Ok, so it isn't officially Day 1 as she is in DC for training this week.
On the way to drop her at the airport I started hearing a thumping noise from the front corner of the van. When we pulled up at the curb i looked at the wheel only to discover I was missing a lug nut and stud. I figured I could fix it when I got back home. The snow pants shopping trip we planned for the afternoon was on hold.
I figured as long as I had the Van wheel apart I might as well replace all 5 of them. I called AutoZone and O’Rileys auto parts. The only store with 5 lugs was 15 miles away and the snow was still coming down pretty hard. So I got in the car and headed out. Got there ok and picked up my parts.
On the way home I spun out (going 25 I might add) and smacked a guard rail butt first. I am ok, but I am now backwards. A nice person slowed down so I could turn and pull out. That is when I figured out I had a flat. I pulled over in a park driveway. I got out to assess damage and check out the tire. I had some scrapes on the bumper and a quarter size hole in the sidewall of the tire. Surprisingly, and happily, little damage, but bad timing. I put the spare on but it was soft, so I crept come for the last 7 miles or so. When I pulled in the garage the rear tire was flat and it would not hold air.
So I got to work on the Van. The brakes on the van are more complex than the last van and took a bit of time to take apart. It was a learning curve the whole way. As I started to disassemble them the kids were yelling at me that the basement toilet wouldn’t stop running. So greasy hands and all I went and fixed that. As I took more of the wheel assembly apart it became apparent that getting the stud seated was going to be a trick. I am comfortable with repairs but I have never done this before so I did not have the tools necessary. In the end I was able to MacGyver together the tools to get the job done. It took two hours and a lot of grunting and swearing just to replace one stud. I opted to just swap out the broken one as 5 would have killed me.
Tomorrow should prove interesting.