It's been a long time since I've had some serious garage time. I mean along the lines of spending the entire day in the garage, with a definite job to do on a mechanical piece of machinery, using a good percentage of the tool collection I've been building since my teen years.
Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a kind of a squealing noise coming from my truck. It seemed to happen all the time, not just when the brakes were applied, and it happened only when the truck was rolling above 5 mph. Had to be the brakes, I thought. with 61K miles on the vehicle and the brakes never being addressed, it was high time anyway.
The previous weekend, I got the truck up on jacks, removed the front wheels and took a look around. It was hard to tell if the pads were getting thin, so I did some googling around and found a really good video on utube which described, no, showed how to replace the pads and rotors on my specific vehicle. Nice! And it looked easy, too!
So last week, I got everyone ready for dad being busy working on his truck in the garage. And come the weekend, I got me some serious garage time. Rotors were only $30 apiece and pads were about $50 for the set. After clearing some stuff out of the way in the garage, I pulled the front end of the truck into the garage, removed the skid plates, lifted the front end and got to work. I was pretty much done with the brake job by lunch, but while at the parts store, I figured I might as well do an oil change while I'm in there. It was about due.
As I was wrapping things up, I realized that one of the bolts that holds the skid plate on was stripped. I took a quick trip to the dealer's parts counter to get a couple of new bolts. I then learned that it was actually the nut that's welded onto a cross member under the vehicle that was stripped. It was getting later in the day, so I decided to finish it up the next day.
Sunday morning, I took a trip to the hardware store and bought the correct size tap and die, to fix a couple of stripped bolts as well as the nut. After that, everything went back together pretty smoothly.
While I was at the dealer, I stopped by the service desk and asked them for a ballpark estimate on replacing the rotors and pads. It was about a $600 - 700 job. Wow. So with this weekend of having a good time in the garage, I also ended up saving something like $500 -600 in the process. Nice!
Now I'm looking at Rita's vehicle. Its brakes seem to be a bit low...!
We have a recycling box next to the door leading out to the garage. It's where newspapers, junk mail, cans and bottles and other material go.
This evening, Mama was sitting near that door working on her laptop, and Harold, ever under Mama's foot, was playing around the box and pulled out some of the one of the catalogs/ads that come with the Sunday paper. He's flipping through the ad, and started to get excited about something on one particular page.
He was adamant about getting some of our attention, so I stopped what I was doing to check it out. What he found was a gingerbread steam engine, right next to a gingerbread mansion and a lot of other holiday themed knick knacks. Now, we've known for a long time that this boy is a huge fan of all things on rails, but for him to pick out a choo choo from a 30 page catalog filled with lots of house ware stuff is really funny. He was so intrigued by it that he had to get our attention so he could share his discovery.
We know all he thinks about from morning til night is trains. Am I ok with that? I think I am. It's a nice break from princesses.