Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Eastward, Ho! Day 3: Van Gogh and a Grasshopper

This morning's sunrise wasn't too bad:

 I spent the first part of the morning dismounting the rear wheels on the Sammy to check on the brake material on the brake shoes.  You see, I'd been careless and had driven the VRRV while towing the Sammy with its parking brake on!  Dammit.

I had re-adjusted the parking brake back to tight but then had found the brake pedal quite "spongy" and having to be pushed down way lower than normal before it would start slowing down the truck!

Since I'd screwed up with the parking brake, I thought perhaps I'd caused the braking material on the brake shoes to be worn off.  That didn't turn out to be the case.

Here's a pic of the left rear wheel hub, before I cleaned it up with brake cleaner spray, plenty of material remains on the shoes:

Same thing with the right side wheel hub:

The Haynes manual also said to check beneath the rubber end caps on the silver colored brake cylinder in the hub, for leaks.  None were evident on either side.

So, plenty of material remaining, next step was to try bleeding the rear brake circuits.  

Around 10AM, Martha and I drove the Sammy over to the nearest town: Goodland.  I picked up supplies to bleed the brakes, and Martha picked up supplies at the Walmart.  Lunch was at a "Steak and Shake" fast food establishment, it was pretty decent I suppose.

But first, a visit to two tourist traps:

The world's largest Van Gogh painting, created at the behest of the Goodland Rotary Club apparently:

A few miles away, the second tourist trap was "The World's Largest Grasshopper":

After lunch, we drove back to the campsite and I prepared to bleed the brakes with Martha's assistance.  The hardest part was breaking loose the rusted up brake bleed valves!  I'll be ordering speedbleeder replacements and replace them all when I return home.

Finally got both rear bleed valves broken loose, after much cursing, and with Martha pumping the brake pedal on command, I bled both circuits.  The fluid in the reservoir was nasty and dark, now it's looking like apple juice.  

Once done, the brake pedal action was "mo better"!  So it was air in the brake circuit, how it got in there I'm not sure.  Was it related to me towing the Sammy for almost 200 miles with the parking brake on?  I don't know.  Any guesses or theories are welcome in the comments!

The rest of the afternoon was spent resting up from the morning's activities and repairs.  We'll be displacing tomorrow to a Harvest Host camp site.


Brook Reams said...

I suspect water that was entrained in the old fluid boiled out of solution due to the hot brakes creating some pockets of vapor in the lines. Just a dumb guess on my part.

SonjaM said...

The oversized van Gogh painting is funny. But I like the John-Deere branded grasshopper more.

RichardM said...

The parking brake on would heat up the fluid in the brake cylinders and possibly vaporizing any moisture in the brake fluid. Brake fluid is hygroscopic which means it absorbs water. This is one reason for regular fluid changes. Keep posting pictures of you adventures east!

redlegsrides said...

So the water being boiled off would have basically lessened the capabilities of the brake fluid in the rear circuits?

redlegsrides said...

SonjaM, they were both roadsideamerica type of attractions....whatev6works to draw in tourists eh?

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Brook, that helps explain what happened. Now debating whether I should bleed the front circuits too.... Though the brake pedal action is back to what I remember as normal.