Non-functional parking brake and rear caliper replacement

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
* Yes yes yes, I realize this topic has been covered to death, as it's a common issue. I've done some reading but would still like to have the most up-to-date info possible. Apologies for redundancy! *

I bought my car with a non-functioning parking brake. The previous owner told me it stopped working after he had a shop do some brake work about 5 years and 40k ago. The shop replaced the rear calipers and that still didn't fix the parking brake, but the brakes otherwise work fine.

Flash forward to me as the new owner - I checked the lever tension adjustment, checked that the cables are connected, and tried to adjust the 4mm allen adjustment screw. One caliper adjustment would not budge and the other spun freely and does not seem to do be doing anything. The levers for the p-brake cables on the calipers move fine and the the calipers are not rusty or very old. Pads have plenty of life left.

Considering that my main limitations are budget and the fact that this is my only car, below are what I perceive as my options:
  1. Buy junkyard calipers for cheap
    1. If junkyard calipers are junk, rebuild (is this possible or recommended?)
  2. Rebuild current calipers (is this possible or recommended?)
    1. Must be done quickly, will need new calipers anyway if rebuild fails.
  3. Replace calipers
    1. I don't see there being any non-remanufactured options.
    2. I've seen mixed reviews on RockAuto reman. calipers, and I'd rather not be fighting with poor quality and returns.
    3. OEM is outrageously expensive ($265 ea.)
  4. Swap over to 98+ 626 v6 rear brakes to avoid further issues?
    1. Calipers are cheaper but I'll also need rotors/pads/brackets so overall cost is higher (but maybe worth it?)
    2. Possible brake imbalance from too much rear-bias (626 calipers/rotors are larger, I'm already planning to do MZ6 front swap in the far future but not yet)
    3. Get 626 parts at junkyard? (pretty hard to find a 98-02 v6 626 now a days)
Thoughts, comments, experiences? I'd love to hear it all - thanks!
 
:
2001 Mazda SP20 323
Uuugh rear brakes!

There's a little plastic / soft metal gear inside that works as the self adjuster for the park brake. by the sounds of it that's what's failed in your calipers. between that and the sliders pins seizing in the rear brakes are the worst part of owning a P5! I've replaced two or three already

From what I remember, and PCB can probably pitch in here, re-man calipers or rebuild kits don't normally replace the adjuster gear so a re-man option might have a dud adjuster and might not fix the issue. your best bet may be a really reputable wreckers or a pick-n-pull yard where you can test the calipers before pulling them.

The other-other option is Mazdaspeed Miata rear disks and calipers, which are very similar from memory, or go whole-hog and GH2 Atenza/6 swap them! Need to get a new, longer handbrake cable for that option though.

Whatever option you go for, grease the slider pins!
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Thanks for the feedback @LankyKiwi!

Remanufactured calipers seem like the easy but trouble-prone way out. Even then, I just logically hate the idea of replacing a faulty and broken part with another faulty and bound to break part. Thus, my interest in doing a rear brake swap. Mentally, I'd rather pay more for something I know will last.

I have done some digging into the Mazda 6 rear caliper swap, but I still wouldn't have a parking brake, unless someone has come up with a definitive solution I don't know about. I have never heard of a swap from a MazdaSpeed Miata, but I imagine it would be hard to find those parts used (similar to the MSP rear brakes) and expensive to buy new. Worth a look though.

I'm leaning towards the 626 rear swap. I priced out a set of 02 626 v6 ACDelco reman calipers, pads and rotors for $162 plus $90 for core charge. Not sure how RockAuto does core charge but I suppose it's not a bad price. Cheaper if I can find some used calipers and rotors.

Uuuhg this sucks. So many better ways I could use this money. Oh well.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
One caliper adjustment would not budge and the other spun freely and does not seem to do be doing anything. The levers for the p-brake cables on the calipers move fine and the calipers are not rusty or very old. Pads have plenty of life left.

If the connection points on the calipers are rotating properly, you may still be able to adjust your brakes.





Before you give up on the calipers, try getting in your car, push the brake pedal in and hold it.
Then push & hold the button on your P-brake lever and pull the brake lever a few dozen times, until your arm gets sore.
See if the handle starts to tighten up.

The adjustment screw isn't necessary to adjust the brakes.
You can use the self-adjusting mechanism to push the piston out if the mechanism is working properly. (even if the screw is stripped)

It just takes a lot of P- brake handle pulls to adjust it.


A lot of people have had stripped adjustment screws but I don't recall an adjustment screw being seized though.
That whole mechanism may be shot.


