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Broken Brake

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

I have a rather old car, a 1986 Jeep Cherokee. When you own such an old automobile, you have to be prepared to fix things that are going to break. The latest thing broken on my car is the parking brake. The brake got used every time I drove the car so it is nice and free and works perfectly (except when rolling backwards, but that's a design flaw), but the button on the handle for applying and releasing the brake broke off last week.

Broken parking brake button

As you can see in the picture, the button just attaches to that rod to release the break. But I could deal with that if it worked without the button, but there needs to be tension applied via a spring to pull that rod out. If I latch on a pair of visegrips I can make the brake function properly by pulling on the rod as I engage it, and then just push it in to release it.

I did some research online about what to do and I came across a few posts on JeepForum mentioning a recall on XJ parking brakes. Apparently they had a habit of just letting go randomly. My brake hasn't done this, but if they're fixing it for free, who cares. I've called my local dealer twice and have yet to get a call back. They probably route all the recall oriented telephone calls to some dummy mailbox that never gets checked.

I've read about a few guys having success just using epoxy to glue the button back on (using duct tape to depress the button while it cures), which I might try if this recall thing doesn't pan out. I called around to a few parts stores and they all said I can either get one of those assemblies at a junkyard or a dealer. The dealer wants $200 for it, so if I can't find one in a yard maybe I'll just start carrying a brick around with me.

Comments (3) Subscribe

#1 - Dec 3, 2007 at 5:43 PM
The guy from the dealer finally got back to me, and it turns out the recall was for Wranglers, not Cherokees. BOOOO.
#2 - Dec 6, 2007 at 5:12 AM
$200 my ass...I found one on ebay last night for $20!
#3 - Dec 12, 2007 at 6:26 AM
It arrived yesterday! It's a little different than the one in the car, but I think it'll work; the bolt holes seem to line up.

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