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Old 10-13-2020, 11:45 AM   #21
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1982 31' Airstream 310
champaign , Illinois
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,984
It is indeed mechanical. There are adjustments inline on the cable just before the drum assembly and there is an adjustment on the end of the pull lever. Once you take a look at the cable adjustments underneath you’ll figure out how. They are pretty simple to adjust.
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Old 10-13-2020, 08:45 PM   #22
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1994 30' Excella
1992 35' Airstream 350
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Originally Posted by LM782 View Post
Came across this old post because I recently purchased a 1985 345 that needs the parking brake adjusted. It has a mechanical propshaft drum parking brake with an orschelin lever (no electronics or hydraulics involved) that has the cable going into the drum like what is shown in Keyair’s pictures above.

For reference, here’s a link to the Chevy P30 Chassis Service Guide I’m using ( Figure 6-5 on page 6-4 captures the parking brake installed on my 345.

I can’t quite tell if a few details were inadvertently left off the cable adjusting procedure in the service manual.

Specifically, page 6-9 step 2 (at the very bottom of the page) states, “2. Apply parking” – that’s it, nothing else. The word “brake” is missing, no other details, and no period. Found it odd.

Step 3 states, “3. Loosen nut at intermediate cable equalizer and then adjust nut to give light drag at rear wheels. (See NOTE at end of this procedure.)"

Step 3 is confusing. “Loosen nut… and then adjust nut.” Huh? I think they meant loosen lock nut and turn adjustment barrel.
Far as I can tell, this cable equalizer is akin to a bicycle brake cable adjusting barrel – the longer you make it, the more slack it takes up from the cable.

See the attached marked up picture. In my attempt to adjust the parking brake cable, I loosened the 9/16” locknut, hold the cable flats with a small wrench or pliers, and turn the adjustment barrel (half-inch wrench). The barrel spins, but only half or a full turn before the cable toward the front vehicle begins to twist (within the housing).

It feels like the adjustment barrel is bound to the cable. Not enough penetrating oil? It does not turn freely and if I wrench it too far, I’m concerned the cable may fail. Does anyone know where the rotational play is supposed to be?

Am I turning and/or adjusting the right parts and attempting the adjustment correctly, or is there something I’m missing?

Like Mike said thats all the adjustment you can do and you are working on the right adjuster. I would however wonder, why the brakes need adjusting, ie. too much pedal travel or brakes not holding?

I may be time to pull the drum and inspect the shoes for excessive wear and/or oil pollution.
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Old 05-12-2021, 10:10 AM   #23
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Lexington , Massachusetts
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 49
Closing the loop on my progress and repair of our '85 345 for a potential future reader (and giving back the AS community that has helped me so many times already in less than a year). Please feel free to correct and/or clarify as needed.

I had to replace the front U-joint and removed the front half of the driveshaft (e.g. chock the wheels, loosen the Orschlen lever adjustment, mark driveshaft orientation so it goes back in the same way...).

Removing the driveshaft is not necessary for the parking brake adjustment, but it made access to the drum brake adjustment star and figuring out the proper setting much easier.

While the driveshaft is out, position an access hole on the parking brake drum at 12 o'clock and turn the adjustment star as needed (turning it from the center of the drum toward the outer edge widens the shoes) until the shoes drag on the drum slightly. Back off the adjustment star until the rubbing goes away. Reinstall the driveshaft (in my case with a new U-joint).

If Orschlen lever adjustment doesn't take up the cable slack (parking brake still doesn't hold), adjust the parking brake cable barrel adjuster by loosening the locknut, holding the barrel still and turning the squared cable end (end toward brake drum) to shorten the barrel's overall length (thereby taking up more cable slack).

Tighten the locknut and test if the Orschlen lever adjustment takes up the rest of the slack. If it doesn't, repeat the barrel and Orscheln lever adjustments until the parking brake holds as required (in my case, Massachusetts vehicle inspection, to 1500 rpm in Drive).

Not sure what caused the shoes to wear or cable to stretch in our case. Fixed now though.

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