GM Grand Am/Achieva/Calais/Skylark/Somerset 1985-98

Cables

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Front Cable

See Figures 1, 2 and 3

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Fig. Fig. 1: Parking brake cable routing-parking brake with console lever



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Fig. Fig. 2: Parking brake cable routing-parking brake with foot lever



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Fig. Fig. 3: Pull the cable until the notch on the ratchet is visible through the cover plate opening, then push the pawl spring down toward the notch in the ratchet

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the rear of the vehicle.
  4.  

Before removing the cable, it is advisable to make a note of the routing of the cable. If the cable is improperly routed, it may prematurely fail.

  1. While pulling on the cable to create slack, unhook the front cable from the equalizer on the rear cables. On earlier vehicles with manual adjustment, it may be helpful to loosen the adjustment nut.
  2.  

It may be necessary to bend the tang on the equalizer to allow the cable to be removed.

  1. Once the cable is disconnected, remove the cable from any retaining clips or grommets under the vehicle. Use the illustrations for reference.
  2.  
  3. If the vehicle is equipped with a console lever parking brake, proceed as follows:
    1. Remove the center console from the vehicle to access the brake lever.
    2.  
    3. Remove the outer cable end fitting from the handle assembly.
    4.  
    5. Pull on the cable until the notch on the ratchet is visible through the opening in the cover plate.
    6.  
    7. Push downward on the pawl spring toward the notch in the ratchet.
    8.  
    9. Slowly release the cable, allowing the notch to catch the leg of the spring.
    10.  
    11. Remove the end of the cable from the reel assembly.
    12.  

  4.  
  5. On vehicles with foot-activated park brakes, proceed as follows:
    1. Pull the outer end of the cable out of the lever assembly.
    2.  
    3. With the cable slackened, remove the cable from the reel assembly.
    4.  

  6.  
  7. Remove the left door sill plate.
  8.  
  9. Working under the carpet, disconnect the cable from the clip(s).
  10.  
  11. The cable can now be removed from the vehicle.
  12.  

To install:

Before installing a new cable, make sure to compare it to the old unit. Make sure they are of the same dimensions.

  1. Working under the carpet, place the cable in position, connecting the cable to the clip(s).
  2.  
  3. Once the cable is positioned, install the left door sill plate.
  4.  
  5. On vehicles with foot-activated park brakes, proceed as follows:
    1. Install the cable end to the reel assembly.
    2.  
    3. Pull the outer end of the cable out, and position it onto the lever assembly.
    4.  

  6.  
  7. If the vehicle is equipped with a console lever parking brake, proceed as follows:
    1. Install the end of the cable to the reel assembly.
    2.  
    3. Install the outer cable end fitting to the handle assembly.
    4.  

  8.  
  9. Route the new cable in the same manner as the old unit. Be sure to attach any brackets or clips that hold the cable in place.
  10.  
  11. Connect the front cable to the equalizer on the rear cables. If equipped, bend the tang in position to lock the cable end in place.
  12.  
  13. Apply and release the brake lever/pedal approximately 4 to 6 times to activate the self-adjusting mechanism. On older vehicles, refer to the Adjustment heading in this section.
  14.  
  15. Carefully lower the rear of the vehicle.
  16.  
  17. Connect the negative battery cable.
  18.  
  19. Check the parking brake for proper operation.
  20.  

Rear Cables

See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Loosen or remove the equalizer nut.
  6.  
  7. Remove the wheel(s) and drum(s).
  8.  
  9. Insert a suitable tool between the brake shoe and the top part of the brake adjuster bracket.
  10.  
  11. Push the bracket to the front and release the top adjuster bracket rod.
  12.  
  13. Remove the hold-down spring, actuator lever and lever return spring.
  14.  
  15. Remove the adjuster spring.
  16.  
  17. Remove the top rear brake shoe return spring.
  18.  
  19. Disconnect the parking brake cable from the actuating lever.
  20.  
  21. Pull the cable through the backing plate while depressing the retaining tangs.
  22.  
  23. On the right side, remove the cable end button from the connector.
  24.  
  25. Remove the conduit fitting from the axle bracket while depressing the retaining tangs.
  26.  

To install:
  1. Install the outer cable end into the axle bracket, securing the retaining tangs.
  2.  
  3. Install the cable end to the connector, if working on the right side.
  4.  
  5. Secure the cable assembly into the backing plate.
  6.  
  7. Connect the cable end to the actuating lever.
  8.  
  9. Assemble the rear brake components.
  10.  
  11. Install the drum(s) and wheel(s).
  12.  
  13. Adjust the rear brakes and parking brake cable as necessary.
  14.  
  15. Carefully lower the vehicle. Tighten the lug nuts to the proper torque.
  16.  
  17. Check the parking brakes for proper operation.
  18.  
  19. Connect the negative battery cable.
  20.  

ADJUSTMENT



See Figures 4 and 5

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Fig. Fig. 4: Before attempting to adjust the parking brake cable, spray it with penetrating oil to prevent thread damage



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Fig. Fig. 5: Adjusting the parking brake cable on an earlier vehicle (note locking pliers holding cable in position)

1993-98 vehicles do not require parking brake cable adjustment. A mechanism in the lever/pedal assembly automatically adjusts the cables. If the parking brake is not functioning properly, check the rear shoes for proper adjustment. The cables may also may be stretched beyond service limits, requiring replacement.

  1. Adjust the rear brake shoes.
  2.  
  3. Depress the parking brake pedal/lever exactly 3 ratchet clicks.
  4.  
  5. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Check that the equalizer nut groove is liberally lubricated with chassis lube. Tighten the adjusting nut until the right rear wheel can just be turned to the rear with both hands, but is locked when forward rotation is attempted. Use a back-up wrench to hold the cable while turning the nut.
  8.  
  9. With the mechanism totally disengaged, both rear wheels should turn freely in either direction with no brake drag. Do not adjust the parking brake so tightly as to cause brake drag.
  10.  
  11. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  12.  

 
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