4th Generation Maxima (1995-1999) Visit the 4th Generation forum to ask specific questions or find out more about the 4th Generation Maxima.

Rear brake calipers/e-brake freeze/seize when cold out

Old 01-22-2019, 10:56 AM
  #1  
3.5 Swapped!
Thread Starter
iTrader: (32)
 
95maxrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Herndon, VA
Posts: 7,181
Rear brake calipers/e-brake freeze/seize when cold out

Arg, not again! It's been very cold the last two days here in the DC area, and once again my rear calipers/e-brake is frozen! The e-brake handle in the car has no tension after I release it, so I assume the lever arm for the e-brake cable is stuck at the caliper. I just replaced these calipers last year due to the same issue....and 3 years before that, and 3 years before that......WTF is wrong with our rear brakes??? I greased everything properly when I did them last year, and yet the issue came right back. I replaced my e-brake cables about 10 years ago, and they're in decent enough shape and otherwise work very well. I have only installed aftermarket calipers since OEM are too expensive, but this is getting ridiculous! Is there anything I can do to prevent them from freezing up like this? I'm just going to have to leave the car in gear with the e-brake off if this is how it's going to be!

Last edited by 95maxrider; 01-22-2019 at 11:02 AM.
95maxrider is offline  
Old 01-22-2019, 11:30 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,930
You likely have moisture in the cable line that is freezing. The cable should be sealed, but considering age and wear and tear, plus it sounds like you use it every time you park, then moisture can get in.

I don't know for certain with the 4th gen, but normally the parking brake is actually shoes inside the hub of the rotor. In that the cable doesn't work the hydraulic caliper at all. So there could be moisture buildup behind the rotor causing those shoes to stick...
MadMax07SL is offline  
Old 01-22-2019, 11:34 AM
  #3  
3.5 Swapped!
Thread Starter
iTrader: (32)
 
95maxrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Herndon, VA
Posts: 7,181
Originally Posted by MadMax07SL View Post
You likely have moisture in the cable line that is freezing. The cable should be sealed, but considering age and wear and tear, plus it sounds like you use it every time you park, then moisture can get in.

I don't know for certain with the 4th gen, but normally the parking brake is actually shoes inside the hub of the rotor. In that the cable doesn't work the hydraulic caliper at all. So there could be moisture buildup behind the rotor causing those shoes to stick...
Interesting. I do use it every time I park since the car is a manual and my driveway is rather steep. On the 4th gen, the parking brake uses the main pads; there are no shoes in the rotor. Maybe I'm just due for new cables....
95maxrider is offline  
Old 01-22-2019, 11:34 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,930
Here's an example of someone adjusting the shoes inside the rotor...

MadMax07SL is offline  
Old 01-22-2019, 11:35 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,930
Yeah, that's what I was unsure of...

Originally Posted by 95maxrider View Post
...On the 4th gen, the parking brake uses the main pads; there are no shoes in the rotor. Maybe I'm just due for new cables....
MadMax07SL is offline  
Old 01-22-2019, 07:09 PM
  #6  
I'm nutty for Nissans
iTrader: (46)
 
JSutter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Portland, Maine
Posts: 9,388
These calipers are crap no doubt.

Check the parking brake cable where it routes around the trailing arm bushing. Any signs of damage?

Disconnect the cables at the calipers and check for sticking or binding. If you are feeling up to it, check the equalizer too (the piece that connects the handle to the two cables).
JSutter is offline  
Old 01-22-2019, 08:44 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Long Island
Posts: 857
I did both sides (Cables) about a year and a half ago, What a difference!

IIRC, about $100 or so plus shipping for both.

Hopefully, they're still available. Dorman might have something too but I'm glad I went OEM for another 19 years. Don't laugh cause I'm keeping mine that long. LOL
KP11520 is offline  
Old 01-22-2019, 09:03 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Fuk 301 it's 410 Bal Md black/purple.
Posts: 1,728
The 4th gen 4dsc don't have adjusting shoes or drums on the rotors. it's a simple rotors front and back with calipers and brake pads. The 4th gens calipers suck really bad and they are known to seize out of nowhere. The rears especially.
vqmaxman is offline  
Old 01-23-2019, 07:04 AM
  #9  
3.5 Swapped!
Thread Starter
iTrader: (32)
 
95maxrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Herndon, VA
Posts: 7,181
I decided to just order new cables and see what happens, since I really don't feel like installing new calipers again. I found some on closeout at Rockauto, one side was only $8 and the other was about $45! Shipped to me, the total was about $70, so I'm not going to complain about that! I'll do a full inspection and refresh of the system when I install them and post back. These calipers seem to be about as simple as they can get, how is it so hard to make them reliable?

