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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Front brakes, the easy ones ... riiight

  So the front brakes were supposed to be the easy ones. And when my good friend dropped off the brake shoes and pads, I was delighted to see that in each box there were the ones for both sides.
  Yay, my car will stop, I thought.

  Overbrimming with triumph and confidence, I decided to tackle the drivers side one first, since that was to be the "easy" one that I was just doing because I had the pads and caliper pins.

  I quickly discovered that on the '94 Explorer, the front brake assembly is actually meant to come apart by banging heck out of it with a hammer. Fine. This is not past my skill level.
  And then, I actually managed to get it back together. I have decided that I hate caliper pins. You also install them by banging heck out of it with a hammer.

  On to the other side! I am a little nervous because now my car is completely held up by cinderblocks and jacks and whatnot because I can't put tires back on until I've bled the brake lines. If there is a way to do this with the tires on - I don't know it. The other side comes apart much easier because now I know where and how to apply my trusty hammer, which I am developing a fond affection for and thinking of naming.

  There were pieces missing.

After the obligatory curse words and a quick prayer of gratitude that I had done the other side first and therefore knew there were pieces missing, I took it apart.
 We had been told one of the caliper pins had locked up. Maybe it had - I couldn't tell.What I could tell is that it would have had every excuse to do so. You see a brake pad had fallen out and then the piston thingy had pressed against the round plate until the piston thingy was gone.
  I said another little prayer of gratitude that Handsome had not been killed while gimping the car home.
 - A quick aside. I often pray. I feel the Powers That Be hear a lot of whinging so I try to thank them as often as possible. Doing the drum brakes had given me a chance to say thanks for an opportunity to cultivate patience. Sometimes it's all you can do.

 I am planning on posting pics of the finished job. I will NOT be posting pics of what this thing looks like now, because I don't want to be arrested for public endangerment.
  Anyhoo, hopefully my brake saga is nearly done. Today is the day that the auto parts store is supposed to get my shiny new caliper, which should be easy to install, as just to change the pads I had to undo the whole works anyway and so have done this once already. Sadly we missed yesterday's 4H meeting because of this, but later this week we'll be able to pick up our new baby goat and the 4H chicks when they come.

  Assuming, of course, that there are no more surprises. Happily, at this point if there are surprises I am now feeling capable of fixing them, having done so much already. Which feels pretty good.
 I'll keep you posted.


  1. You so totally rock changing your own brakes! I can barely get my DH to change the oil...and he KNOWS how to do it!!
    I wish I had your writing talent! I love the way you are so creative with describing something!

  2. Aww, thanks I'm glad it comes out well in print because I speak the same way and people's eyes glaze as I ramble on and on :D