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Emergency brake not engaging after new shoes #4118068 06/07/16 10:10 PM
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tookien Offline OP
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Hello,

Saab 9-7x (2007 4.2L).

I replaced the shoes for the emergency brake and adjusted it (via the star) so that there is more resistance and fitted tightly relative to the rotor movement.

I also tried the latching trick on the emergency handbrake lever which is meant to self adjust (the instructions were for a Chevy Trailblazer which is identical in many ways).

Nevertheless, the parking brake lever still needs to be pulled up to the top before it has any effect, very weak.

I'm thinking I must have done something wrong when replacing the shoes in terms of adjustment, but I don't think so as I know I adjusted the shoes via star so that the rotor went on very tightly, and one more turn of the star would not have gone on.

There is no brake line adjuster I can play with, so my last option seems to be replacing the brake lines.

Is there anything else I can try before replacing the brake lines?

Thanks for any help, appreciate it!

Re: Emergency brake not engaging after new shoes [Re: tookien] #4118097 06/07/16 10:47 PM
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sxg6 Offline
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I have no experience with Saabs, but I hear they're similar to Subarus in some ways.

You mentioned adjusting the star before putting the rotor on. Did you adjust the star after the rotor is on? That's what you do on Subarus like mine, insert a flat head screwdriver in a hole in the dust shield, and rotate the star to adjust the ebrake.

I also wonder if the shoes need to be broken in somehow, to grip better? Not sure, I've adjusted my ebrake, but never replaced the shoes.

Re: Emergency brake not engaging after new shoes [Re: tookien] #4118116 06/07/16 11:22 PM
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97prizm Offline
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My 97 Geo prizm had the same problem. I had to reopen the drums up. There is a bottle cap looking pice with a slit in it. It clips a spring tight against the brake components. This fixed the problem.


If at first you don't succeed fail fail again. (Waldorf and Statler.)
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Re: Emergency brake not engaging after new shoes [Re: tookien] #4118118 06/07/16 11:22 PM
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Superflop Offline
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No his saab is a GM rebadged trailblaze. The saab or "saabaru" is the 9-2x. With the way you describe fitting the parking brake shoes sounds like you have that right. Is there a way to back off the self adjuster at the parking brake handle? I know this a sound obvious but the parking brake wasn't applied while adjusting the shoes was it?


2002 saab 9-5 2.3t wagon
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Re: Emergency brake not engaging after new shoes [Re: sxg6] #4118127 06/07/16 11:38 PM
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tookien Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: sxg6
I have no experience with Saabs, but I hear they're similar to Subarus in some ways.

You mentioned adjusting the star before putting the rotor on. Did you adjust the star after the rotor is on? That's what you do on Subarus like mine, insert a flat head screwdriver in a hole in the dust shield, and rotate the star to adjust the ebrake.

I also wonder if the shoes need to be broken in somehow, to grip better? Not sure, I've adjusted my ebrake, but never replaced the shoes.


I adjusted the star before putting the rotor on. If I adjusted the star one notch up, it was not possible to put on the rotor (too tight).

You make an interesting point to adjust through the dust shield (rear) after everything is installed, I wasn't familiar with whether this is the correct procedure.

Re: Emergency brake not engaging after new shoes [Re: Superflop] #4118128 06/07/16 11:39 PM
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tookien Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Superflop
No his saab is a GM rebadged trailblaze. The saab or "saabaru" is the 9-2x. With the way you describe fitting the parking brake shoes sounds like you have that right. Is there a way to back off the self adjuster at the parking brake handle? I know this a sound obvious but the parking brake wasn't applied while adjusting the shoes was it?


No, the parking brake was not applied while doing the entire installation.

Re: Emergency brake not engaging after new shoes [Re: 97prizm] #4118132 06/07/16 11:46 PM
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tookien Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: 97prizm
My 97 Geo prizm had the same problem. I had to reopen the drums up. There is a bottle cap looking pice with a slit in it. It clips a spring tight against the brake components. This fixed the problem.


Thanks for the response.

The Saab 9-7x does not use drum brakes.

Each shoe (one piece on each side) compresses against the inner rotor (disc), there isn't any springs or adjusters (except for the star) in this one.

Sort of like this:

http://www.brakeandfrontend.com/wp-conte...00000048221.jpg

Re: Emergency brake not engaging after new shoes [Re: tookien] #4118144 06/08/16 12:13 AM
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tcp71 Offline
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There is often a ridge worn into the drum where the brakes rub. Once the shoes are back in that groove they are loose. You need to pop the adjustment cover off the backing plate and adjust the star ratchet with everything in place. Often a strip of corrosion on the lip of the drum makes it hard to get the drum over the new shoes. You can grind the lip away to help it slide on. Adjust the star ratchet while testing your ability to rotate the drum by hand. Adjust until it drags slightly, then back off just enough to run free.

Last edited by tcp71; 06/08/16 12:14 AM.

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Re: Emergency brake not engaging after new shoes [Re: tcp71] #4118145 06/08/16 12:17 AM
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tookien Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: tcp71
There is often a ridge worn into the drum where the brakes rub. Once the shoes are back in that groove they are loose. You need to pop the adjustment cover off the backing plate and adjust the star ratchet with everything in place. Often a strip of corrosion on the lip of the drum makes it hard to get the drum over the new shoes. You can grind the lip away to help it slide on. Adjust the star ratchet while testing your ability to rotate the drum by hand. Adjust until it drags slightly, then back off just enough to run free.


Awesome, thank you, that makes sense, will try.

Now that I recall, I think you're definitely right about the lip on the drums.
When it passed the lip it did seem to be a bit loose.

Looks like this maybe the main issue and to get around that I should adjust via the back of the dust shield.

Last edited by tookien; 06/08/16 12:20 AM.
Re: Emergency brake not engaging after new shoes [Re: tookien] #4118150 06/08/16 12:41 AM
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tookien Offline OP
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Thanks everyone for all the help.

Looks like if this doesn't work (although I'm confident it should), brake lines will need to be replaced.

Re: Emergency brake not engaging after new shoes [Re: tookien] #4118211 06/08/16 05:31 AM
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Trav Offline
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Don't replace the cables yet! IIRC You cant adjust the shoe on these from outside, like other GM vehicles that use this you need tool J21177 but you can work around that.
The drum cannot have any lip whatsoever or it will never be tight. Either get new rotors or get the ones you have machined.

Once you have a lip free drum, hang the caliper out of the way and adjust the star so the drum has very slight friction when rotating it. Engage the e brake a few times to center the shoe.
Remove the rotor again and tighten the star so the drum requires a bit of force to push one and engage the e brake again, let the brake go and do the other side the exact same way.
Make sure there is some resistance when you rotate the rotors with the caliper removed on both wheels. The e brake should now be correct, the slight contact you fell when rotating it will quickly seat the shoes properly in the correctly adjusted position.

I go through this all the time with other GM vehicles. Its a PITA.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Emergency brake not engaging after new shoes [Re: tookien] #4118282 06/08/16 07:48 AM
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eljefino Offline
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Why did you replace the old shoes? Did they wear out? Since they're only supposed to be applied while stationary, I haven't known them to wear out.

Though I suppose they could glaze from non-use. But they're at least keeping rust out of the drum part of the rotor, as evidenced by the ridge. wink

PS there has to be an adjuster for the cables, just as a function of it being mass-produced. My neon had a stupid ratchety thing inside the e-brake handle that I had to "hack" to get to work properly.

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