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Sometimes things pop up and make you pump the brakes on a project. For Davin, it’s literal brakes that are giving him pause. A lot of pieces on the 1937 Ford race car are unconventional compared to a street car, but that hasn’t tripped him up to this point. Now the shoe is on the other … backing plate?
The brakes of a car designed for only taking left are designed and implemented radically differently than anything you’d find on a mass-produced car. Typically, for a race car like this, brakes are set up in a such a way that applying them will cause the car to pull left and thus can be used to help get around the track faster. One could use hydraulic valves and limiters to achieve this, or in the case of the ’37 here, the previous mechanic removed friction material from the shoes to proportion the braking force.
Davin knows he will want to tune the brakes, but for now the primary focus is to make them functional. That is why the first task was disassembly and cleaning. Of course, be sure to snap a photo of the assembly before taking things apart. Even if you don’t need it during assembly, it could be handy in the future. Digital photography is basically free these days, so snap all the photos you can.
Assembly was when the problem appeared. With everything back together, there were some small fitment issues that just bugged at Davin. The 12 x 2-inch brake shoes are odd-sized and none of the options he could get his hands on fit to his liking. So, he sent the original shoes out to be re-lined. Fresh friction material made those old pieces as good as new and they fit perfectly. The assembled backing plates were then put on the shelf with the finished drums and hubs.
The brakes might be coming together a bit more slowly than ideal, but that is not going halt progress on this race car—or any of the other projects Davin and the team have running in the Redline Garage. If you never want to miss an oil-soaked minute, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel and watch for new episodes every week.
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