parking brake and convertible top

My '99 requires that I engage the parking brake to put my top up or down. The problem is that I often forget to disengage the brake afterward (yeah,
short attention span). Is there any way to deactivate this so I can operate my conv top without engaging the parking brake? I'm all for sensible safety features but this one just seems unnecessary. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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<< Is there any way to deactivate this so I can operate my conv top without engaging the parking brake? >> -----------------
I posted this same question several weeks ago and did not get a response (to my knowledge).
I just got caught in the rain yesterday in traffic, and was forced to get wet until I could get well off the road and come to a full stop in a safe area. I had tried just pulling the brake up a bit while creeping, hoping that the switch would engage before the brake came on hard enough to keep the car from rolling, but that wasn't the case. In my car, it's adjusted so that you need to really pull the brake lever up pretty far before the top will work, and at that point the car will not move. I would guess that there is a switch located right near the parking brake lever. It would make sense that if you could pull the center console, you would then have access to this switch. At this point you could either remove/bypass the switch entirely, or perhaps re-adjust or re-locate it so that it remains in the "on" position at all times. But, I have never removed the console so I don't know exactly what's under there. Can anyone let us know how easy or not it is to remove the center console? How do you do it? I'd like to hear an account from someone who has done it before I start ripping things apart.
I do respect Ford's decision to put this vert top safety switch in, because you know there'd be a certain amount of people out there (especially in rental cars) who would try to put the top up or down while doing 60 mph which could cause all sorts or problems in addition to causing major damage. Even just going along at 20 mph, which might SEEM slow, might be fast enough to wreck the top if you are trying to put it up. Personally, I'd never try to raise or lower the top unless the car was nearly still... but sometimes you're in traffic and you're rolling along at 5 mph or so, stop and go, and it would be nice to be able to flip up the top without having to come to a pull stop in the middle of the highway and then having to remember to engage and then disengage the parking brake too.
So... anyone on how to get the center console out? This safety switch IS under the console by the brake handle, right?
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A good Haynes manual will answer most, if not all, of your questions about where things are in the car and how to remove them. Cheap, too, at $15-$20!
Steve

