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My daily driver is a 77 Grand Prix with now 202K miles. I've had this car for 7 years and climbing into it to start my 52 mile round trip commute everyday, is like putting in an old pair of comfortable shoes or your favorite hooded sweatshirt. It is just an extension of me. I know its every nuance and creak and groan and consider those sounds "company" on my trip.

So yesterday on my ride in, I could "feel" that something was just not quite right. The car felt like it wanted to pull a bit to the left. Leaving a red light, it felt sluggish. I could also smell a faint burning smell reminiscent (sp?) of when I burnt the clutch in my dad's 75 Blazer, three-on-the-tree, while learning to drive "stick shift".

But since this car is an automatic, and there is no clutch to fry, my immediate guess was the brakes, particularly a dragging disc caliper.

Upon pulling in to my parking garage, I jumped out and felt each front wheel. The fact that the driver's front was hot enough to burn my hand while the passenger front was just pretty warm further gave evidence to my guess.

On my way home the problem persisted until I pulled the car into my home shop and jacked up the driver's front and could barely turn the wheel by hand.

Knowing a trip to the parts store was in order, I went inside and fed the boys and myself before we ventured out. We took the Hero since I didn't want to smoke the brake rotor too. We went to AutoZone because I'm currently running their Duralast semi-metallic brake pads on the front and they have a lifetime warranty. I figured at the very least the pads on that side would be worn thin and I was going to collect my 4th set of freebies since buying the first set. I average 12-15 months on a set of brake pads with trying to stop this tank in bumper to bumper downtown rush hour traffic.

As luck would have it and I shouldn't be too surprised, AutoZone didn't have the caliper in stock. I mean the car is 32 years old now, and my mom and pop Federated and Napa stores were already closed for the evening. So I ordered it and got the pads, some fluid and a few other misc. items to restock the shop shelves. The boys and I went for ice cream.

Later in the evening after the boys were asleep, I struck back out to the shop. I figured since I'm going to have to drive something else today, I might as well start tearing into the front end of the Grand Prix. I'll get as far as I can until the caliper comes in.

Pulling everything apart, the pads were paper thin on that bad side. I don't know why the little scraping sensor wasn't screeching. Luckily, the rotor was still in great shape. You gotta love those big huge OEM brake rotors from the 70s. I figured while I was at it, I might as well pull the rotors and repack the bearings.

That's when it hit me....

I HATE THAT JOB!!!! It is my least favorite car maintence job on the whole car. I'd rather change rearend gear lube, complete with the lovely smelling Ford friction addative, any day before I would want to pack wheel bearings.

So that got me to thinking... Those of you who do most or all of your own work on cars, what is your LEAST favorite job?

Post up and share with the rest of us.
 

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I vote for changing front struts on a front wheel drive car or replacing CV joint boots.
 

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I think it's going to be changing the plugs in the Super Duty 5.4.
I believe they're 2 piece plugs that tend to break when you try and remove them.
Someone on the Ford truck site said set a weekend aside to change them.
Should be fun.
 

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tranny fluid and filter

I'd have to say tranny fluid and filter. none of my vehicles ever seem to have a drain plug on the tranny pan, so you have to do the "take the bolts out and let the fluid spill out over the pan" method which takes long and always makes more of a mess despite ur best efforts to contain the mess.

then putting the fluid in is a pain, checking, pouring a little, rechecking, drive, reverse, drive , etc. etc.

and then it always seems that i always introduce a new annoying leak, despite best efforts with a new gasket and torque wrench to get it right and leak-free.

Hero, i'd rather repack the bearings then do the tranny job!
 

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installing headers or changing heater core
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hero, i'd rather repack the bearings then do the tranny job!
We'll trade then. I got the tranny pan and gasket thing down pretty good now. :icon16:
 

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The #8 cylinder spark plug on my '70. I've got a socket, swivel, and extension set aside just for that one plug, and even then, it doesn't get any easier!

I've been tempted to drill through the shock tower, and then put a plug in the hole.

I've asked older Ford mechanic's how they did it back in the day...one said he unbolted the motor mount, and jacked up the engine. Another said he never changed #8. He changed the other seven, took it out on the interstate, and just blew it out!
 

