Melbourne

Friday 23rd December.

Well, the transmission has been replaced and I am now hoping that I made the right decision. Since talking to them last week I have been seriously pondering whether or not to actually replace it or just repair it. When I dropped off the car I explained my plight to them and they suggested that they would have a look at it first, before removing it and give me a call with the results. It turns out that they took the car for a test drive and were not happy with any of the gear changes so, even though there were no visible signs of metal in the magnets in the pan, I told them to change it over.

I have requested, and I am hopeful that it will be forthcoming, a report on the condition of the box when they dismantle it for rebuilding. They said they would label the box accordingly so the worker will note it and follow through with my request. One way or the other it will be handy to find out what actual condition the old transmission was for future reference.

They also did a couple of other jobs for me while they had the car, such as replace the rear main engine seal, and the welsh plug on the rear of the block. It turns out that with Ford the transmission has to come out anyway to replace the rear main seal so this has possibly saved me quite an expense to have it done later.

The welsh plug wasn’t in real bad state either, so I won’t worry too much about the others for a while.

Xmas is just about upon us and we are now starting to feel the pre-season panic that usually comes with this time of year.

Wednesday 28th December.

Well Xmas is over for another year. It was a nice change though to have a reasonably quiet Xmas with Nelle and Matt and his family, and not have a heap of people, and kids, there.

Otherwise things have been rather quiet, apart from spending Xmas with Nelle, nothing else has been happening so we have just been relaxing around home, (the van). Hopefully soon the Xmas shopping rush will be over and shopping trips will be back to normal instead of the panic rush as things are at the moment.

Melbourne

Monday 19th December.

It seems we can’t get away from expenses: I decided to have the Transmission checked out after finding a Ford specialist transmission workshop, so went in and had a discussion with them. It seems the main problem I am having is when the transmission warms up the changes are a bit too sudden. This is apparently caused by a solenoid that creates oil pressure needed for gear changes, but after having a discussion with them about the amount of work the car has done they convinced me to have a complete transmission change, a new one that is. It seems that they were surprised to here of the amount of work pulling the caravan that the car has done without the transmission showing some kind of sign of failure. Hence the suggested that if they were to replace the solenoid there would be no guarantee of how long the box would last without something else failing. My decision has been to have the whole thing replaced, but with the condition that when they dismantle mine they must provide me with a detailed report of what condition it is actually in. This way I think I can justify the extra expense by finding out what actual condition it is in, and we can them happily continue travelling knowing the transmission is new. The report will also help in making whatever decision the next time similar to this happens.

I have also been considering replacing the tail lights on the caravan. I have noticed a fair few semi-trailers lately have LED tail lights fitted and considered that if I could find where to buy them, I could have a good look at them and get a price. I did find where to buy them and found a set that would ideally suit the van, and have found from looking at and getting information about them, that these light would have every advantage over the ones now fitted, and only the one disadvantage: The cost. The lights in question are about the same size as the present ones, would be a lot brighter as voltage drop would not be a factor because they draw much less current, they are completely sealed so no water could possibly get into them making them completely maintenance free, they come with a plastic mounting frame and would be easily mounted and have plenty of room within for wiring runs, and the lenses come complete light, just clip into the plastic frame making them easily removed for installation and whatever maintenance resulting in never needing to undo and redo any screws into the caravan shell and striping the holes. The only disadvantage is the nearly $400.00 purchase price for something to replace a lighting system that now works properly, but needing some maintenance. Given the expense I will have replacing the transmission I have decided to leave the light upgrade until sometime later.

The place to purchase the lights is a truck auto electrician shop at truck city, an area where one can buy anything for trucks, on the Hume highway just north of the Ford factory. The actual details are: (CTE) Campbellfield Truck Electrics Ph: 03 9305 3300 7/1745 Hume highway (western side opposite northbourne rd) Campbellfield, Victoria 3061. If one needed centre mount brake lights, they have LED ones there as well.

Melbourne

Thursday 15th December.

Yet another week has passed and one wonders where the time goes, especially when one doesn’t seem to accomplish a great deal.

Asking Linda what we have done over the last week and we are both at a loss to how we have actually filled in our time. We did finally make our Xmas calendars and cards, and post them off.

We also went for a drive yesterday down to the coast on Hastings and Flinders side of the Peninsula. Our main reason for doing so, apart from a sightseeing trip, was to see if we could find some cuttle-fish for Piper, but if that were to be the only reason it was an expensive trip as we did not find any. I really don’t think that area is one for finding them, and as far as sight-seeing, we decided that we have actually been down there before and there was still nothing astonishing to see this time either.

I also have spent a bit of time the past few days working on rewiring the audio and video cabling between the STB, VCR, TV and stereo via a switching unit. Some of this wiring was wired via a switch, but it has been playing up lately and needed replacing. So I have now redone it and it now incorporates the STB and a few other situations that will arise later in our travels. In particular when we are camping out, so apart from the aerial cabling everything else is now via the switches.

Melbourne

Saturday 3rd December.

The past week, or nearly, has been a rather quiet one being on my own. I have managed to achieve a few things around the van and generally keep myself busy. I went out to Nelle and Matt’s for tea yesterday and it turned out to be a late night as we watched a movie after a latish tea, but no drama.

Wednesday 7th December.

Linda is back from Tassie and as usual she is suffering from lack of sleep, this always happens on her trips home.

More problems with oil pressure in the car, or at least hopefully, pressure reading. The gauge today decided to read zero, as in no pressure at all, so we are now very suspicious of the pressure sensor. I acquired a mechanics details from Barry Markby and although he was too busy to fit me in for a few weeks, he was only too prepared to discuss my problem, and assured me that Kmart Auto Services should be competent enough to do the job. We are booked in on Friday so we will see what happens from there.

Friday 9th December.

A stroke of luck today as I took the car for a service: The oil pressure sensor failed in a big way and was spraying oil everywhere when I pulled up at the servo. This at least answered my questions about its condition. It was replaced and now the pressure readings are thankfully up to a level very close to when I bought the car, a very good sign considering the work the car has done since then. Coolant was also replaced and at a cost of nearly $80.00 I think I will be doing it myself from now on.

I have now decided that the gas mechanic back home will get the big flick from now on, if he hadn’t quoted something in the order of $200.00 to check and possibly replace the sensor, I would have done the replacement way back then. The actual cost to have the job done today was just a little over $100.00.