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A. Penland
A. Penland, Ford Senior Master Technician, ASE
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6594
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, ASE Advanced Gasoline Engine Performance
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1997 Ford Aerostar E Brake adjustment....after replacing entire

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1997 Ford Aerostar E Brake adjustment....after replacing entire rear end I cannot ..get enough cable to hook up the emergency brake cables..I removed the handle assembly and was able to hook up the cables..but now cannot put handle assembly in original location..I have released the locking pawl..but must not be doing something right


Remove the parking brake assembly from the floor. Follow this procedure to reset the cable and ratchet assembly.

  1. With the front parking brake cable and conduit on the floor, step on the front parking brake cable and conduit or clamp the end of the front parking brake cable and conduit in a vise.

  1. Pull on the assembly, holding the mounting bracket tightly against the body of the control, until cable tension rotates the cable track assembly so the lock pin can be fully seated through the plate.

  1. Insert the lock pin so the assembly is in the "cable released" position.

  1. Install the parking brake control. Refer to the Removal and Installation, Control, Aerostar or Ranger procedure in this section.


A punch will work for a locking pin.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have already plled the excess cable to unwind the spring tensioner and liocked the mechanism with a pin..but the cable is stillnot long enough to install it in the original position. I even released the spring tensioner to assure Ihad unwound the wind up or tensioner assemble al the way.. I was wondering whether I had to remove the rear wheels and loosen the shoe adjusters all the way to get a longer cable lenth and then after the e brake is installed readjust the adjusters.. Does this make any sense

Are the cables on the rear end now the ones that came with the Aerostar you have?

And yes it does make sense. If the cables on the rear end are the original ones from the Aerostar, they should reach, you just have to stretch the cable at both ends. The rear end and the parking brake handle. If they are not the original ones, you need to put the original ones back on.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I replaced one of the original cables and then measure the lenght..They appeared to be exactly the same..HOwever I will dissasemble the other side and put the orignal cable there as well. It does appear to be short somewhere..and yest it does make perfect sense to put original back that will be my next step..If you can think of anything else..let me know I was resoning in my mind that none of the outside housings had changed thus the e brake cable should have beenable to reach it's original position but is short by 2 to 3 inches.. I will get back with you agin if this does not work..Thanks for your time...Customerhere
Remember you will have to stretch the cables together to get them to link up. I'll be here all evening if you have anymore questions. Put them on this posting.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have replaced the cables on both sides now and was able to connect the two individual cables to the yoke from the e-brake itself, I have also locked the spring tensioner in the fully un-qound poition..I have also had to leave both brake drums off and put a pry bar on the brake actuating cable in the rea axle assembly on both sides. I was finally able to bolth the handle back in place ..but the drums are not going over the brake shoes very easily...I now have original cables reinstalled....I cannot figure out how to gain any more lenth on the e-brake tensioner....Perhaps if I can get the drums on it will center the assembly and solve my problem without further incident. I had to put vise grips on both of the cables going to the rear axle to get enough slack to hook up the cables...but still have a lot of tension on the e-brake mechanism..If you can think of anything else..I may have overlooked please let me know..I will be working on it again in a few moments. Had to take a break for a doctor appointment..Just thought I'd let you know where I am on getting this problem solved..Thanks agin for your input and information..sincerely,Customer
Adjust both self adjusters all the way in. Reistall the parking brake handle assembly. Install the drums and tires. Lower the vehicle to the ground. The cables should be ok an the parking brake should work properly. I wish I could personally see the vehicle to look at it. The internet makes it hard to diagnose the problem. Visually seeing the Aerostar first hand and looking it over would help. I'm trying to remember everything about them. I haven't worked on the rar end of an Aerostar in years. Not many of them left on the road. If they are, the rear bumpers are gone. If I remember anything else, I'll post it here.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I waw able to reinstall the parking brake lever but the cables were the main problem as you stated ..The thinga that made it work was to back off the adjusters as you said and reinstall the original cables.. I had to use a punch to align the e-brake handle assembly. bt when it was finished. I was able to reinstall the drums and the adjusters needed to be adjusted out about 20 click or so.. I was surprised as the brake shoes are about half worn out. I was able to take the van out for a drive, but will need to take the wheels off once again and loosen the adjusters so that both wheels will turn freely. i can't figure out what changed so drastically by just replaceing the rear end and reemoving the e-brake. I have worked on many vehicles in the past but never encountered anything like this before. I have been retired for almost five years now, but was an electrical specialist My manuel talked about releasing a pawl..but as you know there is no pawl but the combination of things you talked about helped me to get this problem solved. If I encounter anything further, I will certainly use your services again.
Thnk you,Customer
The ebrake cables varried year o year for some strange reason. Ford only knows. I'm glad your problem is solved. Keep that Areostar running. They were good running vans.