Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Luck was with me!! Truck Maintenance April 16, 2013

I have been lucky with problems with the truck, they have been few and far between and when there was an issue I have been fortunate that it has happened in a convenient location.

Yesterday's and Today's discoveries proved I had good fortune on my side!

Monday April 15th

I have been having a growling sound at around 40-50 MPH in the front end, sounded like a wheel bearing on the drivers side, so my goal was to check it here in Montana where I have a great friend who is a great mechanic with a shop and all the needed tools! So yesterday we went for a test drive and both agreed that it sounded like a wheel bearing, although we could not agree on which side and my buddy Jim even considered it may be a rear bearing. Well we pulled the right wheel, dropped the brake caliper and the hub spun freely. So we put the truck on jack stands and pulled the left wheel and brake and sure enough we had a noisy hub and bearing. We also took note that the shock absorber had broken the top bolt and during it's demise had worn a large slot in the mounting hole. So now we figured the broken shock probably contributed to the bad wheel bearing. So parts ordered, hub and bearing and two new front shocks. We both felt confident we had found the problem and would quickly remedy the situation when the new parts arrived in the morning.

Tuesday April 16th - Pat's Birthday! Happy Birthday Pat Millhoff!

Of to the parts store first thing, everything we ordered was in and back to the shop we went. Installed the new shock on the left ((Drivers) side first since that was all that needed to be done on that side. Moved to the right side and while checking to make sure the new hub and bearing would fit, we discovered the bottom ball joint was toast, like destroyed toast! Like disintegrated toast! Upper was still in one piece but pretty loose, so called around town and found a new lower ball joint and an upper control arm and ball joint. More money and another trip to the parts store.

Back to the shop and started the assembly it was turning into a bigger job. But never fear we were not through breaking things. Control arm and upper ball joint went in easy, getting the bottom one pressed into the control arm was a little more difficult, but it went in. New hub and bearing was a piece of cake, slid right in. Now nothing left but the shock. Went to put the lower mount on and the mounting flange broke right off! Grind it clean, drag out the welder and welded it back in place, needed the welder out anyway to fix the upper mounting hole which had a 3/4 inch slot cut in from the old shock. Found the perfect washer to weld over the hole and we were ready to finish assembly.

Here is the old lower ball joint and the new one, note the new one is in one piece where the other on is in multiple pieces!

Here is the whole mess!

My great friend Jim Flinchbaugh hard at work!

Almost complete the hub and bearing is installed, rotated the tires while we had it off the ground.

Thank Goodness for great friends who have a whole workshop and the tools to get a job like this done!

We have both determined that I was one good chuckhole and maybe 20 miles away from having the passenger side front wheel break loose and fold under the car, destroying the whole front end and possible ending up in a ditch somewhere with the trailer and truck on it's side! Someone was watching out for me for sure....

Delaying my trip North to Alaska by about 5 or 6 days to hopefully get to some warmer weather up there! News and updates on the blog when I leave next week sometime. Plan to arrive there on the 4th or 5th of May instead of the 1st! I hope Spring HAS Sprung by then!!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

1 comment:

  1. Nice blogging....
    thanks for sharing...
    And birthday to you great friend, Happy Birthday Pat Millhoff!!

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