Saturday, February 27, 2010

Brake bleeder screws are my nightmare

This was supposed to be an easy, therapeutic round of car repairs. Little to no rust to contend with; I'm working on my once-a-Texas-car Miata.

I finished an oil change, installed the front subframe brace from 949Racing, and went on to the brakes. Bled the front right caliper properly, with the help of my sister Cindy. Figured I'd do the front left, as long as I had the car up in the air already. 

So I grab my 8mm wrench, start to turn the bleed screw, and I get an all-too-familiar feeling. It's not moving. I push it a little harder. I can feel it starting to give, but in that way you know isn't the threads breaking loose -- it's either the bleeder itself twisting, or the hex flats giving way. I put down the 12-point box-end wrench and look for a 6-point socket. After some hunting, I find a shallow well 6-pointer that'll give me the clearance I need, and I go at it again. It feels no better. "Fuck it. If it breaks, I bleed nothing. At least it won't leak, and I'll get another caliper."

Sure enough, the bleed screw snaps off. So I'm leaving it, and moving on to the rears.

The count is now up to four calipers with busted bleeders (across two cars) in two weekends. Goddamn it.

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