The problem with not having your rear brake pistons properly adjusted is that it sets your brake pedal height.
Your brake pedal has to push further and further in towards the floor before the brakes start to grab.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
I priced out a set of 02 626 v6 ACDelco reman calipers, pads and rotors for $162 plus $90 for core charge. Not sure how RockAuto does core charge but I suppose it's not a bad price.

I'm pretty sure that you have to mail your old calipers back to Rockauto and you may be responsible for the shipping cost.
They would also be expecting used 626 calipers so you might not get your core charge back?

You could phone customer service and ask.


As far as I know, the problem with any rear brake replacement is getting new P-brake cables that are long enough and have the correct lugs on both ends of the cable.

I remember someone that got brake cables off of a pickup truck that fit, but I don't remember what brake set up he went with.
LankyKiwi had his cables custom built.

Either way, the cost of P-brake cables would be added to the cost of a brake upgrade.
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Before you give up on the calipers, try getting in your car, push the brake pedal in and hold it.
Then push & hold the button on your P-brake lever and pull the brake lever a few dozen times, until your arm gets sore.
See if the handle starts to tighten up.

The adjustment screw isn't necessary to adjust the brakes.
You can use the self-adjusting mechanism to push the piston out if the mechanism is working properly. (even if the screw is stripped)

It just takes a lot of P- brake handle pulls to adjust it.
Awesome, I will give this a try.
Keep in mind too that (at least when I last did this last) one caliper has the adjustment screw seized, and the other moves freely and doesn't appear to do anything. They didn't act the same. It's been quite a while since I've checked them, so I might get under there again and check them.

I'm pretty sure that you have to mail your old calipers back to Rockauto and you may be responsible for the shipping cost.
They would also be expecting used 626 calipers so you might not get your core charge back?

You could phone customer service and ask.
Ohhhh you're totally right. I don't have any core 626 calipers to send back. I can imagine too that they'll charge me shipping, which I know won't be too cheap. That pretty much eliminates that option in terms of cost. With that said, I am now inclined to go look (again) for a 98+ 626 v6 in my local junkyards or as a local partout.

As far as I know, the problem with any rear brake replacement is getting new P-brake cables that are long enough and have the correct lugs on both ends of the cable.
I've done some reading and a few people have said that the 99+ 626 v6 rear caliper (not 98+ like I said before) swap works with the stock Protege5 handbrake cables. I could totally be mistaken though.
This thread is where most of my info comes from. Also some helpful info here.

Bumping and updating this thread as I have found a good rear solution for those that don't want to do the crazy ebrake setup for MZ6 brakes: 99+ 626 rear brakes

I've been researching all morning and found a bunch of Probe guys do this swap. They already know about the P5/MZ6/MS6 swaps and those all bolt up to a Probe, as do the 626 brakes, so they should also be a direct swap for us! They are the same diameter as the MSP/MZ6 rear brakes, but bolt in and are way cheaper!

I already have a set of 07 MZ6 front brakes, and will be finding some 99+ 626 rears to complete my OEM BBK. Very Excite!

Front: (Height | Width | Weight)
2006-09 Mazda6 (v6) : 298mm | 25mm | 19lbs
2003-05 Mazda6 (v6) : 282mm | 25mm | 14.8lbs
2003-03.5 Mazda MSP: 273mm | 24mm | 13.5lbs
2002-03 Mazda Pro5 : 257mm | 24mm | 12lbs

Rear: (Height | Width | Weight)
2006-09 Mazda6 (v6) : 280mm | 10mm | 9.3lbs
2003-04 Mazda6 (v6) : 280mm | 10mm | 9.3lbs
2003-03.5 Mazda MSP: 280mm | 10mm | 9.3lbs
2002-03 Mazda Pro5 : 261mm | 10mm | 9lbs
1999-02 Mazda 626: 280mm | ??mm | ??lbs

Research links:
http://forums.probetalk.com/showthread.php?t=1701263582
http://www.mx6.com/forums/2g-faq-performance/199188-brake-upgrade-how.html
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
Try backing off the seized adjuster. (counterclockwise) to see if you can unseize it.

It may not matter though, depending on how it has failed.

Using the handbrake may still adjust the brakes.

Ohh, and if it ever comes to it and you need to retract the rear pistons, you can just turn the piston and screw it back in without the need for the adjuster screw.
Make sure that the dust boot isn't stuck to the piston so it doesn't tear when you rotate the piston.



