[EMS Discuss] Replacing rotors - A nice day at the shop

Bob Miller kbob at jogger-egg.com
Thu Jan 16 14:04:10 PST 2014


Well done, sir.  (Both the brake job and the low-key publicity.)


On Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 5:40 AM, Ben Hallert <ben at hallert.net> wrote:

> I posted this to my Facebook thing this morning, wanted to share it here
> too; are there opportunities to chat up the shop to our friends we can be
> taking to help grow the community?  Just a thought....
>
> ----------
> I had a productive day at the shop after work yesterday!  For the last few
> weeks, my car has grumbled at me about half of the time I used the brakes.
> I say grumble because it didn't quite match any other description; it
> wasn't scraping, it wasn't screeching or shaking, it was just...
> grumbling.  "Grrrr..."  I figured there must probably be a pebble stuck
> between a pad and the rotor or something and it was slowing properly, so
> when I got around to it I took it to the Eugene Maker Space (
> http://eugenemakerspace.com) to fix up.
>
> Pulling off the front right wheel, I went to loosen some bolts that hold
> the caliper on when I discovered the source of the problem:  Somehow, one
> of the two bolts was _missing_.  Completely gone!  I could rotate the
> caliper in place with little effort because it was only half attached,
> yikes.  This is unacceptable!  Whoever did my brakes last was clearly a
> complete and utter careless moro-  I paused.  On contemplation, I realized
> that I was the last one to touch these because I had replaced the pads a
> few months ago.  In a sudden spirit of "can't we all just...  get along?"
> reconciliation, I magnanimously decided that failing to properly tighten
> that bolt was an understandable mistake and certainly not worth obsessing
> over.  Let's let bygones be bygones and all that.  A quick walk down to
> Autozone got me a replacement bolt and we were off and running.
>
> A backstory on these brakes; as I mentioned, I had replaced the pads but I
> had known for the last year or so that I really needed new rotors.  The
> rotors are the big metal discs that the brakepads squeeze against to slow
> you down and they can get worn.  When they get worn and get grooves in
> them, that wears the pads out quicker and it's a dirty cycle.  I had
> actually needed to replace my pads twice, both when I was broke, so I had
> incurred extra expense overall as a result.  As someone once told me,
> 'there's few things more expensive than being poor'.  But this time, I had
> planned ahead and had gotten new rotors and by damned, I was going to
> replace them.
>
> To get the rotors off, you remove the calipers (the things that squeeze
> the pads against the rotors), a thing that holds the pads themselves, and
> then just pull the big metal plates off the hub.
>
> This sequence really looks better in writing than the reality because of
> that last step.  "Just pull the rotors off" implies that the rotors have
> not rust-welded themselves to your car as mine had done.  I knew the theory
> but had somehow never actually pulled rotors before so I spent the next 45
> minutes alternately hitting it with a mallet, watching instructional
> YouTube videos, then hitting it harder with the mallet.  After watching a
> less useless video, I did something new: I grabbed a shop torch and started
> heating parts of the rotor near the center (where it was bound up).  If it
> hadn't been for the helpful encouragement of some guy back east, I would
> have been worried about setting my car on fire but apparently this is 'the
> thing to do' so after heating and hitting and burninating, I eventually got
> it off.  I've got to say that having a shop with shop resources was pretty
> nice.  Need a torch?  Sure, here we are.  Clean floor to crawl around on
> under car?  Beats a cold and wet driveway!  Penetrating oil for removal and
> clamps for resetting the calipers?  We gotcha covered.  One of the best
> parts of the whole thing was that I was really kinda stranded until I
> finished the job.  If I was at home and the rotor wasn't coming off, I
> would be totally tempted to go inside and play on the computer until it was
> too late (Better put the wheel back on, I'll try another day!) but being
> stranded in West Eugene was a good motivator to just get it done.
>
> After a couple hours total, I had both rotors replaced (with fresh new
> pads, why not) and hadn't set my car on fire even once.
>
> Community shops like this are awfully nice to be a part of and I look
> forward to our upcoming move.  We've currently got woodworking tools, metal
> lathe, a welding table, 3D printers, a soldering station, community
> workspace for big projects, and more.  We're in the process of finding a
> bigger place to allow for growth and increase our capabilities and it's
> going to be an exciting evolution.  I'll post more details as it develops
> and invite anyone who's interested in learning more about the space to
> contact me.
>
> Now...  how well did I tighten that new bolt?  I guess I'll know what to
> do if my car starts grumbling again.
> ------------
>
> - Ben
>
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>
>


-- 
Bob Miller                              K<bob>
                                        kbob at jogger-egg.com
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