I’m Going To Make It After All – Dave’s Garage

Recently I went through the annual exercise of getting my old work truck ready for the state inspection. The parking brake did not work. The piece that connects the front and intermediate cables had broken. This is the part that allows for adjustment to take up slack in the cable. It is a simple piece of metal that has a 5/16″ hole on one end to accept the threaded end of the front cable, and a slot at the other end to trap the ball at the front end of the intermediate cable.

Unfortunately, after checking at the dealer and auto parts stores I learned this part is not available anymore.

A check of the local wrecking yards revealed parts no better than the broken part I already had. Frustration led to despair. I realized that this part was manufactured once, so, it could be again. After a little thought I realized I could easily make one.

parking brake fixI took a piece of scrap steel, 3/16″ by 1-1/4″ and cut it to a length of 8″. Next I drilled a 5/16″ hole about an inch and a half from one end, placed it in the vise and bent the end over 90°. This gave me the end for the threaded rod on the front cable.

For the other end that accepts the ball on the end of the intermediate cable, I drilled a 1/4″ hole about 2-1/2″ inches from the end, then drilled a 3/16″ hole about an inch from the end.

I placed the part back in the vise and bent a 3/4″ tab over the other end. I removed the piece from the vise and placed it in my metal chop saw, then made a cut connecting the two holes I had just drilled. This gave me the slot to place the intermediate cable in.

Final cost? One piece of scrap metal and about 10 minutes of time. Often when working on older vehicles we have to manufacture our own parts. Fortunately, with a little time and effort, this is possible.

Please email all inquiries to: Dave
or snail mail
32 Turkey Hill Road
Richmond VT 05477

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