Fix for the notorious KJ handbrake lever problem...

Discussion in 'KJ General Discussion' started by jeepsterkj, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. jeepsterkj

    jeepsterkj Full Access Member

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    My KJ is suffereing from the notorious handbrake lever (Emergency Brake lever) ratchet problem...Pull it up fast, as you would do in an emergency, and it completely disengages and the lever offers no resistance and hits the maximum travel stop...Pull it up very slowly and it engages but above 4-5 clicks it disengages again, so it is only just able to hold the vehicle from rolling on a very slight incline...It won't hold it at all on a hill!
    I did some research and found that the JK also suffers with the same handbrake lever problem as the KJ, because it appears to share the exact same handbrake assembly.
    A guy called Dave Baker has posted a couple of youtube videos...In this first one, he explains the problem he is having with his JK handbrake lever...This also applies to the KJ, but perhaps other Jeep models too:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ag5OO4d_B0

    And this second one he shows the incredibly simple solution he came up with:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHf6Eyxn2ok

    My KJ has this problem so I will be trying out his fix, perhaps using a spring or two rather than bungee cord though.
     
  2. LibertyTC

    LibertyTC Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    There is a simple solution that uses a long handle slot screwdriver, known as the screwdriver trick.
    Problem is cable slack adjuster is problematic. Also having new parking brake shoes is helpful with a new spring kit & then adjust the spinners, with both wheels off the ground.
    Without having to remove the console, where the parking brake handle is, there is a gap in-between where you can pull up on the parking brake handle.
    In-between the gap you place the screwdriver onto the adjuster tab holding it back, while releasing the handle back down.
    Do this a couple of times and it it should be tight after 3 clicks upwards.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. dude1116

    dude1116 Full Access Member

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    Then it'll loosen up after 2 uses.
     
  4. jeepsterkj

    jeepsterkj Full Access Member

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    Did you watch the second video?

    Yes, but Dave Bakers second video shows how to keep it working continuously, not just up to 2 uses!...It is a proper fix, albeit a very simple one, rather than an intermittent trick. Another solution I thought of was to get a new cable made up to replace the short single cable that fixes to the centre of the brake cable compensator at one end and the handbrake lever at the other. At the compensator end it just needs to be fixed to a threaded bolt going through the centre hole of the compesator...Then you could physically adjust the tension of all three cables at the same time by tightening a single locking nut on the back end of threaded bolt. There are cable making companies that can make custom cables like this up for you for a small cost. I used one such company to get some bare, braided, stainless steel brake cables made up for my old boat trailer brakes...Each one had to be a slightly different length and needed a specific threaded bolt fitting at both ends. They were very high quality and are still in perfect condition today. As I recall, they cost me about £30 (about $40). Dave Bakers fix is much cheaper though.
     
  5. LibertyTC

    LibertyTC Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    I am sure others mileage may vary but..
    Mine was 2 uses before I installed new shoes, spring kit and adjust the spinners properly.
    Mine now holds consistently between 3-4 clicks up & just adjust the spinner 1x per year.
    Holds the Jeep very well now.
     
  6. Damotee

    Damotee Full Access Member

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    Mine only holds if I press my foot on the brake pedal and then pull up the E-Brake. Its next to useless, otherwise.
     
  7. Juggar

    Juggar Member

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    So this is why the parking brake seems so trashy.
     
  8. GunnerSchenck

    GunnerSchenck Full Access Member

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    Probably partially because you're not meant to pull it up fast in an emergency. It's a parking brake. It's not a train, it's a jeep. Vehicles do not have "e-brakes", they have parking brakes.
     
  9. Billwill

    Billwill Full Access Member

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    Here in SA to pass a roadworthy test when selling a vehicle the vehicle is placed on a moving roller on the rear wheels...much like a dyno meter....then you have to pull up the handbrake on command and there is a readout on how firmly the handbrake has grabbed.

    My KJ will definitely not pass this test so I would need to do the quick fix of lifting that tab on the assembly...carefully drive to the Testing station without using the handbrake and then hope it works for the few actions on the moving roller.

    I do need to replace my rear brake shoes and maybe the drums...I do not have disks at the rear on my early 2002 Export CRD. I will then do the adjustment procedure but will probably try adding springs to the handbrake mechanism as shown in the video.
     
  10. Whelan

    Whelan Full Access Member

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    OMG, going out to get a piece of bungee or spring and build this little setup to fix my wife's brake. I replaced the shoes in the rear which literally crumbled in my hand but this will definitely solve the other issue. We can yank it all the way up and get literally no grab.
     
  11. turblediesel

    turblediesel memberable

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    I did all my adjusting at the compensator bar and the star wheels with both rear wheels off the ground and it works well.

    No ratchet problems here, yet.