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Parking brake rust belt blues. 2017 Ram 1500 #5396757 04/07/20 07:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
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JTK Offline OP
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I've mentioned it in other threads, but the parking brakes began hanging up on my 2017 Ram 1500 months back with barely two winters on the truck and about 40K miles on the ODO. I was able to free them up externally at the time and I let them be until today when I did a brake job on the rear.

Not the best pics, but the rusty block looking assembly is the part of the P-brake mechanism for the right rear wheel. It's mounted on the bottom on the rear left wheel. You can see how rusty all the bits are in there. Everything is wet with PB Blaster in the pics.

When you mash the parking brake pedal, a lever arm through the backing plate actuates a cam that spreads that block open, pushing the shoes against the drum. Spring tension with the spring you see should retract the shoes. When everything jambs up with rust, the shoes won't retract and you'll notice your parking brake cable sagging.

I got all the rust out I could, PB blastered the heck out of all the metal/metal contacts I could get at and then slathered the mechanism with brake grease. They're working for now, but any fellow rust-belters might want to check this area and apply grease before things get expensive.


[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L.
2015 Nissan Versa 1.6 S
Re: Parking brake rust belt blues. 2017 Ram 1500 [Re: JTK] #5396760 04/07/20 07:27 PM
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JC1 Offline
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Do you normally use the parking brake? I use the parking brakes on my all vehicles almost daily.


2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 0w-20 Pennzoil Ultra/Fram Ultra Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 PPPP/Fram Ultra Filter
Re: Parking brake rust belt blues. 2017 Ram 1500 [Re: JC1] #5396762 04/07/20 07:30 PM
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JTK Offline OP
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Originally Posted by JC1
Do you normally use the parking brake? I use the parking brakes on my all vehicles almost daily.


Definitely not daily, but I'd mash and release the P-brake when I thought about it. Maybe 1-3x per month. That's definitely not enough for this style setup in the rust belt. I'm not even sure regular use would prevent this situation unless you also inpect, clean and lube it as well.


2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L.
2015 Nissan Versa 1.6 S
Re: Parking brake rust belt blues. 2017 Ram 1500 [Re: JTK] #5396772 04/07/20 07:41 PM
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JC1 Offline
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Yes you are right. Only on the Civic do I normally remove the rear drums and clean them off with brake cleaner (normally once a year). I've only changed the rear shoes on the Civic once, we are the original owner with just over 130K miles on the Civic.

I would put some anti-seize on the screw for the star adjuster and on the surfaces that come into contact with the Rotor for your next service to be less painful next time!


2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 0w-20 Pennzoil Ultra/Fram Ultra Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 PPPP/Fram Ultra Filter
Re: Parking brake rust belt blues. 2017 Ram 1500 [Re: JC1] #5396778 04/07/20 07:44 PM
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JTK Offline OP
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Originally Posted by JC1

I would put some anti-seize on the screw for the star adjuster and on the surfaces that come into contact with the Rotor for your next service to be less painful next time!


I sure did.

Luckily the star-wheel adjusters moved freely or it would have gotten ugly trying to remove the OEM rear rotors at ~51K miles. The inside surface of the rear rotors were grooved badly. Kind of a shame because there was lots of pad and rotor life left. I can see why Ram owners who don't live in areas with winter climates can get 100K miles out of their brakes.


2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L.
2015 Nissan Versa 1.6 S
Re: Parking brake rust belt blues. 2017 Ram 1500 [Re: JTK] #5396788 04/07/20 07:51 PM
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JC1 Offline
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Thanks for letting me know!


2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 0w-20 Pennzoil Ultra/Fram Ultra Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 PPPP/Fram Ultra Filter
Re: Parking brake rust belt blues. 2017 Ram 1500 [Re: JTK] #5396988 04/08/20 01:30 AM
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Char Baby Offline
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JTK, I know exactly what you mean.


