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Ram 1500 parking brake cable sag. #5340023 02/03/20 02:15 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
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JTK Offline OP
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A week or so ago we had a nice sunny ~45degF winter day so I was outside doing an oil change on my 2017 Ram 1500 @ ~47K miles. I tested the parking brake and then noticed the parking brake cable was sagging a bit when I was under doing the oil change. Ughh. The levers that stick through the backing plates aren't moving rearward all the way. Not enough that the P-brake is engaged, but enough to allow the brake cable to droop. Really sucks too because I do exercise the P-brake from time to time, but obviously not enough for the rust belt. The truck has also been treated with Krown and sprayed with Woolwax and Fluid Film by me this past fall.

I got under the truck today and freed them up with some spray lube and a pry bar, but they're still not 100% right given if the P-brake pedal gets mashed again, the levers will take a 'manual adjustment' to release all the way. I likely contaminated the P-brake shoes with spray lube too as I had to shove the spray lube straw into the rubber boots around the linkages through the backing plates to get things moving.

One of my buddies has a 2016 Ram 1500 where this happened to him a year or so back. He had an extended warranty that covered it and it was like a $1200 repair per the dealer write up with all new backing plates and P-brake hardware. Crap design.

You basically have to use your P-brake about daily, year around if you live in the rust belt and don't want this to happen to your Ram.


2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L.
2015 Nissan Versa 1.6 S
Re: Ram 1500 parking brake cable sag. [Re: JTK] #5340037 02/03/20 02:48 PM
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supton Offline
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If it makes you feel better I avoid using the e-brake on my Tundra, it's free but something is dragging and it won't release. I have to crawl under and give a yank, it's like the spring got weak. And, despite hosing it down with FF, it looks nasty awful.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 203k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 158k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 223k, his
Re: Ram 1500 parking brake cable sag. [Re: JTK] #5340201 02/03/20 06:55 PM
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Slick17601 Offline
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That's why I use the ebrake everywhere but the garage. Holdover from driving manuals.


2018 RAM Bighorn 5.7
2008 Toyota Sienna 3.5
Re: Ram 1500 parking brake cable sag. [Re: JTK] #5340218 02/03/20 07:16 PM
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JTK Offline OP
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Supton, I wish it made me feel better! My truck was first purchased in mid march 2017 and I bought it 2nd hand in April 2018, so it's only seen about 2 Buffalo winters at this point.

Slick- I hear you. I drove nothing but manuals for many years and haven't had a stuck parking brake since maybe the late 1980's, early 90s.

I'd like to think regular use would help this situation with later model Ram 1500s, but I flushed a lot of grit out from under the boot that's supposed to seal these levers from the brake innards.

Best I can tell, the whole parking brake mechanism is built into the backing plate, so you'd have to pull the axles to remove and replace them.


2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L.
2015 Nissan Versa 1.6 S
Re: Ram 1500 parking brake cable sag. [Re: JTK] #5340236 02/03/20 07:40 PM
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Danno Offline
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Yup, whenever a Ram comes in on trade-in, more that 3 years old, we're changing the ebrake, comes in a kit and is the $1200 as mentioned, use it or lose it I guess.


2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 5.7L Hemi
2019 RAV4 Limited Hybrid
2016 Sorento SX V6 AWD
2010 Mazda 3 2.0L
Re: Ram 1500 parking brake cable sag. [Re: Danno] #5340338 02/03/20 09:28 PM
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maxdustington Offline
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Originally Posted by Danno
comes in a kit and is the $1200 as mentioned, use it or lose it I guess.
$1200 for an e brake? That's a spicy meatball!

You really need it in a truck though.


99 Toyota Tercel CE 5EFE/C151
PUP 5W30/Ultra
Re: Ram 1500 parking brake cable sag. [Re: maxdustington] #5340564 02/04/20 08:02 AM
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supton Offline
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Originally Posted by maxdustington
Originally Posted by Danno
comes in a kit and is the $1200 as mentioned, use it or lose it I guess.
$1200 for an e brake? That's a spicy meatball!

You really need it in a truck though.

Why do you need it in a truck more? I rarely use mine, I only ever "needed" it in my manual trans vehicles, and that was for parking.

$1,200 on a regular basis? That seems steep for an expected recurring repair.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 203k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 158k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 223k, his
Re: Ram 1500 parking brake cable sag. [Re: supton] #5340615 02/04/20 09:18 AM
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Danno Offline
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Originally Posted by supton
Originally Posted by maxdustington
Originally Posted by Danno
comes in a kit and is the $1200 as mentioned, use it or lose it I guess.
$1200 for an e brake? That's a spicy meatball!

You really need it in a truck though.

Why do you need it in a truck more? I rarely use mine, I only ever "needed" it in my manual trans vehicles, and that was for parking.

$1,200 on a regular basis? That seems steep for an expected recurring repair.

To pass the safety inspection, ebrake needs to work. 99% of the people never use it.


2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 5.7L Hemi
2019 RAV4 Limited Hybrid
2016 Sorento SX V6 AWD
2010 Mazda 3 2.0L
Re: Ram 1500 parking brake cable sag. [Re: JTK] #5340620 02/04/20 09:28 AM
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supton Offline
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Has to work here too, and I agree, 99% don't use it.

I've been keeping the RAM 3.6 on my list of toys that I wouldn't mind owning, but if this is an expected expense then it kinda changes things for me. Granted, nothing is perfect: my beloved Tundra has a long list of things I'm worried about breaking (water pump, cam tower, steering rack, rust, and now apparently leaf springs are wont to break on a regular basis). But if something were to happen and I were to find myself suddenly in the market, this detail is something that would give me pause (both for RAM and Tundra).

One has to remember many things when trying to keep an eye on the vehicle market.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 203k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 158k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 223k, his
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