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Old 12-27-2019, 03:28 PM
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e-brake issue on 2015 JKU Rubicon manual trns

Hey guys,

So my warranty just ran out and just before it did run out my e-brake was barely working. On any kind of incline if I used all my strength to yank the e-brake it would just barely hold on the slightest of inclines. It's not even safe anymore. The thing barely works. I can drive away with the ebrake fully up and barely notice that it's engaged. So when I brought it to the dealer while I still had warranty, they basically gave it back to me and said there was nothing wrong with it. At that time, the e-brake was slightly more functional, but not by much. But now, if I don't put it in gear (manual trans), the Jeep basically rolls away. I always turn my jeep into the curb when parking on inclines and I make sure it bumps the curb first. This is ridiculous. I've overlooked a lot of crap from my Wrangler (misfire codes, leaking axle shafts, coolant smells, stuck fan flaps, rust everywhere), but I've never owned such a poorly sorted out vehicle in my life. I don't feel safe just putting the manual in gear.

So what's wrong? I've read on the forums that this is common and most simply live with it. Maybe on an auto-box, but no way in hell will I just leave it like this on a manual.

Is the problem with adjustment? Is there something I can check?

thanks,

Bry

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Old 12-27-2019, 03:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BKJKU View Post
Hey guys,

So my warranty just ran out and just before it did run out my e-brake was barely working. On any kind of incline if I used all my strength to yank the e-brake it would just barely hold on the slightest of inclines. It's not even safe anymore. The thing barely works. I can drive away with the ebrake fully up and barely notice that it's engaged. So when I brought it to the dealer while I still had warranty, they basically gave it back to me and said there was nothing wrong with it. At that time, the e-brake was slightly more functional, but not by much. But now, if I don't put it in gear (manual trans), the Jeep basically rolls away. I always turn my jeep into the curb when parking on inclines and I make sure it bumps the curb first. This is ridiculous. I've overlooked a lot of crap from my Wrangler, but I've never owned such a poorly sorted out vehicle in my life. I don't feel safe just putting the manual in gear.

So what's wrong? I've read on the forums that this is common and most simply live with it. Maybe on an auto-box, but no way in hell will I just leave it like this on a manual.

Is the problem with adjustment? Is there something I can check?

thanks,

Bry
Ours is fine. But it is a common issue.
Here is a thread on it with a cool video of what someone else did to fix theirs along with great info on how to properly adjust it.
https://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/e...t-2381723.html

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Old 12-27-2019, 06:17 PM   #3
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The e-brake is basically a smaller set of drum brakes inside the rear brake rotor. It is adjustable through an access hole in the back (under the car) but I haven't done it yet (mine's a 15 and is barely functional as well). I watched a tutorial on youtube a while back that said remove the rear disc brakes and rotor, clean everything and adjust but unless you can't get to the access hole I don't see the point in taking it any further apart than I have to. If you don't know how to adjust drum brakes maybe take it in to a brake shop.(or learn, it is really simple). I basically haven't done it on mine because a year ago I had spine fusion surgery and now need a knee replacement so getting under the Jeep is problematic.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:22 AM
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I just got it done yesterday at my local off road shop Rock Spyder here in Ontario, Canada. It wasn't cheap, but Jim (the owner) showed me everything that was wrong with it while he changed the parts. Needed new rear rotors, new pads and new ebrake assembly kit. The mechanism in the rear that operates the ebrake was seized. Had to be cleaned, lubed and blow torched off. The inside of the rotor which contacts the ebrake shoes looked badly rusted and contaminated. My rear rotors were also badly pitted and had hot spots all over. I had slight pulsation that I wasn't even aware of until after I got the new brakes on. I thought this thing just had crap brakes from the factory. Anyways, approx $800cdn later, all is well. The BS going around the forums that jk ebrakes are crap and supposed to function in that manor is just that... BS! After the fix, even with my 35's and 300lbs worth of bumpers, the ebrake locks up easily and holds beautifully. Expensive fix, but mandatory IMO especially since I have a manual tranny. Jim commented that the design of the ebrake wasn't the greatest as the 1:1 ratio ebrake cables used previously were better instead of these new springs designs, but oh well. I hate spending money when it's not on something I can upgrade.

The salt used on the roads during the winter months really do a number on our braking systems. I just replaced 4 sets of calipers on my dad's Mercedes because they rusted and seized up.
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:41 PM   #5
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From the factory, my e-brake sucked and broke once under warranty. After replacement, it sucked still. I pulled the wheels off and adjusted both sides and now it holds like champ, but it still sucks because I don't trust it anymore.

If there's any incline at all, park in 4-low if you have the 6 speed. Too many stories of runaway Jeeps and this is a 100% solid solution.
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:46 PM   #6
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The e-brake on my 09 never worked well. Finally at 178k, I decided to replace it. The entire kit is less than $20 on Amazon. Works great but I am still having an issue with the handle loosening up. I have tried to spray brake cleaner onto the drum-spring assembly in the handle but it still slips. Right now, I pull it up a little and stick my hand in to hold the tab as I release the handle to tighten up the handle. That works for awhile and then it starts slipping again. Any ideas beyond replacing the handle?
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:20 PM   #7
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From the factory, my e-brake sucked and broke once under warranty. After replacement, it sucked still. I pulled the wheels off and adjusted both sides and now it holds like champ, but it still sucks because I don't trust it anymore.

