I swear to you, if reincarnation is a thing, then I was Genghis Fucking Kahn in a previous life and Karma has my little ass on speed dial and an installment plan because of it.
It just never ends.
Because I have been on vacation all week, the weather is nice and I have the time, I decided to move that rear brake job up on the Bronco to today instead of next month.
Shut up Karma, I can hear you snickering back there bitch.
I mean I have been turning wrenches for forty fucking years, was a Ford certified technician for ten years and have done over a hundred brake jobs if I have done one in that time
This should be rather simple, right?
You would think so.
You would also be wrong, just like me.
I get the brake shoes, $28.00, a Spring Kit for another $7.00 and four cans of Brake Clean because I use that shit by the gallon.
I get home, throw down a tarp in the driveway, run up over it backwards and get out. I go in the garage, get out all the shit I think I might need, fire up the air compressor, jack the thing up and set the rear axle on some jack stands.
Yank the rear wheels, put down a drip pan and lay some absorbent pads on it under the drivers side brake drum and start in.
Yank the drum and the very first thing I see is that the rivets have juuust started kissing the drum.
Good timing I think and congratulate myself for not waiting after all.
I told you to shut up Karma.
I hose down the shoes and backing plate with the brake clean and see something odd.
A little closer inspection reveals the little cable for the automatic adjuster had broken in half.
Now back in the day, I used to have all kinds of Ford parts laying around and I know damn good and well I had at least one of those, at one time.
Over the years and moving God knows how many times, all that shit got tossed out so it’s call the fucking parts house again and go get a hardware kit. Of course there isn’t one in the Spring Kit.
This is were it all went to shit.
I fought those brake shoes and the springs. I bet I spent over an hour messing with them and had them off at least three times because the drum wouldn’t go over them straight.
The new adjuster didn’t want to thread in all the way so I had the new one and the old one apart, cleaned up, Never Seized and it was still too damn tight so I mixed and matched parts until it worked smoothly.
Every time I would go to put the drum on it was like the shoes needed to rotate because the holes in the drum would only go in on one side of the studs and the rest of them were up against the edge of the holes. That’s where it would stop. Brute force and ignorance only beyond this point.
I finally got pissed off, took the whole motherfucker back apart, set the shoes up against the old ones edge to edge and started looking to see if there was some glaring difference or if they were arced wrong.
I thought maybe there was a slight difference where the spreader bar hooked into the primary shoe so I took it in the garage threw it in the vise and filed down what appeared to be a slight difference. Then I put the fucker all back together again. By this time, I had been fighting the springs so much that I had raised and blew out a quarter inch blister in the middle of my left palm.
The Aggravation Meter was in the red by now.
I started fighting the drum again and stopped to catch my breath when I saw it.
Right out of one end of the wheel cylinder.
Please God, let it be just some extra Brake Clean.
Karma busted out laughing.
Of course not
Now I am unhappy.
I have already had this apart FOUR FUCKING TIMES!
Trust me when the thought of just saying Fuck It crossed my mind several times.
I already have this much time and money in the fucker and getting by on the cheap apparently just ain’t gonna happen.
Call the parts house, again.
Talked to another guy named Phil I have seen several times. I am on a first name basis with almost all of the counter people by now anyway.
Whaddaya know, the wheel cylinders are dirt fucking cheap!
$8.00 and some change apiece.
At this point I told him to throw in another hardware kit for the other side so I can just be done with this sonofabitch.
The budget’s done been blown apart by now anyway so I might as well just do it all and be done with it.
Ol’ Phil says on the phone, us Phil’s need to stick together, come ask for me and I’ll hook ya up.
I get there and had to wait for some dumbass Chinese woman buying a bunch of shit some damn Jiffy Lube told her she needed yet had absolutely no idea what to do with any of it.
I let three people go ahead of me while I waited for Phil to get done with her stupid ass.
It was worth the wait. He knocked the prices down on all of it and I paid about 40% less than I would have with anyone else.
One small bright spot in this whole ordeal.
I get back home, swap that out, put the fucking shoes and springs back on it and the drum still don’t want to fit right. I double and triple checked everything and could see no reason for it.
I finally got all five of the studs started through the holes in the drum and once again one side doesn’t want to go on easy. Banged it a couple of times and it went on a little bit. Went in the garage, got a dead blow hammer and said Fuck You Motherfucker, YOU WILL GO ON!
Bigger than shit, it finally did.
Some times brute force and ignorance are the only methods that work after all.
I’m thinking there must be a lip on the outer edge of that drum. It was still a bit tight but it went on.
Clean up a bunch of shit and move to the other side.
Got the shoes and the new wheel cylinder on and was fighting one of the springs with a spring tool. Fucked around and got my left thumb a little too close and just as I was thinking I needed to move it, the spring tool slipped off, the spring, now under high tension, slipped off also and just CLOBBERED my thumb.
Then it disappeared. Of course this all happened in a tenth of a nanosecond
There is a chunk missing below the nail and it is bleeding from behind the nail too.
Furious at myself, I got up off the ground and started looking for that spring. It took me about four or five minutes but I finally found it about ten feet away in the grass.
I was almost to the point of saying piss on it and reusing an old one when I spied it. It’s painted brown so it blends in real good with all the dead shit around here after I Round Upped the shit out of the weeds a couple of weeks ago.
It slipped off two more times but I finally got the cocksucker on there. Then I ran into the same problem with the new adjuster wheel on this side. Fucker wouldn’t screw all the way in.
Can you say Chinesium?
I wound up doing the mix and match bullshit with that one too because the old one had a flat spot worn in the wheel from being froze up.
I fought that side too but it finally went back together and when I put the drum on it slipped right on and was pretty loose. Like it should be when the adjuster is backed all the way off. I pulled it back off and played with it until I felt that it was close enough.
Cleaned up a huge mess and then slid under the fucker to replace the rear ABS sensor. It gave me some trouble at first but as soon as I got some light on the subject it came out and the new one went in.
Crawled out, bled the wheel cylinders as best I could and threw the wheels back on it.
Finished putting everything away, topped off the master cylinder and checked the oil .
A quart low.
Fired the old bitch up, went up and got two quarts of oil. Dumped one in and while I was there, backed up and stopped several times, pulled up and did it a few more times, to let the automatic adjusters do their thing.
I also noticed the rear ABS light is still on. Back to the drawing board on that one. I’m sure a large amount of money, a whole bunch of time plus another Blood Sacrifice is all it’s gonna take to fix.
The brake pedal feels WAY better now though so I am thinking that I have probably been driving around with only front brakes mostly.
I think it was close to six fucking hours from start to finish, one blister, one Blood Sacrifice and at least triple the amount of money I originally thought I was going to get away with.
I would buy a camera and film all this kind of shit to put on Youtube but them sonsabitches would censor my ass out of existence in about fifteen seconds.
I tend to curse.
You can probably see why now too.
If you ever get bored and are in the neighborhood you should stop by.
Every damn thing I try to work on seems to turn out just like this, every single time.
I won’t even charge ya for the entertainment.