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.
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.)