Weekend Edition…

brake line fails, the whizzball report #1 & #2 all after the break…

note – read the “leaving comments” page if you want to leave a message.

brake line fails…

i’ve been having a bad couple of days. ok, “a bad couple of days” for me – i’m sure that, if i lived in other parts of the world, “a bad couple of days” would be equivalent to a tribe attacking your village because of your ethnicity or local politicians personally extorting money from you simply because it’s the “culture” or some natural disaster wiping out your home & the government not giving two sihts about it because they’re engaged in a bloody civil war with communist rebels… you get the drift. for me, i’m having a bad couple of days. for others, it would be a walk in the park & a song in their heart.

the latest travesty to hit is the brake lines failing in my car. fail as in fail. not fail as in failing, the process of failure. no, fail as failed, having already achieved as much fail as possible without a megaton explosion accompanying said failure.


  • first, clinton sabotages obama’s campaign by sticking around even though it’s mathematically impossible for her to win the nomination…
  • then, i get poison something all over my arm & partially on my face when clearing vegetation even though i thought i was being careful…
  • now, the brake line (lines? i don’t know, i have to check) on my car fails. about the only silver lining is that it failed in driveway & not on the road. also, my dad is here to help me out & i hear that the job is a btich-&-a-half to accomplish.

yeah, it ain’t a tribe attacking my village but, for me… well, there goes the weekend… & beyond…


so, today we did a lot of work on taking everything off of the car that we needed to in order to install new brake lines. i guess that the conventional wisdom is that when one brake line fails then the other is replaced as well – kind of like when you have to replace a tire.

anyway, for some reason that defies conventional logic, carmakers think that it’s a snappy idea to put brake lines over the gas tank… meaning that you have to remove the gas tank in order to work on the brake lines. thank you, carmakers. so, we removed the gas tank.

removing the gas tank was a pain because you have to remove all the gas out of it first & disconnect a whole bunch of stuff that involved clearing out the trunk & pulling back the trunk lining &… ugh.

gas tank = removed. brake lines = removed (partially, we didn’t remove the whole thing because, thankfully, we didn’t have to). just about everything that could be unscrewed was rusted on to the point of welded. i am eternally humbled by my inability to so much as loosen a single screw with any amount of certainty.

we went down to an auto store, got the new brake lines (apparently, you bend your own brake lines – wonderful) & ordered what we couldn’t buy outright.

end of day one. i am tired.

update #2!

i’m done with the brake line job. it’s done. the car appears to be in working order. all is right with the world & i’m tired.

i am always incredibly humbled whenever i try to do anything mechanical on a car beyond changing the oil & maybe the air filter. there is just so much crap that you can screw up on a car at any point. twist something the wrong way and – bam! – you just destroyed some $50 dollar part. have a nice day, henry ford. try again.

the day didn’t start off too well – firstly, we had some difficulties making a double-flare on our brake lines. i guess, if you could, making a double-flare at either end of your brake line is what the doctor ordered. what’s a flare in relation to a brake line? go look at the opening end of a funnel. same thing. the line “flares” out – get it? that’s flaring, brake-line style. a double-flare is taking the top portion of that “funnel” & folding it in on itself.

double-flaring was not in the cards for us today. single-flaring (just a regular flare) was also proving a might bit touch-and-go. however, we solved that problem… we added a c-clamp to our flaring tool to clamp the brake line in just a little tighter. bingo. single flares now activated.

new brake lines already have flaring which, of course, is a really good thing. so, all we needed to do was to flare where we had cut the old brake lines.

once the flaring was done, it was onto the bending of the brake lines. brake lines, if you don’t know, have a sort of crazy-straw configuration underneath your car, looping & bending all over the place. when you buy new brake lines, the lines come perfectly straight – some bending required.

here’s a bit of advice & i’ll even put it in bold just so you can remember it…

when bending brake lines, make sure the screws are at each end of the brake line.

see, there are connecting screws at each end of the brake line. optimally, you get one long brake line that goes straight from the engine all the way to where you screw it into the wheel. in reality, often times you have to cut the brake line because taking out the entire brake line rhymes mysteriously well with “rain in the gas.” so, the screws are there in case you also need to screw one brake line into another brake line. well, the screws can’t do their job if they can’t get to the end of the brake line if you’ve put a corner in the brake line that the screw can’t slide over. yes, stupidity came for a visit & we chatted for a while.

once the brake lines were all bent into shape (and one emergency trip to the auto shop for a brake line connector that we needed), we put the brake lines onto the car. excelsior! we tightened the brake lines, bled them, filled them, put on the gas tank, connected it up, re-attached a litany of nuts & bolts & plates to the car.

started up the car. it didn’t explode. the brake petal didn’t fit the floor.

a trial in a parking lot later & we were done!



i am really tired. good night, everyone.

the whizzball report #1…

started = 365. ended = 362. net gain = +3.

the whizzball report #2…

started = 362. ended = 360. net gain = +2.


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