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Tue, Nov 22 - Van Brakes, Day 1

After Dead Poet's I finally found the hinges for the shed door. They were in aisle 218 of the big hardware store. After buying those I got home, ate a snack, and started working on the van brakes.

I'll preface my narrative on the van brakes by saying that I have never in my life had to take a wrench to such a terribly rusted mess as the brakes on that van. It was unbelievable. As I started the job several parts of my body began reminding me that I am not as young as I once was.

While I was setting up the tools in the garage I found the original missing hinges for the shed door. An idiot had tossed them into a small plastic toolbox full of wrenches and sockets and promptly forgot about 'em.

I started on the driver's side front wheel. Step 1 is to remove the caliper which is attached to a bracket by two bolts. I soon discovered that both of those bolts were rusted solid to the caliper and would not move no matter what I tried. After an hour of effort I gave up. I fetched the sawzall and cut the damn bolts in half.

Here's the caliper with the bolt heads still very much attached, one on each 'ear':

Brake caliper with cut off bolt heads
On to step 2. Since I was replacing the disc I had to remove the caliper bracket which is attached to the knuckle with (you guessed it) two bolts. If either of those bolts became damaged the van would have to be towed to a shop that was interested in fixing the rusty mess. I managed to gingerly remove both bolts without breaking anything.

Take a look at this next picture. I think those new brake parts (caliper not installed) sure look pretty:

New brake parts!
After fighting with that first side I was done for the day. I expect tomorrow will be as entertaining as today.


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