Driving home from flagstaff on Saturday (another post on that, once pictures are copied and corrected), me and DaNece decided to do some poking around in the back roads beyond Paulden.
For a few days before-hand the truck had been getting a little hard to shift, and I figured that it probably needed to be bled due to air or some such thing in the system.
So out in the boonies of Paulden, and I can suddenly no longer find Reverse gear....
"Hmmm.... that's weird. I could swear I knew where that gear was. There? Nope. There? Nope. There, ahhh there it is!" Which was followed by a horrendous grinding noise emanating from within the belly of the truck.
I distinctly recall that I had never heard that noise before.
Sunday consisted of troubleshooting the beast.
1. Check fluid in slave and master cylinders - Full.
2. Check transmission fluid - slightly low - Fill.
3. Check for cracks in clutch pedal bracket (had it break before) - None found.
4. Bleed the clutch, managing to get fluid FREAKING EVERYWHERE - Done.
5. Pull out the shifter to make sure that shifter seat bushing isn't mangled.
6. Call to the all-knowing god of motorized mechanics (My dad) - Done, with agreement that clutch needs replaced.
So there it was, time for a new clutch. I really can't blame the truck. The current clutch has been in there for 7 years and 130,000+ miles. It's just time for it to happen.
Today was spent getting the repairs figured out. Replacing the clutch is not something that I am comfortable doing in my dirt driveway, with a floor jack, and no help, so I've got to take it to a shop.
This normally wouldn't be a problem. I would just take it down to Independent Toyota, and Lindy would get it squared away. Sadly, when I called Lindy, the number was disconnected....
"Hmmm... that's weird. I could swear I knew what that phone number was."
So I tool down to the shop on my lunch hour and ask if Lindy is around. I am informed that, not only does he no longer work there, but indeed the shop is no longer Independent Toyota! It is now Brinkley's Automotive. So I talk to the owner (good vibes, which is always a plus and he worked for Lindy for a while so I know he knows Toyotas), he quotes me a price of $500 for parts and labor, and I tell him I will give him a call later.
I decide to get a second quote, just to make sure that I don't overpay so I go over to 'Car Care by Bob', which Sadira had recommended to me. I am then stunned into silence as I am quoted $900 for the job....
"Hmmmm.... wait, what?" $400 more than the other shop? They both use the same brand clutch (LUK), so I fail to see how it can cost that much more for the same work. They both include flywheel resurfacing, throw-out bearing, pilot bearing. I politely thank the man at Bob's shop, and leave; incredulous.
So, now I get back to work and start researching LUK clutches. The general feedback on them is iffy. Some people have good luck, some people have lots of problems. So I opt to go ahead and buy a Marlin Crawler clutch, which have been getting great reviews. I upgrade shipping (2nd day) and still comes in at $220, which is $10 less than the shops quoted price plus it's a better clutch (1200ft-lb pressure plate vs. 900ft-lb) which will be nice when offroading.
Hopefully I can get this all sorted out and fixed before leaving for California on Friday. Else it will be waiting for me after the holiday....
Thankfully, the emergency money is in place, and should be able to absorb this little problem without killing me in the process.
Ahh the joys of everyday life.