cable. Don't waste your time trying to free up an old cable! If the inside (drum part) of the rotors are especially nasty, you may need to have them turned. Good luck!


J Lance Miller

I owned my car two years before I looked at the e-brake system - not so much that the brakes needed attention, but because I was doing a restoration on the entire rear suspension & wanted to do it all once. They are a PITA to reassemble, but once everything is clean (new pads, cleaned or replaced hardware & drums turned down if needed) they work ok. Pretty simple system actually, just hard to get at behind the spindle. The "Drink another beer and keep trying" method worked for me.
Have no idea what the shop was trying to tell you about the rear wheel bearings being affected by the e-brakes, but I am not a mechanic,... my restorations work as designed and by taking my time, look great too!

Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors


MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!

Our Partners

Top Bottom