Early Hand Brake Lever

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Early Hand Brake Lever
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Snell on Monday, September 04, 2017 - 01:06 pm:

This is a follow up of a conversation started on the Classifieds posted by Bill Elliott about the correct Hand Brake Lever Assembly for the 1909-1910 Cars. I am trying to identify those items on my recent acquisition that may not be correct for mid year 1909, so this conversation brings me to ask if this is the correct lever for my car. If someone could chime in here and give me a source or post a photo of the correct lever for 1909 I would appreciate it greatly. Gail Rodda's book on page 20 shows a lever similar to mine.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Elliott on Monday, September 04, 2017 - 01:07 pm:

If your's isn't correct for your car, I'd be happy to purchase it! Just let me know, Daniel.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Snell on Monday, September 04, 2017 - 02:10 pm:

Hello Bill, just trying to find out if it is or not. What have you found out thus far?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Elliott on Monday, September 04, 2017 - 05:46 pm:

Really, it appears that the only thing anyone seems to care about is the cam; the early ones were cast and the later were stamped. The lever itself probably didn't change too much so I think I'm not going to exhaust myself (or my funds) looking for the correct one. If it turns up down the road, fine. Really, all I'd be interested in finding eventually would be an early style lever, if there is such a critter!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Snell on Monday, September 04, 2017 - 06:39 pm:

Do you have a picture of an early hand brake lever that you can post?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Phil Lawrence - Nevada City, CA on Monday, September 04, 2017 - 06:51 pm:

It's my understanding that the early (pre- 1916) brake cam levers on the brake cross shaft were forged steel, brazed and pined to the shaft. The hand brake/high speed shift lever was attached by a woodruff key to the cross shaft, in addition they were also pined but not brazed
The earliest levers themselves had more of a rectangular cross section, the later 1911-1927 levers having a elliptic cross section. Some if not all the 1909 hand brake levers were brass plated. The 1910-1927 levers were painted.
Perhaps some of the experts on the early T's will correct me if I'm wrong.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Monday, September 04, 2017 - 07:23 pm:

The one difference I do know of to the lever itself, is that the earlier ones had a key between the lever and the cross shaft in addition to the rivet. I don't have any pictures available, nor do I know what year that key was dropped. I believe it was dropped maybe shortly before they went to the stamped clutch cam as opposed to the cast/forged one. But do not know that for sure.
Daniel S, What I find interesting in the photo you showed, is the brackets that bolt onto the frame. I referred to them as "pillow block" type brackets on that other thread (for lack of a better idea), but this time I went and got my reprint parts book. Part number 3450 is simply (?) called a "controller shaft bracket". Yours is different than the vast majority of ones I have seen and had. It is bulkier, and stronger, in the short space between the cross shaft and the frame. They appear to have better capacity for oiling. And they have that square look in the middle whereas the majority are a smaller "X" shaped casting. There were several variations in that "X" shaped center, most changes altered the oiling passage, with or without felt.
I have seen a fair number of cross shafts with brackets like yours. Most of them were divided into two totally different categories. I do not know what is right or wrong here. I keep hoping someone that knows can answer this. One category is good for you (and one of my projects), is that I have seen several early brass Ts with something very close to that (square block between). The other group, may cast doubt. I have also seen several TT truck cross shafts with something also similar. It is unlikely that an intact unrestored TT cross shaft would have had those brackets changed in the past (although in 90 plus years almost anything is possible). Is it also possible that several people building up an early T would make up a cross shaft using a repro cast clutch/cam and TT brackets? Unfortunately, I learned about the key since I had seen those early cars, so at the time I didn't know to look for it.

So, in the end, I may give you more questions than answers. But check yours for that square key, should be clearly visible on the shaft end.

And, as I said on that classifieds thread. Unfortunately, incorrect later parts are a common reality on older restoration early Ts. In part, most hobbyists forty to sixty years ago simply did not understand the significance of most of these little details. The reality is what it is. Don't let it rob you of enjoying your wonderful car! Drive, showoff, and be proud of your car. Little by little, make some corrections, and therefore make the car even better. That is a big part of what this hobby is all about.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Thursday, September 07, 2017 - 03:02 am:

Daniel, there is a combination of details contributing to a correct early handbrake assembly. Starting from the top, the pawl release handle has no rolled over edges like the later ones. The pawl release handle and the connecting rod to the pawl are held at the top with flat headed clevis pins which are held in place with small split pins.This allows their fitment after being brass plated.
The connecting rod has forged loops on each end rather than resembling a bent wire.
The clutch cam is a casting rather than pressed steel like the later types.
The pawl itself is also a casting. On the really early cars the rivet holding the pawl to the handle has a flat head which is recessed into the pawl rather than sitting proud of it.

Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Herb Iffrig on Thursday, September 07, 2017 - 09:21 am:

Here are some photos of a hand brake lever that came off of a frame that had other 1909 parts on it.



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Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walter Higgins on Thursday, September 07, 2017 - 10:22 am:

A comparison of two levers in my possession. Photos alternate between the two.

First is a forged cam, riveted pawl release handle w/"flat" edges, forged pawl, release rod eye on top w/bent end on bottom, woodruff key slot on lever and pinned to shaft. Understood by me to be the "2nd design" -- early features, but rivited rather than pinned pawl release handle, first of the painted levers.

Second is a stamped cam, riveted pawl release handle w/"rolled" edges, forged pawl, release rod eye on top w/bent end on bottom, woodruff key slot on lever and pinned to shaft. Understood by me to be the "3rd design" -- first of the stamped cam and rolled edges on the release handle. It is mounted on a 1915, but I don't know if it's original to the car.

Apologies in advance if things are turned. It's not how it appears on my end.




















Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Thursday, September 07, 2017 - 01:12 pm:

The one that came with October 1909 was a pressed steel cam and a keyway on the lever.



I am thinking of buying a solid cam from Langs and brass plating the brass handle.
Should the pawl control rod be plated?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walter Higgins on Thursday, September 07, 2017 - 01:28 pm:

My understanding is the lever, pawl release handle, and pawl control rod would all be plated. I am unsure as to whether or not the clevis and cotter pins would be plated also, but easy enough to swap out after the fact if you discover later on that they should be.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Thursday, September 07, 2017 - 06:09 pm:

Thank you all for the good pictures and clarifications on these details.
Walter H, It appears your '15's control assembly has the keyed brake handle with the stamped steel clutch cam. That fits with what I thought, but do not know for certain. My understanding is that the stamped clutch cam came along in early '15 calendar year. I don't know whether all '14s had the cast clutch cam or not. That one (due in part to the long crossover time when both '14 and '15 style cars were being built), I don't even want to guess at. My understanding is that some '15s did have the cast clutch cam. However, most '15s seemed to have the stamped one. This, however again, is tough to gauge because so many '15s are actually re-purposed later Ts.
My belief (for some short time as I keep trying to learn these things), is that the keyed shaft continued for awhile after the change to the stamped clutch cam. I have heard from people that know more than I do, that the key was (probably?) dropped about early '17 or late '16. I would like to hear something more definitive.
Your two pictures showing the other end with the "controller shaft bracket" both show a more typical style used from somewhere in the brass era through the end of T production. They have a smaller center area with just enough in the middle to support the stress and an oil hole, surrounded by sort of an "X" bracing. These did continue to have minor changes and variations in configuration around that oil hole. I know nothing about the whens or whys of those later changes.

Herb I, Nice picture showing that earlier release handle! Too bad the spring and other details weren't intact. Thank you nonetheless. It shows some very good details

Tony B, I see that yours does have the appropriate key, but the later stamped steel cam. It then at least is likely a brass era handle, probably a '15 or '16. If you were to find one of the good reproduction cast cams (the steel ones), a little effort could change the cam, and your handle would be very close to right (in appearance at least). The release handle isn't shown in your picture. Is it the earlier flatter style? Or the later type with more of a rolled over edge?

Thank you also Allen B, for a nice concise breakdown of differences.

Together, we may yet figure these out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Thursday, September 07, 2017 - 07:00 pm:

I forgot to mention the pillow block brackets that are the attachments to the frame. The earlier ones have a squared off section to accept a piece of felt. When the shaft was oiled, this felt helped to retain lubricant at that point. Later this was deleted and oil just had to be added as needed. I don't know when this change was made.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Thursday, September 07, 2017 - 08:22 pm:

I just found this on Royces forum:

T-877, “Hand Brake Lever Pawl Rod” (The rod that runs vertical between the lift and the pawl) is also “brass plated and polished”.

A bit more work.......


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Herb Iffrig on Friday, September 08, 2017 - 08:47 am:

Here are some more photos of what I have.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Charvet on Friday, September 08, 2017 - 12:20 pm:

Here's a photo of the brake lever from #220.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Herb Iffrig on Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 09:38 pm:

Here is the rest of the parts that were with the 1909 frame and brake lever.


They still have the felt in the oiler holes.


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