2012 M37 Parking Brake cable


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Jan 26, 2020
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Ran into a slight snag during brake replacement the other day.

Quick summary is parking brake does not hold on level surface here is the background.

Replaced rear pads and rotors last week. Mostly uneventful but one fairly major snag for that was whomever replaced rear brakes last “Gorilla Torqued one of the rear drivers side caliper bolts. Rear passenger side went fine but got to lower bolt on rear drivers side and discovered bolt overly difficult to remove. Put tire back that side and called it a day. The next morning I called around for a place that would be willing to put vehicle on a lift and give bolt a try. All chain retailers would not want to risk liability but they were willing to risk liability if they could charge me for a full rear brake job even though one side already completed. Explained that I basically needed a full raising of the vehicle to get more leverage but again not without being charged for the entire rear brake job. Finally was successful in even finding independent shop that would even take a look. That shop was successful but bolt head was rounded off so they needed some channel locks to remove but it worked after a few tries. During trip over to shop I found local AutoZone that had caliper bolt set in stock and good thing I did. Mechanic got old bolt removed and replaced with new bolt and tightened not quite so tight this time. Mechanic also loosened the caliper bracket bolts just to be sure they would be a repeat visit

I got home and worked drivers rear pads rotors and hardware. That part went uneventful but after that things took a turn for the worse.

Much like many of us my eyes got slightly ahead of my brain and hands. Inoticed parking brake shoes pretty worn down and figured I would give them a try.....looked fairly simple enough but obviously not which bring us to the story.

Simple Summary I messed up the parking brake and could not get the cable routed through to the lower adjuster. Decided that was a good stopping point and left it alone to prevent further damage. Called Mobile Mechanic and had appointment for yesterday morning. Sat car off to side of driveway and used other vehicle pending MM visit.

M/M arrived yesterday morning and proceeded to work through problem, he got cable routed on the toggle lever and the rear was standard mini drum brake assembly 100. New shoes, new hardware, star wheel adjuster etc etc....

After setting adjustment to allow operation of PB without dragging on the rotor hat I took for quick test drive.

Here is the story, The parking brake would not hold on level surface with transmission in reverse/ neutral or drive. Service brakes hold like a charm and will hold in drive if your on a very slight incline as in less than about five degrees. Will hold in reverse with same parameters.

My guess is with the parking brake shoe adjusted as far out as it can go without permanently dragging I am leaning toward cable. This vehicle is the simple floor pedal off/on type as in before they went to ElectrIc Parking Brakes (EPB). If the PB shoes and hardware are new and fine there is really only two items left. Right? Either cable and or parking brake pedal itself.

Any ideas or at least anywhere to look before being taken advantage of by any shop either independent or stealership?