I've done some reading and a few people have said that the 99+ 626 v6 rear caliper (not 98+ like I said before) swap works with the stock Protege5 handbrake cables.


That would great !!
I was under the impression that nothing would connect up with our stock P-brake cables.

I didn't look into it too far because I realized that the brakes were bigger and my 15" winter wheels wouldn't fit.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
One thing that I can add, is that some guy had a problem fully bleeding the rear brakes.

What he ended up doing was to unbolt the caliper from the bracket and rotated the caliper on the rotor until the bleeder screw was at the very top, to get the last of the bubbles out.
Then he rotated the caliper back and bolted it back on.
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Before you give up on the calipers, try getting in your car, push the brake pedal in and hold it.
Then push & hold the button on your P-brake lever and pull the brake lever a few dozen times, until your arm gets sore.
See if the handle starts to tighten up.
I tried this with no luck so far. Had the car off and foot on the brake. Pulled the handbrake a good 15-20 times and didn't feel much difference. Car still rolls easily with handbrake up. Maybe I should try it with the car running and more pulls.

Found an almost new left rear caliper (right one was old and seized, didn't bother). Pulled it off to test. Adjustment screw turned no problem and moved piston, handbrake cable lever moved fine, bleeder nipple was not seized, no apparent leaks from torn seals etc.. Seemed good to me so I grabbed it, and they only wanted $15.

Now I am left wondering what to do about the right side. No other yards near me have any in good condition that I saw. eBay and car-part.com have them for like $60+ but I have no way of knowing condition. Hmmm.....
 

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BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Still needed to find a left rear caliper and having not found anything at the local yards, I decided to jump the gun and buy a reman Centric left rear caliper off eBay. Total came out to ~$60 shipped with no core charge and 60 day free returns. If I have an issue, I'd rather deal with eBay for returns than RockAuto. Also bought some cheap Centric Posi-Quiet pads to install while I'm at it.

I've done brakes before but never a whole caliper. I'm confident I can get the caliper off, but I am not 100% sure on how to install the new caliper and do all of the adjustments and brake bleeding. I'll refer to the service manual and of course the obligatory ChrisFix video. I've heard that it's important to grease the slider pins, but I'm not sure where those are exactly and what purpose they serve. Any other suggestions or advice on the procedure overall are appreciated.

Hopefully I'll have a working parking brake for the first time by the end of this.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
I've heard that it's important to grease the slider pins, but I'm not sure where those are exactly and what purpose they serve.

These are the slider pins.
The service manual calls them guide pins.


The caliper floats on the guide pins.
If the guide pins are sticky or rusty, they will bind.
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Calipers and pads installed and working. Slider pins greased. Parking brake working!

A few issues along the way - the new banjo bolt on the reman caliper was initially leaking like crazy for whatever reason. Swapped it out for the old bolt and that worked fine.
I've never bled brakes before but after I figured it out, it was no problem.
The old drivers side caliper parking brake hook was totally seized. When I replaced the caliper, the cable wasn't extending out fully, and It looks like the lever is half-engaged when the p-brake is off. I couldn't figure out how to let out some slack, and the other side was looking and working fine. I ended up just adjusting the Allen key to make sure that it wasn't constantly dragging, but as a result, I'm not sure if that side is fully engaging at all. Not the end of the world, but would like to resolve at some point.

Otherwise, this appears to be a finished job - thanks everyone for the help and tips!
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
... When I replaced the caliper, the cable wasn't extending out fully, and It looks like the lever is half-engaged when the p-brake is off. I couldn't figure out how to let out some slack, and the other side was looking and working fine. I ended up just adjusting the Allen key to make sure that it wasn't constantly dragging, but as a result, I'm not sure if that side is fully engaging at all.

You probably have a seized P-Brake cable.
Mine was doing the same thing so I Jerry rigged a spring to the lever to pull on the cable.
My parts car came with new cables, so I swapped them out.







If the lever isn't fully rotating, then your brakes won't self adjust, then your brake pedal will start to push closer to the floor, and your P-brake handle will get more and more clicks until they stop grabbing.
You probably only have one caliper grabbing when you set the parking brake.

Your lever on your caliper may still self adjust (if it has enough movement) then it may not release and start to drag your brakes.


 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
You probably have a seized P-Brake cable.
Mine was doing the same thing so I Jerry rigged a spring to the lever to pull on the cable.
My parts car came with new cables, so I swapped them out.







If the lever isn't fully rotating, then your brakes won't self adjust, then your brake pedal will start to push closer to the floor, and your P-brake handle will get more and more clicks until they stop grabbing.
You probably only have one caliper grabbing when you set the parking brake.

