Brake Job

Another week of hit and miss auto repair. The brakes started acting up, and the brake pedal was very hard, and it felt like only one pair of brakes were working. Changed the master cylinder. Then the proportioning valve. Neither fixed the problem. Finally pulled the rear hubs and saw that one side had been somehow grinding as shavings everywhere. On the other, a broken retracting spring. So I thought finally, here’s the issue. Changed out both sides of the brakes, put the truck back together….and still brakes not right. So now I’m sure it’s the power booster, which I’d changed only a year ago, I think. Then I thought – maybe it’s not getting vacuum. So I pulled off the hose to the booster, and put my finger on the hose end as Kurt started the truck, and no suction.

So, I find a store with the vacuum pump, get it home, and see I have to get the pulley off, but need a puller. I call Ishmael, or “foreign auto” mechanic (I use him for Toyota work), and he says to bring them over. He doesn’t have the right puller, so then to Napa, then to Valley Auto, then AIH, and finally to O’Riely’s, and they have the puller and the presser. Each tool cost $30! I buy them both, and when I start to use the puller, I have to put one side on one way and the other upside down, but that does the trick. The puller grabs as the bolt screws down, and the pulley comes right off. I press it on with the other tool without incident. The pump itself is an easy install once the pulley is on. I start the truck, feel the brake pedal depress as it should, and feel more relief than satisfaction, I think. I spent about $100 and time in parts I didn’t need. But, I saw a newer F350 in the valley for sale in the Super Bear parking lot. The sign
said “$30,000 Firm”. So an extra hundred bucks was no big deal, and like money well-spent for the education.
-e
Mark Stopha
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801
www.GoodSalmon.com