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High Horsepower E-Break failure in gear.

This is a discussion on High Horsepower E-Break failure in gear. within the Drivetrain forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; ...

  1. #1
    Member Double0me's Avatar
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    1999 Blown Trans Am

    High Horsepower E-Break failure in gear.

    What I am working with: 1999 TransAm LS1 4L60E Moser 12 bolt 3.42 33 spline stock disk brakes. Itís forced Induction and has a good amount of low end torque.

    Issue: I recently tried to use my E-Break while in 1st gear. My E-Break wonít hold in Drive but will in Reverse. I am double checking my E-Break adjustments to make sure they are correct and everything works like it is designed too.

    Question: Has anyone else run across this? If so what was the remedy i.e. Line locker? Or aftermarket break setup?

    Normally I would just say not to use the e-break but itís a requirement that I have to have done and there is no way around it. So I will need to find a solution for this. Thanks in advance for all the help.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Why are you using the e-brake with the car in gear? I don't understand that part. What are you using it for?
    It's on jackstands.

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    Member Double0me's Avatar
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    I am having my car shipped to Hawaii and one of the requirements is that they make sure the e-brake holds in gear, forward and reverse.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    It's pretty typical that the e-brakes hold better in one direction vs. the other, however there still should be some resistance. An e-brake likely won't hold the car moving forward unless you really crank on that lever. Just the nature of the beast. First gear multiplies torque more than reverse does and will pull the car easier.

    Another issue is having rear disc brakes. The e-brake shoes are so tiny there just isn't much surface area and their holding ability isn't the best. The other issue is having an e-brake handle that you pull with your arm, most people can't yank them hard enough to be effective. A foot pedal however is a different story.

    You can adjust them, but in the end it's more of a matter of how tight you can pull that handle, then hope those tiny e-brake shoes can hold the car well enough to pass the test. Technically I'd be more worried about securely tieing the car down in a proper fassion, because the e-brake alone isn't going to hold a car still during transport anyway (especially a 4th gen e-brake). They were only designed to hold the car still while resting, they aren't designed to hold the car still while you apply engine power. Maybe the real test they should be doing is trying to push the car by hand, because I doubt there's an e-brake out there that will hold still with engine power if you give it enough gas.
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 11-29-2013 at 09:58 AM.

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    Member Double0me's Avatar
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    Agreed! I tried arguing that to the shipping company but got the same response. I think a line locker will do the trick, I am still looking to see if there is another way.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Technically you are correct, e-brakes aren't designed to hold cars while you put them in gear and smash the gas pedal. Shipping companies that think otherwise are full of themselves. Do they have a problem with people jumping in and starting them up, putting them in gear and hitting the throttle while their tied down on the boat?? They don't leave them running during the trip right? I mean lets be honest here...

    But, companies will (and do) enforce some pretty silly rules and regulations that sometimes are baffling.

    For what it's worth, I've used several car hauling companies over the years and criss crossed the country on several occasions buying cars, using some high end haulers like Inner City Lines (my personal favorite) who are insured to haul multi-million dollar cars and do so for Barret Jackson and the like.

    Never once have they told me the E-brake had to work in such a fassion.

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    Member Double0me's Avatar
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    You are very correct FirebirdJones, the only thing they said that made complete sense was that it was a Government rule. But what it wound up being is, the E-Break needs to work. The way they test it there is to pull the e-break and then put the car in reverse and then drive (No gas pedal applied) for a Honda civic it would hold all day long. But with my car even normal idle and (no gas) my car will still ease forward.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    When you said "government" involved that explained it all to me right there

    I suppose they are the ones in the car doing the test? I wonder how hard they are tugging on that handle. You would need to have that pretty tight even to just hold the car at an idle in gear.

    If you could go into the tune I would suggest setting the idle down low, so it's less likely to move the car.

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    This is the e-brake setup for anyone who has not seen one. There really isn't a whole lot there by way of surface area and it is essentially just a drum brake inside the rotor. Only thing you could try is to rough up the pads a bit to remove any glazing that may be present.



  10. #10
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Exactly right Jeff, just not much surface area unlike the drum brakes of old that were 3 times the size and had much better holding capabilities.

    Even that picture makes those appear larger than they really are.


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