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Replacing Your Parking Brake Shoes
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Parking Brake Shoes

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$20 to $60

Talent:

***

Tools:

Long hooked pick, 7/16? socket

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W123 (1977-85)

Parts Required:

Parking brake pad set

Hot Tip:

Make sure the parking brake is off

Performance Gain:

Car doesn't roll down hills

Complementary Modification:

Replace brake pads

The parking brake works by pressing outward on two brake pads located on the inside of the hub on the rear rotor. These wear out over time and will eventually need to be replaced. If your parking brakes are no longer holding your car on a hill and you have tried all of the adjustment technics demonstrated in our how to adjust your parking brakes article and the cable is in good shape, then it is time to change the pads. Most parking brake pad replacements come as a complete kit, including new hardware, but make sure to check when ordering.

The parking brake shoes can only be inspected after the removal of the rear brake calipers and discs. You will need to safely raise and support the vehicle. Please see our article on jacking up your W123 for more information.

Your hubs may look different than the ones shown in some of these photographs but the procedures are the same.

To begin, you will need to remove the brake caliper and safely hang it out of the way.
Figure 1

To begin, you will need to remove the brake caliper and safely hang it out of the way. Do not let it hang by the brake hose. Please see our article on changing your brake pads for additional instruction.

The parking brake pads use the inside of the rear brake rotor (red arrow) so you need to remove the rotor to access them.
Figure 2

The parking brake pads use the inside of the rear brake rotor (red arrow) so you need to remove the rotor to access them. Please see our article on replacing your rear calipers for further assistance.

Use a long pick and slide it through an opening in the wheel hub and pry off the retracting spring from the two shoes by the expander (red arrows).
Figure 3

Use a long pick and slide it through an opening in the wheel hub and pry off the retracting spring from the two shoes by the expander (red arrows). Use care here as the spring is under a lot of tension and is difficult to get off the shoes.

Next spin the wheel flange so you can access the retaining spring (red arrow).
Figure 4

Next spin the wheel flange so you can access the retaining spring (red arrow). Push in and turn the spring 90 degree to free it from the shoe.

In this close up photo you can see the end of the retaining spring (red arrow) that you need to remove from the brake shoe opening (yellow arrow).
Figure 5

In this close up photo you can see the end of the retaining spring (red arrow) that you need to remove from the brake shoe opening (yellow arrow). Remove both springs.

Separate the two parking brake shoes enough so that you can remove them from around the axle.
Figure 6

Separate the two parking brake shoes enough so that you can remove them from around the axle.

With the shoes off you can see all the components of the parking brake shoes.
Figure 7

With the shoes off you can see all the components of the parking brake shoes. The adjusting mechanism and spring (red arrow), the retaining springs (yellow arrows) and the retracting spring (blue arrow).

Preassemble the new shoes so they look like picture 7.
Figure 8

Preassemble the new shoes so they look like picture 7. Stretch them over the axle flange and sit the lower part of the shoes in the expander grooves (red arrows).

Reinstall the lower spring and the two retaining clips.
Figure 9

Reinstall the lower spring and the two retaining clips. Make sure the tensioner is retracted all the way. How much wear there was on your old shoes will affect how much adjustment you will need to make. After you put the disc back on, adjust the tensioner until it grabs the disc then back it off so the disc spins freely.

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 03:08:25 AM