E-Brake Cam/Lever Replacement (ZJ)
- Written by Uniblurb
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I've found some other ebrake write-ups around which involve cutting or chiseling the cam/lever out and may have come up with a better method. This involves the use of 2 pairs of med/large size vice-grips for prying the seized cam/lever apart. You should be able to salvage them to avoid these pricey parts but since I already bought new cams & levers I went ahead and installed them. And there's no need to remove the rear axles as stated in the FSM to do this repair.
If you live in the salt/rust belt you're more apt to have the cams/levers seized together and with only one small ebrake shoe working on each side it's about impossible to hold/stop a ZJ. Many will try to adjust the tensioner tighter where the 2 ebrake cables come together under the middle of your ZJ but this is factory pre-set. It should never need adjusting unless you replace the cables themselves or disconnect it.
Enough gab, the photos with explanations start with removing the cam/lever but will offer instructions from the onset.
1. Do one side at a time. Block front wheels, make sure ebrake is off, start jacking up, loosen lugs with tires on the ground, jack fully up, install jackstands, remove wheel.
2. Remove caliper by prying out from top and hang from top of spring with wire or tie. Caliper bolt heads can be 13mm, 1/2" or other sizes if replaced before.
3. Spray rust cutter on rear hub where rotor fits on and you may need to sand the rust off the hub 1st. I've also used a razor knife tip to break the rust seal. While many try to pound the rotor off from the backside it's better to install the lugs on loosely then hit it with a big hammer on the front around the studs to pop it loose. The lugs just protect the threads in case you hit a stud.
4. Once the rotor is loose if it won't come off the ebrake shoes may be holding it on. Remove rubber plug in back/bottom and use a screwdriver or brake lever tool to loosen adjuster. You should stick the tool in angled at the top and rotate down to loosen the adjuster.
5. With rotor off you may want to draw a diagram of the spring and adjuster position or take a photo. Don't take all the springs/adjusters off both sides at once unless you know exactly where they go. It's best to lay the springs/adjuster out as they came off on the old shoes. You can use the brake parts on the other side as a reference.
6. Remove the 2 springs and the adjuster. Then hold the back pins with your finger while you remove the front clips from the shoes. I've found a pair of needle nose vice-grips are about the best tool for removing the springs and the clips.
7. Remove the eyelet on the brake cable behind the dust shield from the hook on the end of the lever. Spray the cam/lever down really thoroughly with rust cutter and it's best to let it soak as long as you can. I used to use PB all the time and just switched to the acetone/ATF mix which seems to work better.
8. Adjust your 1st pair of vice-grips and snap it on the cam real tight as can be seen in the below photo.
The cam fits either side, OE part #4762132, $8-$20 at the dealer.
Right side lever, OE #5179290AA, $23 at dealer.
Left side lever, OE #5179291AA, $23 at dealer.
Maybe after you drive it a little the ebrake will need adjusted again. Keep in mind if the adjuster is installed correctly to tighten it put the screwdriver or brake tool in the bottom of the slot and rotate the star-wheel on the adjuster up.
Hope this thread helps some and sorry about the length. Some say you don't even need an ebrake and they don't use one. But if you have a brake line blow or something else goes wrong you'll find a working emergency brake comes in real handy.