Parking Brake Failure


New Member
Mar 31, 2015
Country Flag
Hey Guys,
I recently got my mom's 1994 FZJ80 as a hand-me-down, and we've had a problem for quite some time. The parking brake doesn't work. You can pull it up to the first click easily, and the parking brake light comes on in the dash cluster. After the first click, it is very hard to pull up. The park brake also does not hold the car in place. I verified this fact on a hill. I had my friend pull on the park brake and I heard a clunking sound coming from the rear axle. Any ideas? I want to get this fixed before I start modifying the truck for overlanding. I'm sorry if this seems like a newbie post, as I don't know too much about the internals of 4x4s yet.


New Member
Apr 21, 2016
The 80 series has two adjustments for the handbrake, one is inside the rear rotors (brake discs) and the other is at the handbrake leaver.

Majority of the time its an issue inside the rotor and most people just try to fix it by tightening the adjustment at the lever (which doesnt fix the actual issue, all it does is stretch your cable). If you can only pull the handbrake up one click its very possible thats what has happened, what id recommend is first checking that when the lever is pulled the cable moves at the rear rotors, if it does it eliminates all issues outside the rear handbrake assembly.
If the cable moves the next process is to back off the adjustment at the lever most the way, strip the rear rotors and inspect the brake shoes condition. If the shoes are good, clean the whole lot, lightly roughen up the brake material and lubricate moving components as well as the backing plate with a small amount of grease (dont use to much because you dont want it to get on the pad material).
Once all that is done adjust the shoes up to the point that they're tight on the inside of the rotor, then back it off slightly so its just grazing the rotor as you spin it. Once its adjusted at the rotor you then go back to the lever and adjust the cable, its extremely important that its adjusted correctly at the rotor first though. Tighten the cable to the point where you lever raises 6-7 clicks before it goes tight (you don’t want it to go higher than that but you don’t want it much lower either), after you've pulled the cable tight and engaged the handbrake release it and re check the adjustment at the rotor. If its still good then engage the handbrake again and try to push the car, if its stays firm job well done, if it needs to be tightened a little more then do so and then adjust the lever accordingly.
Keep in mind though, 80 series handbrakes are renown for being fairly ineffective but i used this process on mine and its 100x better, but still slips a little when the brakes are warm (drum/Shoe handbrakes are designed to be more effective when the drum cools down as the inside diameter shrinks causing the drum to contract around the shoes increasing grip)