Our friend Don, who's a retired certified mechanic, told my husband Matt that it would be easy to fix a rear wheel cylinder on our Ford Focus. If you read my earlier post on Midweek Confessions, this would be the reason that I've been driving with only two brakes working. Anyway, Matt's pretty handy so he decided to give it a try rather than pay someone to do it.
The first road block was getting the lug nuts off of the tire. They were rusted. Matt had to use liquid wrench and a sledge hammer to finally get the lugs off. Now what would we have done if we had a flat tire on the side of the road? I guess I better stock up on liquid wrench and be sure the sledge hammer is in the trunk.
The next road block: the wheel was rusted to the drum. (My apologies if I call something by the wrong name. I'm no expert on cars or their various parts and mechanisms.) Once he pried the wheel off he had to take the drum off of the car.
The next road block: Matt didn't have the correct size socket to fit the bolt attaching the drum to the car. Luckily the Grand Prix started (It's also not working right. Read the post called Give me the Choice.) and ran so that Matt and Michael could go to Advanced Auto Parts to buy the correct size socket for the wrench. After roughly ten trips there and back and leaving the Grand Prix running in the driveway or parking lot for fear it wouldn't start again, Matt found the correct size socket for our 2004 Ford Focus.
Now I must say that usually Matt would be blowing a gasket by now and spewing what Michael and I call Daddy speak. However, he remained rather calm throughout this challenge with the Focus.
As daylight was diminishing, Matt was trying to pry the drum from the car. Yes. It's rusted too. Either that or there is something besides rust holding it in place. Either way Matt can't get inside to replace the part so that I can drive the car tomorrow. He's going to do some research online tonight to see what he needs to do.
So much for this being an easy fix. I suppose if one had the right tools to begin with it would have been easier. It's never easy. I'll keep you posted.