The 1950 Chevrolet 3600 currently hogging the Redline Garage has proved time and time again to be in rough shape. Davin will not give up on it though. He is a surgeon and no vehicle will die on his operating table. The next fix on this pickup would be akin to an Achilles tendon replacement—critical for operation and crucial to get right.
The operation in question? The brakes. Davin is undertaking the assembly of each corner of the system, and even a truck as popular as this Advance Design Chevrolet can still have some parts availability troubles. One would expect to find long-since out-of-production parts on a Studebaker or Diamond T, but just about every vintage car will have some small part on it that modern manufacturers don’t find worth manufacturing. So you have to get creative.
Not too creative, though. This is the brake system, after all, and it needs to work correctly—every time. The brake shoes get a fresh lining on the original backings. Nothing crazy there. The pivot points present a bit of a conundrum for Davin, however, since the existing retaining clips are in tough shape and replacements are nowhere to be found.
So, the man known for creative fixes and penchant for modifying his tools goes to work scouring his creative mind and the hardware store bins. The pair of pivot pins for the brake shoes each had a small groove for a retaining clip, which kept everything in its proper place. The diameter of the smaller pin was just right for a newer design clip which pinches closed. The larger pivot pin had just the right diameter for a metric-sized E-clip. (Luckily, it doesn’t matter if parts like these are SAE or metric, so long as they work.)
As Davin says in the video, let this serve as a reminder to think outside the box for every problem that crops up when working on a vintage car or truck. Every problem has a solution, and as a mechanic it is your job to find the best one. Thanks to Davin’s experience and creative thinking, this truck will be back on the road soon. Now go put the same thinking to work on your project.