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Parking Break On Es300


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I just replaced the pads, rotors and 1 caliper on my fiance's 2001 ES300. While getting one of the rear rotors off, I elongated one of the pins which holds the parking brake assembly in place. Based upon my conversation with the parts guy at the Lexus dealer, it sounds like this isn't unusual. I replaced the pins and got everything back together again.

This morning I was laying in bed thinking about the parking brake and I got to wondering how it works. Basically the two shoes are held in place by (2) 1/16" in diameter pins and a spring that pushes the assembly inward. Other than the parking brake cable, there's nothing else that holds it in place. So, my question is, how does this keep the vehicle from moving? The two tiny pins aren't a match for weight of the car.

Lexus_Parking_Brake.jpg

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The pins just hold the shoes against the backing plate...The lever assembly pushes the shoes out against the drum securing the vehicle...Engine power can generally over drive the shoes....but a hill with the car static will not.

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I understand how the parking brakes work, but it seems to me that the only thing that keeps the park brake shoes from rotating is the parking brake cable and those tiny pins. Granted that I haven't studied other car's parking brakes in any detail, but I know that the my Chrysler 300M has the shoes bolted to the wheel assembly and it can't rotate at all. This just seems rather tenuous to me.

-- Geoff

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The brake shoes on your chrysler 300 aren't bolted to the wheel. The wheel is bolted to the brake drum. The shoes are held in place by small pins just like the e brake on the lexus. The pins don't perform any function other than keeping the brake shoes properly positioned. When you pull the brake handle on the lexus the lever rotates a cam which pushes the top of the shoes out against the drum surface. There is not enough swept area to stop the car against the motor (to be fair, the rear brakes on your 300 can't stop the car by themselves) but enough to stop the car from rolling unpowered.

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Mike B: On my 1999 Chrysler 300M the parking brakes are definitely held in place by something other than pins. I just replaced the rear rotors and it took a 5 lb hammer to separate the rotors from the parking brakes. I can assure you that the parking brake shoes did not move during that process.

-- Geoff

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And I've worked for Chrysler service for 5 years and I can assure you that your brake shoes are NOT bolted to anything. Galvanic corrosion causes the rotors to stick to the hubs. When removing the rotors the shoes should not move unless you have the parking brake activated while removing the shoes... in which case you would likely bend or break the backing plate. The brake shoes have several spring loaded pins that hold the shoes flat up against the backing plate... like every shoe brake system made over the last 100 or so years...

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