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i gotta tell you i had a flash back when you started talking about life time brake pads.my daughter is a rural route postal carrier.she has a 95 tauras that she uses to peddle mail.we have lifetime pads on that car.she goes through a set in about 6-7 months.i got it so down i know what wrench to take .it is left right in the draw near the clamp.i have 2 jacks im taking off the tire on 1 side my son in law is jacking the other side.we have 2 sets of pads going now so we have dropped off and returned a set while the other is wearing.so when pad day comes we have pads on hand.as im done with clamp it is thrown under the car for him .we make a game of it.best time is 14 minutes hub caps on.(tools everywhere LOL)
how much money you think autozone made on that sale she has been doing that job 4 years likes it and not thinking of getting rid of her tauras.
now on to the topic i hate changing oil.its not hard i just dont like it.between my wifes car my pickup my kids cars(6 of there cars) it seems all i do is change oil.i will say i created the problem by alway telling them i would do it when they were younger and poor.now i use it so they will bring the grandkids and visit.
i guess its a small price to pay but i dont have to like it.
charlie
 

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mark
thanks for writing about something else on the storyboard.i was getting sick of the same title there every time i loged on
charlie
 

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Things I hate to do in order on the daily driver/winter beater 1996 Cougar:
1. exhaust work.
2. ball joints/ tie rods/ struts.
3. Fuel pump. (I can drop the tank and change one in 15 minutes now).
4. Start or electrical system.
5. Brakes.
6. Any repair that has to be done on a January day in 10 degree weather and 12 inchs of snow!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I used to hate exhaust work too being from the great white north... but that was until I added a sawzall to the tool arsenal. :lolani:

I always liked putting the nice new clean stuff back up though.
 

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Anything requiring removal of rusty bolts!!!!

I just love trying to get to the upper shock nut on the rear shocks of a '96 Crown Vic w/ RAS (Rear Air Suspension).

Or trying to get the exhaust off the cast iron manifolds when the studs are just rust, and the nuts are so rusty that no socket will fit... I have to get after the exhaust manifold studs on the '97 F-250HD 460. The one stud rusted away to nothing, so the truck has an exhaust leak. Gotta take off the manifolds. Anybody want to tackle that job for me???

But probably the absolute worst is heater core replacement on either a Classic Cat/Mustang/Fairlane/Comet or a 79-newer Crown Vic. Gotta take the whole freaking dash apart. In contrast, on my '77 & '78 Country Squires, just two hose clamps and five sheet metal screws and it came out from the top inside the engine compartment. <10 minute job, start to finish.
 

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The smell of 40 year old axle lube just makes me want to puke. Also not a big fan of ATF. Packing bearings was one of the first things my dad let me do as a kid. He probably thought it was fun to send me in to my mom covered in axle grease... It's funny, there is just a certain feel that you get in the palm of your hand when the grease is going into the bearing just right.
 

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Personally the heater core is the worst. The brake light switch is no fun either. Its not hard to change but its location is a pain in the neck to say the least. Also the plugs on the GT-E are no walk in the park. New cars get maintained by a local shop as I do not have a good garage to do things in. Seems I went at it backwards and got the cars before having the garage for them

Chris
 

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I hate anything any more since arthrithis has set in both the wrist. But still out there in the garage, just takes me alot longer Jerry
 

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I'm like Bill in that greasing bearings is one of my first mechanical memories that elicits a tactile memory response.

I have to say that I really don't like changing tranny fluid and filter either. It's a messy job and I'm really over it so much that I take it to a quick lube place now.
 

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dropping a gas tank partially full of 20 year old gas.


changing spark plugs on any transversely mounted V-type engine in a FWD car.
 

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........ Also the plugs on the GT-E are no walk in the park..........
Chris
I feel for you. I'm so happy that I don't have that same problem. It must suck owning that car :)

I'm also glad that I don't have to work on cross boss carburetors. They are hard to get running right I've heard. I'm glad I don't have to get the 6 foot long timing chain correctly set on a 427 SOHC drag Cougar. I'm glad that I don't have to find copper cooper rings for the heads on a Boss 429. That would suck. I'd also hate to clean the dead bugs out of the two air intake tubes on a 64 T-Bolt Fairlane.
 

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Heater cores, I hate and it seems like every old car I get it needs a heater core. The worst one I did was a 71 cutlas SX. That was a pain.


Brad
 
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