Yesterday I tried to flush my brake fluid. I’m pretty sure the fluid has never been changed in the 8 years and 60k miles the truck has been in existence
Result? Utter failure. I managed to turn the 4 bleeders a total of 0 degrees. I mangled two, and snapped two off completely.
After a rough week I decided I needed some DOT4 for the automotive soul. It started at 8 am, with a wire brush and pb blaster. Then I went to Walmart and auto zone, and got new bleeder valves, some plastic tubing, a turkey baster, 2 quarts of brake fluid, and some anti-seize. I got back to school, found an empty spot in a back lot, and sucked the master reservoir dry with the blaster.
After, I refilled with clear, clean DOT4. (the truck takes DOT3, but I ve been having some brake issues, and brake fluid is cheap).
Now to flush and bleed!
This is what the underside of my truck looks like, which is actually pretty good from an 8 year old plow truck in the north east. It’s all surface rust. Harmless. Mostly.
So I started with the rear passenger bleed valve. I got a new valve out, and anti sized the threads. Then I took the bottle of pb blaster and a screw driver and chipped off some of the rust around the threads, the blasted, then wire brushed, then blasted again. Because it’s a 2500hd, I don’t even need to be on a lift to have access. I was ready.
I put a 10mm wrench on... And it was completely loose. Ok, so the valve is a little worn away. I took a pair of needle nose vice grips, my favorite tool, clamped them down and turned... It slipped on the valve. When I say slipped I mean the bolt was rounding off as the dug in metal teeth destroyed the surface of the bolt by sliding off it. Ok, let’s tighten harder. Still slipped. Except now I need a second pair of vice grips to get the first off. I take a break (lmao) and go over the other valves with more blaster and brushing. Then I decided to break out (lmao) my socket set I got for Christmas.
And a hammer (lmaoh dear).
For those who don’t know, 3/8ths is 9.525 mm.
You may see where this is going.
I tap on the socket, a true interference fit. The metal is so soft and crappy it was fairly easy. Now, I put on the wrench and I can’t turn it. Luckily I just so happen (read: because I am a tool hoarder and I don’t own a shed) a length of breaker bar grade plastic tubing and a saw. I cut off an appropriate length of tubing, and begin to turn the wrench. Slowly I start to feel the rust give.
Jk, it’s actually the interference fitted socket slipping. I decided to use the tightly fitted socket to rock the valve back and forth while spraying blaster, trying to break the seal. No luck.
I go spray down the other valves. Then I wack the valve with the hammer a few times to try to loosen it up and try again with vice grips and then a smaller size socket.
I repeat this process for an hour, then decide to move on to the other wheel. Same deal except when I turn the wrench with the interference fit, the valve snaps clean off.
Front right? Also snapped off
Front left? Mangled.
And honestly, I enjoyed most of it, more then I would doing homework or some things like that. I think it’s the same reason I like going off roading. When you get stuck, It’s a physical and mental challenge. You can muscle your way out or smart your way out or some combo, and there’s a goal, and it’s possible you just gotta figure out how to do it. Sometimes you win, sometimes you fail.
Yesterday was the second.
I blame road salt and snow, and the shitty pot metal gm probably uses in the valves.
What should I do now? Is getting them drilled out too risky? New calipers?
What bolts have infuriated you?