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Does anyone have any tips on attaching the stiff return spring on the parking brake? Do people usually just use standard pliers, or is there a special tool?

In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have followed the service manual's order of operations for installation. I bet it would have been much easier to assemble the parking brake before re-inserting the axle shaft into the tube. Am I correct in assuming that now that the axle shaft is seated/bolted in the tube I cannot remove it unless I plan on replacing the oil seal again?
 

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I used needle nose vice grips for the springs and channel lock pliers for the clips.

The manual says you need to change the seal every time you pull the axle shaft. However, many people have had a TrueTrac installed without replacing the seals.
 

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Thanks. I ended up pulling the shaft back out and made sure I didn't harm the seal (it had only been mounted in the tube overnight)

Now to adjust the pbrake pads so the rotor fits on. :huh:
 

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Does anyone have any tips on attaching the stiff return spring on the parking brake? Do people usually just use standard pliers, or is there a special tool?
There is indeed a special type of spring installation tool, which includes a bent rod with a groove that receives one hook end of the spring. The tool that I have came in OEMTOOLS Set 27194, although the same tool and similar tools are available from other vendors. A similar tool could probably be made by cutting a groove in an appropriately sized punch.

WEAR SAFETY GLASSES!

My recent technique: With the bottom hook end of the strong spring already inserted into the bottom mount hole, engage the upper spring hook end with the groove of the install tool (with the groove facing up), insert the end of the rod into the spring mount hole in the brake shoe, pry up on the handle of the install tool. With one hand, continuously push the spring toward the mount hole with a big screwdriver, with the other hand, rotate the handle of the install tool while prying up to dump the spring end out of the groove and into the mount hole.

Advantages over vice grips: less force required, less tendency to spread hook ends of spring, more positive engagement of tool and spring.

Order of assembly of parking brake:

1. clean and lube skids on backing plate per service manual
2. attach brake shoes with anti-rattle clips
3. lube and attach toggle, making sure toggle hook engages slot in end of parking brake cable
4. lube and install adjuster, dialed down to minimum length
5. clamp assembly together using soft jaw clamp to press brake shoes
Brake Spring Tool.jpg

6. attach weak spring next to adjuster (easy to do with pliers or needle nose vise grips)
7. install strong spring near toggle using brake spring installation tool as described above.
8. adjust parking brake per service manual

Brake Spring Tool.jpg
 
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