it’s who you know

November 18, 2010

I think we’ve established my credibility as a handyman.

That is, we’ve established that I have none. Sleepy came over to help me cut some wood once, and told me to go grab the skill saw from the truck. I came back with a handsaw. Because it requires skill to use it.

Anyway, the brakes started squeaking in the Subaru a few months ago, which is always an awkward moment for me, since I figure, hmm, pay someone like $200 bucks to change my pads, make me feel like an idiot for asking why he has to turn the damn rotors again, or should I just keep riding the brakes until the squeaking goes away.

It’s a conundrum.

So I IM’d Mark, who also has a Subaru Outback.

“Hey, who do you have do the brakes on your car?”

“Nobody. I do it.”

“Get out. Really? How much does it cost you?”

“About $20 bucks and 2o minutes.”

“SHUT UP! What’s it gonna take to get you to help me do mine?”

“I dunno. Just bring it over.”

So I stopped at an Auto Zone and bought pads for $20, and took the car to Mark’s house. And 20 minutes later, bien voila! New, non-squeaky brake pads.

I gushed, “Sweet! Next time, I’ll change the pads and you supervise. You know. Teach me to fish.”

I bought Mark some sweet Ergon grips for his mountain bike as a thank you. So when the Landcruiser started squeaking, I called Mark again.

“Sure, come on over.”

This time I took my own floor jack (which I picked up at Costco once when I was buying rolls). You know, to contribute.

Rachel brought out eggnog and pastries, we all talked movies, books, biking, and skiing, and Mark pulled up a stool and started in. One pad seemed fine, and the other pad was weirdly worn at a very odd angle. I think I may be over-pronating when I step on the brake pedal.

About halfway through, Mark stopped and said “Hey, weren’t you going to do it this time while I supervised?”

“Um. What, that? Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. How are those Ergon grips working out for you?”

I think we’ve got it worked out.

17 Responses to “it’s who you know”

  1. stevebpt Says:

    You! you have a floor jack? What in the world did you buy that for? You don’t even own a skil saw! Though I must say I have been tempted to pick one up myself, you know, just in case I needed it.

  2. JZ Says:

    Good work Mark (and good work Dug for finding someone to do your brakes for free). Everyone should do their own brakes (or have a friend do them for you). It is the only way to avoid the so called mandatory rotor turning that every mechanic will tell you needs to be done when you replace the pads (or even better, tells you that you need new rotors because every time you have your pads replaced the mechanic turns your rotors and now they are too thin to turn, go figure). What a bunch of BS. Unless your rotors are warped just throw in some new pads and you are good to go.

  3. KanyonKris Says:

    Yes, the angled pad wear is caused by over-pronation. Fortunately for you I have a set of brake pedal alignment tools and I can do the job in exchange for a 29er suspension fork and eggnog (steal some from Eber, you’ll do him a favor).

  4. BM Says:

    Yeah,yeah…brakes…whatever. What I want to know is if Danny MacAskill called to say thanks for the 400,000+ hits his new video has accumulated since you linked to it.

  5. mark Says:

    Have I mentioned that the Ergon grips are awesome? I think about them while I’m riding. Usually thinking about something when you’re riding means there’s a problem, but with the Ergons, I think about how awesome they are.

    • Jenn Says:

      “Usually thinking about something when you’re riding means there’s a problem…”

      SO true! A good ride is one where I realize after an hour or so that I don’t really remember getting to where I am. I know how I got there, I know I liked it, but I don’t, technically, remember it.

  6. Adventure Nell Says:

    i just wanna know what kind of Landcruiser you have as I just imported from Japan a diesel, right hand drive 1990 HZJ73 ZX and am hoping that brake pads and other sundry items are easy to find!

    • dug Says:

      nell, it’s a 98 landcruiser, just the standard model. the autoparts stores around here didn’t have them in stock, but did have them in a matter of days.

      i’m guessing a 90 cruiser from japan? maybe a bit harder.

      • Adventure Nell Says:

        I don’t know if it is a 90 series (could be) and I have succeeded in stumping the car guys at Lordco and Canadian Tire. My bad for falling in love with an import. Goes like stink in the snow though, so happy days. 24 volt system adds to the fun. I have gone through 3 brake lights. Keep waiting to be pulled over by the police.


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