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replying to Steve Marshall, tamaboy1 wrote: people come here for advice and info and thats the answers they get? your an ass. i know this is old but if you still on here then its worth it!
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I agree completely, it would be nice to disable it. I put my top down frequently at stop lights on a whim, and my brake only has to be set one click, and I still forget to take the brake off. I would love to know how to disable this feature.
Kate 98 Cobra Drop Top
| << Is there any way to deactivate this so I can operate my conv top without | engaging the parking brake? >> | ----------------- | | I posted this same question several weeks ago and did not get a response (to | my knowledge). | | I just got caught in the rain yesterday in traffic, and was forced to get | wet until I could get well off the road and come to a full stop in a safe | area. I had tried just pulling the brake up a bit while creeping, hoping | that the switch would engage before the brake came on hard enough to keep | the car from rolling, but that wasn't the case. In my car, it's adjusted so | that you need to really pull the brake lever up pretty far before the top | will work, and at that point the car will not move. I would guess that | there is a switch located right near the parking brake lever. It would make | sense that if you could pull the center console, you would then have access | to this switch. At this point you could either remove/bypass the switch | entirely, or perhaps re-adjust or re-locate it so that it remains in the | "on" position at all times. But, I have never removed the console so I | don't know exactly what's under there. Can anyone let us know how easy or | not it is to remove the center console? How do you do it? I'd like to hear | an account from someone who has done it before I start ripping things apart. | | I do respect Ford's decision to put this vert top safety switch in, because | you know there'd be a certain amount of people out there (especially in | rental cars) who would try to put the top up or down while doing 60 mph | which could cause all sorts or problems in addition to causing major damage. | Even just going along at 20 mph, which might SEEM slow, might be fast enough | to wreck the top if you are trying to put it up. Personally, I'd never try | to raise or lower the top unless the car was nearly still... but sometimes | you're in traffic and you're rolling along at 5 mph or so, stop and go, and | it would be nice to be able to flip up the top without having to come to a | pull stop in the middle of the highway and then having to remember to engage | and then disengage the parking brake too. | | So... anyone on how to get the center console out? This safety switch IS | under the console by the brake handle, right? | |
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I have come up with a solution to the parking brake safety convertible top switch. This may not be the BEST solution, but it was easy and took all of 20 minutes to figure out and do.
I found one switch located on the right side of the parking brake lever (under the center console)... this switch controls the "BRAKE" warning light on the dash as well as the vert top lock-out. I first tried unhooking the connector from the switch and putting a jumper across the connector. This allow the vert top to be operable all the time whether the parking brake was on or not, however, the BRAKE warning light would then be on all the time as well, and that is too annoying to leave like that. If anyone knows how to easily disable just the BRAKE warning lamp itself in the dash, then this is the best solution. It would be cool if you could just go under there and pull out the bulb for the BRAKE warning light, but my guess is that it would be way harder than that. Anyone?
So instead, I did the following: I removed the switch from the parking brake lever assembly (easy), and I ground the pin of the switch down by 0.100". This allows the brake warning light to come on (and thus allows operation of the vert top) when only pulling up on the parking brake handle just a small bit, before it even "clicks" into a holding notch. If you are rolling along in traffic and wish to put the top up, just press the vert top switch with your thumb and then pull up slightly on the parking brake lever about an inch or so with you pinky and ring finger until the top starts to operate. Use your index and middle finger to rest your hand against the console. The brake lever does not come up enough to apply brake pressure to the rear wheels. If you slip or forget about the brake, no worry, because you will never need to actually "click" the brake into place. If you let go of it, it will just drop back to flat position. In this way, you can raise the top while rolling along in traffic, and since you never "click" the parking brake into a holding notch, you cannot accidentally leave the parking brake on.
Note: this mod was done on an `03 GT vert. The pin originally extended from the switch by .330", and I ground the pin down to .230". This may be different on different cars, so you may wish to measure and experiment before grinding away. 0.100" is about 3/32" or so. I recommend grinding a little at a time and measuring to get it just right. If you grind too much, then the warning light will be on all the time and you'll have to shim the pin somehow or get a new switch.
To do the mod, first unbolt the center console. The Haynes book says to unhook the battery first to avoid possible deployment of the airbags. (I neglected to unhook the battery, and no air bags went off... but, it's always a good idea to be on the safe side). Pop the shift ring trim out (just pulls right out, held in with clips), then undo the two 7mm screws that hold the front of the console in place. Open the console glove box, and take out the two 7mm screws in there too. At this point the rear of the console can bel lifted up. No need to take it out fully. Next, position the passenger seat as far forward as it can go and tilt the backrest forward. Pull the parking brake lever up so that the parking brake is on. Then, while positioned behind the passenger front seat, pull up on the console a few inches and look at the parking brake lever pivot point. You will see a small plastic switch held to the side of the assembly with one screw. Unhook the wire connector from the switch (use a small screwdriver to press the tab on the connector to free it), then unscrew the switch from the brake assembly using a 1/4" socket. Switch comes right out. Grind the pin down by about .100". Be careful when grinding... do not allow the pin to become too hot or the switch could be damaged. Reinstall switch. Turn the ignition key to "on" and pull up and down on the parking brake lever to see at what point the dashboard "BRAKE" warning light comes on. If you did it right, the light should come on when the brake handle is only an inch or so above the fully "off" position. If not, regrind, etc.
I guess the BEST solution would be to follow the vert top switch itself and figure out how the BRAKE warning light switch interfaces with the vert top circuit. There must be a way to somehow divorce the parking brake switch from the vert top circuit altogether, and thus you could get the top to work regardless of the brake lever switch position, but I did not have time to dig further and investigate that. I don't have a wiring diagram on hand either. Since my car is still new and under warrantee, I do not wish to start digging into the wiring yet. The neat thing about the mod described above is that you do not touch the electrical system, and you leave essentially zero trace of a modification.
Any further info on this subject welcomed. Above is at least one simple way to allow operation of the top without having to come to a full dead stop.
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<< ...just press the vert top switch with your thumb and then pull up slightly on the parking brake lever your pinky and ring finger... Use your index and middle finger to rest your hand against the console...>> ---------------------
Forget the above quote... I don't know what I was thinking Do this instead: just put your thumb on the vert top switch and use your other four fingers to grab the parking brake lever and lift slightly. Works nicely.
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That would be swell hon, if I didn't have to shift when the light turns green and the top is still up 6" LOL
Kate
| << ...just press the vert top switch with your thumb and then pull up | slightly on the parking brake lever your pinky and ring finger... Use your | index and middle finger to rest your hand against the console...>> | --------------------- | | Forget the above quote... I don't know what I was thinking Do this instead: | just put your thumb on the vert top switch and use your other four fingers | to grab the parking brake lever and lift slightly. Works nicely. | | |
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OK... just so I got this straight.... you have one hand on the switch for the top, one hand on the handbrake and the other hand on the steering wheel????
Sounds pretty sane to me....
-- Jim Warman snipped-for-privacy@telusplanet.net

instead:
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<< OK... just so I got this straight.... you have one hand on the switch for the top, one hand on the handbrake and the other hand on the steering wheel???? Sounds pretty sane to me.... >> -----------------------
No... one hand is on the steering wheel at all times. Sorry for the confusion. The vert top switch is right next to the parking brake lever... you keep your left hand on the steering wheel at all times of course, and with your RIGHT hand, you press the vert top switch with your right thumb while pulling up a bit on the brake handle with your right index, middle, ring and pinky fingers. You just need to stretch your right hand out a small bit. This might be hard for someone with VERY small and weak hands, but I'd think that most people should be able to do it easily. Again, the top button and brake lever are right next to each other. In sum, you operate the top button and brake lever with your right hand only. Of course it would be BETTER if you could just hit the top button ONLY and not have to touch the parking brake... maybe one of the other mechanically minded members here can help figure out how to make this happen via altering the circuits. I gave it a shot with the available time I had and came up with the above described solution... not the best solution, but it's quick and easy to do, and worth it not to have your car's interior, your best leather jacket and your girlfriend get totally drenched by a sudden downpour. :)
-----------------------

fingers
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On Wed, 01 Oct 2003 14:28:34 GMT, "GT-Vert-03"

