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1981 Troubleshoot Parking Brake Lever/Ratchet


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Hi folks.

My parking brake seems to occasionally slip when moving the lever, resulting in incomplete engaging or disengaging of the brake.  So I need to troubleshoot this, but cannot find any tech articles or info on accessing or adjusting this lever.  So far all the tech stuff I've seen is about the earlier dash-mounted brake, but nothing on the Avanti II center console unit.

I've never removed the center console, and so any advice, images, steps anyone might have about getting it off to work on the ratchet lever, and any steps on making adjustments or checking parts would be super helpful.  (for example, is this lever shared by other cars with better documentation?)

Thanks in advance to anyone with any pointers or links.

Edited by JavierB
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  • JavierB changed the title to 1981 Troubleshoot Parking Brake Lever/Ratchet

Kind of reminds me of a Warner bros Cartoon with silence but for the chirping of a cricket....

I'm curious about this subject too_ I'd like to help but I will be away from my Avanti for a few more weekends.😕


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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/4/2023 at 8:27 AM, JavierB said:

Surely SOMEBODY has worked on their handbrake lever on this forum?  a diagram?  a picture?  anything?

I currently am installing new carpet on mine and have the console apart.  The ratchet mechanism was full of carpet pile and dirt.  I suggest you take it apart.  The cover is held on by 2 screws on each side by the seat.  Once you get the cover off, everything will make sense to you.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Okay, in the absence of any photos, I am uploading some here:

1) The console on my 81 is held on by two screws on either side of the front of the panel, and one in the far back through a metal tab.  The back one is easy to remove once you find it in the carpet.  The two side ones require an offset ratcheting phillips screwdriver to undo, unless you want to remove both seats.  The image shows the screws and the rear hole.  Hope this helps somebody and adds to the piecemeal knowledge of the Altman cars.


2) Various shots of the mechanism.







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That’s the same parking brake handle mechanism as for the C3 Corvette it was adapted from.  Any shop techniques would “probably” be similar if not the same for repair.  I say “probably” advisedly as Avanti Motors would adopt a part from another make and do what modifications necessary for the Avanti application.  

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