In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Finding Things You Don't Want to Find

Yesterday, after my truck's dashboard lit up, and my brakes did a short nosedive, I found brake fluid pouring from the right rear wheel. My first thought was "Oh crap" and called someone to help me with what I knew was a daunting task.

I helped change the rear brake shoes a few months ago. That's what concerned me, since everything seemed good after the job. I figured the wheel cylinder started leaking, which is usually just a seep; not fluid pouring on the ground.

I pulled the truck into the shop at work and jacked up the rear right side. After removing the wheel, and hub (The hub won't come off without using a 3/8" bolt in the special threaded holes) I found one of the plungers on the wheel cylinder pushed completely out. More inspection revealed what appeared to be a missing spring. Since I didn't have a diagram, I had to jack up the other side to see the brake assembly.

Sure enough, a spring was gone. Where it went? I don't know, but it wasn't in the hub. We'd put it back on after the last brake least I thought we did. I doubt the brakes would have lasted ten minutes without it.

Anyway, long story short, I didn't have any help, and what should have been a two hour project turned into four. That, and scurrying around under a pickup finds muscles that are not used often, and show their dissatisfaction by aching. I did put new springs on the assembly, with new shoes, and cussed the keeper springs designed by a sadist engineer from hell.

For some reason, Chevy put rear drums on certain pickups. Mine is one, and brake work is a nightmare compared to changing pads on a disc brake system. Still, changing rear shoes is usually only about every 150,000 miles, so the problem is not one experienced often. 


  1. Dang!! That is a nasty job in more than one way!!
    Bengay sounds like what is needed!
    Take care Jess

    1. I've never liked those heating salves. After a few minutes, the burning sensation is uncomfortable, and if exposed to the sun, it feels like fire.

      I prefer a hot, soaking bath, a good rest and an Aleve.

  2. I hate drum brakes.
    I feel your pain.

    1. I once had the special tool for drum brakes. They're in a tool box somewhere, but by the time I find them, I can limp through a brake job with needle nose pliers, channel locks and skinned knuckles.