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.