Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Brake Job...

Now, I am not sure how many of you out there work on your own cars, but I have been doing it for a number of years. A large number of years. There is very little on a car that I can't fix... Well, not counting the newer cars where you need specialized computer equipment to diagnose and figure out what sensor is making your car all wonky. The one thing that really is frustrating to me is doing a brake job on drum brakes.

For those who don't know, there are two types of brakes that go on cars: Disc and Drum. Disc brakes are two pads that squeeze onto a metal rotor and apply pressure that way to slow you down and eventually stop you. Drum brakes have a big metal drum, inside of which is a series of springs and wires and pins and two brake "shoes" that push outward against the drum to stop you. The older the car, the more rust accumulates on the springs and wires that form the braking mechanism of a drum brake, thus making it all that much more FUN (**dripping sarcasm) to try to work on. (See picture of the springs/adjusters/wires/etc.)
Now, I was doing a brake job on my truck because it was making this horrible thumping/thudding/grind as I tried to stop. I checked my front disc brakes to make sure the rotors weren't worn or warped, and sure enough, they were just fine! So I started on the rear brakes. Well, let's just say that I have had the truck for about 2 1/2 - 3 years, I had checked the rear brakes when I got it and they were really meaty and looking good. Well, now they were utter crud! (See picture) The brake material actually fell off of the brake shoe and cracked into three pieces. These pieces kept getting stuck as I tried to get the drum off to look at the brakes, making it an hour to an hour and half for one stinking drum! That doesn't even count the extra half an hour it took to change the brakes once it was off and I knew that was the problem.

Of course, the new brakes are supposed to come with these little pins that you have to smack into the shoe... and mine weren't there. So I had to go to the parts store to ask about them. I love my parts store. They didn't even blink, just took the packet out of another set of brakes and handed it to me and told me to have a good day. Look at the picture. This little pin made me take an extra day and half to do my brakes. Gotta love it... yeah, right!
So all in all, I got the brakes done and everything is working good now. This reminds me of something I figured out many years ago... I love working on cars and houses and projects. But it is so much more fun when you are upgrading or modifying something, and when you are fixing the needed pieces once in a while... but when you have a vehicle (or house) that is always fix this broken thing and then that broken thing... then it kinda sucks. Luckily neither of my vehicles, nor my house are like that, and I am keeping on top of things to make sure it stays that way. Though, it does irk me when what should be an hour-hour and a half long job takes 4 days! (when you take into account going to work, sleep, and all the other things in life that take up time.)

9 comments:

scoutinlife said...

Got hate when you get parts and part of them are missing! Eeeerrrr!

Chris W said...

Arrgh I hate doing brakes...only thing worse is exaust. Good for you for doing it yourself though!

FarmerGeek said...

Absolutely, I'm just lucky that I have another vehicle that I can go pick up the missing parts at the store. Back when I only had one vehicle... well, let's just say that really was NOT FUN.


Heck, gimme an exhaust to do any day over a drum brake job. Of course, I don't have the pipe bender, I used other people for that, and I would crimp and clamp rather than weld... (Ok, my MIG skills aren't where they should be. Give me a stick or a torch any day!)

HermitJim said...

Hey, you want to come and check mine for me?

DivaHick said...

You're hot.

:D

Jennifer said...

I Hate Drum Brakes!!
Although, discs can be tricky on the single vehicle when the parts store doesn't believe you when you tell them that your Nissan Sentra has Brembos. Ah well.
(Yeah, dad didn't have any boys.)

FarmerGeek said...

Hermit, that's a bit far to drive to check out your brakes, man!

DH...Why thank you!

Jennifer... well, how many people put Brembos on their sentra? Of course, the parts store clerks think that they know everything! BTW girls need to know these things too!

squire said...

They will now sell that box of brakes, minus the pins, to the next guy and so on and so on. Don't you just love it!

123 123 said...

Nice story you got here. I'd like to read more concerning this theme.
By the way look at the design I've made myself Russian escort