The emergency brake spring is sprung

Tiny
CB POOLS
  • 1972 VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE
  • 12,400 MILES

The e brake spring has a hook at the end that sits inside the handle. This hook should hook the pawl. The pawl has the pivot pin in place and I'm not sure if the hook is suppose to hook onto something (maybe the pawl has broken) or why I can't get the hook to stay. The pawl also has a hole in the other end that I'm not sure what the purpose is. I've just replaced/rebuilt the entire braking system and e brake cables are in good shape.

THX in advance CB

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 AT 11:02 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
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  • 26,014 POSTS

It sounds like you're describing a ratchet mechanism and that spring is supposed to push the teeth of the pawl into the teeth on the plate, and that holds the brake lever engaged. Then you press a button to push the spring-loaded pawl away from the teeth on the "rack" to allow the lever to be lowered.

It also sounds like the spring has its hook broken off the end that went into the hole on the pawl. The wire the spring is made of is usually rather hard and brittle. You might consider stretching out the coiled up part, (if there is one), to make it longer so you can form a new hook on the end. Because that wire is brittle and might snap when you bend it, consider warming it up first with a very small flame on a propane torch. If it turns orange and is about to melt, let it cool first before you put pressure on it to bend the new hook.

The alternative is to find a spring in a salvage yard or make one from something else.

Another possible reason for having a hole in a pawl is to be able to stick a cotter pin in it to prevent it from engaging at all. That is often a part of the cable adjustment procedure.

If it sounds like I'm off base, can you post a photo?

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 AT 12:01 AM
Tiny
EXOVCDS
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Have a look at the this image....

http://members.trainorders.com/android/VW11/65upHandbrakeHandle.jpg

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 AT 4:27 AM
Tiny
EXOVCDS
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Any luck putting it back together?

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Sunday, February 26th, 2012 AT 6:37 PM
Tiny
CB POOLS
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The brake was fixed shortly after the question was asked. The answer I received was not adequate for the fix, but it may be in part to my lack of explanation. Here is what caused the problem, how it happened, and the fix.

While rebuilding the entire braking system, the rear drums were off and the hand brake was pulled. This allowed the brake handle to come up to a 12:00 position because there was nothing holding the rear brake pads from full travel.

The ratchet part of the brake pawl cleared the ratchet segment, allowing the spring loaded pawl rod to travel freely and come out of the lever. The pawl did a 180 and I was trying to hook the pawl rod up to the bottom of the pawl, instead of the top.

By removing the entire lever mechanism (and dropping the ratchet into the floor pan of the car) I was able to reassemble the brake correctly and reinstall. Only by removal was reassembly possible. Thanks for you quick response.

CB

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Sunday, February 26th, 2012 AT 11:59 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Sorry that part of the picture in my mind was cropped off. I can visualize what you're saying. Happy to hear it's solved.

By the way, if you can't drive a red car, there's no point in driving! (I have two, plus a '72 muscle car in the body shop right now being changed over to red).

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Monday, February 27th, 2012 AT 12:07 AM
Tiny
THELAST929
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The pawl/cam piece swung down on a bug I was babysitting as well. If the cables are not adjusted correctly and the brake handle is pulled too hard it will go past the teeth and disengage the pawl.
Loosening the cables and putting everything back in place with the handle all the way up (or I guess down as you did) and then properly tightening the e-brake cables should prevent this from happening again.

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Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 AT 9:07 AM

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