I’m getting ready to start construction on my 5 acre property near Riverside, CA soon. At least that’s the plan, assuming that the nice, friendly folks at the county who need to approve my permits don’t drive me insane first!
I have trucks and trailers parked all over the area where the grading will be done, and they all need to move. Unfortunately, a lot of them need some work done before they’ll be moving again!
My project for today was to begin working on my M35A2C 2.5-ton 6×6 truck, whose brake pedal presently goes to the floor with no resistance. It’s been parked there for many months with no attention, ever since I hauled my larger commo shelter over to the ranch from the house I’m renting. The commo shelter is still on its dolly set, hitched up to the truck.
I noticed fluid leaking out of the front right hub, and thought I might have a leaking brake cylinder in there. So, I started pulling everything apart to see what’s going on in there. That’s my neighbor’s house in the background of the first picture. I took the pictures after I was done working on the truck for the day, and I’ve wrapped pallet wrap around the brake assembly to keep dirt out.
Once I got in there, I found that I have a leaky axle seal which has allowed gear oil to get into the brake drum, but I don’t see any signs of brake fluid leaking out of the cylinder. The brake will need service at the very least to get that oil off the drum and shoes, and I’ll need to continue looking for the source of my brake problem. I haven’t seen any signs of brake fluid leaking elsewhere yet… I wonder where it’s all going?
Replacing the inner axle seal is a pain in the ass. The brake backing plate will still need to come off, and I will also need to do the same thing on the other side of the truck. I’ve had to replace an inner axle seal like this before, and I found that the only way I could get the old seal out was to pound it out from the opposite side of the truck with a long bar through the axle housing. In other words, there’s really no avoiding doing both sides of the axle at once. I am seriously considering just cleaning everything up, re-packing the bearings and putting it all back together to get the truck moving (somewhat) safely again, and then taking care to park it in a more level spot. The truck won’t be straying any more than 500 yards from where it now sits for a good, long time, and I just need the brakes working well enough to drag stuff around on my ranch Real Soon Now.
By the time I got the heavy brake drum into my pickup so I can bring it home and clean it up (along with the bearings and so forth), I was done for the day. Maybe I ought to hire some young kid with a strong back to do this stuff for me while I sit and drink a cold beer? This is only the beginning of a bunch of work to get stuff moved around before my construction. I’m fortunate that the helpful folks at the county are giving me some extra time to get this stuff done by dragging their feet on approving my grading permit. Grrr.
As long as I was out there and still had a few more minutes of consciousness before collapsing, I decided to take a few more pictures. My house is going to go right about where the three sea containers are, with the front porch near where the orange one is. I’ll have a nice view to the north from my porch. That smaller commo shelter goes on my HMMWV, but I have it dismounted for now to Do Some Things to that truck.