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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I have a 96 T-Bird 4.6 and I'm having issues with my parking brake. It failed inspection because it wouldn't hold the car in drive. I looked on the forums and did the clip adjustment procedure and it helped a small bit but mostly it made the parking brake pedal very hard to get to the 1st click. Even on the 3rd click, it only holds if on an incline. I tried to pass inspection like that but they said as you start to push the parking brake pedal about half way, it should begin stopping the vehicle which it doesn't at all. I took it to a local mechanic and he adjusted the parking brake "as much as he could" and it didn't do anything. He says it's probably an internal issue with both of the rear calipers. I'm not sure what to think. He said the cable it not loose. Any help or tips are very much appreciated! Thank you. Attached a pic of the adjustment clip for reference.
1 pic is of the brake set, the other not set.

*Edit.. brakes are all disc.
 

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SuperNewbie
1995 Thunderbird LX Missing 4.6 MIssing Trans Red
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Hold the car in drive? Jeez, I've driven miles with the parking brake on by accident. Considering that the rear parking brake is part of the caliper, I'd check the rotors to see if they are at least the minimum thickness. People do brake pads swaps and never address the rotors. Maybe the caliper can't clamp enough. The parking brake mechanism pushes the caliper piston out when you pull the cable. It isn't overly complicated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hold the car in drive? Jeez, I've driven miles with the parking brake on by accident. Considering that the rear parking brake is part of the caliper, I'd check the rotors to see if they are at least the minimum thickness. People do brake pads swaps and never address the rotors. Maybe the caliper can't clamp enough. The parking brake mechanism pushes the caliper piston out when you pull the cable. It isn't overly complicated.
Thank you for the insight. I just replaced both rear rotors and pads last week.
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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Hold the car in drive? Jeez, I've driven miles with the parking brake on by accident. Considering that the rear parking brake is part of the caliper, I'd check the rotors to see if they are at least the minimum thickness. People do brake pads swaps and never address the rotors. Maybe the caliper can't clamp enough. The parking brake mechanism pushes the caliper piston out when you pull the cable. It isn't overly complicated.
Yeah that seems like an impossible standard. My parking brake will hold my car just fine on an incline but I can make it budge if I push it, with the manual in a hilly stop and go town I’m sometimes forced to pull up the handbrake to keep the car from rolling back any into the clueless driver behind me who left inches between my bumper 🙄. All adjusting it does is take out cable slack so you aren’t maxing out the lever before the calipers are squeezed to their max, beyond that it’s up to the calipers/pads/rotors to hold it.

Sounds like a good excuse to get a high stall torque converter 💡
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah that seems like an impossible standard. My parking brake will hold my car just fine on an incline but I can make it budge if I push it, with the manual in a hilly stop and go town I’m sometimes forced to pull up the handbrake to keep the car from rolling back any into the clueless driver behind me who left inches between my bumper 🙄. All adjusting it does is take out cable slack so you aren’t maxing out the lever before the calipers are squeezed to their max, beyond that it’s up to the calipers/pads/rotors to hold it.

Sounds like a good excuse to get a high stall torque converter 💡
Here's the standard for inspection:
B. Inspect for and reject if:
6. Parking brake will not hold the vehicle stationary with the engine running at slightly accelerated speed with shift lever in drive position for automatic transmission or shift lever in low gear with clutch engaged for standard shift transmission.
🤷‍♂️
 

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SuperNewbie
1995 Thunderbird LX Missing 4.6 MIssing Trans Red
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Here's the standard for inspection:
B. Inspect for and reject if:
6. Parking brake will not hold the vehicle stationary with the engine running at slightly accelerated speed with shift lever in drive position for automatic transmission or shift lever in low gear with clutch engaged for standard shift transmission.
🤷‍♂️
Where do you live?
 

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1997 Thunderbird LX
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Same here in Massachusetts. I've been avoiding the station that checked the ebrake for me before and failed it, because it's supposed to hold the car up to 1200 rpm.

Joe
 
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Like everyone has said the parking brake on these cars is not very strong, even when it's operating perfectly. My 96 Thunderbird parking brake was weak. I ended up replacing the rear calipers and that made it work much better.
I may replace my Cougar rear calipers because the parking brake seems kind of weak. I have read here that they are very difficult to impossible to rebuild yourself. It's also can be difficult to find quality rebuilt calipers.
 
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