Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Finally a Brake!!!--July 13, 2010

Woke up at 7:40.  Headed to the gas station to get some milk, then came back and ate some cereal.  Took a shower, then began the task of checking the prices for brake parts.  I was looking at $150 in parts and labor.  I'm not goin' to lie, I was pretty OK with that price.  I thought it would be much worse.

I headed outside at one point, though, and I looked at my truck in my driveway.  And this time I noticed something different!  My RIGHT FRONT brake was just spewing out drops of brake fluid!  Agh!  My garage floor told the tale, too.  Along my left frame I had the drips of brake fluid from the left rear brake line from being parked overnight.  But sure enough, there was a mark where the right front tire sat, too.  It was also leaking.

And my driveway was even worse after coming back from the gas station!  I literally had drops coming out of the rubber brake hose at my right front tire!  So I started calling around repair shops to see how much THAT would cost!  Basically, I was looking at the same price for both at Midas.  But in order to get that down a bit, I decided to fix the front hose myself.  It's a pretty simple fix (in theory).  So I headed over to my sister's house, grabbed the jackstands, then headed to AutoZone (with VERY poor brakes, mind you), picked up a hose for $10.79, then headed to Wal-Mart for some deodorant (mine wasn't working!), then headed home.

I jacked up the truck, took off the wheel and tried to get the old rubber hose off.  I just couldn't get it.  The parts were too rusty, and I couldn't turn the bolt head.  GRR!!!  After about 10 minutes of trying, I just decided to let the professionals do it.  I didn't want to spend the time it was going to take and possibly end up breaking something.  So I set up an appointment for noon.

Boogs came over with Baby, and she ended up driving her car as I drove my truck to Midas.  And what a treat that was.  I basically had lost my front brakes due to the cut hose.  And I didn't really have much on my back brakes due to the hole in the steel line.  So let's just say I had a hairy situation to get through during lunch-hour traffic.  I had a couple of pretty bad moments...I had to make a tire-screeching U-turn at one point to avoid going into the back of a car at a stoplight, and I also had to coast through a stoplight while making a turn hoping that no one was coming.  It was...interesting.  Not too fun!!!  But I finally made it..."safely."

I dropped the truck off, then headed across town with Boogs to eat with Mom for lunch.  I was so nervous about my phone ringing, and sure enough, it did.  The mechanic was calling to say that I should replace the other lines, too.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  AND I should replace my U-joints.  Yeah, yeah, I'm sure of that, too.  But contrary to his recommendations (they always do this), I said just do the two brake lines.  Phew!  At least it wasn't a big problem they found.  From there we headed back to Midas (I was given an hour and a half estimate), but they still weren't done.  I was told it would be another 45 minutes.  So we headed back to my house.  We played with Baby, and I made a photo CD for the local newspaper for an upcoming story I'll be featured in.  Well, around 3:00, Boogs decided she was going to head home.  No worries.  I still had no word on my truck.

I decided to be productive, so I headed outside to find something to do.  I ended up making a birdhouse!  I had some scrap wood in the garage, and I was tired of looking at it, so I made a wren house.  It turned out lookin' pretty good!  I think I have enough wood to make another couple.  There is just something about MAKING something that is good for a man's soul.

I called Midas, they he said the truck would be ready at 4:30.  Hmm.  Well, they still never called me, so at 5:30 I called them yet again!  The receptionist told me my truck was done, so I made three phone calls before I found a ride to pick it up.  Dad swung by to take me downtown.  He dropped me off, but I noticed that my truck was very-much tire-less in the bay.  So I waited.  I went ahead and paid the $157.50 (I'm still very happy with that).  And I sat there and just talked with the VERY attractive (and easy to talk to!) receptionist.  Here's to hoping she is single!

Well, I was dropped off at 5:45, but my truck wasn't done until 6:25.  They stayed late to work on something else.  I guess when they bled the brake lines, I had another line burst due to the pressure.  The manager told the mechanic to make a patch for it, so I waited for that.  Always somethin'!

So at 6:30, I finally left with my truck!!!  And I'm not goin' to lie, I was pretty nervous about the lines!  I mean, they are "fixed," but I still have a very rusty under-belly!  Anything can happen.  So I took it pretty easy on the driving and braking.  But when I hit the brakes, man, did they catch!!!  It makes me wonder if I had had a leak the entire time even after installing my front pads.  I mean, these brakes were all of a sudden GOOD!!!  I stopped so quickly that my tires would squeak!  I had to completely alter my former level of pressure that I was used to putting on the brake pedal.  But I had a very successful trip back home, so that was good.

Here's to hoping these brakes last me for the rest of the life of this truck!!!  I don't want to put any more money into her!  Buuuuuuuuuuuut, with that said, I still only have $1500 TOTAL in this thing, gas, insurance, tax, title, license, and purchase price included!!!  That's simply hard to beat.  She's given me a nice 1250 miles so far.

I came back home, showered, then headed to Jobu's house to watch the All-Star game.  Ended up getting there at 7:30 and staying until about 10:30.  Came back home and ended up headin' to bed at 12:30.

Got a couple of e-mails today.  One asking if she can buy the mower for $75 (that would be a $40 profit for me after $10 in gas), and one asking if he can couch-surf with me tomorrow night.  I guess we'll see what happens with both of those!

C'mon, TRUCK!!!  I need you to last me a long time!  Behave already!!!

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