Saturday, March 10, 2012

Vehicle Maintenance

My front brakes were starting to squeak/squeal the other day, so I stopped at AutoZone and got some new pads. Then, since the only "floor jack" I have is one of those itty-bitty ones, I swung by Harbor Freight to get a bigger one. I looked at all the reviews for their aluminum "racing" jacks, and settled on the middle one, that goes for about $140. around to raising up my Jeep today, and low and behold, there's over HALF the pad left on each front caliper!
Not too shabby for 40k miles. I blew all the dust out, and put the wheels back on. I also replaced the hydraulic hood prop that had given up the ghost. The hydraulic props are nice, but they only last a few years before the pressure slowly bleeds out of them, and then they don't hold the hood open.
And I do NOT like getting clunked on the head by the hood, as it sinks sloooowly in the West!
Next project for the day is to clean up the electronics workbench, as one of my friends is bringing over a project he needs help with.
He's been working on an Arduino controlled intervalometer for his astrophotography hobby, and although he's a whiz at coding stuff, he "Can't solder for shit" according to himself!
Always glad to help a fellow Ham, but geez....knowing how to solder is a Rite of Passage for being an Amateur Radio Operator.
Or at least it should be......


  1. I'd rather hear the squeaking early rather than never hearing it, but hearing the grinding of metal on metal instead!

  2. I agree 100%, which is why I got the pads. It's much better to have them on hand and not need them, than to jack the car up, secure it, pull the wheels, and THEN find out you really *do* need a set of pads.
    My wife wants me to take them back for a refund, but eventually I'll need them, and they'll probably cost more by then!

  3. Yeah, keep em where you can find em... You WILL need em sooner or later! And a ham that can't solder??? Take his license away!!! :-)

  4. Bagged 'em in a vacuum bag with some dessicant, and put them on my Car Parts shelf in the garage.

    The intervalometer project needs some rework, to put it mildly.

    Since there's NO documentation, that's the first thing I did. Now I'm sketching out some schematics from one of the working units. Then when I go to build the other four he needs, I'm going to use stranded wire instead of solid, and use some perfboards with solder pads on them so they'll have all soldered connections. The way it is now, the original guy (who passed away a few weeks ago) used some of those "protoboards" that you plug the components in to, and then connect everything together with solid wire. Every time you open one of the boxes, you're terrified that one or more of the wires will pop out, and since they all the same color, unless you were the guy that built it, you're completely clueless about which wire goes back in what hole!

  5. OT.. Hi drjim.. I just added you to the blogroll :)


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