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Bloody Brakes

The Puzzler


RAY: Hi, we're back. You're listening to Car Talk with us, Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, and we're here to discuss cars, car repair and the new Puzzler.

TOM: Yes, and...

RAY: When I said this was a "new, old Puzzler," you're going to remember it.

TOM: New, old stock. Yeah.

RAY: This was sent by a guy named John Tomasetti from somewhere out there, some dot com place, dot com. Anyway, he says this is a real-life situation, actually happened to me, etc., etc. He has a 1982 Jeep CJ7, and it had sticky front-brake calipers. So, he decided that he was going to rebuild them himself. "So," he said, "I bought the rebuilding kits for both front wheels and proceeded to rebuild the calipers myself. The rebuilding kits included all the necessary o-rings and dust boots, as well as new steel pistons to complete the job. I proceeded to rebuild both of these front calipers, feeling good that I had no spare parts left over. I was satisfied that I did the rebuild job correctly, and, in fact, that my work was flawless. However," he goes on, "when I finished the job, I couldn't seem to bleed the brakes properly. The pedal went to the floor as if there were air trapped in the system. I must have bled a gallon of brake fluid through the system to no avail, but there were no leaks. Finally, I took the Jeep to a shop, and, using their professional equipment, they bled them--to no avail."

TOM: Wow!

RAY: Finally they say, "You need a new master cylinder." They, what? Replaced the master cylinder three times to no avail. They checked the lines, they checked the rear brakes--everything in perfect condition. They gave up.

TOM: Wow! Now what? I'm awed!

RAY: After five days, three more master cylinders, and many more gallons of brake fluid, he takes the thing to the Jeep dealer. They bleed the brakes, they put in master cylinders, they do all this and, finally, someone figures it out, and it cost no money to get it fixed.

TOM: Yeah!

RAY: So, what did they do? What did this one brilliant guy notice...

TOM: Yeah, as he stood there, saying, "Hey!"

RAY: "Hey!"

TOM: "Hey, jerk!" Yeah.

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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