[insert paint-blistering expletives here]

Argh.
On my way home from work tonight - unexpectedly working late - my brakes feel a bit weird. Then I smell something. Is it my truck? Is it that
guy in front of me? Hmm. Smells like burning brakes. Please let it not be me. I notice the truck is drifting one way, and pulling a bit the other way when braking. My heart sinks. I pump the brakes a time or two hoping to "loosen" them. Next thing I know black smoke is pouring out of my driver side tire!
Dammitdammitdammitdammit! Fortunately I was at the Sunoco station, so I pulled over there, called hubbby, mechanic, and tow. Tow dispatcher says, "1/2 hour, 45 minutes". Fine. Call the boss and tell them I'll be late, 'cause I won't make hubby - who will have to drive me to work - get up at the ungodly hour I do.
An hour later I call the dispatcher, "he's not here". Dispatcher, after a pause, says in an annoyed voice, that the guy had gone to the corner of 7 and 123 rather than 7 and 193. Fine. 15 minutes they say - I know it's more, rush hour and all.
Another half hour later, I call again "still not here". Dispatcher says the guy says 5 minutes. 15 minutes later, I call back "where is he". Dispatcher has no idea; the guy has stopped answering dispatch calls. Other trucks are tied up, but he'll send a reliable guy as soon as one frees up.
TWO AND A HALF HOURS after my initial call the driver still hasn't shown up (his ass is fired, according to the dispatcher, who sounded as angry as I felt), one of the other drivers has to drop off a Mercedes at the shop down the road, and is on his way.
My radio dies. I try to start the truck. Nope, battery's dead. It had gotten dark. Blinkers had been running for a while, and I'd turned the headlights on for safety after it got dark.
By this time I'm ready to chew stone and spit sand.
Finally the new guys show up, get my truck on the flatbed, and get me over to my auto shop, which of course was closed, 'cause their closing time was about when I called initially.
And, of course, tomorrow I'm Da Boss of my office, AND I have a Really Important Interview tomorrow (looking for my first manager job within my organization). I'll be late to work, discombobulated, and I was already nervous about the interview before my truck had a seizure. I'm screwed.
Anyway, pretty sure it's the caliper(s). Brake fluid seems fine, and there's no dripping (had plenty of time to watch for it) or sprays on the block. The damn brake smoked for 5 minutes after I stopped, and smelled for close to an hour after that. I think the right one may be dragging too, I didn't see smoke but the wheel was hot.
Kenny says he should be able to fix it and get it back to me tomorrow. I sure hope so, I was planning on visiting my little horse on Saturday, since I've been on vacation out west these last two weeks.
I dunno. I love my truck, but maybe it's time for a new one...
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Nah.... have faith..... stuff like that happens... especially since you were in GB with its corrosive environment... a few repairs now and then is still cheaper than a new truck.
Mike
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Seems the CCC fairy has stuck again.<G>
Just a thought.
Given where that truck has been, if you haven't flushed/changed the brake fluid you might want to consider doing it.
This isn't really cause to dump the truck, stuff does happen.
Roy
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Suddenly, without warning, Roy exclaimed (3/26/2010 7:30 AM):

Brake fluid flush was (re) done today. Brake calipers and hoses replaced. Rotors turned, pads replaced. Only charged for the calipers and hoses (and labor), since the rotors, fluid and pads had been done just a few months ago. The tow company gave me a discount too.
Y'all are going to love this. The reason the driver never showed up? While he was telling the dispatcher he was looking for me, he went home to have a snog with his girlfriend! Yup, he's among the unemployed today. The way it was put to me, he is "Very fired".
The dispatcher is a friend of one of my mechanics, Chris, who said they were all really, really mad at the guy last night. Made me feel a bit better :) Finding out he was Very Fired made me feel even better. Guilt? Nope, he deserved it.
jmc
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Well, a feller does have his priorities, ya' know... <snark>
;^)
Mike
Yup, he's among the unemployed

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It does sound like you have a stuck caliper or maybe a flex hose. Probably be a good idea to put new rotors on when its apart cause if it got that hot the rotor is probably warped now.
On the other hand, if you had your easy-bake oven with you, you could have made us some cookies. You had plenty of time to bake a couple of dozen.. <VBG>
Denny
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Suddenly, without warning, Denny exclaimed (3/26/2010 7:35 AM):

Well, the rotors were pretty new anyway. He turned 'em, and they seem fine (I know what warped rotors feel like). I'll pay attention to them though, and have a word with Chris or Kenny if they do start to feel warped. Thanks for the advice!
jmc
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Look at the positive side. Dodge calipers are designed to stick when they go bad. This forces the owner to fix the problem rather than driving with bad brakes. All in all we lived to see another rainy day in the metro area.
beekeep
wrote:

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Suddenly, without warning, beekeep exclaimed (3/26/2010 8:08 AM):

Really? I didn't know that. Interesting. The problem was, I'm pretty sure they've been lightly sticking for some time, but whenever the shop would test them, they'd be fine - I think maybe they only started dragging once they were warm?
At any rate, all is replaced. I'm a bit poorer again, but I got new brakin' stuff, so it's All Good.
jmc
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On Thu, 25 Mar 2010 22:18:51 -0400, jmc

I hear you. Plan A: tap the brakes hard and hope to free them
Plan B: Standard operating procedure for Dodge calipers: keep a large C-clamp in the truck, jack the sucker up, remove the wheel, remove the pads, use the clamp to force the piston back inside the caliper, reassemble the whole mess, pump the brakes to extend the piston to the rotors, and drive off. Takes about 15 minutes after you've done it several times.
I got wise and replaced the calipers with brand X "remanufactured" ones, and haven't had to do that since.
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