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Anyone Recognize This? **MYSTERY SOLVED**

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UPDATE: See Comments.  This is an old style parking assist for a trailer. See Comments.

Dexter found another MB deal, but this item was installed on the steering column.  Anyone know what it is?  It looks to be a hydraulic unit, but not sure why it says “not for parking”?


14 Comments on “Anyone Recognize This? **MYSTERY SOLVED**

  1. Jack

    My guess, given that it says “not for parking,” is it may be some sort of braking unit, possibly for heavy towing or maybe it is even related to a PTO set up. Can’t really tell without seeing where those hoses go underneath the body.

  2. Rich

    Looks very similar to a semi trailer brake handle. Any chance there was some sort of additional brake system for emergency that was operated by the handle?

  3. Steve E.

    I’ve never seen one of these devices, but I’m going to guess that it’s a brake locking device for winching. Mico locks have been used for this purpose since the 60’s which prevents your brakes from releasing after you apply the brakes. The braking system will hold pressure on the wheel cylinders while you are out of the vehicle until you get back in and release the valve. I used Mico locks in the 1970’s on a ’64 Ford 1 Ton concrete core drilling rig. Also, Mico locks were installed on my ’66 Ford F-350 before I bought it.

    It looks like the braided lines in the photo are headed for the master cylinder under the driver’s side frame rail.
    **Steve E.**

  4. Craig B.

    Yep, looks like an ancestor to the micro lock. I still have one off my old ’51 pickup. In recent years I’ve seen a version that was used as a theft deterent. It’s line lock was a keyed design. Lock the device, mash on the brake pedal and all 4 brakes were locked until the key unlocked the system. Pretty cool design.

  5. PbBelly

    It is a hand brake control for vacuum over hydraulic trailer brakes. The trailer would have had a hydraulic brake system similar to automotive power brakes only rather than a pedal actuating the vacuum servo this hand valve did. The trailer would have had a vacuum tank as well. This system was quite common on medium duty trucks from the 40s and 50s, but I maintain one on a 70s Ford F800 well into the 90s (in fact that truck and trailer are still no the road today, just not seeing everyday service) The reason that is is marked “not for parking” is that without the engine running supplying vacuum if there is the slightest leak in the system the brakes will eventually release. I have heard lots of stories of runaway trucks because of this or a similar situation with early air brakes before the advent of spring-applied-air-released parking brakes.

  6. PbBelly

    Oh, I should have added that there were also some straight vacuum brakes but that wasn’t as common. Vacuum “pods” actuated brake shoes in a similar fashion to air brakes of the era.

  7. globetrekker

    It’s a trailer brake. It’s justed to apply air pressure to trailer brakes to slow the vehicle. They are mostly found on old semi tractors.

  8. Mohamed

    My guess is that its used for braking.. Iv seen the same thing In Universal studios tour.. last week I took the tour around the park and on the downhill the driver uses a handel and keeps pulling it to slow down. it looks very similar.

  9. mmdeilers Post author

    UPDATE: I have updated this post. This is an early parking assist for a trailer. See Comments.

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