Early Handbrake - Can I fit a switch?

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Robsey
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Early Handbrake - Can I fit a switch?

Post by Robsey »

As the thread title really.

I have a 1983 ultra basic van, so currently has no handbrake switch or dash tell-tale.

I have seen lots of variations of switch location on the later lever assembly, but no pictures of switches on early lever assemblies.

Is there a switch for this? I am blowed if I could make a standard door-pin switch fit, without resorting to fabricating a special mounting bracket.

Image

Image

Any thoughts, suggestions, pictures or ideas?
other than - if it never had one, then it will never need one


No need to re-invent the wheel if a solution already exists.

Many thanks in advance,
Rob
1983 Tin Top with a poorly DF and 4 speed DT box.
Soon to have a whizzy 1987 DJ.

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jrt
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Re: Early Handbrake - Can I fit a switch?

Post by jrt »

Ours is an early van(‘83 dg) too.Image

David.
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Robsey
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Re: Early Handbrake - Can I fit a switch?

Post by Robsey »

Hmm - looks like it will need a bracket welding on.
Oh eck...

Image
1983 Tin Top with a poorly DF and 4 speed DT box.
Soon to have a whizzy 1987 DJ.

TONYT25T25
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Re: Early Handbrake - Can I fit a switch?

Post by TONYT25T25 »

How are you going to provide a Dash tell tale indication as you worded, is there a blank for the Red handbrake on already in place.  Mine was disconnected at both ends for some reason, I had to fit a new switch at the handle, which was the same as the passenger side courtesy light so i used that.
1984 Campervan 1.9DG Petrol WBX

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Robsey
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Re: Early Handbrake - Can I fit a switch?

Post by Robsey »

I am converting the whole van from a basic early wiring set-up to a later set-up.

I have three tell-tale units.. two with 3 wires and one with 5 wires.
I have modified one of the 3 wire units to fulfil both functions via two separate LEDs. One in each panel window.

Admittedly there was no wiring for the reservoir level switch and handbrake in the later loom, so I have retro fitted the necessary wires and the dash tell-tales.

Oddly though - I am sure it would have had the blanking panel in the cluster surround, but I cannot find it anymore.
1983 Tin Top with a poorly DF and 4 speed DT box.
Soon to have a whizzy 1987 DJ.

TONYT25T25
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Re: Early Handbrake - Can I fit a switch?

Post by TONYT25T25 »

Mine does not have a reservoir level switch, the only reason I reconnected the handbrake switch was because I sometimes drove off with the handbrake on and I thought it maybe an MOT failure. Anyway what you are doing sounds a bit more involved than what I would try so good luck.
1984 Campervan 1.9DG Petrol WBX

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Robsey
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Re: Early Handbrake - Can I fit a switch?

Post by Robsey »

It sounds harder than it is in reality.

My van is completely stripped for restoration.
Too much welding required but it is the wife's van and it MUST be done regardless of cost and futility.
In memory of her late dad.

Over the years i have bought a 1987 reconditioned DJ engine.
Full induction system and new stainless exhaust.
I have also bought all the looms and fuse box from a 1987 van.
All the looms have been gone-through and tidied / repaired / updated as required.
I have added all the extra wiring to provide Corsa EPAS, headlamp relays, and a full ISO radio connection harness.

Almost all the electrics are sorted ready to fit when the bodywork is finished.

So the point of this topic, is the mechanical / fabrication aspect for mounting a handbrake switch.

Which looks like a flat plate welded onto the back of the lever fixed pressing.
1983 Tin Top with a poorly DF and 4 speed DT box.
Soon to have a whizzy 1987 DJ.

TONYT25T25
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Re: Early Handbrake - Can I fit a switch?

Post by TONYT25T25 »

I will have a look at mine tomorrow to see if I can throw more light on what has already been posted.
1984 Campervan 1.9DG Petrol WBX

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Robsey
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Re: Early Handbrake - Can I fit a switch?

Post by Robsey »

Thanks, that would be greatly appreciated.

I think that I have come up with a crude, simple but good solution.

A simple angle bracket from the rear mounting hole, and then a flat strip going horizontally across the back of the fixed part of the lever assembly.

I will see if I have time to create something at work today. I have some old perforated central locking motor mounting strip that I plan to hack into shape.

The challenge is getting the height right to clear the hand-brake cable,
and the lateral position correct to bear upon the rear of the moving part of the lever assembly.
1983 Tin Top with a poorly DF and 4 speed DT box.
Soon to have a whizzy 1987 DJ.

multisi
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Re: Early Handbrake - Can I fit a switch?

Post by multisi »

If you buy a late hand brake it would have a proper grip handle as well.
1992 red lle 2.2 subaru 1990 rhd caravelle 2.2 subaru 1986 california import vanagon

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Robsey
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Re: Early Handbrake - Can I fit a switch?

Post by Robsey »

Indeed, that is an option.

I was always convinced though that the mounting hole alignment was slightly different between early and late lever assemblies.

The earlier lever assembly appears more 'stepped in' towards the middle of the van floor, whereas the later assembly has the mounting holes more central, and therefore sets the lever assembly closer to the driver's seat by about 1" (2.5cm).

That is what it looks like to me.
1983 Tin Top with a poorly DF and 4 speed DT box.
Soon to have a whizzy 1987 DJ.

TONYT25T25
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Re: Early Handbrake - Can I fit a switch?

Post by TONYT25T25 »

Just looked at mine and it is the same as images already posted, looks as if the switch can be unscrewed from what appears to be a fixed/integral part of the handbrake.
1984 Campervan 1.9DG Petrol WBX

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Robsey
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Re: Early Handbrake - Can I fit a switch?

Post by Robsey »

Okay - so I had a think about how to do this without welding anything to the handbrake assembly, and without having to buy a different lever.

It is a bit of a Mechano moment, but it works perfectly.

Paint it black and it will not look so ugly and stand out so much.

Image

Lever up 1 click.

Image

Handbrake down.

Image

As you can see, it utilises the rear lever location bolt to locate the switch mount.

The rubber gaiter should still fit comfortably over the top without catching.
Last edited by Robsey on 29 May 2021, 21:33, edited 1 time in total.
1983 Tin Top with a poorly DF and 4 speed DT box.
Soon to have a whizzy 1987 DJ.

TONYT25T25
Posts: 881
Joined: 16 Sep 2013, 17:19
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Re: Early Handbrake - Can I fit a switch?

Post by TONYT25T25 »

Well done, looks the business, The rubber cover should hide your work in any case.
1984 Campervan 1.9DG Petrol WBX

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