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Parking Brake Issue

Jack64

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Apr 26, 2014
Messages
67
Location
Massachusetts
Corvette
1964 coupe
Put my '64 Coupe up for the Winter.
Other day, I planned to roll it back a bit to change tire positioning.
As I released the hand brake, it had NO resistance.
The handle slid as if it wasn't attached.

A quick visual inspection shows the cable is attached at the midway junction under the car.

Any thoughts before I jack up the car as to what I should be looking for?

As usual, thank you for your replies.
 

Tom Bryant

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Edgerton, Ohio, United States
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1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Jack,

Would I be correct that the car won't roll either? Park brakes tend to stick from rust or lack of lubrication. You might try removing the rear wheels and rapping on the brake drum with a hammer to see if it will release or at least release enough to remove the drum to service the levers. If not you can back off the brake shoe adjusters enough to remove the drum.

Tom
 

Jack64

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Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
67
Location
Massachusetts
Corvette
1964 coupe
Tom,
No, the car readily rolls.
All brake parts/drums are new, done when frame off restoration completed 2019.

There is simply no resistance when I pull the handle. It is as if something is not connected.

Dealing with new knee replacement. As such went to get as much info before I attempt to crawl under car.

regards
 

Tom Bryant

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1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Ok. Well take it easy on the new knee.

If the cables are new also it could be that they just stretched being applied for a length of time or weren't adjusted tight enough when rebuilt. When you are able or get a helper go under the car and pull down on the cables to see if you can feel the brake move. You may just need to adjust the slack out of the cables.

Tom
 

Jack64

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
67
Location
Massachusetts
Corvette
1964 coupe
Tom,
Initial inspection indicates:
Cable tight at firewall/on pulley
Also, seems tight at midpoint of frame, and at rear.

Will try to get under car today, follow cable, and see if can figure out.

Everything seems tight, except the handle, which has no resistance whatsoever.

Any thoughts before I dive in?

Thank you
 

Tom Bryant

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Messages
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Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Something is keeping your upper cable from being pulled back down and therefore not pulling the handle back in when you release it. Your cables under the car should be slack when released. The spring on the rear cross cable is what pulls everything back down plus the springs inside the rear brakes that pull in the slack from the cross cable. That rear spring (6) has to be there and the lever (B) has to turn freely. Try removing the front cable from the clevis on the lever and check to see if you can slide the cable freely inside the housing. Also check that turning the lever actuates the park brakes. It will be easier to check from the lower end than trying to access it from the lower end of the handle assembly.

Tom
 

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Jack64

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Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
67
Location
Massachusetts
Corvette
1964 coupe
Managed to get under car.
Cable is intact and connected.
Rear rod and spring are in place.
Connection at mid point is fine.

Seems as though cable is not connected to the pull handle.
How is it connected to the handle in the car?
Can see no deficiency otherwise.
All parts are new from a recent frame off.

Thank you...
 

Tom Bryant

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Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Top end of the cable also has a ball welded to it and that would fit in a clevis or slot on the hand brake lever. The housing has a steel sleeve on the top end that either fits in a receiver in the hand lever or is retained by a clamp and bolt. None of the pictures I have actually show this so I'm going be what is common on other GM park brakes of the era.

Tom
 

Jack64

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Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
67
Location
Massachusetts
Corvette
1964 coupe
Thank you, Tom.
I believe the problem is in the handle.
Will investigate further
 

Tom Bryant

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1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Could be that the ball has come off the top end of the cable. I've seen that happen.
 

Jack64

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
67
Location
Massachusetts
Corvette
1964 coupe
Will check tomorrow.
How do I get at the ball?
Does the handle need to be removed?
If so, I assume there is a pin or screw attaching it?

As usual, thanks, Tom
 

Tom Bryant

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Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,195
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
The ball is welded to the end of the cable or possibly crimped on. I'm not sure if you can see the end of the cable at the handle by looking under the instrument panel or not.
 

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