What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

brake drums

on March 31, 2014

Nimue and I used to joke that we keep our 1992 Ford Aerostar just to carry our tandem to remote ride starts. At some point the humor turned to truth. The tandemobile also hauls large or numerous objects when we need to do so. Otherwise it doesn’t see much use. A couple years ago, the rear brakes objected to the neglect; they’d rather get regular exercise. The springs wouldn’t withdraw the pads after we let up on the brake pedal. It didn’t sound good, in neither way we mean that.

Our local auto repair shop quoted quite a sum to replace springs, pads, drums, and wheel cylinders. I thought their diagnosis was correct and the price fair; they had to cost in the possibility of warranty service and potential liability. Nevertheless, I decided to save a few hundred dollars and do it myself.

Before I finished I reviewed all the reasons I don’t work on our cars much anymore: a concrete driveway is a hard, cold surface after the first hour or so; twenty-year-old fasteners long to remain fast; a dropped nut is hard to find when it’s bounced into the fallen leaves that carpet our yard. But I fumbled along and was rewarded with perfectly working brakes … and left with old brake drums.

Which, hung from a wire and struck with a mallet, make a good gong. Or which can stand in for an anvil for small metal-working projects. Having need for neither, I saved them for a friend who welcomed material he could recycle and sell for scrap at the same time. This next part is a little embarrassing—Andrew is so green that I hated to drive to his home to drop them off. I felt I should carry them by bicycle, as Andrew would. Brake drums are a bit more weighty than groceries, though, and it was an errand easy to put off till tomorrow, or next week, or the week after, especially in winter.

Then Andrew moved to Arizona for a couple years to study sustainability. I am not going to save the drums against his return. To the steel recycling bin at the landfill they shall go! And our weather’s finally turned so pleasant that I just might, in Andrew’s honor, carry them there by bike.

Slowjourner Truth wonders if this load makes his rear look fat.

Slowjourner Truth wonders if this load makes his rear look fat.

shedding style: recycle
destination: steel recycling collection point

Comments welcome … have you kept something for someone else perhaps past the point you should?


3 responses to “brake drums

  1. Yes, I have absolutely held something for someone… waaaay past the point I should… and I’m still doing it (why do you think my guest room is a never ending clutter room ;-) ) I should really stop doing so! OK, I’m going to go and shed one of those “helds” right now…

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