Monday, November 25, 2013

Drum Brakes are Terrible. Terrible I Tell You.

A few days ago Scott decided that he wanted to get ready to bleed the breaks on the truck since we had already given our blood sweat and tears to replace the break lines. So he got ready to go out into winter while I made a few excuses to stay inside until the last possible second. Luckily for my staying inside as long as possible plan, Scott came back inside about twenty minutes later and announced that he had snapped off one of the bleeder valves and the rest of them were stuck.

Now for those of you who don't understand what all that gibberish underneath your car is, bleeder valves are these little thingamajigs that when unscrewed a little bit shoot break fluid out of them like a leaky sink. Which allows you to get the air out of the break system. Because if you don't get all the air out of the break lines you'll die.

So no pressure or anything.

So of course when you snap the fucking thing off two things happen. One break fluid oozes out and two, you get fucked. I mean like really fucked.

Not just regular fucked.

Because that thing that the bleeder valve connects too, now you have to replace that too. Because nothing is ever easy. Anyway, instead of bleeding the break, we now had to put the truck up on blocks like this is the country and pull the break assembly apart.

Oh joy of joys.

So we trooped outside and I gathered up cinder blocks and bits of boards and other shit that one needs to properly place a vehicle up on blocks in the lawn while Scott broke the tire loose and jacked the truck up. Mainly because I can't be trusted with Jacks. Things happened man. Things happened. Things.

Anyway we pull the tire off and find that the bleeder valves on an 85 Chevy are on the caliper. Which if you recall is the part I think I could replace in my sleep if I had too. Pleased we pulled the calipers off the two front tires like the caliper wizards we are. I decided not to compose a spur of the moment song about Caliper Wizards because Scott does not understand my innate musical talent* and we moved on to the back tires.

Which is when Scott told me that the rear tires have drum breaks and everything went to hell from there. This was my first time seeing drum breaks. They sucked. Like really. Like someone who loves Steampunk had decided to make some fucking breaks. So the break part, the break pad if you will sits inside this fucking circle and when you hit the breaks the pad shoves into the inside of the circle and stops the truck. Or something like that. I am not really sure. What I am sure about is that getting all those bits apart is super shitty.

Like really shitty.

So we pull the large circle thing off, and then we discover the pad bits are held on with springs. Springs that wanted to stay where they are thank you very much. So we fought the damn springs off and then tried to get the thing the bleeder valve was on removed and then we came to the conclusion that that thing was part of the axle somehow.

Which if you are following along at home, means we are like, what are we up to now? Double fucked? Triple fucked? I'm not really sure how fucks compile. I mean this was never really covered in math class. Although it damn well should have been.

Back to the point, it was getting kinda dark because winter plus mountains plus living under a ridge equals a four thirty sunset so we gave up, pushed the tires under the truck cleaned up our tools and went to go eat meat from the crazy meat van.

Hooker Meat. **

*This is a lie. I have no musical ability whatsoever. At all. None. Zippo. Nada. Nothing. Just to clear that up.

** Probably.


  1. Your posts Holly, are the ones that I always subconsciously find myself nodding my head along with as I read, thinking to myself, Oh ya, I know exactly what's happening here.

    Except for maybe those solar kiln posts. I don't know anything about that shit.

    A little bit of heat and an easy out might help with those bleeders though?

    1. We (and by 'we' I mean 'Scott') already tried heating them up with a torch. Needless to say it didn't work. I think the rust made them one with the caliper.

  2. So I have no real clue as to what is happening hear, though I have heard of most of these terms before!

  3. Absolutely no clue what you are talking about, but it does sound hard and impressive. I have no musical ability, either. But I a can play the stereo

  4. Drum brakes are just bitter because they still have to have slave cylinders.

    -Doug in Oakland