View Full Version : Brakes: Stupid Question? How does Parking brake work?

08-07-2013, 04:00 PM
I am in the process of installing parking brakes in my 62 Lark. It is a Chevy V8 conversion with a Ford 8.8 rear end. I have the cables for the Ford rear end and I will figure out how to adapt them to the front cable. My question is about how the parking brake handle operates. It's the handle type not a foot pedal. Having never dealt with one of these I'm assuming you pull the handle to apply the brake and maybe turn it 1/4 turn to lock it or something like that??? Do you then just urn it back to release it? I know this sounds stupid, but it hasn't operated in long time and it's all stiff now and no doubt needs to be cleaned etc, but I'm sure it will work fine. I just want to understand how it works before I start on it. BTW I learned the hard way how important an E-brake is a few weeks ago when I took my car on it's maiden voyage after the 327/Muncie transplant. It felt very powerful and I got on it several times before flooring it out of a turn in 1st gear, at which point I broke the driveshaft yoke. I was on a long incline and without a parking brake or driveshaft I couldn't even get out of the car!. Thank God a guy stopped to check out my car and he got
me a piece of wood to chock the wheel with. I was trapped in my own car (also forgot my cell phone - major no-no as well).

08-07-2013, 04:18 PM
I had to redo the ones on my '55, which has a pull handle. The way they work is you pull the handle out to engage the brakes, and then twist the handle to lock them in place. To disengage the brakes is a simple matter of twisting the handle back, and pushing the handle back in.

08-07-2013, 06:27 PM
The top of the metal bar attached to the handle has grooves. Above that in the track there is a little metal "arm" with a spring pushing the arm down all the time. The arm is in a slot so it is angled. When you pull the handle straight out the arm cannot catch the grooves in the handle, until it tries to retract. Then it gets locked in place. Twist the handle to the right while slightly pulling it out and it will retract because the sides are smooth and the little arm cannot lock. That is how my 61 arm T handle works and I suspect they are all the same.

08-07-2013, 10:15 PM
I kinda figured that's how it is supposed to work, but didn't want to start yanking on things until I understood how it works. Thanks

08-07-2013, 11:19 PM
I like all brake systems to work properly, even before engine systems work properly. Very much worth pulling apart, cleaning, lubricating, reassembling and adjusting per the shop manual.