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Friday, April 15, 2011

The end of the Great Brake Saga

I got the part.
I installed it.
I bled the brakes. (This was hard because the screws did not want to turn and I had to call a friend and vent)
Handsome bravely took it for a spin, heavily testing the brakes on the dirt road.
As it worked (yay! it worked!) he then took it out and drove into our tiny town and back.

Then feeling brave, confident and in need of some essentials, we decided to take it all the way to the next town over to The Store.
  About 12 miles down the road there was a CLUNK! followed by some grinding and clattering. Happily there was a stop sign just ahead and we threw on the hazard lights as we coasted to a stop. As we came to a halt, there was the unmistakable sound of metal hitting blacktop.

Handsome (he's such a gem) did NOT say I told you so. Not even after I got out of the car to get the twisted, mangled brake pad from the road. Slowly, with hazard lights on, we crept home.

I was feeling pretty defeated. The next morning I was looking for info online to try and tell me what I had done wrong and I stumbled across a forum devoted to the Ford Explorer. So I poured out my tale of woe to the helpful folk on there and they told me to get my butt out to the car and take some pics for them as it should be impossible to spit out a brake pad like that unless I had Majorly Screwed Up.
  With trembling hands and heavy heart, I took off the tire.

And the brake pad was there.
Right where I put it.
It looked fine.

So I took pictures and posted them and the helpful, mechanically-minded Explorer enthusiasts said it looked fine.
Here, look;
Do you remember how when I had fixed it there were pieces missing?
Well, I never thought to look and see if they were jammed up there somewhere. And one was, and that was it. So I actually did it RIGHT!

And now the brakes work fine. Well, almost fine. I didn't get a couple of the brake lines tight enough and they are dripping a little fluid but this weekend Handsome will use his ManGrip and make them tighter then I can get them and we'll be set.

And hopefully I will never blog about brakes again.

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