Your lever on your caliper may still self adjust (if it has enough movement) then it may not release and start to drag your brakes.


Thanks pcb,
I should be clear, the seized lever was on the old caliper which is gone and done with now, having been replaced today. The lever on the new (junkyard) caliper has full movement and appears to be working great. I was mainly mentioning it because the cable doesn't seem to be 'retracting' out fully when the parking brake is disengaged, totally regardless of the caliper's operation. The parking brake cable still moves in when you pull the lever, just not fully out.

I've seen the diagram in the service manual which shows the mechanism responsible for splitting the one handbrake lever cable into the two individual cables for each side's caliper. However, when I traced the cables back towards the front of the car, they disappeared into the underbody and I don't know where that 'split' happens to be able to take a look for an issue.

Edit: For reference, this is the 'split' I'm talking about. 04-12-2 in the factory service manual.


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pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
Thanks pcb,
I should be clear, the seized lever was on the old caliper which is gone and done with now, having been replaced today. The lever on the new (junkyard) caliper has full movement and appears to be working great. I was mainly mentioning it because the cable doesn't seem to be 'retracting' out fully when the parking brake is disengaged, totally regardless of the caliper's operation. The parking brake cable still moves in when you pull the lever, just not fully out.

I've seen the diagram in the service manual which shows the mechanism responsible for splitting the one handbrake lever cable into the two individual cables for each side's caliper. However, when I traced the cables back towards the front of the car, they disappeared into the underbody and I don't know where that 'split' happens to be able to take a look for an issue.

Edit: For reference, this is the 'split' I'm talking about. 04-12-2 in the factory service manual.


View attachment 229064

If your passenger side p-brake is working properly, with full movement at the caliper, then the front and passenger cables, as well as the split, are probably working properly.

The split is located under the heat shield below the p-brake handle.

When the p-brake handle is released, the factory spring on the caliper is supposed to pull the cable fully out.
(the one circled in red.)






In my case (and probably yours too, ) the boot on the cable failed, water got in and rusted everything up inside the cable.
It wasn't fully seized, it was just binding enough that the factory spring didn't have enough tension to pull the wire out, so I added the extra spring to add enough pressure to pull the cable out.

My replacement cable moved so freely, that I didn't need the second spring anymore.


I'm pretty sure that you have the same problem that I had and a new p-brake cable will fix it.


You will have to remove the heat shield to access the "split" to disconnect the old cable from the "split".

You can put pliers or screwdriver on the lever connection point on the caliper to see if you can pull the cable out fully.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
Another thing I remember is that the bolts that hold on the heat shield thread into weld nuts and most of my weld nuts broke free.
Then the bolts and nuts just spin, so I had to kinda hack my heat shield off.

A lot of guys just deleted their heat shield but I managed to get mine back on without any rattles.
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
If your passenger side p-brake is working properly, with full movement at the caliper, then the front and passenger cables, as well as the split, are probably working properly.

The split is located under the heat shield below the p-brake handle.

When the p-brake handle is released, the factory spring on the caliper is supposed to pull the cable fully out.
(the one circled in red.)






In my case (and probably yours too, ) the boot on the cable failed, water got in and rusted everything up inside the cable.
It wasn't fully seized, it was just binding enough that the factory spring didn't have enough tension to pull the wire out, so I added the extra spring to add enough pressure to pull the cable out.

My replacement cable moved so freely, that I didn't need the second spring anymore.


I'm pretty sure that you have the same problem that I had and a new p-brake cable will fix it.


You will have to remove the heat shield to access the "split" to disconnect the old cable from the "split".

You can put pliers or screwdriver on the lever connection point on the caliper to see if you can pull the cable out fully.
Okay, I totally get what you're saying now. You're probably right. I tried to pull the cable out of the sleeve by hand a few times but it seemed pretty stuck. It does pull inwards fully when you pull the handbrake though, just not as much as the other side. Still not 100% sure but I'll drive it for a while and re-check later to see if it's still happening. I went for a drive after finishing the install and it held fine on a steep hill, so I think it'll be suitable at least for now along with keeping the car in gear. Certainly better than nothing.

Thanks for the help!
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
.... It does pull inwards fully when you pull the handbrake though, just not as much as the other side.

As long as it releases enough to not drag the brake, you should be good for a while but it's probably not going to get better.

I even removed my old cable (before I got the parts car.) and strung it up to drain oil through it but I didn't work.
 
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