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Brakes... Why did it have to be Brakes...

My friend is trying to convince me to do the brakes on his Mazda Protege 5 so he can save a couple bucks. I just got finished with rebuilding the braking system on my e36 and I politely told him "There is no god damn way. I hate brakes more than anything else on a car"

To which he replied, in his best Indiana Jones voice (we'd just watched Last Crusade a few days prior) "Brakes... Why did it have to be Brakes..."

If you laughed at that, I thank you for your pity. No pics in this update, its all mostly boring crap and aggravating mistakes anyways, and those aren't fun to photograph for obvious reasons...

So on Sunday I decided to start dumping fluids into (and, subsequently, out of) the car. First up was, of course, brakes.

Problem #1: Upon filling the system up, it leaked in about 9 different connections. Turns out I hadn't gone through and snugged everything up. So I went through wheel by wheel and connection by connection and did just that.

Problem #2: After pumping a bazillion times, I couldn't get fluid to the rear cylinders. Ended up having to buy a one-way bulb pump and sucked the fluid through the lines.

Problem #3: First two rounds of pumping did absolutely nothing. Searching the FAQ showed that my rear drums were not adjusted correctly, letting the pads move in and out without building any pressure in the system. So I had to break loose the big 17mm nuts on the backing plates and adjust the shoes.

Problem #4: Front Girling calipers turned out to be on the wrong sides of the car. Had to block off the lines (with fluid going everywhere) and swap while trying to keep brake fluid from eating my front subframe. Lost some paint on the steering arms, which sucks, but nothing too awful.

After that... hey! We have pedal! Only thing is now I'm getting a drag in the pedal when its released - it won't spring back and feels like something is scraping in there. I rebuilt the master and it moves smoothly, so I don't know if its my booster thats just been sitting too long or what. Pedalbox is rebuilt with all new busings, but I did use the old bolt. Anyone think that could be the issue?

Coolant went in fine - no leaks - but I'll know better about that once the system gets some pressure in it. Hopefully my homebrew bypass pipe hold tight.

Oil went in... and then promptly all over the floor because the machine shop left out the front-most exhaust stud on the head that blocks that oil passage. There's a bolt there until the correct part arrives.

Transmission and diff oil went in without much drama, thankfully. My battery is now alive again thanks to a replacement charger (old one was dead.) Still need to safety-wire the front struts before I drop it back to the ground, but I need to find safety wire first...

Driveshaft is in but I think the diff is pushed too far forward causing a kink in the driveshaft and misalignment. Needs to be moved back probably 8mm or so to be perfect. No sense in getting that wrong while its still up in the air, but its gonna be a bitch to crack those torqued bolts loose while I'm laying on my back...

Center console is ready for vinyl. I painted all the panels with primer, then topcoated in gloss black to protect the wood and prevent any water warping down the road. Also, this way, if there's anything exposed it won't show up as glaring tan color against the black vinyl.

Man, I'm really getting tired of working on this thing...