I mean, it’s above 50F and sunny; it might also be windy but I’ll take it. No bugs, right?

Time to switch out the winter wheels for summer, and put on all new brakes, too.

My “rolling toolbox:” (it’s a wheelbarrow, in case that’s not obvious)

I love how few tools you need for this: 17mm socket, breaker bar, torque wrench; 7mm (?) allen socket; 16mm box-end; c-clamp, wire brush, screwdriver (big old flat one for prying old pads out). Rubber mallet for persuasion and BFH for persuasion, if necessary. Some torx bit for the rotor retaining screw. That’s about it.


And I thought I’d try out ceramic pads, they were on sale from oembimmerparts and I’ve had some weird issues with pads leaving marks on rotors, as this car sits sometimes for several days - up to a week - on a regular basis in the summer, when I drive the truck a lot more. It seems like when I go to move the car after a few days - especially if it’s rained - the brakes are all seized. Then the rotors develop uneven spots from the pads, and I get steering wheel shake under braking. Which... can be remedied by bedding the brakes, but that’s not really sustainable.

So I’m hoping the ceramic pads won’t bond to the rotors as much when they sit for several days, especially in the rain?? It’s a wild-ass theory I know. But the car needed brakes (the rear pads are delaminating and the front brakes are 4 years/47k miles old) and this wasn’t more expensive so... here we are.


Most importantly, my 5 year old son wants to help! We’ll see how long his attention span is, but I think he’ll be into it. I jacked up the car and set it safely on jackstands and blocks, so I can just get to the actual good stuff with him.

He won’t be able to do a lot of actual work, but considering how much he loves assembling and disassembling legos, I bet he’ll have 1,000,000 questions about what everything is and how it works. It’s the first step toward actually, really working on stuff with him. I’m hopeful! At least I’ll get some of it done in the warm sun instead of working alone at night in the cold darkness.

My driveway has been so snowy and icy all winter I haven’t even felt safe doing an oil change, so I’m psyched to get my hands dirty and also save $300 on labor for an easy job.


[update] - It took me until last night (Monday; I started Saturday) to find time to finish. It was just too nice out and we went skiing on Sunday rather than being productive at all. Man, new brakes are wonderful! And they sure are pretty, too.

Out with the old:


And in with the NEW!

New brakes + summer wheels / tires back on = pretty much a new car. We’ll see how I like these ceramic pads after a while.