Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thanks, Chevy

Have you ever changed drum brakes before? Usually, it's a painful process messing with an unholy compilaton of springs and bits of metal straight out of the forges of hell. Its not something to which I look forward.

My wife kind of forced my hand this weekend however. She took the initiative of going to the auto parts store and buying the brake shoes for me. I knew my plans for the weekend beforehand because she called me from said store and asked me if her rear brakes were "pads or shoes".

Shoes, I said. And don't forget the spring kit...

Of all the menial auto maintenance chores, changing the rear brakes are one of the worst. There's the cancerous dust (oh, no, there's no asbestos in it anymore). The cancerous brake cleaner. The finger pinching springs. And the fact that they never work as well after as they did before.

I've never done the rear brakes on our Chevy van, and I was a bit skeptical at the spring kit that my wife handed to me. Two springs and two metal horseshoe type things. Whaa? Thats not normal. Usually, there is 8 some-odd springs, a packet of epsom salts, and a Book of Mormon in these things. This can't be good, I said.

These are the parts removed from one of the brakes. There's the horseshoe thing and the spring. Incredibly easy to take apart and incredibly easy to put back together. From a guy who has spent countless hours changing the brakes on Dodge pick ups, this is outstanding engineering, Chevy.

Here it is all back together.

It is pretty satisfying having dirty fingernails.


Heidi said...

can i marry you? if i brought home brake shoes for my wait, if i called him from the autopart store to ask whether shoes or pads, he would think i was speaking greek. sheesh, he can't even get the cars registered on time.

Rob said...

I wish aftermarket brake shoes had a little more "meat" on them.