Again With The Brakes?!

Well, something just isn’t right. Now there is a scraping sound and when I step on the brakes something clunks. Nope, it shouldn’t do that. It is not quite subtle, but not horrible either. I thought about just nursing her on home, but then again, I don’t want it to become horrible or for anything to break.

So, I have pulled over and called AAA. Again. I wonder if they keep track of this and are going to say something in the near future?

I will tell you this though, if you are going to have to sit around and wait for a tow truck, you could do worse than to be stopped across the street from one of the best barbecue restaurants in Charleston. Yup, sitting here at Rodneys Scott’s BBQ waiting for the tow truck. Darn, I just had to get a snack.

And then tomorrow I will take the wheels off. And tear the brakes apart. Again. At least the 4-year-old neighbor boy will get a charge out of seeing the tow truck visit again.

I am getting tired of saying, “again.”

UPDATE: Luckily just a loose bolt. Quickly remedied once I got it home.  While I was in fixing that however, I did a few other jobs like adding anti-squeal compound behind the brake pads and replace the missing dust-shield / backing plate that was destroyed in the last mishap.  So, here is your reminder – check those torque specs and go back over your work. In never hurts to double check, especially after a few days or a few hundred miles.

Road Trip to First Show

The British Classics XI car show was yesterday, and the Land Rover attended. This show is hosted by the British Car Club Midlands Centre and is held in conjunction with Tartan Day South Highland Games and Celtic. Wow, that was a mouthful.

The show is just over a hundred mikes up the interstate, and the Rover was happy cruising at 65 miles per hour, give or take 5 mph, the entire way there and back. I hit the road at 7 am, got back home around 5:30, and covered 240 miles.   We also took a short side trip after the show to visit a local self-service junkyard in search of parts.

On the road again - Highway 26 for the Land Rover's first road trip.

The funniest part of the day was pulling up to the show’s registration table and having the woman manning it look at me and then look quizzically at my ride. I told her I was there for the show and had pre-registered. She cocked her head, looked at my ride again, and then said, “OK, but what is it?” Ha!

Now I am used to that kind of reaction when I drive Catherine, my 1966 Vanden Plas Princess 1100, but I never expected that in a modern era Land Rover with the words “LAND ROVER” spelled out across the front of the hood. Guess she was just far more used to seeing MGs, Jaguars, Triumphs, and Healeys at the show. Ya gotta laugh!

Anyway, it is a great show and they had about 120 cars in attendance. I was in the “All Other” class with an MG Magnette sedan, a Turner, and an MGB modified into a 4×4. Strange bedfellows, especially when realizing Catherine would have been in the same class.

One of the attractive things about this show, besides the beautiful weather and it being held in a town where a fantastic lifelong friend is mayor, is that it is held in conjunction with the Scottish games. That makes for mouth-watering food, energetic music, unique shopping opportunities, entertaining demonstrations, and happy crowds. The cross-pollination between the car show and the games is wonderful and gives both groups more to do and exposes them to new things. Converts are made in both directions.

The trip to the junkyard didn’t yield much more than a few trim bits and another radio to play with, but it was successful none-the-less and I will be back if they get more Land Rovers.

All in all a fun day, a trouble-free outing for the Rover, and a few more miles under the belt.

Surveying The Damage

I was going to post these last week when I took them, but then life intervened. 

So it appears that the bolts holding the caliper retaining bracket just backed out entirely. They are gone. No damage to the caliper, bracket, hub, or disk. The back shield is shot, as are the brake pads and the brake hose. 

I have already gotten the replacement pads, and the new hose should be here in the next day or two. I am still looking for the shield. I thought there was one at the local junkyard, but they scrapped both the Discos they had. Bad timing!

Anyway, hopefully she will be back together in time to make the drive up to Columbia, SC, this Saturday for the Midlands Centre British Car Day  held in conjunction with the Scottish games and festival.  

And the cause of the problem itself? Must be my handiwork. Not the Land Rover’s fault. I either didn’t torque the bolts down enough, or put in too much anti-seize compound, or something. At the very least I didn’t go back and recheck my work later. Always inspect then inspect again. Especially when you’re talking wheels and brakes. 

Guess I should get that new tire before I hit the highway this weekend too. Need to have a spare. Oh, and a jack. 

My Brake Broke

So how does the caliper come completely loose? It may be hard to tell from this photo, but the caliper is basically sitting at the front of the brake rotor instead of at back where it should be. Yes, it broke loose with a whomp and has gone about 180 degrees around. Accompanied, of course, by popped brake lines and a massive gushing of fluid. At least I was in very low-speed traffic at the end of the day.

I will be the first to admit that this must be something I did, somehow. This is the front left brake that I replaced not a month ago. There were seized bolts in the old one, and I had to get replacement bolts from a junkyard.

I am not even sure yet what gave way, but maybe I tighten something down wrong. Or maybe there was a bigger reason the old ones were stuck. For whatever reason, something let loose.

This also means that for the second time in under a week my Land Rover and I are sitting dead on the side of the road. Last week it was a blown tire. (Totally my fault.) This week a broken brake. Oh, the joys of life with older British cars. Actually, any older cars. Or just about any cars of any age at all for that matter.

But I bring it on myself, so I’m not complaining.

Well, not much anyway.

I Am Tired, or, How I Blew It

Sometimes life happens to us. And sometimes we bring it on ourselves. In this case, I brought it on myself.

I was calmly cruising home from work, maybe going to tad too fast for the road, when my entire left hand side took an unceremonious dip into a construction pothole. Not your normal kind of minor water holding pothole, but the deep ragged jagged crevasse that roadwork leaves. 

As soon as I felt it, I knew it was gonna be good. Sure the Land Rover suspension could handle something like that, but I also knew that I didn’t have the best tires in the world. Sure enough, as soon as I got to my destination around the corner I could hear the air escaping from the rear tire. A huge hole in the side.

As bad as this sounds, it was made worse by my am stupidity. Not only did I not have a jack in the truck, but my spare was of dubious quality and had no air in. There was no way I was going to be able to get the rover on the road by myself.

Yes, I was driving around totally unprepared. And I knew it. I had known it for months and chosen to do nothing about it. No, that’s not totally true. The one thing I had done was to put my spare tire and jack needs on my todo list. Wow, how efficient of me. 

Luckily, I was in front of a friend’s house – which was my destination all along. I was able to call AAA and they promptly sent a truck. My friend even insisted that I go to dinner with him and his wife and enjoy a few beers and a burger on them. Those the kind of friends to have. 

Long story short, I got it towed home. I aired up the sprare so that I could at least motivate a bit, and a new tire or two and a jack on the next things on my purchase list. As well as looking at my todo list a little more often. And perhaps actually getting a few of those things done.

It Leaks

Well of course it does! It is not that bad actually, and it is to be expected. It is leaking around the sunroof. Although I had seen stains before, I had never seen actual water until now. Strange because it has been in the rain before now, and I have driven it in the rain a few times. 

Today’s rain wasn’t heavy, but must have hit in just the right way to drive the water on through. I noticed drips from the rear view mirror and then, when I stopped hard, a small stream from the overhead switch area. 

Again, this doesn’t bother me much. It is fixable, common, and more an annoyance than anything else. Besides, I have driven British cars – mostly convertibles – all my life. This is a walk in the park. 

Oh! And notice in the pictures above … I got cup holders! Got them of a Disco in the local junkyard for only about $15.