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E brake won't hold in reverse

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Old 07-06-2014, 07:52 AM
The other Joe The other Joe is offline
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E brake won't hold in reverse

Hi all,

On my 97 2 WD powerstroke F250 the ebrake won't hold on hills in reverse.
And I live on a hill.

It works great forward. The shoes are on correctly. Every thing is free and sound.

My 94 F150 4wd ebrake works great. I have done many brake jobs and have never ran into this.

I ran a search and see this has come up in the past. But I didn't find a answer.

Thanks,
Joe W
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:23 AM
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Sounds like one of the cables is stretched / tired...............
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by F350 1990 View Post
Sounds like one of the cables is stretched / tired...............
Could be, but the 2 rear are 2 years old.

Could be the front? Its free, moves easy. Didn't think of stretched.


I bet I could pull the rears tight with a small come along to see if it holds on the hill. If so, then replace the front cable.


Thanks,
Joe W
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The other Joe View Post
Hi all,

On my 97 2 WD powerstroke F250 the ebrake won't hold on hills in reverse.
And I live on a hill.
Nor was it designed to. BUT if you adjust the shoes very tight, it can hold
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:10 PM
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as Brad says, the e-brake was never designed to hold the truck in reverse.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjc transport View Post
as Brad says, the e-brake was never designed to hold the truck in reverse.

Brad and TJC,

Thanks for the answer. But can you please explain the logic behind that?

I have never had or worked on a vehicle that wouldn't hold in reverse.

What is the difference here?

I am relatively new to Fords.

Thanks,

Joe W.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:22 AM
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the brake shoes are designed to work in forward direction.
this is where they get their best grip on the drum. they will work in reverse, but not as effectively as in forward.

and this hold true for all drum brake systems.
the only brakes that work as well in reverse as in forward are disc brakes.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:51 AM
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Going along with what the others have said, I've found with my truck that I really need to push the ebrake pedal down to get it to hold in reverse as opposed to forward. It does hold, but it requires more pedal movement to make up for the lack of friction that the drum brakes can generate in reverse. I'm not sure how well this will work over time, but brakes are easier to replace than the transmission in case something horrible happened.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:14 AM
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Guys ---it's a federal law (CFR) that parking brakes hold the vehicle on any grade, in any direction ..........and where in the owner's manual does it say they only work going forward?
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The other Joe View Post
Hi all,

On my 97 2 WD powerstroke F250 the ebrake won't hold on hills in reverse.
And I live on a hill.
It works great forward. The shoes are on correctly. Every thing is free and sound.
I looked in my 88 owners manual and it says for a manual trans. you should place the trans. in reverse then apply the parking brake. It says this on two different pages in the manual. The manual makes no distinction if you park up hill or down hill.

It also mentions you should periodically check the parking brake by placing the trans in neutral and verify the parking brakes hold.

What's interesting is I looked in my 90 Corvette owners manual (car has 4 wheel disc brakes) and it says the same thing about a manual trans. You place the shifter in reverse when you park it. They do recommend you turn the front wheels so if the car does roll it rolls into a curb if there is one.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

From the Corvette owners manual

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:38 AM
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Believe me -- if they were only designed to hold the vehicle going forward, Ford's lawyers would have a bright orange and lime colored (fluorescent) sticker on the parking brake saying same.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjc transport View Post
the brake shoes are designed to work in forward direction.
this is where they get their best grip on the drum. they will work in reverse, but not as effectively as in forward.

and this hold true for all drum brake systems.
the only brakes that work as well in reverse as in forward are disc brakes.
Thanks,

I get that they work better in forward. But I have to respectfully disagree that they should not work in reverse.

Part of my background was as a service manager for Toyota. Been a car guy for over 40 plus years.
I have done over 100 brake jobs. That is a low number.
Supervised many more.

I remember people complaining at times. But don't remember it not being able to be cured, either by adjustment or repair.

And I can't ever remember a car or truck that wouldn't hold it backwards.

I have done some semi serious off roading and climbing. I would be dead if my trucks didn't hold backwards.

If it's true that these trucks won't hold in R, there has to be a design problem.

I could understand if it was loaded. But empty it's weak.

I always keep my truck in first or reverse along with putting the ebrake on.
But I consider that backup if I have a well maintained ebrake.

Interesting to me that is considered as normal by you guys.

I know both of you are very knowledgable and I have learned from both of your posts.

Thanks,

Joe W.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F350 1990 View Post
Believe me -- if they were only designed to hold the vehicle going forward, Ford's lawyers would have a bright orange and lime colored (fluorescent) sticker on the parking brake saying same.

I agree with that. These manufactures as more interested in covering their azz than anything else.

Just look at the labels in 4wd trucks.

My landcruiser has all sort of "this don't drive like a car" warnings.

Seriously, working for a dealer service department. The lawyers would not be happy if a customer was sent away with that explanation.


And to F150. I agree you should always keep your trans in gear along with using the ebrake.

Joe W
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:34 AM
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i have never in over 45 years of driving had an e brake that would hold the vehicle on any kind of serious incline in reverse unless the brakes were adjusted tight.
i have also been pulling wrenches for over 45 years, and can not even think to count how many brake jobs i have done, but it has to be over 500. for the better part of 20 years i did at least 4-5 a week, sometimes 2-3 a day.
and never had a vehicle that would hold on the hill outside the shop worth a damn.
will it hold?? yea, sort of. did i trust it?? HELL NO!!!!
they will hold a static load, but if any power is applied, they will fail.
and this is not a ford thing, it is a drum brake thing. all makes and models. the only e-brake system i ever say that worked as good reverse as forward was the nissan rear disc with the e-brake built into the caliper.
that is why i always backed them in, so when finished they were pointing downhill when parked outside.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjc transport View Post
i have never in over 45 years of driving had an e brake that would hold the vehicle on any kind of serious incline in reverse unless the brakes were adjusted tight.
i have also been pulling wrenches for over 45 years, and can not even think to count how many brake jobs i have done, but it has to be over 500. for the better part of 20 years i did at least 4-5 a week, sometimes 2-3 a day.
and never had a vehicle that would hold on the hill outside the shop worth a damn.
will it hold?? yea, sort of. did i trust it?? HELL NO!!!!
they will hold a static load, but if any power is applied, they will fail.
and this is not a ford thing, it is a drum brake thing. all makes and models. the only e-brake system i ever say that worked as good reverse as forward was the nissan rear disc with the e-brake built into the caliper.
that is why i always backed them in, so when finished they were pointing downhill when parked outside.

That's what I mean. I know you are very qualified also.

One thing I note that you just wrote is. "They will hold with a static load".

Mine won't more than a few times after a tight adjustment.

My driveway is a good test. I can pull my 60's and early 70s cars with drum brakes out and set the ebrake and they will hold.

If none of my other vehicles held. I wouldn't be considering this unique.
My F150 holds like a rock.

In fact I taught my wife to set the ebrake with the car/ truck in Neutral. Foot on brake pedal of course.
Then put it in Drive for a auto. Or 1 st and reverse for a stick.

That way you arnt loading the transmission with the cars weight. You don't get the big bang when you shift out of park, for example.

To me it's funny we have a different opinion.

But I think we definately agree the ebrake on the f250 doesn't work very well.

Joe W .
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