Replacing the Parking Brake Handle

I previously did a write-up when I rebuilt my parking brake on my 67 coupe, I didn’t replace the handle as mine was in fine condition. With my son’s 67 coupe, the handle was broken off so I went ahead and rebuilt the mechanism and replaced the handle. There are a few details I learned, so I thought I would share.

The parts needing attention

As you can see, the handle broke, but it has a solid metal core, which is nice backup. Still not terribly functional or attractive. Additionally, when I took it apart, I found the pulley wheel to be damaged somehow. I have no idea how something that far out of the way can get damaged like that, but it will remain a mystery. It wasn’t impacting functionality, but I just couldn’t leave it alone.

To fix the wheel, I just did some fine tuning with my ball-peen hammer. It was back to near new in surprising short order. For this car, I am tending to fix rather than replace as much as I can. That said, I still have a number of leftover parts from building my coupe I can use to replace where available.

For the new handle, I thought we should use something more durable. There are a couple of milled aluminum handles available now, including one that looks very similar to the original, but in a much more durable format. It’s a good bit more expensive, but I think it’s a nice upgrade.

The handle was a little more involved. You can see a small pin at the base of the handle in the picture above. That needs to be punched in until it clears the handle core, when it will just fall off effectively. The issue is the pin is really tight. I had to break out the pneumatic chisel with the punch bit in order to get it free. I also found myself filing off the plastic on the handle to see just how far I need to go since I had no experience and no identical replacement to compare to.

After removing the handle, I felt compelled to media blast everything to clean it up.

I followed that with a quick rattle can paint job and it was good as new. Putting the handle on was different than taking the original off. The new one had a threaded hex pin which required an alan wrench to tighten it in place. I am not certain on how well this is going to last since the original pin hole is larger than the threaded pin, so you cant use the hole. I had to push it in past the hole and just tighten it as much as I could safely. Seems like a sub optimal implementation for something you pull on, but it appears to work. In the end, it looks good and it works.

Update: Pro Tip. Put the bar in a vise and drill a small depression for the alan screw to seat in. Without it, it didn’t take long for the handle to spin in place.

Finished product. The rest of the car makes it look even better.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s