Is Your JK’s Parking Brake Not Working?

I have been fortunate to own my 2014 Wrangler Sport since it was new, with only 14 miles on the odometer.  At around 80,000ish miles, I noticed that the parking brake lever was not activating the parking brake fully when pulled.

After research on the inter-webs and determined that I should replace the Mopar Lever-Parking Brake 52059887Ae.

While my parking brake seemed to be engaging a bit better after installing the Mopar Lever-Parking Brake 52059887Ae , about 10,000 miles later, it quit working altogether.

Further research on the interwebs led me to believe that perhaps the cable had stretched, and/or the brake shoes needed to be adjusted.  Feedback from the on-line Jeep community was that the JK parking brake just goes out, and it’s just a “Jeep Thing”!

Since my JK is a manual/6-Speed, having a working parking brake is more of a necessity than a “luxury item that doesn’t belong on a Jeep”.

My JK Wrangler Unlimited Sport weighs in completely stock at 4,277 lbs., and the Rubicon weighs in at 4,521 lbs.!  That is more than enough weight to overcome the compression in the engine while in gear, in even the slightest of inclines.  Add the weight of mods and gear, and the Jeep weighs, even more, to overcome the engine compression and roll away!

I had the pleasure of meeting Dan Grec ( at Toledo Jeep Fest 2019, and he shared with me his experience during his African adventure with his inoperable park brake.

Fortunately for Dan, this incident turned out not as catastrophic as it looks in the video!!!

As my JK had over 100,000 miles on it at this point, I assumed that the park brake shoes and parking brake cable were just worn out.  Since it had been approx. 60,000 miles since I replaced the rear brake pads/rotors, I ordered new pads, rotors, brake shoes, and hardware.

After pounding off the rear discs, which can be a bear, due to the ring of corrosion that forms on the inside of the rotor/drum.  I quickly realized that the brake shoes still had some life in them!!!

After disassembling the rear park brake assembly, I quickly realized that the parking brake cable was in good order and the reason for my inoperable parking brake was the Mopar 68003591AA Rear Parking Brake Lever that I had not read anywhere that this could render the parking brake inoperable!!!

My parking brake levers with corroded shut!!!  The parking brake lever activates the brake shoes when the parking brake cable is pulled tight.  It’s a very simple design, with the spring force of the shoe springs keeping the shoes disengaged.  If those levers won’t move, your parking brake will not work!!!

***NOTE – There is a lever in each drum-in-hat – the levers are not handed***

As I just realized that the parking brake lever was my issue, I had not ordered new parking brake levers.  With my Jeep completely apart, I quickly learned that the parking brake levers are not a commonly stocked part!!!

As I needed to get my Jeep back together for the week, I used liberal amounts of PB Blaster and a wire wheel to “rebuild”, and get my parking brake levers working again.

After I got both of the parking brake levers working, I got my rear brakes back together and my parking brake was working as strong as it did when it was new!!!

I am sure that my “rebuild” will not last, however I now know what to order, to get my parking brake working again!!!