The Five-Month Brake Job Part 3&4

25 12 2012

Having twice replaced the brake shoes on my blue Toyota, Clyde,  and the wheel cylinders once, I decided the time had come to look deeper for the cause of the contamination of the brake linings.

If you go to the effort of replacing the axle seals, you ought to replace the rear axle bearings, too, if they are of uncertain vintage.  The usual cause of axle seal failure is axle bearing wear.


If It’s Broke, Replace It
ElFin photo

I ordered new bearings and seals, and kept driving.  Three out of four wheels braking is better than none.  Meatloaf would agree.

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Boston Driver’s Notebook 9/11/12

11 09 2012

I had obligations in Paradise, and so headed out to Concord on a hot August morning.  Rain was expected later in the day, so I left the Tunacuda under cover, and instead drove Clyde the Blue Barrow, my 1988 late model Toyota mini-truck.  The usual high-speed freaks surrounded me for no good reason, so that by the time I reached the turn-off for the Lincoln long cut, I was ready to bail from Route 2.  I felt better going slower on the back roads bounded by rock walls and big trees.  I wasn’t in a hurry.

A Blue Truck, Franconia Notch, NH
ElFin photo

Charlie Paradise was in his basement, and came up the stairs with a chicken in each hand.  He kept them inside at night to keep them from getting eaten by coyotes or neighborhood dogs.  Read the rest of this entry »

Boston Driver’s Notebook 8/1/12 Part 2

1 08 2012

BDN 8/1/12   Part Two: The Repair of the Tuna

Note: this post has already been published as part of an earlier post.  I have broken a long post into three parts to honor all of us with ADHD.

Finally getting a day off, I went to my favorite auto website, for advice, searching for “running rough + stalling” or words to that effect.

The first thing I struck upon was the advice of “Doctor Dodge,” Doug Dutra recommending the poster clean out the needle valve in his carb, along the lines of what I had been thinking.

Rough Ridings
For all your TR informational needs, see

So like any good modern simian, I called up a youtube® video and watched a southern gentleman explain how to clean the jets in a Holley® 2300 2-barrel 350 cfm carburetor. Read the rest of this entry »

Boston Driver’s Notebook 8/1/12 part 1

27 07 2012

The Tunacuda Barely Gets Me Home

I was at an Undisclosed Location on the 4thof July.  The Tunacuda had driven me out there in good style.  The upgrades I had gradually effected, including disc brakes, sure-grip differential, 4 on the floor, roll bar, shoulder belts, and close-ratio steering, combined to provide a much more safe and enjoyable highway driving experience.  The Tunacuda had come a long way from the shaky, wandering, long-stopping-distance rust bucket it had been.  As I cruised along in overdrive, the engine I  had rebuilt myself hurried me along.  It was crying out for bigger carburetor jets, and a more flowing exhaust system, but it got me to the cookout on time.

Summertime @ Undisclosed Location

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Boston Driver’s Notebook 4/15/11

26 04 2011

It has been suggested that I include more road rage stories, and maybe less technical detail about truck maintenance.  With the abundance that droppeth from heaven like gentle rain,  this fortnight lavished on me some  examples of the worst that human nature and Boston driving can offer.  Other fun events have been unfolding at the same time- state and federal income taxes.

Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here

With only days left to complete my badly squangled taxes, I decided to replace the right front brake caliper of Clyde Barrow, my truck.
But first the road rage incident. Read the rest of this entry »

Boston Driver’s Notebook 1/14/11

14 01 2011

The Boston Building Department is located at 1010 Mass Ave. in Roxbury. The parking lot fills up early, and I could count on there not being any space. Accordingly, I had to leave my 18V construction tools at home. I had my traveling mechanical tools in a metal Milwaukee drill box. Parking would be in sketchy industrial areas, if at all.

Sketchy Industrial Area

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Boston Driver’s Notebook

7 01 2011

It’s official, the Sixties are dead.

They died when Power Dave died last week.  I knew he was fairly sick, but nowhere near dire, when I dropped off my new, unregistered pickup in his driveway.

Superannuated Vehicle

It didn’t have an exhaust, so as  much as possible, I eased up the hill and coasted back down, in front of the dumpster.  The front door was open and I didn’t see anyone in there.  I figured he was sleeping so I went up and got behind the wheel of Charlie Paradise’s incongruous SUV that he got for four hundred dollars.  It was a Honda something or other.  I started out driving slow, Paradise-like,  but when I got on 3 North all bets were off.  I was in a small modern vehicle with decent steering.

“You are not going to…” hollared Charlie in my ear as I passed between a lurching construction truck and a Jersey barrier near my left fender.  I wasn’t positive about clearing the truck to my right.  It would have to take care of itself.  Fortune was with us because the truck swerved the other way, as I had predicted it would; having carefully observed its periodicity.

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