Is there some sort of spring which will pull the emergency brake lever forward and hold it there when in high gear? Whenever I'm driving, my emergency brake lever creeps back and I must push it forward before the clutch will go all the way into high gear. I have a new quadrant so worn quadrant teeth are not the problem. Jim Patrick
PS. Its a 1926 coupe. Jim Patrick
I would suspect the brake rods. If you push the lever forward, the brake rods can bow depending on their adjustment. Then they try to go straight by forcing the brake lever rearwards.
You probably have a worn out spring in the handle. It's supposed to pull the pawl up to catch in the quadrant, but they get weak after eighty or more years. You can drill out the rivets and install a new one, or you can go to the local hardware store for a coil spring and install it with a bit of baling wire like this:
Here's a slightly different view.
This seems to be a common problem. I and at last one other person on this forum consider the issue to be a design defect. When the brake lever is pushed all the way forward, in many cases it is also pushing back on the brake rods because there is no slack in the stock system.
The easy fix is to install brake rod clevis's with elongated slots in them. This prevents the brakes and rods from pushing back on the brake lever when it is in the full forward position. They work great.
Not quite stock but a handy upgrade that is easily reversible.
The problem of the brake lever not spring loaded forward is caused by one or more bad springs on the rear brake shoes. I suspect there is at least one broken or disconnected. I had the same thing happen to me recently as you can see here.
I made some slotted ones like Jim's.
I'm going to have to get my wife to push forward on the lever while I crawl under there and see how the rods react (and what else happens). I never considered that the rods would be the culprit, as I thought they were basically inert on the forward push and only came into play when they were called upon to engage the brakes when the brake lever was pulled back. Lots of information here. Thank you all. Jim Patrick
Have you checked the "pawl"; the part that fits in the quadrant teeth. If it is worn round, it will not catch in the quadrant teeth and hold. Of course, there must be spring tension against the pawl rod. It can be provided by either the original spring in the brake handle, or an accessory spring that some vendors sell.
The pawl only works to prevent the lever moving forward not back.
Once you put the handbrake forward the only way it can be pulled back is if the brake rods push on it.
If the brake shoe spring has broken it would have no effect. The shoes may not retract but the spring pushes the cam lever back and moves the hand brake forward
I drove my T for about a 8 mos. with the emergency brakes disconnected (back roads - long story) and had no problems with the brake lever trying to move back.
As Peter points out the pawl mechanism only works one way and would never keep the lever from moving back even if it were factory fresh.
The problem has to be in the linkage or more likely the brake rods are adjusted too long and are pushing the lever back ( as Tom & Jim have both suggested)
I got under the car this morning and discovered why I had needed to push forward on the emergency brake lever and pull back on the clutch for her to go into high. The emergency brake handle spring was fine, as was the pawl and the teeth on the quadrant. The brake rods were also adjusted properly. The problem was the hex head clutch adjustment bolt that slides over the half cam.
A couple of years ago, I read a thread that said in order for it to shift more smoothly a carriage head bolt, with the smooth side down should be used on the clutch adjustment screw so it would slide more smoothly on the emergency brake cam.
Instead of using a carriage head bolt, I just turned the adjustment bolt upside down so that the hex head rode on the surface of the cam. I figured that the wide hex head would span the groove that had been worn into the cam over many years by the small end of the adjustment bolt.
This morning, I discovered that the hex head bolt, was not able to clear the rear of the cam when the cam was all the way forward in high so that the clutch pedal needed to be pulled back to push down on the the hex head that was binding on the rear of the cam. The emergency brake pawl also needed to go beyond the front most quadrant tooth in order to push the cam forward, for the hex head to clear the rear of the cam which was binding on the wide hex head.
I removed the bolt and mounted it in a drill press with the hex head exposed. I turned the drill press on high so that the hex head would revolve evenly and took a disc grinder and ground down the hex head to almost the diameter of the threaded portion and rounded it off very smoothly finishing it off with fine sandpaper so that it has a perfectly round end with a mirror finish. I then took a dremel tool with a thin grinding disc and made a slot in the threaded end so I could adjust it with a standard screw driver. I then chased the male and female threads using a tap and die so it would screw in and adjust easily.
I installed the revised adjustment screw along with a locknut and adjusted it to what I thought was neutral and applied some grease to the cam, then started the car with my foot on the pedal so as to be ready to apply the brake in case it was not in neutral after it started. I started the car with the emergency brake lever all the way back and fine tuned the adjustment screw to neutral and locked it in place with the lock nut.
I took it out for a test drive and not only does it shift properly now, the foot brake works better. Don't ask me why. All I know it stops the car faster, in a much shorter distance. I'm a happy camper.
So if any of you have had problems with your T shifting into high and you have a wide carriage head or hex head adjustment bolt with the head sliding on the cam. Check to see if it is clearing the rear of the cam when in high.
Thanks, Jim. I had often thought that turning the adjustment bolt upside down would work better for wear on the cam, I hadn't actually tried it. Looks like Henry had it figured out all along.
Come to think of it, I'll bet those Ford engineers at first tried that bolt with the head down. Going by the width of the cam and all. Bob