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I've read a few reports from PM owners that have had their e-brake cable freeze this time of year. It's happened to me, twice now -- most recently last week.

In talking with the tech that replaced the cable, he said that when he disconnected it and let it sag toward the ground, water poured out for several seconds. Not a few drips -- more like several ounces.

What is the long-term fix for this? Waiting for the other shoe to drop, as it were -- meaning just waiting for it to freeze every fall, then having the dealer replace it -- is not an acceptable option.

Especially since I'm now beyond my 36k warranty and they charged me $100 to do it last week.
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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2017 2500 HiTop 159 Cargo Van white.
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Get in there and lubricate the cable. White Lithium spray on the cable should help. Drill a hole in the casing so the water drains out on it's own.
 

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I have given up. After several trips to the dealer and money from my pocket the brake still does not hold on a hill.
I no longer attempt to use it. Have found that by putting the transmission in reverse or 1st gear then turn off the ignition,
the van holds fine on a hill. Have been doing this every day for the last year.
If i were to do it again, I would have removed the cables completely, at time of conversion and placed my water tanks under the floor.
 

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I'm on my second set of cables after a catastrophic lock-up, same time last year. When I posed the question of "what should I do so this doesn't happen again?" the tech suggested I carry a set of chocks and not use the the brake when parking in freezing weather. Thanks guy. The new "improved" set of cables locked-up on me last week.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm on my second set of cables after a catastrophic lock-up, same time last year. When I posed the question of "what should I do so this doesn't happen again?" the tech suggested I carry a set of chocks and not use the the brake when parking in freezing weather. Thanks guy. The new "improved" set of cables locked-up on me last week.
I guess I can take solace in the fact that I'm not the only one.

LOL.

Someone else here suggested drilling a hole to let the water drain out, as well as booting the end of the cable. I'm gonna look into both of those tomorrow when it warms up.
 

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I avoid the freezing and snow and salt with this van BUT if I couldn’t and it froze, and I am out of warranty, I would disconnect the cable at the lever, keep the switch intact to deke the buzzer, and as soon as it thawed never use it again. With the diesel just do what has been suggested, leave it in D or R and shut it off. I drove manual transmission vehicles in Vermont winters for 48 years and NEVER touched the E brake- NEVER! They all freeze sooner or later and never at a good time. Automatics have park. It’s not an emergency so don't use it.
 

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Mine broke yesterday morning.told two weeks out to look at .no loaner car .13550 miles sick of promaster .just got back day before from dealership for key and wiring problem s.
 

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My e brake on diesel has been an occasional issue in cold weather. When it is an issue I hear a mild brake drag sound, and notice decreased MPG. I used my laser temp reader to measure temp on rotor after I suspected it not releasing fully and found the drivers rear temp to be 135F after a 15 mile drive (25F, snowing, slush on roads). All other disc brake surfaces were 40F. Brought it to dealer and they said they adjusted it, but for what is worth was told there is no replacement part, and nothing can be done (picked rig up after hours so did get to tech that worked on it). Kind of drag (pardon the pun) but glad to learn I can turn ignition off in R to get tranny to engage and that route seems to be working.. but will carry a small wheel stop just in case.
 

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My understanding is moisture is getting into the cable just in front of the rear axle and when the e brake is engaged in cold weather it freezes in that position.

Or is it freezing at the hub?
 

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So... As everyone else who lives in freezing areas I offer this fix for the e-brake freezing.
Recently with my 2015 159 D I got the squealing of brake drag after releasing. Temp outside 25F. I put it on the rack and removed the wheel and it looked like lot of work to remove everything to get to the e-brake in the wheel assembly. So... Looking for something simple first I only made a 3/16" adjustment to add slack to cable. Without disassembling the wheel, I put the tire back and waited till next freeze to test. Lengthening cable FAILED!

My next attempt I racked the van and observed frozen side vs good side while pulling on the individual brake cables where they separate near the cable adjustment point. Pulling on the good side I could hear the cable moving the brake mechanism on the wheel. The bad side not at all. So... With a propane torch I warmed the cable running along the back of the axle routing attachments. Immediately the brakes would actuate when manipulating the cable. Eureka! Looking at the cable routing...it became quickly apparent that moisture was collecting at the low part of the cable on the axle mount.
I pulled the cable from the center axle mount leaving it only attached to the top of the suspension spring and center (vehicle) top mount. Doing this I pulled the slack out of the cable towards the center of the van. This forces the cable sheath flat... A cable tie on the upper mount keeps the slack out and cable from sagging (to form another low spot)
Pictures aren't great but this fix completely cured my van of this problem.
 

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I fixed my parking brake prolem today and it was not the shoes or the cables to the drums. It was the rusted pivot where the hand brake cable meets the long rod to the splitter for right and left sides.
I never use my parking brake and I had to go through inspection and they tried it and it got stuck. The pivot arm was severely rusted and would barely move and would not return to its disengaged position. I removed it, wire brushed it and reassembled with anti-seize on the pivot point. Now I have to get new shoes which were burned away, and replace those. I may take the hub off to replace them for easier access.

Just a not the shoes can be hard to source, 3 local places said they were unavailable including NAPA and Autozone. I finally ordered them through Rock Auto. Pricing was anywhere from $255 to $25, the higher priced ones included the 2 springs and the holding clips
 
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