Mar 21, 2011

Brake Job

The truck has needed some brake work for a while. Nothing critical, just routine maintenance as pads and rotors wear. Last time I had the shop do it, I seem to remember it running almost $400 for front pads and rotors, and that just strikes me as WAY too much. Money is tight for all of us these days, and pinching pennies is how we're going to make it.

Some digging on YouTube and through other sources revealed that this shouldn't be a tough job with the right tools. I called my father and borrowed his impact wrench, buzzed through Tractor Supply for a bottle jack and a couple jack stands, and the auto-parts store for new pads and rotors and a can of cleaner.

Got home, gritted my teeth, and dug in.

I got the calipers off and pads out without trouble. Getting the new pads in? Not so much.

After much grumbling and a few four-letter words, I called my neighbor to ask if he had fifteen minutes to swing by and maybe help.

Turns out the videos online are a good start, but missed a few points.

Once the neighbor pointed out the OTHER two bolts that hold the pad carrier on the piston assembly, and those got separated, it was short work to get things back together.

The first side took me over an hour. The second side took twenty minutes. Pumped the pedal a few times to get pressure back up, and went for a test spin... she had "go", and she (more importantly) had "whoa!"

I learned that my compressor WILL run an impact gun in short bursts. It wasn't designed for it - it doesn't have the flow needed to run a tool full-time - but for my purposes it's just fine.

90 minutes of my time for $250 savings? No brainer.


On a Wing and a Whim said...

That's pretty awesome - definitely pays to have a second pair of eyes and hands, too!

Old NFO said...

Just a word of caution, many brake pads even today have Asbestos in them... Wash hands, clothes etc as soon as possible after going through the brakes. Glad it went fairly well!

ZerCool said...

Wing - I expect airplanes are the same in some matters. Some jobs just need more than one pair of hands! (One to hold the light, one to hold the tool, one to hold the old part lined up, one to...)

NFO - thanks for that tip. Actually didn't know that they still used asbestos in pads. Everything went directly in the wash when I was done. Having a concrete floor in the garage is great, but it had a winter's worth of road grit and salt accumulated, which was quickly ground into my clothes.