Mustang Emergency Brake Problem

I currently own a 2000 Ford Mustang. It is a manual transmission and with that I use the emergency brake very frequently. A few weeks ago, as I pulled up my emergency brake, there was a snap and it felt like it was now loose. On further inspection, it appeared that the bolt attaching the forward-end of the emergency brake handle came loose or broke. When I looked at it more and researching online, it became evident that this is actually a design flaw in the car model.

View of the broken bolt on the MustangOn the left is a photo of the bolt that has come undone on the emergency brake. The blue rectangle piece there is what used to be welded into that rectangle hole. Normally there is a bold going through the emergency brake mechanism and threads through that metal rectangle. Why Ford decided to weld a steel rectangle into a rectangular hold on the top of the transmission tunnel is beyond me. I’d figure the threads could have just been cut directly into the steel body.

How should I fix this? Well, of course the proper way of fixing the issue would be to weld the piece back on—but that is out-of-the-question too complicated. Perhaps not the welding itself, but certainly removing and covering the interior to shield from the sparks. Now that would be a nightmare.

View of the washer and nut from below the carI approached my friend to brain storm other ways to approach this. We came up with three different ways to “hotfix” the brake mechanism. What we did was take a galvanized washer and bend it to match the curvature of the transmission tunnel. Then this washer was placed on the underside of the car and the bolt was threaded though the emergency brake, the hole, the washer, and then a lock nut. The photo on the right is a view of the nut and washer at the top of the transmission tunnel.

So far it has been over a month and still working great.

One Comment

  1. Josh says:

    Doug, I found your article while searching for a solution to the same problem, and it’s a great fix. Firstly however I think we must attribute the problem not to Ford’s engineering, but to our superior strength that tears metal. 😁 I went to home depot, and picked up grade 8 hardware, which is the hardest they had. 3/8″ course thread bolt 1.5″ length was the perfect length and diameter. I stacked lockwashers with larger washers both topside and below and it’s more solid now than ever.

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