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October 26, 2016

Hand Brake Cables

[Click the pics for a larger view]

The handbrake cables suffered some trauma during their removal a few years ago.  Though the inner cables were still free in their casings, the fittings at the rear were in bad shape.  The stud on one of the fixing blocks had twisted off, and the clevises were siezed on the threaded cable end.  The square nut inside the clevis is apparently supposed to be captive, but with any force it just spins inside the clevis.  One of the threaded cable ends had also twisted off.  The rubber boots were gone, and I don't think they are available as aftermarket items, even if the cable could be disassembled to replace them.

So, I ordered new hand brake cables.  The new cables look to be of decent quality, and actually come with a rubber or plastic coating on the outside, which the originals didn't have.  On the other hand, they don't come with clevises for the rear brake end.  The intention is obviously that users would install the original clevises.  This didn't thrill me.  My old clevises were pretty rusty, and though I sometimes replate small items, this particular part would be a challenge due to the facing inside surfaces. New clevises would be easy to make, and my first idea was to duplicate the original design, but use stainless steel, and tack weld the square nut to make it a permanant part of the fitting.

Pawing through my scrap bin, I couldn't come up with a piece of stainless sheet that would work, but I did find a piece of 5/8" square stainless stock.  So, even though it would be more work, I could machine new clevises, and have them by the end of the day.  So that's what I did.  I actually found some new stainless pins, too.

I dug through some boxes and found the rebuilt (and modified) hand brake lever, and mounted it in its rightful place.

Hooked up the cables and ran them through new grommets.

Did a rough length adjustment, and pinned them to the rear brake arm.

Fine tuning will come later, but for now, when the lever's down, she rolls.  When the lever's up, she don't.

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