Emergency Brakes and Seat Mounting Systems

One of the most important components of any street rod or "hot rod" and one of the most overlooked is the emergency or parking brake system. Many times this system is either omitted or tacked on at the end almost as an after thought. Doing either is a big mistake.

The emergency brake system is extremely important. Not just because it is required by most DMVs but for safety. If you have been following this build then you already know that I'm using drum brakes at all four corners. Not because I prefer drum brakes but because back in '64 that's the way it would have been done. I'm also using a single pot master cylinder. Again because that's the way it would have been done back then. A single pot master cylinder is not necessarily dangerous by any means but it does not have the built in backup of a dual reservoir master cylinder. This makes the emergency braking system that much more important.

I know a lot of people will scoff at using a single reservoir master cylinder but for those of you who are too young to remember some of the premiere early muscle cars were equipped from the factory with single pot master cylinders. The Dodge and Plymouth Max Wedge cars, '64-'66 GTOs, Chevelles, 442s, big block equipped full sized Fords and Chevys along with Mustangs prior to '67 come to mind just off the top of my head. All of these cars were available with more horsepower than I'm putting in the Deuce and all of them weighed more than the Deuce will so going with a single reservoir master cylinder is not unsafe at all..... it just makes the emergency brake system more important.

The rear end for the Deuce is a Ford 9" originally from a mid 70's F-150. This gives us good size heavy-duty drum brakes. Therefore when it comes to choosing emergency brakes cables there are a lot of choices. I could contact a company like Control Cables and just order a custom sized system and install that but back in '64 that wasn't an option. So I needed to look for a period solution or at least something that was available back then. The solution was easy. I visited my local NAPA store and sat down with their catalog and found that a set of '64 Mustang E-Brake cables which are around 60" long would work with only a slight modification. Although they are long the shielding on the cables was only 40" which is very close to what I needed. All I need to do is trim the 20" of "cable" to get the exact length I need for a custom fitted system for the Deuce. They are made for 9" drum brakes and once trimmed will fit like a glove.

Here you can see how the cables are routed and the housing for the adjuster mechanism.

From underneath you can see the adjustment system. This allows the pull system to be adjusted and also allows each cable some freedom, which will let the brakes be applied equally. The cable that goes through the hole in the tubular crossmember will be hooked to the emergency brake handle mounted on the floor between the bucket seats.

Here's a view from the rear. You can see the cable that will attach to the e-brake handle better from this view. The emergency brake cables will be mounted to the trunk floor to keep them in position once the body is permanently mounted to the frame.

One thing you might have noticed is that the mount for brake adjuster is slightly off center in the frame. This is because I want a straight shot for the cable to the floor mounted E-brake handle and it will be mounted slightly offset to the passenger's side. This was done simply because it is a bit easier to reach from the driver's seat that way. You may have also noticed the four braces that have been added in the center of the frame since the last update. I'll explain them in a minute.

Here you can see the handle mechanism mounted to the floor. You can see the holes for the seat mounts in this picture as well. This is where the new braces come in.

After doing a lot of reading on the subject and some soul searching, I decided it was better to mount the seats and the seat belt system directly to the frame. Most people will say that you don't need to do it this way since Corvettes have their seats and seat belt system mounted to the glass floor and just use a metal piece for added strength. This is true but.... on Corvettes the seat belt system is mounted near a corner of the glass floor which is a very strong area and they use a molded piece of steel about a foot square to add strength to that mounting area as well. On a glass deuce body there just isn't a place on the floor that is anywhere near that strong so the solution was to add mounting flanges to the frame and simply bolt the seats and seat belt system through the floor directly to the frame. Four 1/8" thick 2" wide "C" channels were welded in place and the seats mount through the floor and are bolted directly to these brackets. At least this way I know that in an accident at least the seats and occupants won't be going for an unexpected ride somewhere.

That's about it for this update. From here everything will be stripped off the frame and it will go back on the rotisserie for some finish welding before the first coat of etching primer goes on. After that I will start the body work to smooth all the welds before prepping the chassis for paint.

Check back often for more updates...

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