Thursday, September 26, 2013

Making the Wheels "Turn, Turn, Turn"

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven,” but you don’t have to be a Bible scholar or a fan of The Byrds to know that getting the Eagle’s engine running was a time to celebrate. It was an important practical and symbolic step in what is sure to be a lengthy journey. But now it’s serious times. The euphoria of hearing that old straight-six cough, then scream, then roar for the first time in ages, has passed, and now we gotz to get down to bid-niss once again.

Everything between the engine and the wheels is still an open question. Over the last few days I raised the car on jackstands so that the wheels could spin freely (not an easy feat, considering the high ground clearance) and performed the factory-prescribed transmission diagnostic procedure. Outcome: regardless of what gear the transmission is in, the engine and wheels both seem unaware of its presence. 
broken transmission? That's jacked up, yo!

I hoped that this was because the transmission fluid was a little low, so I added enough to get it to the Full line on the dipstick. Put it into gear again and… nothing. Not only that, the new fluid was all that showed up on the dipstick, meaning that it wasn’t circulating in the transmission. No bueno.

Yes, I knew that the car was immobile when I picked it up, but you always hold out hope that the easy solution works first. And I have one more easy solution to try. If the transfer case is in what’s known as a “false neutral” position, this might, MIGHT, explain the problem. Fixing it is a matter of turning one wrench in the short term and replacing 2 vacuum hoses in the long term.

In the (likely) event that that doesn’t work, I’ll have to accept the verdict of the small-town mechanic who has already said: complete transmission rebuild. On the bright side, this means many more pictures and entries for your viewing and reading enjoyment, probably for many weeks to come. It's an exacting and tedious process, with sensitive tolerances, and if you fail to put just one part back in the right place, you could easily have serious problems.
... is pretty much what I'm trying to say.

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