The Parking Brake Lever - Brass Plated or Black?

Here is he article:

Reply below to discuss.

Really nice write up, Royce. I too have researched this particular part extensively and it’s nice to see someone share the interest. The staff at the Benson Ford Research Center are great people to work with. They are always helpful and willing to assist in research. I have nothing but gratitude for them all.

In addition to what you described, I found that part number T-879, the “Hand Brake Lever Pawl Lift” drawing shows it as an assembly with T-888 (“Hand Brake Lever Pawl Lift Spring”) and (2) of T-889 (“Standard 1/8” Rivet).

The spring, T-888, also changed to “To be black enamel when assembled” on 2/17/11, although it doesn’t describe what it changed from. However, when shown on drawing T-879, the assembly drawing states “Coppered, Brass Plated….”

The rivets that attach the spring to the “lever pawl lift” were brass during this period.

T-877, “Hand Brake Lever Pawl Rod” (The rod that runs vertical between the lift and the pawl) is also “brass plated and polished”.

Two pins, T-880, were used to attach the “Hand Brake Lever Pawl Lift” to the “Hand Brake Lever Pawl Rod” and the “Hand Brake Lever”. These pins were steel, brass plated, and used a cotter key to retain them. Only the head and end were to be polished. This part changed from brass plated to black enamel on 2/17/11. On 7/17/11, it was changed to a button head and on 10/16/11, the cotter pin hole was removed and the part was specified to be “upset when assembled”.

The conclusion? Exactly what you found. The various parts of the lever assembly were revised at the same time from brass plated to black enamel. I don’t know what finish was on the pawl or the shouldered pin before 2/17/11, but afterwards both drawings indicate “black enamel when assembled”. Hmm….

I look forward to more great articles related to topics like this. Thank you.

They continued using the SHAPE of the earlier style pawl lift handle until at least 1915. Does anyone know when they came out with the new style handle?

A similar debate takes place when discussing NRS cars. The clutch lever on some cars are brass plated, while others are painted. Which are correct? Not having done the extensive research that Royce has done, I say both. Any clutch lever that shows the slightest hint of having been plated has also been nicely polished, with all the forge marks and other imperfections carefully smoothed out prior to plating. Examples that seem to show signs of original paint also retain their rough forged finish. The question then becomes, was plating only done in early production, or was it only done on perhaps Model S, while the cheaper, less appointed, Model N may have had the painted style? My N is a 1907. Its shift handle was, and is, painted. FWIW.

(NRS side lamp brackets fall into the same debate, painted vs. brass plated.)