Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Man Hands

I love to get my hands dirty. Especially when the grime gets in under my fingernails and stays there for a week. Oh sure, I coouuld wear gloves, but whats the fun in that?

Wife's rear brakes have been making a lot of noise for a while. I've had the wheels off before, couldn't see anything wrong, so I adjusted them and put the wheels back on, but the problem persisted.

So, yesterday, I finally decided to take the wheels off again, clean everything and grease the points on the backing plate where the brake shoes rub. Didn't know if it would help, didn't think it would help, but I tried it anyway. During this time I noticed some cracks in the brake shoe material. I didn't think much of it other than 'these shoes suck they are not that old'. In fact I replaced them not even 9 months ago. I slapped them back in and called it a day, but not without making a mental note to get new shoes in the near future.

Here is the end result of that little exercise.

Monday morning rolls around and wife comes home from work and complains about a new noise that the brakes are making (not to mention the fact that the pedal went to the floor and she couldn't stop (it was supposed to look like an accident)). I was skeptical, as I am apt to be, but sure enough they were making a new noise. Sort of like a pebble in a clothes dryer, but much faster. I knew instantly what it was (a piece of the brake shoe), but I figured a quick change of the shoes would fix that.

Not so fast cowboy. After work I took a closer look and as soon as I bent down I knew it was going to be bad.

Brake fluid in the fender well. Generally speaking, that's bad.

Brake fluid all over the backing plate, that's bad too.

Enough already! What happened?

A chunk of the brake material broke off and did untold damage to the wheel cylinder, the adjuster and some other stuff.

Here's the brake fluid soaked shoe and assorted bits that broke off.

Choked down a hamburger, took a quick trip to the parts store for wheel cylinders and shoes, hastily tossed the kids in bed, and the van was back in bidness by 11 for wife to go to work.

They need to be bled some more, I ran out of fluid, but they work ok. Stopping quick is for sissies.

I had a car in high school that didn't have brakes for a while. Didn't have reverse either. That was awesome.


rburnsy said...

I hate doing brake jobs! I found that the easiest way is to replace all the parts. Usually I find something else is broken or worn anyways.

rburnsy said...

I lost the brakes in my truck this spring while delivering a load of firewood. The rear pad had worn down so much that the caliper's pistons came out to far and broke off. I thought that brake was dragging a little, but never thought that much.

gagknee said...

yeah. i hate bleeding them. thats the worst.

oops! i have never heard of that happening.

Big A said...

I have never heard of that happening to anything but an arctic cat

gagknee said...

me neither.