Replacing Brakes

Ryan replaced the front brakes on our Pathfinder on Saturday.  He had the rotors re-ground and put on new brake pads and installation fittings. It should have been a morning job, but instead the whole day was a fight against all odds to make it happen. By 7:30 pm we were just putting the whole assembly back together.

He removed all the bolts first thing in the morning, and every mechanic brother/brother-in-law he called said “the rotor should just slide right off”.   Well, it didn’t.  Wouldn’t budge a millimeter.

So we took a break and ran down to the internet place to get them to fix our internet antenna so we could have internet at home in the first time in over a month.  Yay!!   Also stopped by the auto store to pick up a Chiton manual for the Pathfinder.

After a good bit of Ryan trying, I picked up the manual to see if a fresh set of eyes could see what we were missing getting these ridiculous rotors off the wheel hub.  In reading some small print and following a trail, I discovered that on Nissan Pathfinders and Xterras, a special wheel hub bearing ratchet fitting is required.  Hmmm…

After some internet research (Yay for internet at home!) it was still a little hopeless.  So Ryan called the local Nissan dealership.  After asking around, they said “yes, it a special tool, expensive, you have to order it from Snap-On maybe?”  Oh great.

More internet research and phone troubleshooting with his best sounding board (Thanks, Nick!!) Ryan discovered a youtube video of a guy with a neat trick with a flat head screwdriver that gets the wheel hub off and release the rotor.  SUCCESS!!

Friends, just look at those released rotors.

 Since our motorcycle’s carb is full of leaked fuel, Ryan jumped into our trusty old truck to go to the auto store to get the Pathfinder’s rotors ground.

All too soon I heard the deep rumble of the truck’s engine back in front of the house.  Apparently with this make and model you need the wheel hub with you as well to grind the rotors.  Lovely.

Oh, and the truck’s radiator overflow is boiling over.  Now we are 3 for 3 on un-drivable vehicles.

This is getting funny.  Only not.  Time for a mid-afternoon grilled cheese.

Sooo…we have some awesome friends up the street who weren’t home, but we walked up and borrowed their suburban so we could get back to the auto store to get the rotors ground (with the wheel hubs…) and get a new fan belt for the truck. Thanks goodness for old trucks that only break down in $5 parts.

And Ryan used his brand new birthday ratchet set to start putting the Pathfinder back together.

At 9pm he had one side completely put back together, had torque wrenched it to the proper specs, and ready to put the tire back on.  The other side can wait for a free hour tomorrow.

Noonish Sunday:  this is a work of necessity this Sabbath, we need to be able to get to work tomorrow.  We tested the left side caliper (My first useful moment in this process).  Hmmm…doesn’t apply even pressure.  Looks like we’re going to have to replace the calipers after all.  You have to replace both of them. So the right side needs to come apart again. We were going to meet some friends and go kayaking, and sadly, had to cancel that commitment.

Sunday mid afternoon, time for a pizza break.

I pumped the brakes so Ryan could bleed out the calipers.  My most useful moment in the whole process.

Super helpful knowledgable assistants for Ryan.

I am now very well acquainted with the Nissan Pathfinder Chilton Manual

And the finished brake system!

What a hard-working and patient man married me.


3 thoughts on “Replacing Brakes

  1. I changed my brake pads last weekend! Luckily, I have a super un-fancy car… Way to be a helpful assistant! They are quite necessary. I had one, but on the oil changing part of my weekend, he went inside and I ended up with dirty motor oil down my arm lol.

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