Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Truck repairs (the do it myself kind)

There’s a beautiful pile of manure and bedding at the sale barn. I’ve eyed it with great longing and hope to bring much of it home. I stopped by this morning to talk to the guy in charge to see if he’ll be in tomorrow. Nope, he won’t. He’s the one driving the skid loader who loads my truck. Unless, I come up with another option, I’ll have to wait until Friday to haul. I would haul my “new” Bobcat down there and use it to load, but I’m not sure I trust it well enough yet. I’ve still got to make a few more adjustments.

Yesterday, I tried out a couple different methods of unloading my trailer, hoping to be able to haul more at a time without adding a lot of extra time or effort to the process. I think I’ve got a pretty good method for unloading the trailer which I’ll share in another post soon. With the truck and trailer, I ought to be able to haul four or five tons of material per trip.

This afternoon as I was adjusting the rear brakes on my truck, I noticed that the passenger side wheel had some movement it shouldn’t have. I figured bearings. Even if it was only the nut having loosened, I thought it best to put new bearings in that wheel. I had noticed a vibration when driving the truck at highway speed and had changed the rear U-joint last week. That helped but didn’t solve the problem. Probably was the bearings. Thankfully, the local auto parts place had the bearings in stock. So, after a quick trip to town, I was ready to change the wheel bearings.

Only there was a problem. I didn’t have a wrench or socket to fit the nut that holds the wheel on. I thought that the tool I had for doing the front wheels, which I did a few months ago, would fit. Nope, I was wrong. These nuts actually take a 2-9/16” (or thereabouts) socket. The auto parts place didn’t have one (I called – they don’t stock it). What to do? Get creative.

Homemade tool for wheel nutsI quickly discerned that a screw driver and hammer wouldn’t work. Scrounging around in the garage, I found part of an old driveshaft, what remained after a previous project (I don’t Using the homemade tool with a pipe wrenchremember exactly what right now). It happened to be about the right diameter, and after a couple minutes with the bench grinder and a few hammer blows, I had a socket to fit the wheel nuts. A large pipe wrench worked for turning loosening and tightening.

So, the project was completed. It’s probably best to have this done before hauling more material. The extra weight puts more wear and tear and strain on the the truck and specifically the wheel Old bearing racebearings. The bearings weren’t completely worn out, but some pitting on the bearing races was visible (the bearings fit sit inside the races).

I’m not a mechanic by trade. There’s a lot about vehicles that I don’t understand. Usually, if I can see how a thing goes together and works and if I can look up some directions online, I can do it. This was a straight forward project, much easier than changing the front wheel bearings and axle U-joints which I did a few months ago. That project took about three days. Earlier this week, I put in new spark plugs and wires and new vacuum hoses. That was simple.

Oh, on a different note, Regina received the maple syrup fine and enjoyed it on some fresh biscuits! She said, “It is yummy!”


small farm girl

The older trucks and cars were easier to work on. Now a days you have to have a degree in computers just to raise the hood.


That's about right, sfg! I wish they weren't so complicated nowadays, but that's 'progress' for you.

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