ideas on handbrake mod for elderly person.
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! bazgti's Avatar
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    Default ideas on handbrake mod for elderly person.

    my mums got very bad arthritis in her hands and cant operate the handbrake properly in her ford laser .[1989]
    she finds it very hard to push the button in on the handbrake to release it.
    she is 71 years young and just won citizen of the year, and got her name on the tasmania honor roll for her charity work , is very active with coastcare,parks and wildlife and various other activities in tasmania[ok, no tassy jokes please].
    so im looking for ideas on mods to the existing handbrake so she does not have to pussh the button in on the end of the handbrake handle to release it.
    she is very active and her hands are getting worse ,it would be a shame for her to not to be able to drive as she lives alone and is very independant and otherwise mobile and healthy for her age.
    its the ratchet type similar to the 205 handbrakes.
    any thoughts?????-BAZZZ

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! briz205's Avatar
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    Hmm,

    You could use a 404 type of handbrake, like that in utes. It sits next to the steering column and you twist to release. Or you could use a mercedes one. it sits on the floor next to the brake peddle.

    hope this helps nick
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  3. #3
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    A 404 one twists? Never heard of that... the Holden ones of that era, well, actually from the fifties, used to do that.

    But the 404 one is a good proposition, I'd say. Or its type. It has a 'trigger' that you pull up with the handle to let the brake off. That could probably be adapted to the conventional position between the seats, but the ratchet bar would have to be covered up. Maybe make the handle virtually vertical?

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! Westair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    A 404 one twists? Never heard of that... the Holden ones of that era, well, actually from the fifties, used to do that.

    But the 404 one is a good proposition, I'd say. Or its type. It has a 'trigger' that you pull up with the handle to let the brake off. That could probably be adapted to the conventional position between the seats, but the ratchet bar would have to be covered up. Maybe make the handle virtually vertical?
    Ray you may be able to help with this.
    Not sure of Laser hand brake system but could ratchet be reversed and made into "flyoff" type. Just gentle pull up and it's off
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  5. #5
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Like the odd sports car?

    Well, I think she might have the same problem with this as she does with the original... I think (it's not explained, but guessing...) that the problem might be pulling the handle and pressing the button at the same time. And she'd have to do that to put the handbrake on in that case.

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! Westair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    Like the odd sports car?

    Well, I think she might have the same problem with this as she does with the original... I think (it's not explained, but guessing...) that the problem might be pulling the handle and pressing the button at the same time. And she'd have to do that to put the handbrake on in that case.

    I am assuming that there would no load on brake handle in putting it on.
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  7. #7
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    There shouldn't be letting it off either... but you'd have to pull up slightly as you hit the button...

    Trouble is we have to assume... we don't know what the actual problem is.

  8. #8
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    The issue that arises with the flyoff type comes from the fact that, I assume, Mrs Baz would need to use the ratchet to apply the current setup adequately firm. A flyoff handbrake would be even more difficult to apply to the same degree of force, where you have arthritic hands. You need to hoik it, timing the 'press' just right to engage the appropriate ratchet tooth while holding the pressure upwards... Too hard.

    Baz, how about phoning one of those firms that modify disabled persons' cars? They may have something off the shelf.

    Stuey
    Last edited by Stuey; 8th May 2005 at 06:57 PM. Reason: Clarify meaning


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  9. #9
    1000+ Posts CHRI'S16's Avatar
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    Baz
    Is it possible to extend the handle and button action. I did this for my mum, on our old VK Calais.
    I turned a longer handle on the lathe at work, the drilled our the centre and put in a rod to push the original button.
    The longer handle made the effort required to lift the handbrake & push the button much easier. Plus the car no longer rolled down hills... - Chris.
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  10. #10
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    Chris,

    I think Mrs Baz has her problem with the button pressure, not the leverage (although it'd certainly help!).

    Stuey


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  11. #11
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    What about putting a lever on the button? Or make a trigger that operates the button via levers?

    Extend the handle a little, then work out a linkage arrangement to make it light and easy to operate?

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts CHRI'S16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey
    Chris,

    I think Mrs Baz has her problem with the button pressure, not the leverage (although it'd certainly help!).

    Stuey
    True... however thats exactly what made it hard for my mum. As you know the button is VERY easy to press when you tug the handbrake up, then go down. The fact that the lever is tough to pull up means that pressing this button is very hard.
    The longer leaver made the up tug easy and the button cliked in really well.....
    But, I cant remember what the ford laser handbrake looks like. - Chris
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  13. #13
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Get her a nice DS BVH or slugomatic.

    You see they have a foot brake. When stopped you stand on the foot pedal engaging the hand brake. To let it off, you simply stand on the handbrake pedal again and move the locking lever so the pedal will come up.

    Like most things on a DS very simple and extremely effective.

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  14. #14
    1000+ Posts CHRI'S16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    Get her a nice DS BVH or slugomatic.

    You see they have a foot brake. When stopped you stand on the foot pedal engaging the hand brake. To let it off, you simply stand on the handbrake pedal again and move the locking lever so the pedal will come up.

    Like most things on a DS very simple and extremely effective.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    I think the BMW 7 series version is better. Push a button for on, push the same button for off. Or even the Lexus version, push with your leg on, push and release for off. No levers. - Chris
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  15. #15
    Fellow Frogger! bazgti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    There shouldn't be letting it off either... but you'd have to pull up slightly as you hit the button...

    Trouble is we have to assume... we don't know what the actual problem is.

    thanks for all your posts guys.
    the main problem is she has three fingers curled under that she cant move ,so she only really has her thumb and index finger that work properly.
    its the pushing the button in on the hanbrake that she has problems with.
    you try curling your last three fingers up into your palm and try to operate this type of handbrake and youll see what i mean.
    its the leverage involved and the strength that you normaly atribute to the other three fingers that are the main problem in pushing in thr button.
    ive thought of the old torana type that used a foot pedal next to the clutch to operate and disengage the handbrake.
    ill contact a firm that does conversions to disabled peoples cars and see whats up.
    any other thoughts?-BAZZ

    P.S I DIG THE MRS BAZZ LINE HA HA HA HA

  16. #16
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    Buy her an XM. Foot parking brake with a nice big easy pull button on the RHS of the dash to release.

    Better yet, what about a brick on a string or one of those aeroplace chocks

    Seriously though, I think Stuey's suggestion of seeing a place that specialises in this sort of thing may be best.
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  17. #17
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Lots of Yank Tanks have foot pedal parking brakes, some are released by a pull knob under the dash...

    Shouldn't be much trouble to find something, but another option might be the HQ handbrake handle.

    It fits between the seat and the door, so if there's room there it might be a go. It enables her to use her other hand, assuming that it's in better shape.

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger! bazgti's Avatar
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    im about to research the disabled car modification industry this week and will price what needs to be done and post my results.
    i think that ill have more success in that avenue,
    thank you to all who answered.-BAZZ

  19. #19
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Just be careful there...

    They might go for a bit of overkill that will cost a packet. Make sure you only get what you want... preferably something that they make a lot of.

  20. #20
    Fellow Frogger! bazgti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    Just be careful there...

    They might go for a bit of overkill that will cost a packet. Make sure you only get what you want... preferably something that they make a lot of.

    Cost is not an issue here as she has got it covered .
    the local council[BURNIE]is paying for it .
    she does alot of volunteer work for them and its a gift of gratitude.-BAZZ

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