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How to remove seized parking brake cables from rear caliper

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How to remove seized parking brake cables from rear caliper

Old 08-27-2018, 07:46 AM
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How to remove seized parking brake cables from rear caliper

Being in the midwest, I deal with plenty of rust/corrosion. It generally makes repairs/upgrades a slow, tedious, frustrating process. One of the most unpleasant areas I've seen thus-far is replacing seized ebrake cables. Not only does the parking brake not work, but they're very difficult to replace as the metal bushing on the cable itself seizes in the caliper and won't come out with any amount of force (if you live in the rust belt). I've done this a few times now, and each time I improve the process a bit. I've come up with a pretty speedy way to replace the cables with the calipers on the car. My tutorial assumes the car is already up in the air, and assumes that you know how to replace the cable once you've gotten the rusted/seized bushing out of the caliper. In all, this should only take about 15-20 minutes per side and sure beats removing the caliper from the car, or even replacing the caliper.

Tools needed:
Chisel set
Drill bits (5/16" to 9/16")
Hammer (3lb sledge preferred)
Some sort of channel lock/vice grip/pliers
Angle grinder with cutoff wheel attached

Step 1:
Using the angle grinder, cut off existing cable as flush with the caliper as possible on both sides.

Only the bushing remains.

Might have cut it a bit close here

Step 2:
Using a round chisel, tap the cable out of the bushing.

Tap from the backside. You don't really have a choice as the chisel won't fit with the spring in the way.

Cable on its way out.

Step 3:
With the cable removed, you should have a pilot hole to start bushing removal.

Just right for a 5/16" drill bit!

Using your drill and starting with a 5/16" drill bit, run the drill through the bushing. Stepping up in size each time. It helps to have a full kit here. Drilling effort is minimal if you start the drill carefully and prevent it from seizing up in the hole. It takes a bit of practice, but works quite well. Keep stepping up until you've used your 9/16" bit. After you've drilled the 9/16" hole, walk the drill a bit in the hole to remove just a little more material. It should look like this when you are done:

Almost done!

Step 4:
Take your flat pointed chisel, and set it right between the bushing flange and the back side of the caliper. See picture below.

Forgot to take picture of chisel. This should do though.

Give the chisel a few taps and you'll start to see the bushing slide out of the caliper. Continue working the bushing loose until you are able to remove it. You're done! The bushing is removed, and the caliper should be undamaged with the remaining hole being the same size as the new cable you'll be installing.
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