Toyota Tacoma

E-Brake Adjustment

Vehicle Information: 1996 Toyota Tacoma, manual transmission, 4WD 3.4L V6, 74,000 miles
These are basic instructions on how to adjust your emergency brake.
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Use this information AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Troubleshooting: The emergency brake cable on a Toyota Tacoma truck can often get loose over time for unknown reasons. According to Toyota specifications, the emergency brake handle should click no less than 12 and no more than 18. If your emergency brake is not within this range - it should be adjusted for proper brake use.

Tools Needed: You will need TWO 12mm open-end wrenches.

Cable Adjustment Location
The e-brake is operated by a group of cables. One cable is attached to your e-brake handle in the cab and ends up at the adjustment area. From there, there is another cable that goes back to your rear wheels. On a 96 Toyota Tacoma Extended cab truck, the e-brake adjustment is located just inside the frame under the drivers side door area. It should look something like this:
Cable Adjustment Assembly

Safety!!

Put the truck in Gear!!
Before making any adjustments to your e-brake, make sure your truck is IN GEAR or IN PARK. You will not be able to use your e-brake or engage it while making this adjustment. For Safety – please use something to block the front and/or rear wheels. You’ll be crawling underneath the truck and you should have safety precautions in place in case the truck pops out of gear and starts rolling. When you have finished with these safety recommendations, disengage the e-brake.
Test Your E-brake!
It is important to test your e-brake before you make any adjustments. Take the time to pull the e-brake handle out several times and count the amount of clicks you are getting until the handle stops. The recommended amount of clicks is 12-18. If you are getting more than 18 clicks, you will need to “Tighten” your e-brake cable. If you are getting less than 12 clicks, you will need to “Loosen” your e-brake cable.
Locating Adjustment Nuts:
As seen in the picture, you will see the Adjustment Stud. On both sides of the arm, there is a nut located on each side of the arm – as seen below:
Adjustment Nuts Diagram

Loosen Adjustment Nuts:
Take each 12mm wrench and place it on each of the adjustment nuts at the same time. You’ll want to loosen them just enough to crack them both loose. When both nuts are loose, you’re ready to make your adjustment.
Making the Adjustment:
Before starting, make only small adjustments – Test the E-brake – and make other adjustment if needed. Never make a drastic adjustment.
If you need to ‘Tighten’ your cable, you’ll want to unscrew Adjustment Nut #2 in the direction of the rear of the truck – as seen in the picture above. If you want to loosen the cable, you’ll need to loosen Adjustment Nut #1 a bit. Then you’ll need to screw (tighten) the Adjustment Nut #2 in the direction towards the front of the truck. If you can’t go any further with Adjustment Nut #2, you’ll need to go back to Adjustment Nut #1 and loosen it further. The adjustment you make will always depend on the placement of Adjustment Nut #2.
Testing & Finishing Up:
When you are done making an adjustment and ready to TEST the e-brake (12-18 clicks), you’ll need to keep Adjustment Nut #2 in place and hand tighten Adjustment Nut #1 up against #2. You’ll want to take both 12mm wrenches and tighten (lock down) Adjustment Nut #1 and #2 together.
Final Testing:
You may want to jack the rear of the truck up off the ground and test the e-brake by spinning the rear wheels. Disengage the e-brake and try spinning the tires again. Basically, you’ll want to check to make sure the brakes are not dragging when disengaged.

That's It!!
Please - Be Safe - Be Patient - and Good Luck!