Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fixed Parking Brake

Recall the time I obtained and installed a stronger rear axle for my Jeep. When I got that axle, I had to swap mine right then and there in the driveway. Because of the rushed installation, I didn't have time to address the parking brake cable differences. Thus, I've had no parking brakes since mid-January.

You see, the axle I installed was from an older Jeep, a 1987. This new-to-me axle's parking brake cables used guides and equal-length brake cables. However, my Jeep, a 1997, is equipped with bracketry for a 3 cable system with a tension adjuster link.

Here is a quick diagram I created to illustrate the differences between the systems.
After inquiring with fellow Jeep Cherokee Enthusiasts at NAXJA, I decided it would be easiest to just install new-style cables in the drums. Unfortunately, mine had gone with the other Jeep when I swapped axles.  Swapping cables requires removal of several internal drum brake components, and this is exactly the dirty job I have been avoiding for a year.  In the meantime, a member of my North American XJ Association from the East Coast found himself with an extra set of cables I could use.  He replied to my thread and offered to mail them to me if I paid shipping - so I did! (and I really like that my participation at NAXJA lead to this unique interaction spanning coast to coast!)

Before and After comparison photos.  
The old unusable cables were zip-tied to the axle, and redundant brake line hardware remained.
I installed the new cables, removed unnecessary hardware, and cleaned up some line routing.
As you can see above, the internal brake springs on these cables were of equal length. The new spring coil on the left is slightly tighter and longer, but the material is thinner, so the compression length is the same as the old spring on the right. These worked perfectly, and they have better weather seals for the backing plates which should help keep my brake drums debris free!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I found this old vanity in an alley in Chicago.
Upon which, the television has rested ever since.
The drawers had no knobs when the find was found.

Thus, seven or more knobless years have passed.
I had grand dreams of making knobs from stones.
These dreams perpetuated my knoblessness.

I never had time for making my low priority dreams happen.
Today I compromised and bought some, but I'm happy as can be.
My perception that only hand made stones would do clouded reality.
Because its great to have knobs at least I can use these drawers now.