Van died on the side of the highway

On the way back from Phoenix the van stopped running about 50 miles north of Tucson

AAA towed it the rest of the way

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Transmission Saga

The trans fluid was very low when I picked up the van

20160503_105104We filled it and it drove well for a hundred miles or so, then a noise started

As I was working on the emissions & tune up, I ignored the other noises.. until the van lost all power

At times I could press down on the gas, and the engine would rev up, but the van wouldnt move at all..

20160511_135027With the help of friends, we determined it was simply low on fluid. So after a filter change, gasket replacement and refill, the van was running strong again, with a small leak that will still need to be addressed

Eventually I was through emissions, and had the AZ license plate. All the work on the transmission left me knowing more about , and adding it to the short list of things to repair when more funds are available


Transmission Flush & Filter Change

The transmission had a leak, and was empty when I picked it up. And although they filled it for me, it only worked well for a while as it leaked out and became low

Once it was too low, it stopped working, and it was a challenge to troubleshoot it

The mechanic listened to it and confirmed it was a transmission issue, but when I called a local transmission expert, his estimate was $1,000 to rebuilt my transmission, and a week to do it. I kept looking for options

20160511_135027A friend recommended draining the fluid, and replacing the transmission filter, and gasket. Then refilling it

After doing that, it was able to drive again, and although there is still a small drip to track down, it seems to be working well


Fixing the headlights

When I picked up the van, it had no battery


when the battery was connected, the headlights were on

I bought one to install, and when the battery was connected, the headlights were on. The dashboard lights were off and did not come on. There was no light switch, so when stopping, I had to disconnet the battery

This turned out to be a very easy fix. I bought the headlamp swtch ($25) and knob ($7) and replaced the switch, and added the missing knob.

1986-Chevrolet-G-Van 0036

New part (in the bag) replaces the old one, plugs into the grey part

After the fix, the lights worked well, as did the dimmer switch on the dashboard lights


After the fix, the lights worked well

New Battery

Bought a battery at a local shop for the van

20160504_101533It has no battery now, so when I pick it up it will need one to drive

Since it its a 1-ton van, and I plan to take it camping & fishing, I went with an 800 cold cranking amps (the largest available)

No time to shop online and wait for shipping.. and no core charge since there is none to replace..

I prob would have gone with this one if I had time to wait for shipping