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Transmission Woes and the Dark Underside of the Truck

August 5th, 2009

Got the truck back from SHA – they totally hooked me up.  Anyone who lives in the Knoxville area who owns an import (what they mainly work on) and needs a good mechanic should look them up.

They led me over to the alignment shop who got my wheels straight.  Pete’s Alignment – nice people.  All said and done the total front end work, including parts, labor, and the alignment was $280.  A far cry from the $800 Firestone quoted me.

I had forgotten my Garmin, so while the alignment place was working on the truck, I was getting directions to the office.  When I left, I followed the directions I had found and hit the interstate.  That is when I ran into an issue.  The truck kept deciding it wanted to be in a lower gear.  I’d be rolling along at highway speeds and suddenly it would shift down and the RPMS would shoot to 3k.  So I’d have to slow down or risk blowing the tranny.  After some experimentation, I figured out that if I let teh speed drop to 45 and kept it at 2k RPM, it would shift up.  Then it would hold the higher gear for a bit – followed by another swift and scary downshift.

James diagnosed it as a vacuum issue (he’s had something similar happen before) so I replaced the rubber components of that vacuum line and the vacuum modulator.  It started and moved up the driveway fine, but I have to take it out for a spin to be sure if that has it fixed.  In the process, I discovered that the screw that holds the modulator in had been over torqued like crazy and the hole was stripped (it is part of the housing).  Fantastic.

But there were more interesting finds under there!  Ha ha!  😐

First of all, I knew it leaked oil – I just didn’t know it was THIS much oil.  The oil was full when I got the truck home – it now has about a 1/4 quart.  Also, it leaks ATF like crazy.  I should mention here that a rebuilt transmission would set me back $2k.  Not something I want to do right now.  Hopefully it can kick along till I get this bodywork done.  Or I guess I could rebuild it myself…  No.

Anyway – other fun stuff underneath: there is a weird bit of sheet metal all twisted under there.  Not sure what it is for.  The ebrake cable looks like it was hung with coat hanger – but that could be stock.  The speedo cable is leaking really badly.  In fact, it seems like many of the things done to this truck in the past were done incorrectly.

Well, I’ll find out more tomorrow.

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