1st repair on new van

this is the cutest picture from the night and the only clear one of both girls
past tense

Near the end of our big road trip the van started to make a noise. It sounded like the road was louder then it should have been and I think very gradually it got worse and worse but we were always driving so got fairly used to it plus we were on vacation so did our best to ignore it.

Once home the noise was still there and still getting worse. So Heath took the van in to the Dodge dealer in Olathe for an oil change and asked them to check it out. Everything checked out fine except for the left front wheel barrings. They were going out and making the noise. The dealership wanted about $300 to fix it. I called around to all the local auto parts stores and the part was about $150 from them but no one could order any because it was too new or something. Heath called back the dealership and discovered there was a 3 week wait on the part. So I started driving the old van and she started driving the truck. Last week I looked on the internet a bit for the part then I decided to call the dealership where we got it north of the river. They had the part in stock and sell it for $59. I headed right over and got one.

not quite as past tense

So yesterday I was driving the old van to work. I had to climb under it and jiggle the starter cable before it would start. Then I left for lunch and had to climb under and jiggle again to leave the office and again to come back. It started fine after work but the transmission feels a little funny and when going up hills it makes some grinding/clanking noises. I got worried the old van would stop running soon.


After work I headed home. I thought Heath had to work late and go to a meeting after work so I called Amanda and checked her baby sitting availability. Then I got Pumpkin and we started making dinner. I got rice cooking and started filling a pan by adding potatoes, chunks of pork, carrots, celery, green peppers, onions, zucchini and some sausage. Once the meat was cooked good I mixed a couple table spoons of hot curry powder with a couple big squirts of siracha and some milk and corn starch. Once everything was cooked good I poured in the spicy mixture and stirred it up good. It turned into a good smooth creamy sauce. At this point the curry was ready but the rice was still cooking. I got changed in to mechanic clothes and Heath came home and fed Pumpkin. Then the rice got done and we ate.

I thought it was really good but my lips were burning. Heath thought it was fire and could not taste if it was good or bad after a few bites. Pumpkin thought we were silly and gobbled up some plain rice.

We drank a lot of milk with dinner to sooth the burn and right after dinner I headed to the garage and started to get busy on the van. I was on some weird setting with the camera for a while and got some bad pictures. I got out the jack and a few other tools. Then I went to loosen the lug nuts and broke my first tool.

 IMG_2078 IMG_2077

So I got another one and got the wheel off and the car securely jacked up and got to work.

These pictures are probably pretty boring but I took out the giant nut in the middle.


Then took apart the brakes and removed them.  IMG_2085

Then I got stuck, that big shiny wheel is the rotor and the brakes and wheel hold it on but mine was stuck even after all that stuff was gone. I looked over my directions Stephen had printed off for me and there was nothing about how to get it off. I pulled and twisted and called Stephen to see if there were more directions about some secret bolt or something I was missing. He printed off some more stuff and came over. We could find no trick to getting it off and tried a few things but didn’t get anywhere. I got online and read a few things about it being ok to hit it really hard to knock it loose. Something like if you have to hit it more then 3 times you are not hitting hard enough. I didn’t want to dent or scratch the surface so I stuck a 2×4 inside a leather glove, then held it up to the rotor and hit it really hard with the hammer. A couple times on each side and it was loose.


I tried to replace a wheel barring once before on Heath’s old vue and I could not get the old hub assembly off so I was worried about the next step of removing it. I did not care about dinging up the old part so I just hit it with the hammer real hard. It came off with a few well placed blows.  IMG_2089

So now I was 1/2 way. I got a drink of water and texted Heath of my progress. Oh yeah Heath had left a little after dinner and taken Pumpkin to Amanda’s and then gone to the first PTA meeting at Peanut’s school. So now I had 2 hub assemblies. I turned them and the new one was nice and smooth and the old one was grindy and rough. It was definitely bad.


I stuck the new one on and it was really tight and hard to get into place but I deviated from the directions and attached the bolts behind it and used them to tighten it into place. I put all my bolts back on super tight.


That long cord coming off the assembly is the speed control sensor. It was an extra step to disconnect and then reattach but went really easy. I think this is what tells the car when we slide on ice and helps to give us more control. Then I put everything back together and it went really easy with no problems. In no time I was tightening the wheel back on and lowering the jack.


I grabbed a few beers and headed over to Jon and Amanda’s to get Pumpkin. The girls were playing and Jon was working on the new Magic Jack they got for the new house.  IMG_2101

I drank a beer and tried to get a picture of the 2 girls but really just took a bunch of bad pictures.  IMG_2093 IMG_2095 IMG_2097 IMG_2100 IMG_2096 IMG_2098

Heath came over and we all talked about the weekend and stuff a bit then I headed home to clean up the tools and garage a bit and then myself. The van drove great and sounded new again. Pumpkin hopped in the shower with me but was tired and fussy. Then we all got ready for bed.







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One Response to 1st repair on new van

  1. The Mrs. says:

    The repair made the van sound 1000 times better this morning! Thanks Pappy!!!

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