Saturday, December 7, 2013

Truck Breaks and the Joy of Missing Parts.

Today it warmed up to a balmy 50 degrees. So we decided it was time to work on the truck breaks. Since you know, we had already ran all new break lines and then discovered the bleeder valves were shot and now we have to replace a whole bunch of shit that is integral to the breaks breaking. You know so the truck won't go careening over a cliff anytime soon because my state doesn't believe in guard rails.

Of course there was the obligatory gathering of tools and safety glasses and the will to do this task and then I reflected on the fact that when it warms up the snow melts and then everything gets soggy and how that was super no fun and then we got started.

The first task was to put the break pad things onto the drum breaks. Which involves putting a shit ton of springs on them. Like, a shit ton. Like all the springs. Of course this was a pain in the ass because even though half the springs were old and rusty they were deceptively strong. I found myself grabbing them with my pliers and making sounds like ERRUUUUUGGGHHHHHHGGAAAAHHHHH and HUURRRHHHHHHHGGAAAAHHHHHH and trying not to pee a little because those springs were motherfuckers.

Of course the super extra fun bit was that the break pads and the thing-that-I-don't-know-what-it-is-called wouldn't stay in place without these springs. So as I was giving myself a hernia trying to hook the springs on to various metal bits the pads and the thing would be shifting around and trying to fall off the hub like this was a super secret dance party.

For break parts.

A break dance party, if you will.

I'll stop now. Here have a picture.

So after we got that on we felt really good about ourselves and then we went and drank the tea of getting shit done and we moved over to the other side where we discovered the bag of brand new springs we should have put on the other side, including a lock for the parking break piece that we totally had not put on.

It was also about then that we realized that we were missing a part for the emergency break. Whoops, did I say missing a part? I meant we were missing all of it. The entire emergency break assembly for the drum break was just gone. On both sides. Meaning somebody at some point looked at the emergency break hardware and was like, whelp, don't need this. Of course we would only figure this out halfway through the other side because the instructions were just so clear.

So, so clear.

So once we bled and swore and wept all over side two we went back to side one to repeat the process all over again, this time with new springs and the bit that keeps the parking break piece from falling out of the hub and destroying something important like my sanity.

Since we could do no more to the drum breaks because the previous owner thought emergency breaks were optional pieces we decided to return to our old friend the drivers side caliper. Which was in retrospect a bad idea. Our previous attempts to attach the caliper had failed magnificently due to the metal plate the caliper went on being bent. So we attempted to unbend it. With anger.

Needless to say it didn't really work. What followed next was a montage of swearing and prying things and beating on the caliper with hammers. None of it worked. Finally one of us had the bright idea to compare it to the caliper that we had already installed and make sure it was the same part.

It totally wasn't the same part.

Which is incidentally where we gave up for the day.

So Scott went to town to buy auto parts and then by the time he got back it was dark because winter is an asshole like that so tomorrow we will continue on our noble quest to put that motherfucking caliper on the damn hub which I would like to accomplish sometime in my lifetime.

You know, just to set a loose goal there.

Kill me.


  1. Ya, I had to change a leaf spring on my old truck last week and I discovered that the cable to my emergency brake was rusted clean off. Like dangling. So, to fix it, I zip tied it to the frame. I'll look at it in the spring. Brakes are overrated anyways. :)

  2. Oh my holy hell. This is my nightmare. I wouldn't even know where to start! I finally figured out why my windshield wiper fluid won't squirt out even after I filled it up yesterday. Duh. Because the stuff I've had in it all summer is now frozen. So today I get to sit out there with my hair dryer and hope it melts enough to mix with the winter stuff that DOESN'T freeze. I'll take that over fixing some damn brake in the winter any day though. Sooo uh. Good luck with that!

  3. This is exactly why I don't try to get good at stuff.