You say rim, I say wheel; you say tomato...

One of my pet peeves is the modern usage of the term "rim"  to describe aftermarket alloy wheels.  Perhaps this is one of those long standing debates that will never be resolved but it's important to use the correct terminology when discussing parts.  The rim is the outer barrel portion of the wheel where the tire is mounted.  The term wheel applies to the...  Read More

Disc Brake Challenge Part V: Bleeding The Brakes And Bedding-In The Pads

With the new brake pads and rotors installed, it's time for Samuel to bleed any air out of the brake lines. The first step is to check the condition of the brake fluid currently in the lines.Step 1: Checking the fluidBrake fluid is an interesting substance. It's actually a specialized type of hydraulic fluid and it does require inspection and or replacement...  Read More

Disc Brake Challenge Part IV: Installing The Hawk HPS Brake Pads And Calipers

With the rotors and hubs checked for excessive run-out, it's time for Samuel to move on to the brake pads. The set we selected for this vehicle are the Hawk HPS Performance Brake pads. We have had these on previous family vehicles and even my wife noticed the difference. She specifically requested these pads for the van. The Hawk HPS pads feature a Ferro...  Read More

Disc Brake Challenge Part III: Removing and Replacing the Brake Rotors

With the worn out brake pads off and the calipers checked and repaired, it was time for Samuel to move on to the brake rotors.Step 1: Removing The Old Brake RotorThis looks simple enough right? There are no stud clips so the brake rotor is just resting on the nose of the axle hub ready to be lifted off. Well, not quite, as Samuel soon discovered...Normally...  Read More

Disc Brake Challenge Part II

With the parts checked out, it's time to start tearing down the brakes. Refer to your vehicle's shop manual for the proper wrench sizes for your vehicle. Step 1: Removing the caliper retaining boltsSamuel started by removing the two bolts attaching the brake caliper to the sliding pins on the caliper bracket. These were pretty tight and required some...  Read More

Brake Job Part 1: The Set Up

Well, my son Samuel finished up the brakes this past Saturday and they are working fine. The rear drum brakes were in good shape so he only had to work on the fronts. The whole process took about two hours from start to finish and he's justifiably proud of himself. I'm going to break this up into a few posts so let's get started!By the way; Samuel was under...  Read More

Disc brake challenge: easy enough for a 13-year-old???

Automotive repair, even on newer vehicles is nothing to be afraid of. To prove my point, I'm going to post a series of reports about my son.He's 13 and he will be performing his first brake job.  If he can do it with a few simple hand tools, you can too!The vehicle in question is our family's 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan SE. Last weekend he replaced a bad ABS...  Read More

Pull Those Stud Cips!

One of the most common issues we hear about is wheel vibrations after new tires and aftermarket alloy wheels are installed. More often than not, the vibrations are caused by little washers attached to the brake rotor or brake drum. These locking washers are called stud clips.These are found mostly on domestic vehicles produced by GM, Ford, Chrysler, Saturn,...  Read More