Chapter 9 – Parking Brake Handle

Today I started by doing another round of updates on my comm wiring diagram.

Then I started configuring the T-handle for the parking brake.  Since I haven’t been able to find a properly labeled T-handle anywhere, my plan was to label it myself today and then clear coat so I could determine if I A) could do it, and B) needed any other materials to accomplish it.

Here’s the type of handle that I used (it’s the same make, but a different handle than I actually used).

And here’s the same handle type after I labeled it with rub-on lettering.  The letters weren’t perfect when I went to clear coat it, but moreover, some loose edges (unbeknownst to me at first) were literally blown away when I hit it with the initial application of clear coat.  So, again, it’s clearly not perfect or as nice as it started out (or that I would prefer!), but it will definitely work as intended… at least for now.

As for the clear coat itself: I wanted to make sure that since this handle will most likely be subject to a fair amount of sunlight, and handled often, that the clear coat would stand up… so I shot 5 coats of matt clear on it.

I then grabbed my comparatively lightweight cable assembly and handle –versus all the other T-handled cables I have on hand– and prepped it for trimming the handle down.  I bought this cable assembly at an auto parts store a while back since it was so lightweight, but I wanted a T-handle that would allow both more (“easier”) gripping power & enough top surface area to label it.

I grabbed my Dremel Tool and cut off the handle.  After removing the plastic handle material, it was then that I discovered that inside the handle was basically a round bolt head.

Originally I had planned on using the remaining plastic of the handle to secure the new handle in place with flox, but I then made the decision with the exposed round “bolt head” to cut as many 1/4-20 threads on it as I could to really help secure it in the new T-handle that I was going to mount.

It was a bit tricky, but I was eventually able to use my die to cut a few 1/4-20 threads in the cable handle rod’s exposed round “bolt head” (yes, sorry for the pics!).

I then test mounted the freshly threaded cable handle rod and noted how deep the rod went into the handle.  I then cut a couple grooves in the handle rod just below the threaded head to provide gripping for flox.

I then whipped up a small batch of epoxy with fast hardener, put a big drop of epoxy into the T-handle threads and threaded in the cable handle rod.  With the rod set & clamped in place (hanging upside down), I then whipped up some wet flox to fill in the remaining void between the handle rod and the T-handle threads.

I then left the handle & cable assembly alone to cure.

Finally, here’s a pic of the parking brake handle floxed in place on the cable assembly, with the cable assembly installed in the cable assembly sheath.  At this point the parking brake cable & handle assembly is ready for install.  As for the weight, the entire assembly shown below weighs 4.55 oz. (0.29 lbs) whereas my stock T-handle cable from Aircraft Spruce weighs in at 13.85 oz. (0.87 lbs) . . . a whopping 67% heavier than the T-handle cable I just made.

As is often the case, I didn’t get nearly as much done as I had planned on today.  But, getting this parking brake handle labeled somewhat successfully and installed on the cable assembly was a fairly big task that I can mark as completed.  Again, it may seem that my timing is a little odd, but I need at least one T-handle assembly completed to determine both the correct placement for the handle and the required structure to build to house the parking brake and nose hatch release T-handles that will reside on each side of the nose gear wheel well viewing window.  In addition, this housings for these two handles will bracket the fuel tank selector valve.

With this seemingly sideline task out of the way, tomorrow I can get back to working on the GIB fresh air & heating duct valve #3: the PIC & GIB air distribution valve.


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