KP- I plan on keeping mine at least that long! I'm in it for the long haul, but with cables being as simple as they are, I didn't see the need to go OEM.
95maxrider is offline  
Old 01-23-2019, 08:18 AM
  #10  
Newbie - Just Registered
iTrader: (10)
 
Slamrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 826
Originally Posted by 95maxrider View Post
I decided to just order new cables and see what happens, since I really don't feel like installing new calipers again. I found some on closeout at Rockauto, one side was only $8 and the other was about $45! Shipped to me, the total was about $70, so I'm not going to complain about that! I'll do a full inspection and refresh of the system when I install them and post back. These calipers seem to be about as simple as they can get, how is it so hard to make them reliable?

KP- I plan on keeping mine at least that long! I'm in it for the long haul, but with cables being as simple as they are, I didn't see the need to go OEM.
I know it might not be the same but when i did the cables on my 5.5gen, i used aftermarket (dorman) thinking the same thing, “how can they screw up a simple cable?” And here i am not even half a year later with my e brake getting stuck again, you get what you pay for. The dorman cables are **** poor quality, the brackets are not the same and require jerry rigging, already the passenger side cable has come apart and allowed moisture inside. I replaced all my rear brake components as well (calipers, pads, rotors) so i know the cable is the issue. Any time its freezing weather, the cable get stuck and wont release. Going to have to double down and replace it again in the spring when its warmer. Until then, i dont have an ebrake. Spend the extra bucks for OEM and save yourself the headache.
Slamrod is offline  
Old 01-23-2019, 08:32 AM
  #11  
3.5 Swapped!
Thread Starter
iTrader: (32)
 
95maxrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Herndon, VA
Posts: 7,181
Originally Posted by Slamrod View Post


I know it might not be the same but when i did the cables on my 5.5gen, i used aftermarket (dorman) thinking the same thing, “how can they screw up a simple cable?” And here i am not even half a year later with my e brake getting stuck again, you get what you pay for. The dorman cables are **** poor quality, the brackets are not the same and require jerry rigging, already the passenger side cable has come apart and allowed moisture inside. I replaced all my rear brake components as well (calipers, pads, rotors) so i know the cable is the issue. Any time its freezing weather, the cable get stuck and wont release. Going to have to double down and replace it again in the spring when its warmer. Until then, i dont have an ebrake. Spend the extra bucks for OEM and save yourself the headache.
Well, crap, too late now, the order has already shipped. I'm curious to see what the differences are between an aftermarket and OEM cable. If you could post up pics when you do the job, that would be awesome! I guess if these fail then I'll replace them with OEM.
95maxrider is offline  
Old 01-23-2019, 10:18 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
iTrader: (13)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Hatfield, MA
Posts: 1,305
Originally Posted by Slamrod View Post


I know it might not be the same but when i did the cables on my 5.5gen, i used aftermarket (dorman) thinking the same thing, “how can they screw up a simple cable?” And here i am not even half a year later with my e brake getting stuck again, you get what you pay for. The dorman cables are **** poor quality, the brackets are not the same and require jerry rigging, already the passenger side cable has come apart and allowed moisture inside. I replaced all my rear brake components as well (calipers, pads, rotors) so i know the cable is the issue. Any time its freezing weather, the cable get stuck and wont release. Going to have to double down and replace it again in the spring when its warmer. Until then, i dont have an ebrake. Spend the extra bucks for OEM and save yourself the headache.
+1

I replaced the OE cables with Dorman cables on my 1998 Max 5 years ago. One year later the cheap Droman's seized up! I installed OE Nissan cables 4 years ago.

A trick to keep them from seizing is everytime I remove the rear wheels I spray lubricant thru the cables using this tool

Amazon Amazon
jholley is offline  
Old 01-23-2019, 11:12 AM
  #13  
3.5 Swapped!
Thread Starter
iTrader: (32)
 
95maxrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Herndon, VA
Posts: 7,181
Originally Posted by jholley View Post
+1

I replaced the OE cables with Dorman cables on my 1998 Max 5 years ago. One year later the cheap Droman's seized up! I installed OE Nissan cables 4 years ago.

A trick to keep them from seizing is everytime I remove the rear wheels I spray lubricant thru the cables using this tool

https://www.amazon.com/Motion-Pro-08.../dp/B0012TYX9W
Well, ****. I take it the OEM cables have been fine ever since?
95maxrider is offline  
Old 01-23-2019, 11:25 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
iTrader: (13)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Hatfield, MA
Posts: 1,305
Originally Posted by 95maxrider View Post
Well, ****. I take it the OEM cables have been fine ever since?
No doubt they're still holding up. It was below zero for 2 days this week and the cables still easily released.

Dropping the exhaust shields if the hardest part for installing the cables. You can rotate and bend the resonator and Cat shields off. Only the Y-pipe shield couldn't bend enough so I slid it over the CAT so I could reach the cable divider.

Last edited by jholley; 01-23-2019 at 11:39 AM.
jholley is offline  
Old 02-09-2019, 08:35 AM
  #15  
3.5 Swapped!
Thread Starter
iTrader: (32)
 
95maxrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Herndon, VA
Posts: 7,181
Well, you guys were right, I needed to replace my e-brake cables again!