Take a look at this link to the wiring diagram for a 2000 Mustang convertible top:
http://www.miracerros.com/mustang/c_diagram.gif
When the parking brake is engaged, the raise/lower relay coils are provided with a ground through the parking brake switch. If the parking brake is not engaged, they have no ground and cannot operate.
All you need to do is to provide another path to ground for the relays, and they will operate without the parking brake being engaged. A pushbutton (normally open) switch to ground should work fine.
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Oh lord.. my brain hurts! Great for you GUYS out there...
...but some of us blondes just aren't quite there yet.
Kate
wrote: | | >it would be BETTER if you could just hit the top button ONLY and not have to | >touch the parking brake... maybe one of the other mechanically minded | >members here can help figure out how to make this happen via altering the | >circuits. | | Take a look at this link to the wiring diagram for a 2000 Mustang | convertible top: | |
http://www.miracerros.com/mustang/c_diagram.gif
| | When the parking brake is engaged, the raise/lower relay coils are | provided with a ground through the parking brake switch. If the | parking brake is not engaged, they have no ground and cannot operate. | | All you need to do is to provide another path to ground for the | relays, and they will operate without the parking brake being engaged. | A pushbutton (normally open) switch to ground should work fine. | | |
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<<
http://www.miracerros.com/mustang/c_diagram.gif
When the parking brake is engaged, the raise/lower relay coils are provided with a ground through the parking brake switch. If the parking brake is not engaged, they have no ground and cannot operate. All you need to do is to provide another path to ground for the relays, and they will operate without the parking brake being engaged. A pushbutton (normally open) switch to ground should work fine. >> --------------------
Hey, neat! Thanks!
Regarding adding a pushbutton... couldn't you just tie the relays to ground directly without adding a pushbutton? In otherwords, just take the wire that goes from the convertible top circuit to the parking brake switch, and tie that directly to ground so that the relays have the ground at all times. Does this make sense or am I missing something?
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On Thu, 02 Oct 2003 23:47:47 GMT, "GT-Vert-03"

It's not shown on the wiring diagram I linked, but there is a line running from the brake switch to the electronic module in your dash. If you tie that line permanently to ground, the "BRAKE" indicator on your dash will stay on all the time.
That's why I suggested uding a pushbutton to ground. Then the brake indicator would only light when you pushed the button to permit raising/lowering the top with the brake off.
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<< If you tie that line permanently to ground, the "BRAKE" indicator on your dash will stay on all the time. That's why I suggested using a pushbutton to ground. Then the brake indicator would only light when you pushed the button to permit raising/lowering the top with the brake off. >> -----------------
Ok, that's what I thought. This is what happened when I initially jumped the parking brake switch itself... the convertible top would operate all the time, brake on or off, but the brake dash light would also stay on all the time.... not good. The goal is to somehow feed the vert top circuit a ground at the point in the path it needs it while not disturbing the parking brake dash light circuit. Or maybe this is not possible without making things overly complicated? Another option is to indeed jump the switch (easy), but then pop the dash parking brake warning lamp. I wonder how hard it is to remove this lamp from the gauge cluster???? If this could be done, then the top would work at all times, and you wouldn't need to worry about the parking brake warning lamp.
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replying to GT-Vert-03, Ron wrote: Will my 99mustang 5speed fuel pump work wit no hand brake
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at 30 Sep 2003, Zen Cohen [ snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com] wrote in

I remember the 98 vert I rented you could pull the handbrake slighltly and the button would work. When holding the brake, I was still able to stretch a finger and push the vert tp button. This may work on yours as well and would keep your attention on the brake... :-)
--
_ 1995 Mustang V6 Coupe (Bright Blue)
|_| Member Modern Mustangs of North America (MMNA)
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Your Mustang can move with the parking brake handle pulled all the way up????
Zen Cohen wrote:

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You only have to raise the brake handle a smidgeon, one click, for the top to activate.
| Your Mustang can move with the parking brake handle pulled all the way up???? | | Zen Cohen wrote: | | > The problem is that I often forget to disengage the brake afterward (yeah, | > short attention span). |
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That is something my car does! I've been trying to figure out how to tighten the hand brake cable. I know there was a time where I'd forget to release the brake and after I realized my car was running sluggish I had already driven a mile or two with the brake handle pulled.
So, it's either wire in a by-pass switch for the e-brake or tighten the cable enough so when I pull up to the first click, the car will barely move reminding me to release the brake.
--
Greg B.
'01 V6 Convertible Premium Trim Option
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