AlfaBMWGuy

Parking brake handle removal

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I have a new-to-me early 1971 '02 in Granada that I bought from the original owner in Boise, Idaho last summer (I'm in southeastern Washington).  I am finishing up the mechanical sorting over the past months to make it ready for regular use after only being driven a few times per year in the last 30 years.  After that I will be on to the cosmetics inside and out.  Here are a couple pics of what I call my "sympathetic restoration" (yes, I'll be replacing those door speakers with something more appropriate, carpet, and some upholstery work).  This is my 3rd 2002, but first since the early 2000's.  I've been following the FAQ for many years and on a daily basis the past couple years, but I'm an infrequent poster.  It's helped me figure out a few issues already via the search function, but I have one now I didn't find any existing posts on.

 

The original owner on mine removed the plastic handle on the parking brake lever at some point so now I just have the metal lever.  I found a supplier for used early handles like I need, but all they have are cracked/split examples (maybe from removing the handles improperly?).  I found a complete parking brake lever with handle for sale with the handle in good condition so that's my preference.  Is it easy to remove the handle from an existing lever without damaging the handle?  The lever is much rougher than mine so I would just live without a handle if I can't swap only the handle over.  How best to get the handle off the one I buy, where I assume it's been for over 45 years now?  I was thinking of cutting off the lever with handle I buy with a hacksaw so I can get a metal washer around the lever that's just the right inside diameter to be able to exert force (maybe directly with hammer on the washer or maybe a deep socket to get even pressure around the circumference) on the handle without damaging it.  Or, is the judicious use of a heat gun to soften the plastic just a bit (don't want to deform the handle ridges of course) the better/only way?

 

Thanks,

Gary

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Note, I'm assuming that the battle will be one once I get the handle off.  I am thinking I can use WD40 or something similar to ease getting the handle on to my existing lever and then over the coming months the WD40 will evaporate and it will be on solid.

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Guess you mean to remove the "grip".  Maybe warm it in an oven so the whole piece is evenly heated.  A heat gun will sometimes heat just spots and burn.

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Thanks Jim.  yes, grip, cover, handle.  It's confusing since the metal lever is commonly called the handle.  "Grip" sounds like the best name for it.  From my searching the FAQ, doesn't seem like many owners have replaced them.  My guess on mine is that the original owner thought it started looking ratting or maybe it came loose on its own and he just tossed it.  A keen eye will note I also have a later style seat release knob. I've already replaced that with the correct early mushroom style knob--passenger side was correct.

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A leather E30 era grip will pretty much slide right on, fwiw 😊

 

Cheers,

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Bicycles used to have handlebar grips.  So did the outboard engines, at least my 1928 Johnson Seahorse does.  I'm sure tricycles still use grips.

Sometimes we hear "Get a grip on that", so take a hold.

Ray, comments please (for sure)!

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What is your Seahorse attached to, and what cams are in it?

 

:D

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Thanks Ray.  As you might see from the interior shot, this is a highly original 2002 so an E30 grip (or even a late 2002 grip) doesn't fit my plan.  Note the original (supplier strike or factory fire) leather wrapped TI steering wheel, shift knob and boot, spaghetti seatbelts, etc.  I'm even sticking with the original seats with the cool chrome side brackets over more comfortable and grippy Recaros.  I'd stick with original carpets if they weren't so sun-bleached and the accelerator pedal wear pattern.  Also running original steelies and Solex.  I have already upgraded the suspension though to Bilstein HD struts/shocks and the Ireland Engineering stage 1 springs and sway bars.

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Two choices to remove the early style (round and ribbed) e-brake handle grip/sleeve/whatever you want to call it:

 

1.  Wait for a nice warm day, leave your new handle in the sun and you can carefully slide it off.

2.  Borrow your wife's hair dryer and heat it--it'll get the grip warm enough to come off without taking a chance of melting anything like you would with a heat gun.  

 

To install on your current lever, place the grip in a pan of hot water, and use a little vaseline or silicone grease to ease it onto the handle.  

 

The above is much easier than swapping handles.

 

mike

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Thanks for the advice Mike.  My metal handle/lever is in near perfect original condition so I definitely want to keep that and just add back the correct style grip.

 

-Gary

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Mike, as an aside, from the early 90's through the early 2000's I was a CCA member and really appreciated your '02 cents worth column and of course your constant contributions to this message board.  I've also owned 4 E30s including a couple iX's, an M3, and currently have a '91 318is as my daily driver.  I'm also an Alfa Romeo Giulia Super owner, but my first vintage car love was the 2002 when I first saw them running around my college campus in the mid 1980's.  I'm creating a nice weather daily driver out of this one.

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(edited)
4 hours ago, ray_ said:

What is your Seahorse attached to, and what cams are in it?

A 2x4 bolted to the workbench.

It's a camless design.

Direct drive, no gearbox to contend with.  (Better know where you are pointed when it fires up).

I don't think it ever know what compression meant either.

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Edited by jimk
Sea Horse
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4 hours ago, mike said:

1.  Wait for a nice warm day, leave your new handle in the sun and you can carefully slide it off.

2.  Borrow your wife's hair dryer and heat it--it'll get the grip warm enough to come off without taking a chance of melting anything like you would with a heat gun.  

To install on your current lever, place the grip in a pan of hot water, and use a little vaseline or silicone grease to ease it onto the handle.  

 

I'd use a few drops of dish soap in water to make a lube solution.  No petrochemicals to damage the plastic, and when it dries it will help "lock" it in place.

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I'd use a few drops of dish soap in water to make a lube solution.  No petrochemicals to damage the plastic, and when it dries it will help "lock" it in place.


To re-attach the grip try spraying some simple antiseptic alcohol inside grip and on the handle. It provides ample lubricant and it evaporates away leaving the grip solidly in place whereas grease and soaps linger. This always works when I am changing grips on I my mtn bikes.

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