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Pedal Mechanism
Parking Brake Mechanism
Replacement 1994+ Ram
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  At a campground one weekend, I stomped the parking brake before exiting my truck, and it felt as if it had stuck. Worse, it would not release and the brake light remained solidly lit. I got out and checked the tension on the emergency brake cables - they were slack. One of the fingers (1/8" thick steel!) had stuck in the wrong position and my size 11 foot thoroughly bent it along with another lever inside the mechanism. They were hopelessly jammed but, it could have been worse; the brake would not engage, but it was not stuck on.
The bent lever that jammed How it should look (ignore rust on used part!)
I made sure the parking (emergency) brake was released completely, unplugged the brake light switch wire, and drove home without using the parking brake again.
     After removing and inspecting the mechanism, I called the dealer to see about a replacement. The parts man told me they had not sold any, did not keep them in stock, but they could have a new one in a week (I didn't ask about the cost). I thanked him, said I would call around the junkyards, and told him I would get back to him if if I could not find one. It took several calls to locate a used replacement; one place did for $35. It was rusty, but it was fully functional and would be hidden under the dashboard where we would not have to look at it, so I took it home.

Parking Brake Pedal Assembly Removal and Replacement

Tools needed:

To get the mechanism out of a 1994 truck:
1.    Park the truck on a level site, block the wheels, and set the transmission in 1st or R (man) or P (auto).
2.    Remove the knee bolster under the steering wheel. (3 to 5 phillips screws - depending on the model year)
3.    Remove the plastic side side kick plate/rocker panel cover. (Phillips screws)
4.    Peel back the carpet and padding to expose the parking brake cable.  move carpet out of the way
5.   Service manual says: Loosen cable tensioner nut (13mm) at equalizer to create slack in park brake cable. Riiiiight!! After 7 years, that nut was rusted solid. If you have several days, spray the nut with penetrating oil every day and let the oil go to work for you. If you don't have time to play around, skip this step - it's unnecessary in most cases.
6.    Disconnect the brake lamp wire from the switch. It is a spade connector and pulls off the switch easily.
7.    Remove the Phillips screw holding the release handle to the dashboard strut.
8.    Remove the Phillips screw holding the parking brake cable camp to the floor.  clamp screw
9.    Remove the bolt and two nuts holding the mechanism in place. All require a 13mm (or 1/2") socket. The top nut is easiest to reach with a 14" extension and a deepwell socket. The other nut can be reached from under the dashboard with a deepwell socket. The bolt is easy to reach with a socket and 3" extension. Top nut removal
10.  With the brake cable still attached, finesse the entire mechanism out from under the dashboard. This is tricky, but can be done if the carpet is out of the way.
11.  With the mechanism free of the dashboard, pull against the tension spring and use a nail to pin the mechanism in the fully released position.
12.  Use a straight screwdriver to pry the cable pin loose from the actuator.
13.  Use a screwdriver to squeeze the rearmost cable shroud lock pin, then tilt the shroud to get the back pin through the hole. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to squeeze the two front lock pins, and pull the cable assembly free from the pedal mechanism.

  Now you are ready to reassemble. With the replacement unit in hand:

1.    Pull the brake release, hold the backplate with one hand, pull the cable mechanism to the fully released position, then (with your third hand) insert a nail through mechanism to hold everything in the released position. A new mechanism will already have a pin in place.
2.    Insert the cable through the mounting hole until all three lock fingers snap into position.
3.    Use pliers to pull the brake cable and start the cable pin into into its hole in the actuator lever. Hold the pin in place with your finger and use a screwdriver to pry the cable into position, then push the cable pin all the way into the lever. correctly installed cable
Be patient, this may take a few tries. This would be much easier if the parking brake adjuster under the truck was loosened. The cable will look like the photo when it is installed correctly. Note:   This is much easier to do before bolting the mechanism up inside the dashboard.
4.    Remove the nail that was holding the mechanism.
5.    Work the pedal mechanism back up into position under the dashboard. Be patient, it will go back in. Flex the parking brake cable sideways under the brake pedal to get enough slack.
6.    Loop the brake release cable behind the mechanism back plate and clip the release handle into the dashboard. Install the handle retaining screw.
7.    Make sure the mechanism is seated onto both studs at the firewall, then install the front mounting bolt.
8.    Install the two retaining nuts on the firewall studs. Note: My nuts were flanged and had self tapping threads that wanted to cross thread onto the studs. I replaced the nuts with standard 8x1.25mm nuts and used 5/16" washers behind them.
9.    Test the mechanism; if OK, tighten the mounting bolt and nuts.
10.   Connect wire to brake light switch.
11.   Install brake cable strap screw on floor.
12.   Replace carpet and padding.
13.   Replace the kick panel/rocker panel cover.
14.   Replace the knee bolster.
Important: Test the Mechanism again before relying on it.


Last Update: March 25, 2000