I just wanted to thank everyone here for all of your great posts and info. The last few days I have been seeing little yellow spots in the snow on the driveway and just figured it was rust melting with snow. Either that or the dog was finding new spots
Until last night when I had to press the brake pedal all the way down to stop and not hit the poor lady in front of me. I immediately went on to these forums and searched for brake problems and first tried topping off the brake fluid. That just ended up as a big puddle in the snow. So I grabbed a flashlight and got down and saw that it was coming form the hose above the wheel. My heart sank at first because I thought it was a steel line that would have to be replaced by a pro for which I had no money. I jumped on here to look up how hard it would be to replace myself figuring I was going to learn how to bend and flare steel pipe in a hurry only to find that it was just a simple part!
So this morning I get up bright and early and head over to Autozone and get the part I needed for a measly 17 dollars plus $7 for some new brake fluid. I do have to figure in the price of a new turkey baster since I appropriated my wife's baster from the kitchen. I get my coffee and am already to start when i realize that the jack is not in the car! Good thing I did not find that out on the road in the winter with my wife yapping in my ear! So after 15 minutes of looking in the pit I call a garage and vowing to clean it out as soon the temp gets above its artic like norms, i head over to the neighbors to borrow his.
Well after 2 cups of coffee with the neighbor I finally am ready to get back to work. The great thing is I now picked up a helper! So the two of us get started looking at the directions. It says to use a flared wrench on the bolt on the inside of the hood. Neither of us had ever heard of a flared nut wrench so in the house we go to google it. After another 15 minutes and a fill up of our coffee cups we come out and just grab a 1/2 inch wrench and it comes right out. Now we get the car up on the jack but once we have it all the way up we realize we did not loosen the lug nuts before we got it up! So down it comes and we takes turns kicking the hell out of the lug nuts until they finally loosen. I now am vowing to get an air gun after I clean out the garage. I think it will be a nice little reward.
So we get the car up and when we try to get the wheel off it just is not coming off. It wants to but there just isn't enough clearance. Thats when I bust out the owner's manual to see where we were supposed to jack it up and realize we were way off. So down it comes again and then back up again. Now I am adding a floor jack to the list since my neighbor's jack from his car is really giving my arms a work out. Now the tire comes off pretty easy and I remove the old hose in about 5 minutes, just two bolts. Easy peasy! And the new one goes almost as quickly. The darn banjo bolt(who names this stuff?) does not want to fit back in so it takes a bit to work it in but I finally get it in.
So now we need to bleed the brakes. After staring at each other for a good solid minute we both come to the conclusion that neither of us knows what bleeding the brakes means. I start to fashion a shank from the old hose figuring I was going to bleed these brakes good when my neighbor brilliantly suggests we go google it. So it turns out bleeding brakes is no where near as violent as it sounds. And now we are off to Autozone again to get a brake bleeding tube.
Of course all good mechanics need need to keep their own engine firing correctly so we stop and have a nice lunch and grab a six pack for the rest of the work. The best part is since it is so cold we do not need a cooler. I notice on the thermometer that the temp has warmed up to a balmy 20 degrees so I must be thankful for the little things. Now that we are back at the car and feeling great I get the brake bleeding kit all ready and after a few minutes of searching find the bleed tube. I insert the needle into the tube and give the nut a turn only to realize that there was not as much space as I thought and I crack the needle off in the tube. We pull the bleeder tube out all the way now and are trying to tape the other half of the needle onto the tube when we notice the makers of the kit graciously included a spare needle!
Well now the brakes are bled and we put the wheel back on and lower the car. We crack open a couple of fresh beers and toast our amazing skills as i start up the car to check out my new amazing braking power. As I am turning the car around in the driveway I can hear my neighbor yelling triumphant shouts of glee. I let him revel in his merriment and I turn the car off and get ready to join him. But it turns out he was telling me to stop since the car was shooting out brake fluid like a squirt gun. Damn! So after a few minutes of debating taking it to a shop we decide to make like fake finger nails and Press On!
So up the car goes again and as I am rereading the directions I do notice something about a washer that was not there before. The gods of mischief must have omitted this important fact and decided to return it once we thought we were done. So I tell my neighbor about this new development and he fishes in his pocket and pulls out to shiny new washers and says "So thats what these are for." I am now adding moving away from this ******* to all my vows I have made today. So off comes the banjo bolt(ah it is shaped like a banjo, kind of) and now the two shiny new washers go on. Of course now it does not want to bolt in. After another twenty minutes of each of us trying to make it fit we finally get lucky and it goes in. We bleed it again and the wheel goes back on and Voila, it is not leaking anymore.
So now we have to take it on a test drive of course which happens to go right by the local liquor store. We decide to treat ourselves to some good imported beer and bask in the awesomeness that is our mechanical skills
Tommorow we will do the rest of them!