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Old 03-18-2019, 07:47 PM   #1
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Emergency Brake Won't Disengage

My bus has been in storage all winter and it's been a bit of work to get her started again. Well today I tried to move her to a different storage spot and could not. The emergency break seems to be stuck and the lever to disengage it does not work.
She is a '96 Bluebird TC 2000 Cummins 12 v and auto alison transmission. I really had to floor it to just move her a little bit, if it were not for the light being on I would have thought she was stuck in the mud. The emergency break is to the left and is a foot pedal and a hand pull release, I hear something when I pull the release but I don't think it's releasing the emergency break. Also, the regular break makes a buzzing sort of sound if I do not tap it up with my boot after pressing on the break. (not sure if the two are connected)
I'm not mechanically savvy but need to get this figured out on my own and both fast and frugally.
Where is the emergency brake cable and where is it attached to?
How do I know if it is rusted in place?
Can I PB blast it and scrub the rust away or does in need replacing ASAP?
Would AAA be able to do anything to help in this situation as I need to move my bus but if I can't get the break off I can't drive her.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:38 PM   #2
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assuming it is a drum parking brake, follow the cable back to the drum and tap it with a hammer. could just have some buildup from winter.....
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:56 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Rovobay View Post
assuming it is a drum parking brake, follow the cable back to the drum and tap it with a hammer. could just have some buildup from winter.....
Thanks for the help, I'm not sure how to tell if it is a drum parking brake or not? Can you elaborate? If possible break it down for me like your explaining to a kid as I'm not the brightest or most mechanically knowledgeable. Thanks!
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:06 PM   #4
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It sounds as though it is drum brakes. they work by pumping fluid into a wheel cylinder that expands the brake "shoes" against the drum to cause friction to slow down. The E brake is mechanically controlled by a steel cable that connects the E brake handle and the actuating arm in the drum that manually moves the shoes against the drum to keep it from moving. Some disc brakes have a separate mechanical E brake separate from the caliper. Start at the handle, identify the cable and follow it back, usually to a splitter and then to each rear drum. Lots of connections that can get gummed up. Clean and lube everything so it moves freely.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:52 PM   #5
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for example, on my truck, the parking brake runs down the outside of my driverside frame down to the rear. it is held in place with some eye bolts. should be easy enough to identify. get some eyes on it. post pics if you are still stuck.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:07 PM   #6
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Your bus should have a brake drum on the output Yoke of the transmission which is the parking brake. Make sure to check your wheels before you crawl under there and watch for movement of the actuator arm while someone applies and releases it with the engine off
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Old 03-19-2019, 01:44 AM   #7
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Your bus should have a brake drum on the output Yoke of the transmission which is the parking brake. Make sure to check your wheels before you crawl under there and watch for movement of the actuator arm while someone applies and releases it with the engine off

I believe Kubla meant to say "chalk" your wheels ... so that the vehicle does not roll.
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Old 03-19-2019, 05:08 AM   #8
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I believe Kubla meant to say "chalk" your wheels ... so that the vehicle does not roll.
Close- its "chock".
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:00 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
It sounds as though it is drum brakes. they work by pumping fluid into a wheel cylinder that expands the brake "shoes" against the drum to cause friction to slow down. The E brake is mechanically controlled by a steel cable that connects the E brake handle and the actuating arm in the drum that manually moves the shoes against the drum to keep it from moving. Some disc brakes have a separate mechanical E brake separate from the caliper. Start at the handle, identify the cable and follow it back, usually to a splitter and then to each rear drum. Lots of connections that can get gummed up. Clean and lube everything so it moves freely.
Okay, I comprehend better when I restate things in my own words instead of just sayin I see.
So I will move the handle around while someone crawls under the bus to see what is wiggling. This wil lbe the cable, I will find a splitter with four more cables leading to each of the rear drums. These splitters could be gummed up so I need to clean them. What do I clean them with? I'm guessing not dish soap so a suggestion to pick up at Walmart would be appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:02 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rovobay View Post
for example, on my truck, the parking brake runs down the outside of my driverside frame down to the rear. it is held in place with some eye bolts. should be easy enough to identify. get some eyes on it. post pics if you are still stuck.
I feel foolish for driving the hour to my bus and not coming back with any pictures of the problem to post. I will be out there again tomorrow to troubleshoot and photoshoot.
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:03 AM   #11
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I believe Kubla meant to say "chalk" your wheels ... so that the vehicle does not roll.
Now that will be easy, my kids have lots of sidewalk chalk. Maybe they can make a mural while I try to find my cables I should probably include pictures of that in my follow up posts too?
(since there is no tone in typing I have to say I'm intending good humor here)
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:07 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
Your bus should have a brake drum on the output Yoke of the transmission which is the parking brake. Make sure to check your wheels before you crawl under there and watch for movement of the actuator arm while someone applies and releases it with the engine off
Hmm, now if only I knew what a Yoke were aside from when its on a team of oxen. I appreciate the help but it's a little to advanced for me to understand. I do appreciate the advice of chalk choking chuck before crawling under my bus though, when I've been bolting stuff to the floor etc, I never even thought of it rolling! Also is there a way to do this solo, or with kids and a dog as a side kicks (hes not a retriever so he probably won't pull the actuator arm (whatever that is) on command.
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:08 AM   #13
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Take a picture of the backside of your transmission.

