View Full Version : TR2/3/3A TR3A Handbrake Assembly Woes

04-13-2009, 07:47 AM
I am spending too much time trying to get this thing back together. The thumb knob, actuator shaft, pawl and ratchet have to go together precisely or it ain't gonna work. I've tried various combinations and can't get it done. Has anyone out there done this and can you tell me how it has to go and how to assemble the parts?

Thanks, Tinkerman the frustrated!

04-13-2009, 03:35 PM
Can't be much help, but maybe encouraging. I only owned a TR3A for 10 days and even after being forwarned and mentally prepared, I still couldn't get used to the "fly off" emergency brake. Putting one together would be a nightmare for me. Bear up old boy and good luck.

04-13-2009, 03:49 PM

I have a spare sitting on my bench and one installed on a frame if you need some closeups. I didn't disassemble, though, so I'll be learning this as I go too.


04-13-2009, 07:21 PM
I completely rebuilt ours about a year ago and recall that pawl gave me fits. If I remember correctly, I installed the pawl and then jammed the toothed thingie into the handle afterwards. It helps to have a third hand when trying to line up the pawl pivot hole with its hole in the handle in preparation for driving in the pivot pin. Also, as I'm sure you know, unlike modern handbrakes, the TR3 handbrake button on top of the handle does not release the brake - it sets it by jamming the pawl downwards and into the toothed thingie, which holds the brake in the activated cable-tensioned position. The brake is released by pulling the handle a bit farther back, allowing the button spring to raise the pawl from the teeth, allowing you to move the handle forward, detensioning the brake cable and releasing the brake. Took me a while to get my head around this, since I was used to button-is-release systems.

04-13-2009, 07:53 PM
I wish I could help but I'm looking forward to your solution. I took mine apart 6 months ago to get rechromed. I do have a complete spare so I was sure I could put it back together in minutes. So I just went out to the garage to give it a try, no luck. Long hard day at work, don't want to deal with right now. Good luck.

04-13-2009, 08:43 PM
Well I had to go out and try again. I got the assembly put back together in about 15 minutes. I would love to tell you in person but our 3 hour time difference is a problem. A few hints are to make sure the rod, spring, and washer go into the handle from the top. Then I used a small bolt to depress the button so I could install the pawl. I did not use the correct pin at this time but a smaller diameter screwdriver instead. That will give you the needed play to install the rachet with the teeth facing the front of the car. Remember that the rachet bolts to the attachment plate not the handbrake handle. The cable connects to the handle. You can then remove the screwdriver and install the pin. I hope this helps.

04-20-2009, 07:03 AM
Well! The deed is done. The handhrake is assembled and will go on the frame this week. My basic conceptual problem was that I was figuring it for a "push to release" rather than a "push to engage"! Thanks Craig and Keith for getting me straight on that. Also thanks to Randy for the help and pictures.

What I had to do is to push the pawl rod far enough into the lever so that I could hook the pawl on, with the point part of the pawl facing the rear of the car. Once that was connected to the rod I then realeased it to go back into the handle. I then inserted the ratchet lever with the teeth pointing towards the front of the car. Since the pawl was not yet pinned to the handle base it slipped in very well. I then hooked the pawl to the handle base and all is well, and yes Keith it only took about 15 min to do it.

Thanks to all of you for your help.