Weekend Warrior

mostly about cars, driving them, fixing them, rating them and occasionally fixing computers, phones and things around the house

The struggle of firsts...

Firsts are always interesting. What makes them particularly interesting is the gap in knowledge. It brings pain and frustration but also an amazing sense of accomplishment when it's done.

My 1991 Mazda B2000 bakkie (pick up)'s brakes were squealing. This represented an opportunity to do them myself. I knew it was the back ones because well that's where the sound was coming from. This, even if I have to say so myself was an exceptional work of diagnosis. The bakkie has drums and shoes in the back. I had no idea how complex this would be.

so one fateful Saturday morning I came out with my tools and began the 8 hour adventure. There was some breaks in between but this was hellish. If you don't know, there are a few springs inside the drum in this brake system. Removing this springs and putting them back on was so hard for someone has ever done before. 

The worst part is when I was done 4 hours, I realised that I had put the hand brake cable on the wrong side. It rubbed against the drum as the bakkie was moving, making a terrible sound. I had to spent another 4 hours to correct it hence 8 hours.

Changing the back brake pads on my Honda civic. Up until then I only knew that you have to press the brake piston back into the caliper in order to put in new pads. As it turns out, on Hondas you don't press but instead screw them in like a bottle cap. It was an interesting 40 minutes to figure this out. Thanks Google for YouTube.

Changing an oil filter on a 2001 corolla. Among my tools is an oil filter ranch but mine just to teach me lesson is slightly bigger than the corolla's filter. I rushed to Midas (car spares store) and bought a chain ranch. As it turns out just to keep things interesting Toyota decided that the best place for the oil filter on their 1.3 2E engine is just right under the exhaust manifold. I'm not a big guy but I doubt even Trump with his tiny hands can remove it. At the end I had to wrap the chain ranch around the filter, then put the normal ranch on top of that and as they say Bob is your uncle. Now it takes 4 - 5 minutes to remove, that day it took me all afternoon.

The corolla being an over achiever decided to later give me new problems. The left CV boot was torn and as a result from dust and whatever the left CV joint was making a knocking sound. The current wisdom is it's always better to change them in pairs. After having struggled remove the CV joint from the drive shafts for 4 days, a Mechanic friend of mine let me in on a secret that for this specific car they do not come out. They should but they don't. You have to grind and chisel them off. I could have used this information on the first day. It 30 minutes to remove them and put new ones.

Pain and struggling is a gap in knowledge. Once that gap has been filled through pain and frustration and struggling life is a breeze.

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