Monday, January 5, 2009 - Brantley Lake State Park, Carlsbad NM
Where am I?
My dear readers must be wondering what has become of me, especially since their last word from me was from the parking lot at Charlie's Transmission in Carlsbad NM where I sat out the weekend, stranded with a serious transmission leak, waiting for the shop to open today.
Charlie ministers to the transmission.
Charlie, and his lovely wife Linda, showed up bright and early this morning, listened to my tale of woe, reassured me that I hadn't overheated the transmission climbing the mountain up to Guadalupe Mountains National Park, surmised that the front seal was blown and that it was an older style seal that is prone to failure and quickly dropped the tranny and confirmed his diagnosis.
For the most part. It turns out the pump bushing just aft of the seal had "walked" forward and distorted the seal causing the leak. The seal itself was probably still ok - even though it was an obsolete style it was fairly new - the torque converter had been replaced about 20,000 miles back by a previous owner of the rig.
Charlie says the "walking bushing" is a fairly common problem with these E4OD transmissions caused by a design flaw. The design incorporates a little tab and notch that keeps the bushing from walking aft into the pump (where it can't go anyway) but nothing to keep it from walking forward into the seal. Dumb. Charlie's fix is to carve a couple little notches in the pump housing and then stake the bushing into his notches so it can't move.
I've had some anxiety about the condition of this transmission, especially in light of the internet talk about the inherent design flaws and weaknesses (but not about the walking bushing interestingly enough) and its tendency to overheat. Several modifications are recommended, first and foremost being an aftermarket oil cooler and a temperature gage so one can carefully monitor the transmission temperature. Heat kills automatics. Charlie was able to reassure me that they are not all that fragile and that this tranny is in fine shape and good to go many many thousands of miles. He says the torque converter that was installed 20,000 miles back is a highly regarded heavy duty unit, the oil pan and magnet had no accumulation of debris, and there is no sign of overheating. It looks just fine.
Charlie thought I was over-reacting but I really wanted him to install an aftermarket oil cooler while we were at it and finally he agreed to put one on. But when he looked around he found a top of the line cooler already in place.
Internet access and getting this page posted
I've moved on to Oliver Lee State Park south of Alamogordo to get internet access to post these last few days pages but alas something has changed in the past year and access is intermittent at best. I'll have more on that story in the following days pages.
- Verizon cell phone service - Access is via Extended Network, roaming
- No Verizon EVDO service - access is via the Extended Network and service varies with many drop-outs.
- See a list of the nights I've camped at Brantley Lake State Park
- Locate Brantley Lake State Park on my Night Camps map
- Go to Brantley Lake State Park website
- Locate services on my Resources map
- Check the weather here