I bought some cheap ones from RockAuto and hoped for the best. One was on clearance for $8, and the brands didn't match, but I figured they had to be better than what was in the car. The two brands certainly constructed them differently, but from what I can tell, it's an updated design over the ones I put in the car 10 years ago. This coincides with what I saw on the Nissan parts website, where it mentioned a new part had superseded the older one. It of course didn't mention what the change was, but I think I know what it is! Keep reading for details....

So the ones I installed 10 years ago didn't have much in the way of brackets attaching them to the car, so many zip ties were used:



As soon as I detached them from the caliper, I knew they had failed by the amount of water that dripped out of them:



The outer covering had split in multiple locations:







Yeah, I can see how all that water in there would freeze up and keep the cable from retracting!

So, what is this revision to the cables? Well, it looks like Nissan (and the aftermarket) decided it would be smart to put a sheath around the cable to prevent it from coming in contact with water and rusting up!



What a fine idea! As I mentioned, I bought two different brands of cables. One brand obviously wasn't as precise about putting the sheathing all the way to the end of the cable....



Still, that's a hell of a lot better than no sheathing at all!

The new cables came with actual brackets too, hooray! However, one of the brands had breaks in the outer covering, while the other had it fully sealed up for the length of the cable. That kind of bugs me, but what can I do about it now?



I sprayed a bunch of cable lube down either end to hopefully prevent it from locking up if and when it gets water inside it.



I then zip tied the rubber accordion to end of the cable to keep it from coming loose:



And with that, I put it all back together, and marveled at my cables being properly attached to the car once more:



I adjusted the handle so it clicks the recommended 10-11 times, and could immediately tell that the cables moved much more smoothly than the old ones. I'm pretty confident that this will solve my frozen e-brake problem, but I won't know for sure until another month or two goes by. Thanks for all of the help with this one, I can't believe I overlooked my cables for so long. Lesson learned: if you have problems with a frozen e-brake in the winter, detach the cables from the calipers and let them hang down. If water comes out, it's time to replace your cables!
95maxrider is offline  
Old 02-09-2019, 04:12 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: AL
Posts: 312
That is some mighty fine documentation you've done there. Great job!
Shrout1 is offline  
Old 02-09-2019, 10:40 PM
  #17  
Newbie - Just Registered
iTrader: (10)
 
Slamrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 826
Originally Posted by User1 View Post
Nice work! Now that you're the E-brake cable expert, quick question: My 5th gen e-brake handle has like 2.5 inches of really loose upward play before the first ratchet! It just flops around. What do I do to adjust this???? Thanks for the thread, it inspires me to replace all my gear now, and I probably don't even need to!
youre in luck this time, its an easy job for once. When you pull the lever up youll see just below it is a 10mm bolt - adjust that to tighten or loosen your cable. Just make sure not to loosen/unthread the bolt entirely because id imagine it would suck a lot to wrestle back in. Simple as that, will take you longer to get your tools out that itll take you to do the job itself.
Slamrod is offline  
Old 02-10-2019, 06:17 AM
  #18  
3.5 Swapped!
Thread Starter
iTrader: (32)
 
95maxrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Herndon, VA
Posts: 7,181
Originally Posted by User1 View Post
Nice work! Now that you're the E-brake cable expert, quick question: My 5th gen e-brake handle has like 2.5 inches of really loose upward play before the first ratchet! It just flops around. What do I do to adjust this???? Thanks for the thread, it inspires me to replace all my gear now, and I probably don't even need to!
According to my Chilton manual, 1995-2003 cars with the hand lever should travel 10-11 clicks. 2002 models with the foot pedal should travel 4-5 clicks. Adjust the 10mm nut at the base of your e-brake handle until it travels 10-11 clicks. If you adjust it properly and there's still slack, you'll need to dig into the system and investigate. Does your e-brake work now if you pull up all the way?
95maxrider is offline  
Old 02-11-2019, 07:17 PM
  #19  
Newbie - Just Registered
iTrader: (10)
 
Slamrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 826
Originally Posted by User1 View Post
Wait, so I have to remove the entire center console????? Noooooooooo!!!!! That is WAY too much work!
not at all. When you lift the E-brake lever, look under it in the slot where it was resting, like through the rubber shrouding or w/e the hell its called. Attached to the underside of the e-brake lever is the bolt you have to adjust, you dont have to do anything at all to reach it other than raise the ebrake lever up. All you need is a 1/4 or 3/8 10mm socket, wrench, and an extension.
Slamrod is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Roblee
5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003)
20
01-16-2017 01:42 PM
ImmaSquashYou
4th Generation Classifieds (1995-1999)
10
06-08-2011 10:02 PM
chinaman
5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003)
4
03-16-2009 08:56 PM
S1cTech
4th Generation Maxima (1995-1999)
31
01-10-2008 06:44 PM
Prophecy1
4th Generation Maxima (1995-1999)
12
03-15-2004 11:40 AM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Rear brake calipers/e-brake freeze/seize when cold out


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.