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Pelican Technical Article:

Parking Brake Adjustment

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$10

Talent:

**

Tools:

Flat head screwdriver,

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R129 (1990-02)

Parts Required:

Wheel lug fastener

Hot Tip:

Spin the wheel as you adjust the parking brake to feel the drag of the shoes and rotor

Performance Gain:

Get your car to hold on a hill

Complementary Modification:

Replace parking brake shoes at the same time if necessary
Your parking brake is meant to hold your car still while it is stopped. This takes the stress off of the parking pawl inside your transmission when the car is in park. As you step on your parking brake pedal a lever pulls on the parking brake cable. This cable extends from the parking brake pedal to the back of the car at each brake backing plate. The cable pulls on a linkage that expands the shoes. Since the brake shoes are mounted in the inner drum of the brake rotor the shoes start to grip the rotor, therefore holding the rotor still. Over time these brake shoes wear out and there is too much of a gap for the parking brake shoes to expand and grip the rotors. At this point the parking brake assembly needs to be adjusted. Also, if you are replacing the rear brake rotors you may need to follow this procedure to adjust the parking brake in and make the rotor easier to remove. In this tech article we will go over the steps to adjust your brake pedal.

    In order to adjust the parking brakes you will need to lift and support your vehicle. See our tech article on jacking up and supporting your vehicle.
Working at the interior of the car on the driver side of the dashboard release the parking brake handle to make sure the parking brake is fully released.
Figure 1

Working at the interior of the car on the driver side of the dashboard release the parking brake handle to make sure the parking brake is fully released. Keep in mind there is no cable adjustment at the parking brake pedal.

Certain Mercedes Benz rims do not lend themselves to adjusting the parking brake with the wheel on.
Figure 2

Certain Mercedes Benz rims do not lend themselves to adjusting the parking brake with the wheel on. There is not enough room to swing the screwdriver back and forth. We strongly recommend removing the wheel.

With the wheel removed adjust the parking brakes to tighten until you can no longer turn the brake rotor.
Figure 3

With the wheel removed adjust the parking brakes to tighten until you can no longer turn the brake rotor. Then back off the adjustment 10 clicks. This is the Mercedes Benz procedure. I prefer to apply the parking brake pedal three clicks. Adjust the parking brake at the rotor until you start to feel the drag of the shoes and stop there. When you release the parking brake you should not feel any drag on the brake rotor.

Here is an inside view of what you are doing when you adjust your parking brake shoes.
Figure 4

Here is an inside view of what you are doing when you adjust your parking brake shoes. When you lever in the direction of the blue arrow you are pulling in the shoes. When you lever in the direction of the red arrow you are expanding the shoes. Remember, double check that the parking brake holds your vehicle when done. If not, adjust it again.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/2/2016 02:27:29 AM