Matt's Old

Fiddling with Rambler's since 1995

Rambler American Restoration

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Replacing The Parking Brake Lever Handle

Note: The metal handle that I purchased only lasted a few months under very light usage. The metal it was made from was very soft and it was also heavy enough that the handle would not stay in its proper position when the parking brake was released. I've since replaced it with a handle from an early Mustang.

One of the many little things that my `68 American needed was a new parking brake handle. This item is a common replacement part on cars that have a pull out parking brake lever. The originals are made out of plastic, sit in the sum, get used incorrectly (TIP: ALWAYS have your foot on the service brake when you apply the parking brake.) and break. What follows are the steps to follow to replace the handle. By the way, metal reproduction handles are available from most AMC specialty dealers for under $30.

Remove the parking brake lever from the car

Take out the two Phillips head screws securing the lever to the car. One is under the dashboard, the other is against the firewall. Remove the screw that holds the parking brake cable to the inner fender under the hood. This will allow you to pull the cable into the car about 3 inches. Additionally, I also recommend disconnecting the parking brake cable from under the car to allow more room for removal. There is a rubber boot that needs pushed back to expose the area where the cable attaches to the brake lever. Once the boot is pushed back, remove the small clip that holds the cable to the lever. Lift the catch in the ratchet assembly out of the way and push the handle in as far as it goes. The cable lifts out of the way. Remove the lever from the car.

Remove the remains of the old handle

Find the pin that holds the handle to the lever. Drive the pin inside the handle. Tap the remains of the old handle off of the lever. Drive the old pin out from the lever and reuse it.

Install the new handle

Slip the end of the new handle over the end of the lever. Check to make sure you have the handle installed correctly and drive the retaining pin into place. Use some white grease to lubricate the ratchet mechanism and the inner shaft of the lever assembly to assure smooth operation.

Install the lever assemble in the car

Reattach the cable to the lever and install the retaining clip. Slide the rubber boot back into place. Reinstall the screws that hold the lever in place. If you removed the cable from under the car, reattach it now. Install the screw that holds the cable to the inner fender. Check for proper operation of the parking brake. Adjust as needed.

Last Updated 01/05/04 09:19:23 PM