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'59 parking brake cable conundrum

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  • pkingco
    Experienced
    • Nov 9 2021
    • 245

    '59 parking brake cable conundrum

    Can anyone confirm where to find the proper length parking brake cables for a '59? I have ordered two sets from Bird Nest, and neither fit. The first is listed as fitting a '59, but the length of the cables was 102"—about 22" too long. The second set, which was described over the phone as fitting "some '59s and 60 models" is 77". These should theoretically work, but the crimped fitting at the front ends of the cable where they fit into the welded brackets seems to be positioned too far forward, resulting in the exposed cable section being 4" too short of the equalizer. I can take up an inch or so by adjusting the rod, but will still be 3" short. I wonder if the cable housing is too long, making the exposed section too short? The cable housing on my new cables is 38" from the flange to flange on the crimped fittings. Any insight would be greatly appreciated, as always!
    Attached Files
  • jopizz
    Super-Experienced


    • Nov 23 2009
    • 8469

    #2
    I know you posted about this back in June. Did you ever get in touch with Carl Heller to see if he has the correct length cables.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

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    • jopizz
      Super-Experienced


      • Nov 23 2009
      • 8469

      #3
      I checked an original cable that I have and the measurements seem correct. The overall length is 77" and the housing is about 38". Here are some pictures. Do you have the cables run correctly to the rear drums. Here's how they should look.

      John

      emer brake 1.jpg emer brake 2.jpg emergency brake springs.jpg
      Last edited by jopizz; September 25, 2023, 02:51 PM.
      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

      Thunderbird Registry #36223
      jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

      https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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      • pkingco
        Experienced
        • Nov 9 2021
        • 245

        #4
        Thank you, John. I've been in touch with Carl for so many things... I believe we discussed the cables. And yes, everything is connected and run correctly. The two fittings determine the run from hub to welded brackets, so the run wouldn't change that unless the one fitting was falling short of the bracket, but it isn't. But I just got an email from Fred at Bird Nest, and I'm thinking it may be another issue. For one, the threaded rod in the equalizer on my car is 9" long. Fred is working on a '60 convertible now, and the length of the rod in that car is 12". There are three of the 4 inches I'm missing. I also noticed that the spring section that inserts into the hub in your photo is approx. 5.5 inches. The same section on my new cable is 2" longer. If it was shorter like yours and the housing started further back, we would gain another 2 inches from the overall 77". Sounds to me like fabricating a a longer rod would be a simple solution, but it still leaves an inherent problem with these cables.

        Another thing I'm noticing with the longer spring section is that the cable has to bow quite a bit inside the hub. See second photo.

        IMG_2167.jpg

        IMG_2166.jpg

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        • jopizz
          Super-Experienced


          • Nov 23 2009
          • 8469

          #5
          It looks like the spring is not compressed enough. I always connect the cable to the equalizer bracket first before I connect the cable at the brakes. That way the spring is compressed. You have way too much bend in the cable at the brakes. It should be straight.

          John
          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

          Thunderbird Registry #36223
          jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

          https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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          • jopizz
            Super-Experienced


            • Nov 23 2009
            • 8469

            #6
            It should look like this,
            59 rear brake.jpg
            As you can see the cable is almost straight across to the lever and the spring is almost totally compressed. Remove the cable from the brake lever at the drum. Mark or measure where the nut is on the equalizer rod. Then unscrew the nut until it's at the end of the rod. That will allow you to pull the cables to the equalizer bracket. You may need to use a vise grip to pull the cables to compress the spring. Then tighten the nut to the original spot. That will compress the springs so the cable goes straight to the brake lever. You just did it the reverse of how it should be done. I suspect the difference in measurement of the springs is just from the original ones being in the same spot for 50 years until I removed them.

            John
            Last edited by jopizz; September 25, 2023, 04:36 PM.
            John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

            Thunderbird Registry #36223
            jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

            https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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            • pkingco
              Experienced
              • Nov 9 2021
              • 245

              #7
              Great tip, John. Thanks for that. I'll give it a whirl in the morning. Still puzzling over the 4 missing inches, however. We'll see how much we gain when we do this.

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              • simplyconnected
                Administrator
                • May 26 2009
                • 8833

                #8
                John's advice is spot on. Remember that these springs are the only force that retracts your shoes when the E-brake is released.
                Here is the Ford Parts Catalog regarding your Equalizer Rod and Equalizer Brake Cables:

                image.png
                ​The 1959 Parking Brake Equalizer Rod (B7A 2628-B) starts at a foot long, then are 'cut to required length'.
                The Equalizer Cable ***'y (C0SS 2A635-A) is 77" long.
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                • pkingco
                  Experienced
                  • Nov 9 2021
                  • 245

                  #9
                  That's great, thanks for the info. I followed John's process and still came up short with fully compressed spring in the drum, so I ended up making a new threaded rod with extra length that I will cut off once front cable is installed and everything is adjusted. The 12" rod would have done the trick. Mine will likely be cut down to about that length, at the kink you can see in the rod in photo below.

                  IMG_2193.jpg
                  Attached Files

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