My POS AMC Eagle

For those of you that don't know it, I drive a 1984 AMC 4x4 Eagle Station Wagon with 198,180 miles on it. It's a damn sheet metal tank. My poor eagle needed some brake work. I spent some $1000+ dollars. Read on for the gore.

It started when my brakes almost bottomed out and started "sliding." I'd get to a light and hold the brakes, but the pressure would slowly fade away. Leak in the line right? Well I took it to Meineke, and they wanted $800 dollars to replace pads, rotors, and shoes claiming that the rear cylinder would quit leaking once it wasn't over extending (because of low pads on the rear shoes). Well I'm a po' college boy without that money. So I bought the parts for $290 and spent 6 hours putting them on. Pain and suffering for sure.

After the parts were on I had marvelous brakes, but they still lost pressure. This hadn't fixed my leak. But I was broke so I drove very carefully for a month. It was like a lesson in ballistics and defensive driving, because I couldn't stop quickly so I had to look way ahead.

Well I went back to Meineke and had them look for leaks. They said it was the rear wheel cyclinder (Duh? was it the fluid that tipped you off?). But they said the master cylinder was fine. They wanted $480 to fix it. Did I mention Meineke has 550% markup on parts?

So, I did the right rear cylinder myself. But that still didn't fix the problem.

Finally, I took it to Midas (only 300% markup). Loa and behold. The master cylinder was shot, the left rear wheel cylinder was bad, and I put the shoes on backwards on one wheel. Plus, the front brake lines had the inner lining worn. Basically, because of liability, they wouldn't do any work unless I hade them fix the lines and master cylinder. I had them to the work to the tune of $617. Thank god for the PFD tomorrow.

In my estimation I'm still doing ok. A new car with a $300/mo car payment would cost me $3600 annually. If I can expend less than that in repairs on my piece of shit, then I think I'm doing all right. Granted a newer car would use less gas (hypothetically), but I'm still spending about $2000 dollars a year less. I'm sure that accounts for any gas my beast guzzles. Plus, this thing is an alaskan winter tank that takes me to all the XC ski spots no matter how much snow!

But now my brakes work so good I can stop world hunger. And I'm looking forward to a long winter of skiing in my 4x4 sheet metal tank.