Saturday, July 16, 2016

Brake Bits, pt. 2 - Parking Brake installation

The coil springs are here, but they aren't quite right, and need cutting or returning. I'm spending the weekend with a summer cold, and don't feel like I can do the writeup for the spring install justice. So, in the meantime, I'll finish off the remaining brake bits. Here's an easy one - installing the parking brake assembly.

The parking brake is a fairly simple affair - the parking brake cables are attached, one to each rear drum.  A ratcheting handle on the dash pulls a cable that pulls on the equalizer rod via a floor-mounted pivot point that pulls the brake cables. The equalizer rod is really the only part that provides any adjustability in setting up the system. Naturally, this is where I have all my problems.

New parking brake cables were installed when I rebuilt the rear drums. What I should've done at the same time was measure the length of the cables versus the old ones. I bet the new ones are about a half-inch shorter, based on what happens next.

Old parking brake cable handle assembly and piece-parts. All of these were reused.


Here's everything stripped, cleaned and repainted.


First step is to connect the brake cables to the mounting brackets on the rear frame rails.

Installed the handle assemble in the dash. The cable goes through the firewall inside a little section of rubber hose to keep the cable from abrading on the firewall hole, which would surely cause the cable to fail. So, rubber hose as safety gear. Why not?

My first attempt to get this all wired up was much harder than it should've been. Much pulling and grunting. I fully expected this to all work since all these parts, save the new cables, are original, but it was a struggle. 

 Once I finally got it hooked up, the rear wheels were firmly locked in place even though the dash handle was pushed in all the way. That's not good. The cable is adjusted out to the very end of the equalizer rod, so there was no more slack to be had. That equalizer rod is how you adjust the parking brake for proper operation once it's all installed. My best guess, as stated above, is that the new cables are shorter, and therefore I have no slack to work with. 

I found another equalizer rod in the NPD catalog listed as 'cut to fit', which means it should be longer - and it is by a good inch and a half. Perfect.

Once the new equalizer rod was installed, the cables went together with no problems. and adjusted in easy-peasy.  So now I have a way to keep car from rolling away once it's on the ground again.

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