I’m Going To Make It After All – Dave’s Garage

Recently I went through the annual exercise of getting my old work truck ready for the state inspection. The parking brake did not work. The piece that connects the front and intermediate cables had broken. This is the part that allows for adjustment to take up slack in the cable. It is a simple piece of metal that has a 5/16″ hole on one end to accept the threaded end of the front cable, and a slot at the other end to trap the ball at the front end of the intermediate cable.

Unfortunately, after checking at the dealer and auto parts stores I learned this part is not available anymore.

A check of the local wrecking yards revealed parts no better than the broken part I already had. Frustration led to despair. I realized that this part was manufactured once, so, it could be again. After a little thought I realized I could easily make one.

parking brake fixI took a piece of scrap steel, 3/16″ by 1-1/4″ and cut it to a length of 8″. Next I drilled a 5/16″ hole about an inch and a half from one end, placed it in the vise and bent the end over 90°. This gave me the end for the threaded rod on the front cable.

For the other end that accepts the ball on the end of the intermediate cable, I drilled a 1/4″ hole about 2-1/2″ inches from the end, then drilled a 3/16″ hole about an inch from the end.

I placed the part back in the vise and bent a 3/4″ tab over the other end. I removed the piece from the vise and placed it in my metal chop saw, then made a cut connecting the two holes I had just drilled. This gave me the slot to place the intermediate cable in.

Final cost? One piece of scrap metal and about 10 minutes of time. Often when working on older vehicles we have to manufacture our own parts. Fortunately, with a little time and effort, this is possible.


Please email all inquiries to: Dave
or snail mail
32 Turkey Hill Road
Richmond VT 05477

1954 Chevy 210 “The Inliner”

1954 Chevy 210In high school, my car was a 1950 2-door Ford painted black, and had dual exhaust. Two of my classmates had ‘49 Chevies with split exhausts (one of which was done in shop class.) This is when the envy started. How could I make my Ford sound like the Chevies? The answer is: you cannot!

Transportation for the next 45 years consisted of a VW, 3 Chevy wagons, a Nova, a Buick, an Omni, two K-cars, two Tauruses, and a Mercury, before we became a two-car family.

One day while getting gas for our return trip home from South Hadley, MA, we saw a really nice 1954 Chevy 210 2-door with the sweetest sounding pipes. I was hooked again. On another visit to South Hadley, my cousin said that “my” car was for sale and did I want to take a look. Of course I did. Off we went. But the owner wanted too much money. The next time we were in South Hadley was for our 45th high school reunion, Thanksgiving weekend, 1994. My cousin said the Chevy owner wanted to see me; he had become more reasonable. A test drive, a handshake and the deal was made.

The following weekend my son and I went to bring the car home along with a box of some 38 trophies, various moldings, speedometer, a bumper, and several boxes of small parts.

Since owning the Inliner I have made some enhancements. Visually, it has been painted black suede, rims painted red, with caps and rings and whitewall tires. The engine was rebuilt some years ago and mildly modified. The transmission, a Power-glide, was replaced with a TH350 with a shift kit. (Boy, does that car love second gear!) We also replaced the rear end with a ‘57 that came with 3.36 gears.

The first show for the Inliner was the last VAE show at the fairgrounds in Essex. There I met Conception Conti, he signed me up, and gave me a handful of old dash plaques. I have been collecting them ever since.

That same year was our first time at Stowe. As I was heading down the hill looking for my registration number, I heard, “What are you doing with Ray Faginski’s car!?” And that is how I met Barry Rickert, apparently a friend of the man I bought the Inliner from.

Marty and I have become good friends with Barry and Ginny Rickert from Wilbraham, MA. Over the years together we have put many miles on our Stovebolts.

We meet great people who share our interest in the old car hobby!

Editor’s notes….Andy tells me there are over 3000 members in the world wide “Inliner Car Club”. For you folks just learning, like me, the term inliner means the cylinders are inline and not like a v8 or v6. Although in Europe the term inliner can include V configurations. An Inliner can be two, four, six or twelve cylinders but the Chevy inline six engine is where the term resides most of the time.
What does stovebolt mean? Well I asked that too and it seems if you want to tear down a Ford you can do most of it with a 9/16 inch wrench…..but when it comes to Chevies they used half inch ‘bolts’ just like they use to build stoves….you know, with quarter inch slotted bolts and the square nuts. Many non-Chevy folks have some fun with that but mostly there are no smiles on the Chevy guy’s face when the term is used.