I'll try to link some pics of what you're looking for but some busses have different linkage setups.
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:18 AM   #14
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Vehicles that have hydraulic brakes will have a cable operated park brake assembly. Here is a picture of a cable operated park brake assembly.


The red arrow points to the drum. Inside of this is the brake shoes and hardware that push out to engage the drum and keep the bus from moving.

The orange arrow points to the silver thing, which is called a bellcrank. The bellcrank is where one end of your cable attaches. The bellcrank, through a linkage, operates the park brake arm/lever.

The green arrow points to the park brake arm/lever.

The previous picture has the lever on the top side. Here is another picture showing the lever on the bottom side of the transmission. They can be in either position.


Finally, here is a pdf of the mechanical park brake mechanism from bluebird.
http://www.centralstatesbus.com/wp-c...s/a3mparbr.pdf
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Old 03-19-2019, 11:15 AM   #15
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And there you have it in a nutshell. The "Yoke" is the mechanical joint at the end of the drive shaft that slides into the transmission.
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Old 03-19-2019, 11:16 AM   #16
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The first time my brakes did this (in my pickup truck after sitting for over a year with the e-brake engaged) it was not the cable and linkage, but the shoes inside the drum that were stuck. I had to cut the drum off.


If your e-brake pedal does not return to the "up" position when you pull the release handle, either (a) the return spring on the pedal arm is broke or missing, or (b) the linkage and/or the pedal arm pivot is likely stuck. I don't remember you saying if you tried pulling it up by "hand". I guess you had to pull the regular (hydrollic) pedal back up by "hand" (or the tip of your foot)? If the e-brake drum is on the tranny output shaft (as mentioned by Booyah) then the two are not related, and there is another problem.


I have air brakes, and have moved my bus twice in 6 months (rain) and both times the e-brakes were rusted stuck (rain). First I tried applying the regular brake pedal over and over, since the same brake shoes are used for the e-brake and regular brakes, and I hoped to loosen them this way. Then I had to put it in drive, and (after warming the motor) I had to momentarily gun it in forward, over and over, rocking the bus forward and back, giving it fuel at the moment it rocks forward, letting off as it wants to rack back, for at least 60 seconds. Then I did it in reverse for another 30 seconds (tricky because the house was only 4 feet behind me, and I was juicing my Cummins diesel up to 2000 RMP). Then back to forward. Eventually, something goes "pop" rather loudly in the back and I am free. Then I engage and disengage the e-brake over and over, and the regular brakes over and over.


What this means to you is that if all else fails, it may be the shoes (inside the drum - it is like a big bowl) that are stuck, and that is where you can get tricky. The drums on my 1999 BlueBird are open, so if the shoes stick, you can get to them, but it lets in more water, so the brakes work like crap in the rain, and they can get rusted stuck easier.
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Old 03-19-2019, 01:14 PM   #17
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The parking brake on the bus is on the back of the transmission, there are no splitters, you are looking at a brake drum on the back of the transmission
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Old 03-19-2019, 03:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Vehicles that have hydraulic brakes will have a cable operated park brake assembly. Here is a picture of a cable operated park brake assembly.


The red arrow points to the drum. Inside of this is the brake shoes and hardware that push out to engage the drum and keep the bus from moving.

The orange arrow points to the silver thing, which is called a bellcrank. The bellcrank is where one end of your cable attaches. The bellcrank, through a linkage, operates the park brake arm/lever.

The green arrow points to the park brake arm/lever.

The previous picture has the lever on the top side. Here is another picture showing the lever on the bottom side of the transmission. They can be in either position.


Finally, here is a pdf of the mechanical park brake mechanism from bluebird.
http://www.centralstatesbus.com/wp-c...s/a3mparbr.pdf
Well I'm still a bit lost but at least now I know what I will be looking for. Approximately where under your bus is the transmission located? There isn't a dunce cap emoji on here is there?
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:07 PM   #19
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Also, so the drum is part of the transmission? Not part of the wheel?
Also, how do I know what kind of allison transmission my bus has?
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:44 PM   #20
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The transmission is bolted to the back side of the motor. Call a dealer with your VIN# and they will be able to tell you what everything in the bus is. On these larger vehicles they utilize a single drum brake on the tail shaft of the transmission, not on the wheels like they are integrated in a car.
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