Sunday, August 8, 2010

Two steps forward...

Bought two new tires on Friday. I watched the guy try to jack up the van and only half of it moved. It left me with an uneasy feeling. Then he left a tire on that clearly had a huge chunk of steel radial poking through the rubber. You get what you pay for at NTB tire in Newington. $300 I think I bought more problems than I fixed because...

I drove them out to Putuckaway st. park for a test and immediately had one of the remaining Mexican graveyard tires explode on route 156. I'm up to the challenge and swapped it out with one of the tires I had left over. That was just the beginning of the problems as I could hear some serious grinding and the brakes felt a little dodgy and before a hike into Stratham I decided to inspect the rear tires and...yes, that's all the brake fluid pouring onto the road.

What are the odds of taking my van for a thirty mile drive and having a tire blow out and the wheel cylinder fail after taking it to mexico and back with no problem? One visit to a corporate tire garage and the problems just fall from the sky.

So, the call now goes out to all available mechanics. I need jack stands and industrial nut sockets to remove the axle lock nut to get at the wheel cylinders.

I suspected that investing $300 would instantly make me regret it but I thought I'd get at least 24 hours before the first meltdown. No. I got about 15 hours and 15 miles. Rotating those abused tires caused one of them to fly apart and aligning the van's steering may have hurt too. I expect the mere presence of a $9/hr tire monkey with a wrench in his hand was enough to cause the wheel cylinder to rupture. This guy couldn't keep his pants up let alone change two tires without causing more problems.
I got flipped off a couple times because I was driving the speed limit to get home (I had to use the emergency brake to stop at lights) and the police tailed me and called in my info just to keep the neighborhood safe. All this is making it real easy to hit the highway as soon as the mothership is ready for liftoff. Interestingly, none of this was as stressful as building that cable harness with sweat pouring from my eyeballs. (That cable harness passed all QC inspections so you can all sleep easy) It's not stressful to be running against the wind since I know where that wind is blowing...

What I need:

Jack Stands
Wheel Cylinder Rebuild kits
lock nut socket
breaker bar
bleeder tube
brake pads
brake fluid
expert brake team

free beer will be provided.
work begins every day at 3pm
This means you Jon Rolston.


dumbface said...

Hey when I woke up at 4:30am I thought it was peculiar to see you in my driveway, I know You want to save the environment by not unsing the A\c ... however you could of used your cellphone...Sometimes I think you like hardtimes, I will trade blogs with you, But I need your liver.,,,,,,,,,

Anonymous said...

JSR and i drove to Canada in his micro bus once. we decided to drive all the way through NH and up tp the smallest point in NH and then into Canada. we made it but on the way hoome the slave cylinder busted and we had to use the E-brake to stop. We repaired it in the driveway of my dads place on Islington st. Cinder blocks work as Jack stands. JSR should be your Brake man. What size sockets do you need?


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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.