Out with the old

The weather recently has been cold making work more difficult, but nevertheless I took the long weekend to get a few things done. First, on the outside of the car I replaced the stripped out brake guide. That screwed in simply enough and was quickly done.

Brake Pins

I then went to replace the pins holding in the retainer springs on the brake pads. If you remember, the existing ones were very rusty and a few of them were bent. Unfortunately the springs for the front brakes were not sent along with the rest of my AutoZone order, so I had to reuse the old, crusty ones. After an email letting them know AutoZone quickly made it right and put the springs in the mail, but I was disappointed that I couldn’t replace them while I had the wheels off. I’ll have to wait until the next time they’re off, probably when I replace the dust guards, to put them on.

I then moved on to the rear wheels. I can report two take-aways from doing this. First, seating the pins on the rear breaks is more difficult than the front. Instead of using cotter pins these have a plastic bushings on one end that keep the pin in place with friction. They need to be pressed into the hole and in part because they start from the back of the caliper getting the required leverage to do that can be difficult. I found that using a claw hammer worked well. I placed the top of the head against the flat part of the wheel assembly to which the caliper attaches. If you place the tip of the claw against the end of the pin you can use the hammer as a lever to easily push the pins in securely.

The second issue I ran into was that the kit came with sheet metal springs to keep the brake pads in place. They’re similar to the ones that were already on the car, but after I got everything in place I found that they had a tendency to push the pads into contact with the rotor so my rear wheels made a tortured, terrible groan whenever the car moved. After taking the back wheels off again I put the old springs back and the sound went away. (note: I was wrong about this. The springs were in backwards. See this post here)

And for reference, here are the old pins I removed.

It would also appear that I was confused about which wheel had the stripped lug stud. It’s actually the rear left wheel. I’m actually relieved that this is the case because the front wheels have the ABS system built into them which would have interfered with replacing that stud and made the job much harder. I didn’t do the replacement now, but I will soon.

Interior bits and bobs

Next I replaced the turn signal lever and driver’s side window switch gang with some new ones I had recently bought. I don’t know what happened in this car in the past, but those two pieces had some pretty severe surface damage done to them at some point. The plastic was sort of bubbled and melted. It was almost as if something caustic had spilled on them. These two parts were a simple unplug the old/replug the new swap, but the effect was to make the controls much nicer to look at and touch.

So items 1 and 3 are checked off the list I had previously made. Next up should be 2: fixing the transmission overdrive.