honda pa-50II brakes

howdy all-

I'm having some trouble with my 1979 pa-50II (well there are a number of problems, but this is by far the most pressing at the moment) my rear brake had been squeaking for a while, and I also had to tighten it up a bit to get it to help stop me. now it appears to be sticking, as I can hear it scrape sometimes when I ride, and it prevents me from rolling the ped very easily with the drive belt disengaged.

So, to check this out I put it up on the stand and spun the pedals, and the back tire spun freely. I hit the brake, the wheel stops, and now it wont turn freely. If I loosen the brake adjuster or wiggle that little break arm around, it starts to spin freely again.

My question, as a VERY poor college student who uses this contraption to get to class, is what really is the problem here? Is something just sticking, that could be fixed with some lube, or could it be that the brake pad is busted, which was my roommate's thought, as something similar happened to his car.

If I do need to replace something, should I just go to a honda dealer for the parts? I'm confident I could do the repair myself, but how much do you think the parts would cost?

Thank you for reading this long post,


Re: honda pa-50II brakes

Keith Wallace /

Sounds like it could be a couple of things:

Cable needs to be lubed

brakes adjusted too tight

kink in the cable housing

bad/worn out/broken brake shoes

dirty/dusty brake pads

A honda dealer might have parts, but some of them are a pain about even looking for them- do some internet research and see if you can find the part #'s before you call or go to a dealer.

Watch the brakes when you pull the handle, does the cable seem to be binding up at all? Does it snap back cleanly when you release the handle? If so, take the cable off and lube it (hang it up, put the lube in and let it work all the way down the length of the cable),

How much slack is there in the handle? Do the brakes work immediately after pulling it, or not until halfway or all the way down? there are adjusters at the handle and on the rear brake, adjust them so that the brakes start to engage about 3/4" from the top of the handle.

If that doesn't help, the problem is probably in the brake shoes. There may just be dust buildup that's making them squeak, or they may be worn out and rubbing on metal. Pop them off and have a look.

A new set of brake shoes will probably run you around $20 or so, a rear brake cable around $10 or so.

Good luck!


Re: honda pa-50II brakes

Probably a retaining spring that is old and worn out or has slipped out of place.

Probably your shoes and springs need replacing. Something you can do yourself.

You need to take the rear wheel off and keep it upright (oil in the gear box)

Take the nut off the right side (sprocket side) and use a rubber mallet or wooden block and tap out the shaft that goes through to the Final Reduction Gear box on the other side. DON'T mess up the threads on the end of the shaft (thus the rubber mallet or block of wood).

Once the shaft comes out the brake assembly should also come out. You can visually see if the springs are rusty or broken and see the condtion of the shoes and drum.

Shoes should have minimum of 2.0mm (.079") of pad lining.

Shoes are easy to take on and off, just fold the top one over like a piece of bread and the springs and shoes should come off. You can assemble springs on the new shoes and put them back on using the same method.

If you don't need to replace the shoes and springs, take the springs off and clean them with a wire brush. Lube (VERY lightly with a high temp grease) where the shoe ends meet the pivot bar that turns to expand the pads against the drum.

Clean the drum lining and pads with brake lining cleaner and fine or medium steel wool or emery paper. Wear a mask becuase some of those old brake pads may have asbestos in the.

Reassemble the wheel keeping it upright at all times so oil from the gear box doesn't run into the brake drum area.

You should be able to order parts at your local Honda MC dealer, or

Re: honda pa-50II brakes

Garrett Bobb /

thanks for your help zippy and keith, I'm pretty sure the problem is not with the brake cable. I got the wheel off, and tried to remove the sort of oval shaped nut on the sprocket side (its like a cicrular piece with the sides cut off to accept a wrench) and it wont come off! I put a crescent wrench on there, nothing, so I extended it with a piece of pipe and all i succeded in doing is stripping some of the metal off of the corner of the nut. In my first post, I said it was a 1979, its actually a 78, does that make any difference? Any idea why the nut wont come off? any suggestions?

thanks again,


Re: honda pa-50II brakes

Might have LocTite on it. You may have to heat it a little with a torch (melts the Loctite)

I use the same method you used. wrench with pipe extention on handle and either stand on it or whack the pipe with a heavy hammer.

Lefty loosey to take it off.

Re: honda pa-50II brakes

Garrett Bobb /

it never ends!

so i finally got the nut off, took everything apart, cleaned it out real good, and put it back together. now instead of squeaking and sticking, my brakes dont stop the ped! i had it up on the kickstand, spun the wheel, and had to majorly crank down the brake adjuster knob in order for the brakes to engage, and now even with it all the way, it still wont stop the ped. i took it apart again today to see if i could find a problem, or see if maybe the pads or drum got oily- no dice. i noticed that the little brake arm needs to be within about 3/4 of an inch of the cable cover holder thing on the brake housing, i dont think it ever had to go this far before to engage. theres plenty of pad on the shoes, and i dont have any 'extra' parts, so i am baffled. could i have put the brake cable back on wrong? ia m attaching a drawing to illustrate what im talking about. also, when i have it assembled and i pull the brake lever, it never hits a point where you can really feel the pads engage, and it feels like there is some extra friction somewhere.

thanks much,



Re: honda pa-50II brakes

Look, i can't help a lot, but i know the spring shouldn't be compressed like this, try to put it back like before, the spring and the adjusting knob.

the problem must be inside the brake case

sorry, i can't help more,

good luck


Re: honda pa-50II brakes

I have a used rear brake assembly for a 78 Hobbit that I am willing to part with...It is used but there is plenty of pad left, little springs and everything are all there...Would $15 plus shipping be reasonable? Not guaranteed to fix your problem, but just may! I can email a picture if you want to see what I am talking about....

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