Retired 6 yrs now & lovin' it
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic 1.8 LX
Re: Parking brake rust belt blues. 2017 Ram 1500 [Re: JTK] #5397120 04/08/20 08:34 AM
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tcp71 Offline
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I use my parking brake every time I park and my F150’s parking brakes would bind in a similar fashion. Ford uses a similar cam mechanism to apply the brakes and it sticks with the brakes applied. I sprayed lube into it through the hole in the backing plate to keep it free. Part #13 corrodes and doesn’t release.

[Linked Image]


Last edited by tcp71; 04/08/20 08:35 AM.

2016 F150 Eco: Edge 0w40
2005 Sienna 3.3: PP 5w30 syn. (varies)
Re: Parking brake rust belt blues. 2017 Ram 1500 [Re: JTK] #5397173 04/08/20 09:27 AM
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xxch4osxx Offline
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When I replaced the OEM rear brakes on my Ram back in August of 2018, I had one [censored] of a time getting the rotors off. I had to pound them off with a sledge hammer and the parking brake shoes came off with them. All the parking brake parts were rusted badly. I also had to replace one of the backing plates because I bent it up too much while getting the rotor off. Cleaning and lubing the pins and sliders every year is a must for these trucks so I have learned.

Last edited by xxch4osxx; 04/08/20 09:27 AM.

2015 RAM SXT Crew Cab 5.7 with 6 speed tranny.

2008 Mazda 3 GS Sport Hatchback 5sp MT (Girlfriend's car)

Re: Parking brake rust belt blues. 2017 Ram 1500 [Re: JTK] #5397285 04/08/20 10:54 AM
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ford46guy Offline
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My explorer has the exact same mechanism, same problem. It looks like a 25yo truck. I used marine anti-seize on it. Nothing else holds up.
The lexus also has the same setup, but it looks like they used much higher quality parts and it works fine. Little rust on the actuators.
I posted though about the lexus, the rear caliper slide pins need a sledge to move. You can't win.I have a feeling though it was because the last person doing the brakes tore the boots.

Last edited by ford46guy; 04/08/20 10:55 AM.

95 Tbird V8 240K PP SYNTH ULTRA 5W30
98 MGM 160K M1 HM 5W20
96 Explorer EB V6 159K PP SYNTH HM 5W30
95 Conti 155K MC 5W20
11 GS350 90K PP HM 5W30
Re: Parking brake rust belt blues. 2017 Ram 1500 [Re: ford46guy] #5400111 04/11/20 10:25 AM
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JTK Offline OP
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Originally Posted by ford46guy
My explorer has the exact same mechanism, same problem. It looks like a 25yo truck. I used marine anti-seize on it. Nothing else holds up.


Good idea.

If it acts up again, I'll clean all of the current goo off with brake clean and butter it up with a marine type anti-seize and try that.

Anyone in the rust belt with a Ram should consider doing this right out of the gate.

If the parking brake doesn't hold the vehicle, you don't pass our lovely NY State yearly inspection process... Unless you know somebody who will overlook that part of it.


2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L.
2015 Nissan Versa 1.6 S
Re: Parking brake rust belt blues. 2017 Ram 1500 [Re: JTK] #5401747 04/13/20 08:34 AM
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metroplex Offline
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The 2011-2019 Explorers have rear brakes that rust as well. My 2018 Explorer with 11k miles has a dragging right rear that gets so hot it fills my garage with the smell of burning metal. Apparently I need to clean the calipers and pad mounting areas on the anchor plate after each winter.

Re: Parking brake rust belt blues. 2017 Ram 1500 [Re: JTK] #5402393 04/13/20 07:17 PM
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George7941 Offline
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I am glad have rear drums on my truck, it never gives me any issues. Twice a year, at seasonal tire changeover, I clean the brake mechanism out and lubricate it. My 14 year old parking brake works just fine and I have never had to do anything to it. I live in the rust belt.

On the other hand my previous truck, a 1986 F150, would need the parking brake cables replaced every couple of years because they would start seizing up. In spite of my best efforts the cables would not last.


2006 GMC Sierra 4.3l, NV3500,G80 , Mobil 1 5W30, Dexcool.
1987 BMW R80 - sold
2015 Honda CBR300R

Staying out of the right lane a lot.
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