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So my hand brake got soft about a year ago or so, I checked the rear pads all looks good, lines are working and locking the back wheels so I thought ok I just need to adjust the hand break itself. I tightened the line on the hand brake leaver until the back wheels were loosely rotating when down and this helped but didn't provide what it used to. 6 months later same thing so I tightened it again and the lever and it got a bit better. Now it happened again, so wondering whats going on? Are both lines stretching? Even when its adjusted why does it provide such a weak braking power even on the smallest hills it barely works.
 

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In my experience the biggest problem with the parking brake mechanism in the Focus rear drum brake setup is the brake adjuster levers (aka 'adjusters') whose mechanism seizes up fairly quickly. Once they are seized the parking brakes will not work very well regardless of how they are adjusted at the pull handle inside the car as they will not expand and allow the cable tension to be transmitted into the shoes. Seized adjusters can be 'unseized' however they must be removed from the rear brake assembly, freed up in a vice with penetrating oil, etc, surface corrosion removed with an abrasive disc, etc, and then carefully coated with anti-seize to prevent re-occurance. Definately a PITA.

I completely overhauled the rear drum brakes in my 190K mile 2005 ZX4 5-speed last summer and found my rear adjusters to be completely seized (they may have never been serviced before). Ive posted some pics below of the renewal process. The quadrant shaped piece must be able to rotate on its mounting pin relative the the main part and the pin must be able to slide in the small mounting slot.

If needed the adjusters can still be purchased new keeping in mind that even the new parts, if left unprotected, will end up seizing.
https://www.tascaparts.com/oem-parts/ford-repair-kit-ys4z2k286ba?origin=pla&gclid=CjwKCAjw0vTtBRBREiwA3URt7tKvGfo9su3qKNXJCpsbaFzRWQ7EhcGdhAqMHe8n_5RrzRcNlaXE_BoCJ-EQAvD_BwE

Keep in mind that even with working adjusters all other parts of the parking brake mechanism - shoes/drum, cables, springs etc, must be working/moving correctly for the parking brake to work effectively.

PS what kind of Schwinn bike do you have? I have a 1985 Schwinn World that I purchased new.

Hope this helps.
Good luck
Paul
 

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thanks for replying. I will have to take a look when I replace the drums and or the bearings in the back next time and clean up the mechanism.

I'm in Canada and the parts here are scarce, but I can purchase from rockauto just not sure if they have those adjusters.

I used to have a 1989 schwinn tempo tour de france but it got stolen. I bought a rd700 (new schwinn) but it was garbage, and then got stolen as well lol. Recently I had a raleigh rocky mountain but that also got stolen, so now I repaired a 1982 supercycle which seems to have nice japaneese components. This one is probably not going to be stolen :)
 

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Does the spring that is on the adjuster come with the drum hardware kit? I wonder if that could also be the culprit if it never gets changed.
It does not (or at least not in the kits Ive used). Either way that little spring doesnt wear out and could not over come the corrosion that seizes the quadrant to the main part. The 'culprit' is the fact that the adjuster moves only a tiny amount at each use and many people dont use their parking brake regularly to prevent the seizing. You can also blame the design and unplated material (all 91+ Ford Escorts used a similar part and they seized too, ask me how I know).

Why did you not add more anti seize on the plate itself where the circle quadrant slides around? Would that be wrong?
I did, and in/on the pin/slot. I just dont have any pics of that side. You want to coat all moving/rubbing surfaces of the adjuster with anti-seize (just dont get it on the brake shoes, etc).

Good luck
Paul
 
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