Update 27 – Jan 12

Well 2012 is finally here although it didn’t seem to take that long really! Over the last two days I managed to get a bit of work done on the old girl, some of it very overdue. Now before I go any further I will apologise as there’s no pictures due to me doing it at work.

First up was diagnosing what the hell was going wrong with the brakes. In short I was able to drive it to and from work, but towards the end of the trip (approx 15km’s) the brakes would start sticking on and giving a really hard brake pedal. On a few situations I was having to drive ‘through’ the brakes to get it home on a hot afternoon.

I had initially diagnosed it as a piston fault. I haven’t long replaced the rotors and pads, and as such the pistons inside of the caliper are pushed further back resulting in a part of the piston that used to be out in the elements to now be back inside of the caliper. What happens over time is surface rust can start building up, and it’s enough to cause issues when you renew your brakes.

So I ripped the front right caliper off of the vehicle, and tried to ‘pop’ the pistons out with the air compressor on the bench. However the shop pressure wasn’t enough to get them out. A visual inspection showed that there was a little surface rust, but nothing major. Being that I couldn’t get the pistons out off of the vehicle, I decided to connect them back up and push them out under hydraulic pressure.

Problem was when I went to bleed the line, nothing was coming out. So working my way back through the brake line, I found that the master cylinder was working intermittently. Disconnect all three lines off of the master cylinder showed that only the rear brake line was receiving any proper pressure when the brake was pressed.

Great just what we needed after forking $600 out on the Prado a week or so ago!!!

Anyway I got lucky as a bloke here in Townsville had one on the shelf (he came highly recommended from AULRO). Cost was $220 which was pretty good for up here.

Anyway I got that fitted however I decided that whilst I had it in the workshop I may as well do the back end. So both hubs were stripped back to the axle. I made the decision the revert back to greased bearings as during the last trip I had a few problems with leaks. The oil went absolutely everywhere, as well as ripping through the paint on the rim destroying it.

So with the rear hubs totally rebuilt, I also replaced the pads and rotors in the back end as well. So in short both front and rear hubs and brakes have been rebuilt over the last month or so.

With everything good I then bled the whole brake system. I ended up putting the better part of 5 litres through it as the brake fluid was totally different to the old one, plus I didn’t want any of the old stuff left in the system due to its age.

Lastly I drained, flushed and refilled the front and rear diff as well as the transfer case. The front diff in particular has seen better days so I am glad I decided to do it whilst I had the chance.

So what’s left. Well in my drawer of goodies I still have all new bushes ready to go, as well as a rear ‘a’ frame ball joint. The wiring to the ‘mud console’ needs more work, and the headlight wiring upgrade kit needs to be fitted. Lastly I still haven’t done the bonnet cable so I figure I better do it sooner or later.

Overall though I found it a big shock to drive home today. It hasn’t felt this good in a lot of years. It is amazing what you get used to over the years and no wonder everyone else used to notice it…..


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