If there's any incline at all, park in 4-low if you have the 6 speed. Too many stories of runaway Jeeps and this is a 100% solid solution.

Why not just leave it in 1st gear? That's what I had to do for a while when my ebrake spring broke. I hated it because it mean that I couldn't park in my driveway and run into the house for a second because my driveway is inclined.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:26 PM   #8
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Almost any incline if I need to get out I put into 1st, pull the e-brake, and turn the engine off. My e-brake works fine but I donít trust it and do this anyway.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:51 PM   #9
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Why not just leave it in 1st gear? That's what I had to do for a while when my ebrake spring broke. I hated it because it mean that I couldn't park in my driveway and run into the house for a second because my driveway is inclined.
Unfortunately, any significant incline will roll the engine over in 1st. All it needs is an inch of movement to take off. I'm not making this up. If you do a search there are dozens of cases of Jeeps taking off in 1st. Even that guy who circumnavigated Africa had it happen mid-trip and the jeep rolled over.

4-low and first provides enough mechanical leverage to prevent the engine from moving.
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Old 01-23-2020, 03:15 PM   #10
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My only comment here is I do my best to never park and get out on a steep incline. A long time ago I lived outside San Francisco and drove a MT RX-7, so I know all about that. But yes, if itís absolutely necessary go into 4-Lo or 2-Lo if you got it.
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Old 01-23-2020, 03:56 PM   #11
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The e-brake on the JKs are pure shit from the factory. Very poor design. Wouldnít hold my light two door when new as I tried it a few times just for fun. Mostly to protect the parking prawns in the auto when on a steep slope. Seeing that it barely worked, I never use it, as I have a auto anyway. I wonít park on a steep grade if at all possible. The auto trans will hold on a steep grade if made too, but kind of hard to get out of park then. With a auto not a big deal as I never use a parking brake with auto, unless parked on a boat ramp with boat and trailer on back, donít trust the auto then as if it fails your whole rig is going for a swim! Usually pulled boats and jet skies with a Ford truck anyway and their park brakes seemed to work great. Should fix that problem with my new Bronco!
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Old 01-23-2020, 04:45 PM   #12
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Unfortunately, any significant incline will roll the engine over in 1st. All it needs is an inch of movement to take off. I'm not making this up. If you do a search there are dozens of cases of Jeeps taking off in 1st. Even that guy who circumnavigated Africa had it happen mid-trip and the jeep rolled over.

4-low and first provides enough mechanical leverage to prevent the engine from moving.
So if you're facing up hill and you're in 1st gear the Jeep can start to roll backwards?
I was always taught 1st gear when facing up hill, reverse when facing down hill.
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Old 01-23-2020, 05:42 PM   #13
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Same issue on my '12 w/manual transmission..
I had it tightened/adjusted twice over the last 3 years and that makes it better for a while then it just slowly goes bad again.. Took it in again to be adjusted a few months ago and they said there's no more adjustment left.. time for new little baby-brake pads like others have posted..
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:46 PM   #14
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So if you're facing up hill and you're in 1st gear the Jeep can start to roll backwards?
I was always taught 1st gear when facing up hill, reverse when facing down hill.
That's basically to ensure that if it does rollover, the engine turns in the correct direction. Also the gears in the transmission are cut diagonally, so they're stronger in their design direction. In practice, it doesn't really matter.

Reverse is actually taller than first in this transmission, so it has less mechanical leverage.
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:47 PM   #15
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So if you're facing up hill and you're in 1st gear the Jeep can start to roll backwards?
I was always taught 1st gear when facing up hill, reverse when facing down hill.
Then it will just turn you engine over backward! Iíve had diesel engines start and run backwards after killing them while going uphill.
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:50 PM   #16
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Then it will just turn you engine over backward! Iíve had diesel engines start and run backwards after killing them while going uphill.
True yeah he has it backwards That's funny. That must have made a mess in your intake.
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:31 PM   #17
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The old Detroit Diesel two stroke diesels were bad about that. It would blow all the dust out of your air cleaners as it was sucking in the exhaust and blowing out the air cleaners. And it sounded real funny.
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Old 01-24-2020, 08:28 AM
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Maybe I should wire in an electronic kill switch for the engine and use it when I park on a steep hill. I actually carry a small collapsible wheel chock in back seat. I was using this when my e-brake wasn't working. Maybe I'll use it anyways for peace of mind. I was told by the shop that repaired my e-brake that eventually it'll just get weaker and weaker until it just stops working again. It's like regular maintenance. Ridiculous when you consider I've had cars for a decade that didn't even need one e-brake service to function properly.

So I guess when I park on a steep hill, use crappy e-brake, use wheel chock, put it in L range, put it in gear, pray for the best. lol. I've always left it in gear even in a relatively flat parking spot, I just try to predict which way it'll roll if it actually does get away.

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