I’ve been having a persistent squeak that happens whenever I release the brakes. Same thing happened last year, and a small shot of grease between the side of the brake shoe and the backing plate seems to fix it for a year or so. This isn’t the first time this has happened. But this time it was different.

Driver’s side went fine. Loosen lug nuts, jack up car, remove tire, remove drum, pry shoes away from backing plate, grease 6 points, put drum back, etc. Now for the passenger side...

For some reason the passenger side the drum wouldn’t fit back on. It’s then that I notice the small brace that runs between the two shoes (that slowly unscrews and widens itself when using the parking brake) has somehow lodged itself in a position it shouldn’t be. Commence a solid half hour of prying, pulling, hammering, etc. - the thing won’t go back. Check a few YouTube videos. Get incredibly frustrated. Get slightly calmed down my by wife. Have her come out, and give me a hand for a minute or two. (Two young kids - can’t leave them in the house alone for more than a minute or two at a time). In doing so, somehow we managed to press the brake while the drum was off, and it shot out brake fluid up my arm and across the garage. I’ve seen a few things in my day, but I’ve never seen that happen before. It sprayed out pretty good, and in doing so, probably let a small amount of air back into the line. Go back inside, try to calm down some more, then go back out to the garage. Eventually, with both of us pulling on things, we managed to get the small expanding brace thing back into position. But now the brakes are totally mushy, meaning that I need to bleed them. This also means Mrs. BaconSandwich now has to drive me to/from work tomorrow. That, or I have to carpool with a coworker, but he leaves earlier, meaning I won’t get to see my kids in the morning before I go to work. It also means we probably have to find a babysitter tomorrow night so that she can help me bleed the brakes without having to run into the house to check on the kids every few minutes.

Ugh. I hate drum brakes. Part of me hopes that whoever invented them died in an automobile accident - due to brake failure. There’s absolutely no reason why modern passenger cars need to have them. If I ever become emperor of the world, I’m going to ban drum brakes on all new passenger vehicles. (While I’m at it, I’ll also ban 1-ply toilet paper. That stuff is an abomination that society needs to be rid of).