I fixed my emergency brake today

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downwardspiral

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My Car
1973 Mach 1
2011 Mustang GT- Vortech v3 kit, custom tune and intake. MT ET Street slicks. Goes good
04 Mountaineer - daily
I've owned my car for almost half my life now, and the emergency brake has never seemed to hold. I even replaced the pedal years back and it still just popped out whenever I stomped it down. It's been parked in flat garages for years, but now it is an issue because I failed inspection lol. After a quick analysis it seems that the pawl that locks against the "geared" tooth on the pedal slipped out on one side and was crooked. Whenever any kind of load was applied to the pedal the ratcheting mechanism was defeated as if the release handle was pulled. In order to fix this I welded a plate to limit the pawl's side to side travel. It seems to be holding even when I pull on the pedal, so I'm pretty happy for the $0 and 15 minutes I just spent.

The problem- This guy (pawl in a ratchet mechanism) was falling into the V shaped slot and riding crooked on the "gear" of the pedal.

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The solution- cut a small plate out of scrap sheet metal using tin snips and weld in place to keep the pawl centered over the gear.

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I'm obviously not a welder but it works! I just needed to tweak the clearance by bending the plate slightly with a screwdriver to allow the pawl to move freely.

 
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One thing that might contribute to improper operation is painting the assembly. Ford did not paint anything but part of the foot pedal. They used phosphate coating instead of paint. Ford used phosphate on parts they wanted to have rust protection without the possibility of the paint making parts stick or not work properly. The phosphate coating also gets inside areas where paint cannot. The parts with phosphate excluding fasteners are as follows.

Emergency brake mechanism

Gas pedal

Hood Latch

Hood hinges

Shock mounts on shock towers.

You can get the phosphate online and you can do yourself but you will need a stainless steel container large enough to contain your parts. I found that one of the serving trays or Turkey roasting pan is large enough to get the hood hinges in. You do need to remove the springs from the hinges so you can check movement by hand. You will also need a heat source, hot plate or gas burner and do the work outside. You should glass bead the parts this gives a surface finish that is also better to not stick. Make sure all grease is off the parts or nothing will happen. After you phosphate coat then you spray with rust preventative several times and install. I did put small amount of Red N Tacky grease on couple sliding surfaces on the brake.

Here is picture of one before and after re coating. Pics were taken at low resolution so not so great.

David





















 

downwardspiral

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2010
Messages
307
Reaction score
3
Location
LI, NY
My Car
1973 Mach 1
2011 Mustang GT- Vortech v3 kit, custom tune and intake. MT ET Street slicks. Goes good
04 Mountaineer - daily
Thanks for the info. I have the same issue and purchased a new pedal assembly that I need to put in. I will make this mod prior to installing.
Glad I could help, good luck!

One thing that might contribute to improper operation is painting the assembly. Ford did not paint anything but part of the foot pedal. They used phosphate coating instead of paint. Ford used phosphate on parts they wanted to have rust protection without the possibility of the paint making parts stick or not work properly. The phosphate coating also gets inside areas where paint cannot. The parts with phosphate excluding fasteners are as follows.

Emergency brake mechanism

Gas pedal

Hood Latch

Hood hinges

Shock mounts on shock towers.

You can get the phosphate online and you can do yourself but you will need a stainless steel container large enough to contain your parts. I found that one of the serving trays or Turkey roasting pan is large enough to get the hood hinges in. You do need to remove the springs from the hinges so you can check movement by hand. You will also need a heat source, hot plate or gas burner and do the work outside. You should glass bead the parts this gives a surface finish that is also better to not stick. Make sure all grease is off the parts or nothing will happen. After you phosphate coat then you spray with rust preventative several times and install. I did put small amount of Red N Tacky grease on couple sliding surfaces on the brake.

Here is picture of one before and after re coating. Pics were taken at low resolution so not so great.

David
That's good info, and looks good too! I only really dusted the bare metal area with paint because I was concerned that a good coat of paint would glue up all the parts that should only take a fraction of a pound to move.

I didn't really get a picture of my pedal when it was all out whack, but the pawl was completely disengaged from its housing on one side. I could pretty much press it in and out of alignment with my finger and it was just a murphy's law thing to me. It's mechanically limited now so I would need to bash it with a hammer in order to get it to misalign.

 
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