A Close Call!

The Mother of Five has been telling me stories of how the front end of our van has started shimmying, and squeeling when she stops. I too have been able to confirm that, but due to "schedule conflicts", I have had to put it on the back burner

With hunting season approaching, days off that are few and far between, and the temps dropping - as much as I did not want to, I decided to take on the (suspected) problem with the van. Today is my 3rd of 4 days off in the past 36 days... So I decided to make the best of it.

It was time to replace the break shoes.

The van has 50,000 miles on it, and we have had it just under three years now - so it was not shocking or surprising to me.

bakes1Actually, I have been putting off replacing the breaks in my car as well... Now I had no more excuses to "put off till tomorrow, what I know needs to be done today" (That is one of my unfortunate downfalls in life)

I used the opportunity of driving the "vehicularly challenged" #1 of 5 to work this morning (for an early shift) to get motivated for an early start to the day.

I dropped #1 of 5 off at work, and ran to the auto parts store (that advertised a sale on break shoes).

After running around to three stores to find the break shoes - I pulled the first tire off, and discovered I had a much bigger problem that the break shoes....


Yup folks... There was a "shimmy" alright... For those of you that do not know what you are looking at in the above photos... Let me share with you...

You are looking at a "close call" to collecting on the Mother-of-Five's life insurance policy, and (if that was not bad enough) - an opportunity to cash in on (potentially) life insurance on "four of the five" kids... (#1 of 5 is "life-insurance-less")

Or, in other words... Photographic evidence of a bad husband and/or father...

The break shoes were worn very low, and if I had not done them today, I would be doing them in January or February, so replacing them was not a total loss.

For my non-Minnesotan readers - Let's just say you DO NOT want to be working on, in or under a car in the deep winter months. It can be "finger amputation" cold at times...

bakes4aI just spent OVER three thousand dollars on the transmission for my car 6 days ago, and over one hundred and fifty dollars for break shoes for both cars this morning, but now I had no choice but to replace the tires on the van too...

I guess you can say "when it rains, it pours"...

Other than paying for the transmission, break shoes, and tires for the van, the 1st half of the job (breaks on the van) went pretty easy... I only had one bolt on the calipers that "refused to cooperate".

I broke one "Breaker bar" on it (albeit aluminum), but even more shocking was that I also broke a 3/8 inch socket extender trying to remove the bolt.

I hope tomorrow goes a little easier cheaper... Wish me luck.


  1. Your post made me think, If your the 911 Dispatcher, who would you call? Car repairs aren't my favorite either.

  2. I don't s'pose you have ANY of the "overtime" cash left huh?

    Man, that tire was baaad. I can't believe it was holding together at all. Hope you said a quick "Thank You" prayer!

  3. I am so glad MOF and kids were okay! Another blessing!

  4. I don't know about you buddy, but it looks like you might need an alignment...I have never seen tires wear like that just from normal use! Was the socket extender a Craftsman? :)

    Good work!

  5. Glad you took care of things in time.
    You will feel great when it's all done.

  6. Wow! You must have Popeye forearms to break that socket extender. I usually have jump on my tools to break them like that.
    Sorry for all the bad luck.

  7. Yeah, stay away from me, FOF. You luck sux.

    But get that thing aligned ASAP or you'll eat another set of tires in no time.

  8. Yeah Mike... I "clipped a coupon" from Sunday's paper.

    (for an alignment....)

  9. Glad to hear it. Here is wishing you a bucket load of cheap.

  10. Oh my goodness. That's just too much of a close call!!


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