Struggling to fix my e-brake. Any advice? (Ford Escort ZX2 99') Hello all, I drive a 99' Ford…

Struggling to fix my e-brake. Any advice? (Ford Escort ZX2 99')

Hello all,

I drive a 99' Ford Escort ZX2; standard. As you know, the e-brake on a manual car is very important. When I first got this car the e-brake worked fine. Somewhere down the line it just stopped holding the car even on the slightest of inclines. So a few days ago I decided to dive in having little to no experience with such brakes to see if I could figure out the state of things. XD

Firstly, I wanted to test the cabling and adjusted the hand level inside the car as that is that path of least resistance. It made no difference no matter how tight I made the lever with the adjustment nut, or yanked on it upwards. The e-brake cable feels good however.

Secondly, I inspected the rear brakes. Here are some images: I found a loose clip on the read passenger side inside the drum. The pin that holds it on rusted and broke apparently. I bought a new hardware kit, cleaned the brake assembly. While doing so, I found the self-adjuster was rusted on both brakes at the joint which the e-brake pulls on as shown here: I managed to break them free with some WD-40, a vise, and a hammer. Note, my car uses "self adjusters" for adjustment. There is nothing I can see to manually adjust like with some drum brakes. After seeing the state of the adjusters, I thought that was the culprit. But not exactly.

I got the brakes and wheels all put back together only to have the same results at first. I tried going in reverse and slamming on the brakes as many have suggested for the self adjuster type brakes. I heard the adjust clicking. However, this time, if I adjust the hand brake lever unusually and overly tight, the car will hold ok on a mild incline. It still rolls on a steep incline though. While driving, if I yank on the e-brake the rear wheels do not lock up.

What do you think the next best course of action is? New shoes or something else? I don't think the state of the current shoes is the issue because they're not locking up. But what do I know? XD