How to Replace Emergency Brakes in a Pontiac Grand Prix

Written by ehow cars editor
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The original purpose of emergency brakes was to stop your vehicle in an emergency. Fortunately, the brakes on a Pontiac Grand Prix rarely fail, and the emergency brakes are most commonly used to keep the vehicle from moving while parked. The most likely type of failure for emergency brakes is when the brake cable rusts and seizes after it's not used for a long time.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Brake grease
  • Emergency brakes kit
  • Mechanics wire (disc brakes)
  • Socket wrench set
  • Thread-locking compound
  • Tool J-38400 (drum brakes)
  • Torque wrench

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  1. 1

    Determine which type of emergency brakes your Pontiac Grand Prix will need. Emergency brakes typically function by activating the regular braking system on the driving wheels. The emergency brakes for the Pontiac Grand Prix may use drum or disc brakes on the rear wheels.

  2. 2

    Raise the vehicle and remove the rear brake caliper with a socket wrench if your vehicle is equipped with rear disc brakes. Support the caliper with mechanic's wire so it does not hang by the brake hose.

  3. 3

    Remove the caliper bracket bolts with a socket wrench and remove the caliper. They were installed with a thread-locking compound at the factory so this may require considerable force. Remove the rear brake rotor and disconnect the parking brake actuator and rear wheel hub. Remove the brake shoes from the parking brake support plate with a socket wrench.

  4. 4

    Disconnect the tire and wheel assembly with a socket wrench if you have rear drum brakes. Remove the brake drum. Use tool J-38400 to remove the actuator spring from the adjuster lever and the retractor spring from the adjuster shoe assembly. Remove the brake shoe and adjuster assembly. Disconnect the parking brake lever from the shoe.

  5. 5

    Install the new brake shoes by reversing the removal process. Use thread-locking compound on the caliper bracket bolts and tighten them to 92 ft. lbs. with a torque wrench. Clean the backing plate and apply a thin coat of brake grease to the brake shoe contact points. Adjust the brakes and road test the vehicle for proper brake operation.

  6. 6

    Adjust the brakes and road test the vehicle for proper brake operation.

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