last Friday when Mary I were heading out for our day trip to Orcas Island. As I backed the Bronco back out of our camping spot at Thousand Trails in Bow, Washington…there were…these two wet spots on the ground…Hmmmmm…
They were obviously fresh and must have come from my Ford Bronco II…that I tow behind the motorhome. The Bronco does not leak any fluids I thought to myself…what could be causing them? I had just had the oil changed at Jiffy Lube a couple of days ago…that must have something to do with it. Crawling underneath the vehicle I discovered that the oil pan drain plug was loose…they had not snugged it up with a wrench. Okay…fortunately I caught it…got out a wrench and snugged it up. Let’s get on with our day.
Later that afternoon we…in the Bronco…climbed Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island…five miles to an elevation of 2,409 feet. Exiting the Bronco I saw a wet trail on the asphalt…leading to under the Bronco. Looking underneath…I saw a fluid liberally leaking out on to the ground. Not a good situation! Further investigation revealed it was not oil…but transmission fluid! I checked the transmission fluid dipstick…nothing! Fortunately I had about 3/4’s of a quart of high-mileage transmission stop-leak left over from my old 1984 Ford Bronco II. Since I had no choice…down the mountain we went. About 15 mile later we came to a small town where I bought a quart of transmission fluid. Put in about 1/2 quart and managed to get us back to our motorhome…a distance of about 40 driving miles. Further evaluation indicates the front seal of the automatic transmission is tired and the guilty party. Online I manged to find out the average mileage for this occurrence is 127,224 miles…the odometer on my Bronco is 128,122…less than 1,000 miles above the average. Interesting.
So…what this story is finally getting to is that…it appears the transmission needs repairing. Yesterday we had planned to cross the Cascade Mountains and spend some time in the area around Leavenworth…a Bavarian-like town…and as such…kind of out in the toolies. Instead I’ve elected to stay in the more-populated western Cascade area where repair facilities are more available. So instead…we’ve to stay another week here.
I’ve placed a call to my friend/mechanic Mike in Monroe about 60 miles distant and he’s supposed to call me back soon to let me know if he can find the time to do the job. If not…I know a good transmission shop in Burlington that did work on my old 1984 Bronco…only about 10 miles from here.
All vehicles are basically mechanical/electrical devices and periodically need attention. Fortunately it’s something that a little time and money can easily fix. Better that it happened in this area than in the toolies!
All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
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