The pictures are from a 1994 Taurus SHO. The principles are the same for any SHO, and perhaps any Taurus or Ford with a pedal operated parking brake.
start with, here's a picture of the broken release cable below the new cable
that's replacing it. You can see the end of the new cable has something
crimped on the end (inside the yellow circle) to engage the release lever.
This gets broken off, usually by the release lever cutting through the cable
over time. If you look carefully, you should find this chunk of metal somewhere
on your floor mat. When this nipple falls off, the cable and handle will
pull right out of the housing. To replace the cable, you have to remove
the old housing, put in the new cable and housing and connect the cable
to the end of the release lever.
Before you can remove the old cable housing, you have to remove a clip that's holding it in place. On a SHO, this is pretty easy once you remove the panel for the dash board light dimmer and autolamp control. This panel is shown in the leftmost picture above.It's pretty easy to remove this panel. Just pull the panel away from the dash using the lip pointed to by the yellow arrow. Once you get it started, you can see that it's held in by four spring clips (two of these are shown inside yellow circles on the rightmost picture).
If you let the lamp panel hang
down, you'll be looking at this trying to find the clip that holds the cable
housing in. If you haven't figured it out already, you can click on any
of these photos to get a larger view, but that won't help you find it in
this picture. In real life, it's easier to see, or you can just get a flash
But here's another picture using
a "digital flashlight" to show you what to look for. Just pull
out the retaining clip that the yellow arrow is pointing to and the parking
brake release cable housing will just come out.
Here's all the stuff again for review. From top to bottom we have the
new parking brake release cable assembly, the retaining clip, and the old
parking brake release cable and housing.
"Installation is done in the reverse order". How many times have you read that? It's especially difficult when something has broken because you never saw it fully assembled. Well, installation is done in the reverse order, but here are some pictures to help you out:
This is what the parking brake
release lever looks like. The bracket in the upper circle holds the end
of the cable housing while the slot in the release lever for the end of
the cable itself is in the lower circle.The yellow arrow points to the end
of the new parking cable release housing.
By the way, if you haven't already released the parking brake, you should probably deliberately pull up on the release lever with the edge of your shoe or something since accidentally releasing the parking brake with your hand or face in the way will result in a nasty surprise (don't ask me how I know). The parking brake in these pictures is definitely in the "armed and dangerous" position, but you can install the cable like this if you're careful.
Notice the hole in the dash for
the cable housing has an asymmetrical shape so the cable will only go in
one way and you don't have to worry about having a "ESAELER EKARB"
or something. First feed the cable assembly through the dash. Then re-install
the retaining clip on the upper end of the brake release cable housing.
Take the lower end of
the parking brake release cable housing and put it in the upper bracket.
It should just slide in.
Then pull up on the parking
brake release lever just enough to put the end of the cable through the
slot. Some people suggest smoothing the metal on the edge of the slot so
the new cable won't wear away. This is probably a good idea, but since I
didn't have a Dremel or other small grinding tool available, I just left
it alone. Several years from now I may be sorry!
Now you can snap the dimmer/auto
lamp control back into place, and get back to waxing your door jambs (or
in my case, just vacuuming the floor mats).
Last modified May 2, 1998
All pictures taken by the author