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'56 Parkview Wagon Hill Holder questions...

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  • '56 Parkview Wagon Hill Holder questions...

    Looks like Ol' Bess is one sweet piece of work![:X] I got underneath her to see why I couldn't pull out the parking brake handle. Bess has a Hill Holder! Surprise, surprise surprise! Golly gee Sarge! Hee-yuk!
    So this car has an OD tranny, Hill Holder, optional Backup Lights, under seat heater, and a radio(so far). Every day she gives me another little surprise![:X] But I digress...

    The Ol' girl has no brakes. So...
    do I have to rebuild the Hill Holder when I rebuild the master cylinder?
    Do I bleed the HH separately from the brakes or will it bleed whilst I do the rest?
    And any ideas why the parking brake won't work?
    An idea just occured to me:
    If the hill holder is stuck, could this keep the master cylinder from working? Or would that lock up the brakes as well?
    If the HH got stuck whilst the brakes were disengaged, would it keep the master cylinder from working[?][?][?]

    After I fix the brakes there's the windshield wipers, the heater blower, the radio...

    Lotsa Larks!
    K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
    Ron Smith
    Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?
    Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
    K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
    Ron Smith
    Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

  • #2
    There isn't much of any way for the hill holder to stick. Inside it has a caged ball that blocks the return flow of brake fluid thus keeping the brakes applied. The cage allows the ball to cover the orfice only when the clutch is depressed. When you let up on the clutch, the cage pulls the ball away from the orfice and prevents it from blocking the orfice. Even if for some odd reason the ball was stuck against the orfice, applying the brake will force fluid past the ball and activate the brakes.

    The manual says to bleed the hill holder after bleeding the master cylinder. I had to cut a hole in the floor of my car to get to the bleed screw on the hill holder and then had to use an impact driver to get the screw out. It was all for naught because there was no trapped air. Later I replaced the master cylinder, bled it again and still no trapped air. I'm not saying air can't be trapped in the hill holder, but at least it wasn't on mine.

    As far as your emergency brake goes, I'll bet the brake cables are rusted inside. Applying diesel fuel or penetrating fluid to the outside of the cable and flexing it back and forth may eventually free things up, but the most effective but also more work intensive route would be to remove the cable and let it soak for several days in a pan of diesel fuel. Every so often get it out, flex it back and forth to loosen things up and allow the diesel to penetrate into the cable. If the thing isn't totally rusted solid, that should eventually do the trick. You may have to put the cable in a vice (not too tight) and try to pull the cable from end to end. Don't be afraid of pulling too hard, because if you break the cable, then it was dangerously rusted and unsafe to use. If it's still good, you'll never break it because there isn't any of us strong enough to do so. An outfit here in town makes brake cables. I use the same reject stuff for electric fences and it has a minimum tensile strength of 110,000 psi.


    • #3
      Also, don't neglect to check the point at which the cable ends go thru the left and right side rear brake backing plates. If the cable is frozen up at this point, vicegrips and, sometimes torch heat whilst, pulling is the remedy. (do this with rear drums removed so that you can pull in both directions)