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Automotive karma

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  • Automotive karma

    Ok, so I decide that this weekend is the time to finally assemble the rear brakes on the Ranger (Mopar 10" drums). But, before I can really do that I need to retrieve the parking brake cables form the original Ford 7.5 diff that is lying on the garage floor. After many minutes of what amount to standing on my head trying to back off the self adjusters, I decide to resort to violence. First, I take a chisel and pop the heads off the brake show retaining pins, then I proceed to beat the ever-loving crap out of the drums to remove them. Brake parts fly everywhere, I get my cables and the world is a happy place. Brakes 0, James 2

    Enter karma: It began as a beautiful sunny day with no wind, a definite rarity around the parts. I mosey out to the shop with my 4y/o in tow and begin to install the new rear brakes on the truck. Grab a parking brake cable to snap it onto the backing plate... what tha... awwww craaaap. The backing plates are on the wrong side AND the axles are already installed.... Brakes 1, James 2 Open up the new brake parts I bought at O'Rilley's just down the street. Everything looks good, new springs, shoes, and assorted widgets and whatnot. It's been over 6 months since I took all this stuff apart, so nothing looks out of the ordinary. I grab the retaining pins, spring and cup and begin to attach the shoe to the backing plates and soon discover that it is MUCH harder than I remember it ever being. I literally wrestle with this stupid little contraption for what seemed like an hour trying to get the dang little pin through the cup and then turned 90 degrees. FINALLY I grab a 5/8" box end, compress the spring and grab a twist the stupid little pin. WHAHOOO I have one done. This is the case the next three times I have to do this as well, so we'll set the score as Brakes 2, James 2. Now, here's where it gets ugly. Since it has been a while, I pull out an old Chilton's book to remember how, and it what order, all this junk has to go back together. I look at some Bendix pics and grab what appears to be the correct springs, tug and pull and pull and tug and finally get it over the top mount only to realize I forgot to put the self adjuster cable on first.... Brakes 3, James 2. Now, I will fast forward past several excruciating episodes of assembly, disassembly, bloody knuckles, comments from my 4 y/o like "Those sure are tough springs", literal head scratching and internal cussing at O'Reilly's Auto Parts. Score: Brakes 15, James 2

    Finally I pull my head out long enough to scrounge around and find the old brake parts, only to discover that the new kit has 2 wrong springs in it.... Well hells bells, no wonder it was being such a pain in the butt!!!! I was stretching those bad boys waaaaaayyyyy farther than they should ever be stretched trying to make it all work. After this discovery, the brakes finally went together quite smoothly and the other side, save for the spawn of hell retaining pins/springs/cups, went rather quickly. Score Brakes 17, James 3

    I truly believe the guardians of automotive karma decided to smite me today for the destructive techniques I employed just one day before.

    Anybody else get nut-kicked by automotive karma?

    > > > :D :D :D
    Life is short. Be a do'er and not a shoulda done'er.
    1998 Mustang GT
    1983 Mustang GT 545/552/302/Turbo302
    1973 F-250 BBF Turbo Truck
    1986 Ford Ranger EFI 545/C6

  • #2
    Re: Automotive karma

    1. Brake backingplates on the wrong sides... - Almost once.
    2. Forgotten self adjuster - Guilty
    3. Brake shoes wrong way around - guiltly, hence point 1


    • #3
      Re: Automotive karma

      I must have got it bad a long time ago, because I don't mess around with car stuff that way any more....I treat all parts with a lot of respect! even if they're never going to be used again.

      My fabulous web page

      "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk


      • #4
        Re: Automotive karma

        I've seen drum brakes beat the heck out of more than one good mechanic - especially if you haven't done them in a while.

        I always try to leave one side assembled while doing the other side - just in case.

        Ever gotten the "leading / trailing" shoes on wrong? yea - self energizing drums don't work so well with the shoes swapped front to rear!

        I feel your pain.

        the other night I went to do the seasonal maintenance on my waste oil furnace - remove the parts to clean them, and within 15 steps across my shop the injector nozzle has vanished - GONE POOF -- can't find it, crawl around on the oil dry dusty floor with my maglight, go through the garbage - can't find it anywhere! I'm still trying to get a new one - tried the old one - won't fire! Need a new one, left a message for the supplier this morning.

        Lord knows when it's nice and warm this spring and I'm moving stuff around the shop - I'll find that nozzle in a place I couldn't imagine it being now....

        karma - yea - I hear you!
        There's always something new to learn.


        • #5
          Re: Automotive karma

          I actually showed my Wife how to do Disc Brake shoes and she does them quite well. I hav'nt tried showing her the Drum Brakes yet. But when I doI'll be home Sailing!!!


          • #6
            Re: Automotive karma

            Wait till yer thrashin on the HotRod to go racin, but your wife wants to go her mothers,by the time yer done ya wonder if it'll be safe to make a pass.

            The remedy is take her to her mothers, sneak off to the races with the FIL.