This is something I probably should have done a while ago. It’s one of the last few things on or under the dash that I need to finish. I have had a taped bundle of parts sitting in the pile from the tear down that I finally opened up and took inventory of and got to work putting it all back together.
In general, this system is pretty straight forward. It’s a bunch of cables and levers that attach the rear drum brakes to a handle under the dash. It totally bypasses the hydraulic brake system.
When I put the rear end together previously, I added new parking brake cables. They come out of the backing plates and lead up through a couple of specialized brackets for keeping them in place. That’s as far as I had gotten with parking brakes since the rear end assembly. The cables have been coiled up under the car for months.
I don’t have many good pictures of the cabling under the car at this point. This is the best I have showing the rigid cable sheath coming out of the drum plate and leading up to the bracket mounted on the underside of the car. There is a groove on the sheath which takes a clip to hold it in place and keep it from sliding back out the back of the bracket. I found a pack of assorted parking brake parts including these clips in a pack from CJ. That pack also included the only place I could find the front cable mounting hardware, which I will mention later.
In my pile from disassembly, I had the original brake handle with cable, and a pack of assorted parts. I felt the original handle was in good shape, so I would just blast it and see if I could clean it up. There was plenty of surface rust, but it was all cosmetic and cleaned up fine in the blaster. I was also able to clean up the wheel. Good thing too, because these parts are expensive for what they are.
The cable coming off the handle had to be replaced though. Fortunately, it was easier to replace than it looked.
After pulling the pin on the wheel, it comes right out, and out of the way. You then push in the spring loaded ratchet at the top of the handle rod and it allows it to drop another inch or so, freeing up the recess for the ball at the end of the cable. Put the new cable in, pull the handle up and it locks it in place in the shaft. I put the cleaned wheel back on after polishing it and the pin a bit with steel wool.
When it came to mounting the handle, I was a little worried I would’t be able to replace the one missing clip in captive nut in the dash. Fortunately, the mounting kit included a pair as well as the nuts that go on the bottom on the other side of the firewall. Those were much more interesting to try to tighten due to how crowded it was. Doing this before the steering and brakes would have made that a lot easier.
Note, it also holds the fresh air control knob in place. Ignore my steering column wiring. That’s one of the undone projects still as well.
Down at the firewall, you can see here the pulley wheel turning the cable 90 degrees and feeding it through the floor. The new cable came with a replacement foam rubber casing to fill the firewall hole as well, seen here.
On the engine compartment side, you can see the bracket, which came with the cable (though not the mounting hardware) and how it connects to the mounting bracket which is welded to the floor pan below as it enters the transmission tunnel. This is where the third clip goes, like the 2 coming off the similar cable casings from each of the back brakes.
I am having some issues with the rear cables attaching correctly in a way that allows them to also connect to the handle cable. Rather than keep this post in draft any longer, I will update later when I get that sorted out.
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