Monday, September 28, 2009

Ton Up Ride

I had a big ride on Saturday. I rode with the Ton Up guys again. I first met up in San Francisco with a couple guys and we hauled ass to Sunol for the meeting spot. From there we went to Livermore, down Mines Road to the Junction for a bbq pulled pork lunch. More twisties and we stopped off at Lick Observatory and into San Jose. I then hauled ass home up 280. All in all about 180 miles.

It was fantastic riding in warm (hot) weather. I took the jacket off, wore the 3/4" helmet, rocked the shades, and had a smile on my face the whole time. I'm glad I bought some sunscreen. I was beat when I got home. I really would like a helmet cam, it would make riding stories much more interesting.

At the Junction

Finding shade at Lick Observatory

Old Faithful

Waiting for Paul


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I brake for brakes

What a weekend. Lori is sick and I gave up Bulletproof to work on my Desoto and XS650. Well let's start with the meat of this update, the Desoto brakes. i spent all weekend cleaning, painting again.

1. New wheel cylinders. Unfortunately they're Chinese. Is this all you can get anymore? Sad.
2. New u-bolts. I upgraded from 1/2" to 5/8". I got these from a 4X4 place. They are beefy. Unfortunately this meant I had to drill out the leaf spring bracket to fit the bigger bolt. And not having a 5/8" drill bit meant 8 holes took 2 hours with various grinding bits and a Dremel.
3. New brake hoses
4. 3" lowering block. Cheap Chinese aluminum. I hope it doesn't crack. Stupid Autozone crap. The u-bolts that came with this kit were the shittiest shit that ever shat. Which is why I bought the above u-bolts.

1. Stripped a left hand thread on the drum using the puller. Now I gotta find someone to fix it.
3. The fender skirts seem to have been designed not for use with the trim. If you look, it contacts it and hangs down further than it should. I don't have a solution for this.

I still need to bleed the brakes and replace the front wheel cylinders. NEXT weekend.

Anyway, here's the pics
All pics can be found in my Desoto gallery

Fresh clean parts

New u-bolts, greased bearings

Backing plate

Assembled, and the tool I made for shoe adjusting.


Monday, September 14, 2009


It took all weekend but I managed to get the rear drums off. I tried making my own puller, that failed. The puller I needed was $200. So I rented a cheap Chinese puller for $6 from Kragen and finally got the suckers off. The right drum came off easily. The left drum fought me for 2 days.

I tightened the tool, let it sit for a while. I put heat on it. More WD-40. I had to weld a brace to it to keep it from spinning. Nothing. I took my rubber mallet and, in a fit of rage, wacked the perimeter about 100 times. Just as I was about to stop... "POP!" No better sound in the world. I got to my knees and cried a little and mumbled a prayer to the car god. Now I can go on with my life. It only took ALL WEEKEND.

I'll just cut and grind this off.

So the Desoto will be down at least a couple more weeks, and this weekend is Billetproof. Bummer. I'm getting new wheel cylinders, cleaning everything up. I won't skimp on the brakes.

I also need to make a centering tool like this to center the brake pads. These things are pains in the asses

Sunday, September 13, 2009

2 Dogs Playing

After being stressed out from the car I took Luka and Sheena to the park.


Saturday, September 12, 2009


So, I'm having problems with my rear end.

That's what she said.

Started trying to do the rear brake, and I can't even get the drums off. They need a hub puller like this:

I attempted to make my own but it bent before anythign happened.

So now I'm stuck with no brakes until i figure out a way to get these off.

I did get some 3" lowering blocks and lower the rear.

Weather is shitty today. So I just wait.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Brake work

I busted my ass and got the front brakes cleaned up this weekend. That was a quick weekend. I pretty much raced the shitty weather every day. My one real concern is the brake cylinder pistons were pretty corroded and not very smooth. I might try to get some new ones. I lowered the spring by one coil. It's definitely lower, but it could use some more. I hear they settle so I'll be patient. Next weekend is the rear and 3" lowering blocks.

Before / after. A little lower but not significant

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New toy

So I got a new toy for the garage, a media blaster. I've been wanting one forever. It's pretty small, but it works great for most smaller parts. I can't fit a fender or tank inside unfortunately. But oh well. I'll probably upgrade eventually. For $300 I got the cabinet, dust collector, air compressor, and all necessary components. I sold the air compressor for $125. So I got a real cool set up for cheap. Thanks Craigslist. It's already made welding easier. Instead of spending 5 minutes with a air wire wheel, I can throw in the piece and remove the scale. Thumbs up!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Can there be any room for a centrist at a health care reform town hall meeting