Cars Makes Bad Grinding Noises On the Way to Jenner

Friday April 22, 2016 Guerneville CA.

A rainy day and headed for the overlook

I could hear it raining this morning as I got it going, so what to do today. I decided to take a ride down to at least the Jenner overlook and have a look and maybe put my boat in the water if the weather was cooperating.

Strange noise

The rain started to let up a bit as I drove through Monte Rio. I noticed something in my car was sounding a little strange in the right front tire area, but I couldn’t put my finger on it, so I kept driving lessoning to it.

Grinding noise

As I approached the intersection where highway 116 from Monte Rio hits highway 1 on the coast I had reason to brake a bit. I heard something not so good. Metal grinding on metal, so I thought my disc brake pads were gone and things where grinding on the rotor which would make that kind of noise when the brakes were applied.

I decided to at least drive to Jenner where I could get some help if I needed it, so I drove on trying not to use the brakes. When I got to Jenner I decided to not stop and go and check out the overlook at the river’s mouth as long as I was here, so I did and only used the brakes at the overlook as I slowed down with the gears a lot.

At the overlook

I looked at the right front wheel and couldn’t see any metal filings or wet stuff, so things couldn’t be too bad and I would try and make it home.

So, as long as I was here, I had a look around for a bit.

I’m at the overlook, looking up the river to Penny Island.overlook


And this is what the open river’s  mouth looked like. mouth


The rain had stopped and things looked good for kayaking, but I decided I had things that needed to be taken care of that were more important, so I just looked.

There were several groups of harbor seals resting on the beach and some in the water swimming around.seals


Another group of seals.seals2


I watched these seals by haystack rock as they were fairly active moving around.seals3


And there were some seals frolicking in the water.seals4


Monte Rio Napa Parts Store

I left there and stopped at the Napa auto parts store in Monte Rio to see if they had or could get my brake stuff once I found out what I needed. They could get the stuff by tomorrow.

I said I was going home to check out what was wrong and would call them back once I knew for sure what was wrong with the car.

I was real careful and only used my brakes when I had to stop at my house and I was going real slow by then. The brakes sure made a load metal type grinding sound when applied.

Got to work on the car

I got my floor jack out and jacked the car up, pulled off the tire and checked out the brake pads. Well, those darn brake pads were in real good shape, so that wasn’t it, but what was going on?

I decided I’d have to pull the brake caliper to try and find out. While removing the bolt that holds the caliper on, I noticed the caliper moved and I hadn’t taken the bolt off yet, so I investigated further and found that the bottom bolt  for the brake caliper bracket was gone. The brake calipers bolt to this bracket.

So what was happening is when I pressed the brake pedal, the bottom of the brake caliper was swinging out and rubbing on the inside of the steel wheel that holds the tire making a horrific noise.


So now I needed a metric bolt of which I have very few in my shop.  I hunted around and didn’t find anything that would work. I looked on the old Subaru I keep in the yard for parts, but it was built different, so no good there.

I called the Napa parts place in Monte Rio to let them know I wouldn’t be needing the brake parts and asked if they had any metric bolts. He said they had some.

Back to Monte Rio for a bolt

So I fired up my old van and went to Monte Rio to find a bolt. I was thinking the bolt I lost is likely somewhere between Monte Rio and Jenner and was temped to look for it, but decided to check the Napa place first.

After some looking through all the out of order parts bins, I found a bolt that was too long but would work if I shortened it up a  bit so paid for that and went on home. I decided not to look for the old bolt along the road to Jenner, but I’ll keep an eye out for it next time I’m down that way.

I got out  my power hack saw and cut the bolt and ground the sharp edges smooth and put the car back together. A short test drive around the yard and it was good to go.

We were getting some thunder storms, which amounted to hard showers for a bit, without the thunder, so it was raining hard off and on.

Ford tractor 12 volt conversion

After a break I decided to work on my brother Tom’s old tractor that we are doing a 12 volt conversion on. I needed to make mounts to hold the new 12 volt battery in it’s box as I couldn’t get a battery the same size as the old 6 volt battery we replaced, which meant I had to fabricate some metal brackets to hold it all in.

I worked on that, stopping for a couple rain showers along the way, but got it done.

Finding the hot water tank breakers and testing the tank for leaks

I was taking a break when Tom knocks on my door and wants some help with finding the circuit breaker for a water heater he suspects may be leaking, so I grabbed my meter and a coat and checked it out.

I found the breakers and marked them and then went back to my house to get a pressure gauge he can put on the tank drain faucet to check for a water leak. Just pressure up the tank and turn the main tank water line valve off and give it some time and come back and see if the gauge pressure had dropped or not. I set him up with that and we left for the day. He’ll check that gauge later to see if the tank is  good or bad. He has a little water on the floor, but can’t determine where it might be coming from as it’s all back in a corner that is hard to get to and it might be coming from the wall?

By now it was almost dark and mostly raining by now, so I went in for the day and that was my day.

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