A Day in the Life — Day 1-10

Didya ever wonder…?

The truck developed a second issue right after Anne arrived here in South Puffin.

Flat tire.

Really flat.

All the way around.

I felt around the tread and found a screw. Knowing that one shouldn’t use screws to plug the holes in tires (they make a clickety racket underway and the heads wear down soooo fast), I stopped at the tire guy over on 107th Street to get the tire plugged. He, of course, wanted to sell me new tires. The truck rubber is older than I realized but they don’t have that many miles; I bought them in 2009, some 20K miles ago. Or fewer. They haven’t been terribly satisfactory since new, thanks to the slow air loss from all of them. I’m still unsure if that’s the tires, the rims, or the valves which have always been suspect. Anne’s Honda tires lost air, too. I always figured we got a bad case of tire valves but Anne has BFGs, too. Hmmm.

She was driving the truck and complained that the brake pedal was down to the floor. Really low fluid. Puddle. It had a leak somewhere.

Have I mentioned how much I like groveling around in the gravel under a truck?

Chevrolet trucks have an online reputation of rusted out brake lines. Another brake line had rusted out.

Note to truck owners: when one goes, replace all of them, front to back.

The shops here in South Puffin are busy and expensive. I opted for immediate and cheap.

3-Wheeled Chevy PickupStoner Steve has been a mechanic here for not quite as long as most folks can remember. He works out of a shipping container over by the docks. It’s a neat container with an air compressor, laptop station, parts shelves, and tools scattered around. Stoner Steve promised to replace the brake line the next day.

If I had an inverted flare plug I could simply block off the rear brakes which would make driving the truck to Steve’s way less worrisome. Who needs rear brakes, right? Still, we took the truck(s) over to Steve who wasn’t in his container, then shopped and came back, all without touching the brakes. OK, I had to use them on Joe’s truck, but I got from here to Steve’s container with very careful timing and a little bit of low gear on mine.

He called the parts place with an order and I made a run to buy the 3/16″ lines and rubber brake hoses and fittings he wanted.

Steve uses a nearby loading dock as his lift but he spent a couple of days “unable get the truck up there” first because there was a forklift on it and then someone else had parked on it. He did replace one brake line. It wasn’t the one that ruptured.

I spent an hour or so with Steve every day. I chased parts. I brought beer. I did see his legs sticking out from under the truck once.

Thanksgiving came and went. Black Friday came and went. Small Business Saturday came and went. After 10 days, Steve still had one brake line to do (that would be the one that ruptured), plus bleeding the brakes.

Joe and I drove over to the container on Sunday. Keys were in the truck and I drove it (very slowly and carefully) back here. I was tied up myself the next day so Day 11 came and went. Jacked the truck up in the driveway. Pulled the rear wheel. Looked at the rusty line. Chevrolet uses 1/4″ brake lines to carry the load from the front to the back of the truck, not the 3/16″ Steve ordered.

Have I mentioned how much I like groveling around in the gravel under a truck?

I made a run to the parts store to buy a 1/4″ brake line and fittings.

Installed same.

I HAVE BRAKES!

Now, what do I do with all these extra 3/16″ parts?

 

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