Sorry for the delay and so is he! His house closing keeps getting put off and some questionable credit on the buyers end. He's soo frustrated and the realtor should have been looking at multiple buyers.
His trailer is still loaded and parked in his garage. I also have a pallet load of stuff to be shipped once he heads out. I'll definitely keep this thread updated as soon as he leaves. Thanks!
My son was fully loaded and left today (Weds, 9/25) at noon. He made it to the bottom of my long/steep drive turned around and came back. His trailer lights weren't working correctly with no parking/tail lights. Could kick myself since I checked his turn signals/hazard lights but not parking lights.
So after spending quite a bit of time troubleshooting the trailer wiring figured out it was the wiring harness U-haul installed with his new hitch. Turned out to be a bad converter box installed behind the left rear tail light which converts a 5 wire system to a 4 wire plug/trailer wiring. Had to twist a gals arm on the phone because she said he should have bought the wiring warranty but they finally covered it. Of course he wasted most the day going down the to U-haul to have them fix it.
6pm: left again for his long trek to the San Diego area via I-70 for the 1st leg.
10:30pm: Called from a roadside rest around the Indy outerbelt and he said things are going really well. But about 50 miles E. of Columbus he ran over a bunch of big semi truck retread tire pieces in the road and hit a couple huge potholes on 70 near Indy. He wasn't at all impressed with the Indiana freeway system and they even had I-70 closed down to one lane for construction. No overheating problems but luckily the weather is cooler now.
He had driven 225 miles in 4 1/2 hours but made a few stops to make sure tarps are still good/tight while getting gas. While the speed limit is 70 he's driving 60-65 and no trailer wagging. He said the new Garmin GPS my mom just gave him is great! Said he's a little disappointed he just saw a roadsign which said St Louis is another 226 miles before he starts heading SW. Duh, St. Louis is only 1/5th of the way there! Lol.
Here's a couple picture right before he left, with our other 3 Jeeps behind him, and as he's finally leaving down my drive.
Pretty sad around here with both our kids gone but good luck son!
He just called at 1:30pm ET and not the best of news. He drove all night in the hills/fog of Missouri w/o any problems except he was ticked they did away with all rest areas in Missouri.
So now he's almost to Tulsa, Oklahoma and smoke is pouring out of the back of his XJ. He had to pull over on the turnpike w/vehicles speeding by and said oil is covering everything on the bottom while burning on the exhaust. He can't tell where the leak is, oil pressure still reading real good at 60psi, and just bought a quart of oil at a gas station. Told him he best buy a couple more, do not run low on oil, even though he was griping about the $6/qt price. He also added 1/2qt of ATF and I told him he shouldn't have to add any but keep it full when hot.
He said it's almost 90 there, real hot/no shade, but his Jeep is still running below 210 which is good. Guess there's no full-service stations or anything else around where he is.
My thinking he may have blown the rear bearing seal but he couldn't tell if it was coming out of the bottom of the trans bell housing. He said it's dry around the oil filter and on top of the valve cover. Don't know if he can make it the whole rest of the distance pouring oil into it or not? Believe he's only about half way there and has those steep/winding hills in Arizona to look forward to.. Oh, boy..
~10 yrs ago a similar thing happened to a friend of mine's Chevy van after pulling our Scout Troop trailer for a couple hours. In his case, nothing actually failed - all we could ever figure was that the trans must have just gotten so hot that the fluid expanded and/or thinned out to a point it came out thru a seal or a vent or something and some got onto the exhaust. I think he flushed the fluid afterwards. I know the van lived on for many more years. Point is, it doesn't take much ATF (or oil) to make a lot smoke. Remember the temperature gauge only reads the temperature of the coolant and onlhy in one location - that doesn't mean everything is holding that temperature.
Suggest he stay off the road during the heat of the day. Fingers still crossed for him.
So I called him at 3:30, a couple hours later, and turns out it's ATF leaking instead of oil. I had just changed out his ATF with MaxLife Dex/Mercon before he left and also installed a B&M supercooler for his AW4. While I'd normally use metal/OE lines I cut both trans lines just in front of the oil pan since both of his were leaking at the OE hose crimps. But I did it right and put a slight flare on the line while double clamping the new ATF hose with one screw clamp along with a fuel injector clamp. A lot better than the 2 metal nipples coming out of the top of the trans cooler which are perfectly smooth with no ridge/flare.
The sad thing is he doesn't even have his tools with him and I'll be shipping them out on a pallet tomorrow. Maybe this will teach him a lesson if he has to take it to a shop. Of course he'll be spending the money I gave him for a going away gift to get set up out there.
The kid is tight and wouldn't doubt he'll try to limp along while adding ATF every stop. He was real hot/tired when I spoke with him and all he wanted was a shady tree to lay under but of course there are none. He was 80 miles from Oklahoma City and if he's smart it would go to a full-service gas station or shop to get that line fixed. He said he can't use his AC since it takes too much power to get up the hills. His poor Mastiff and him are having to breath the ATF smoke/fumes burning on the exhaust because I think his floor has some holes rusted in it. Fun trip. His plan is to drive in the cool of the night and get some sleep somewhere.
I had asked him the same thing about getting pulled over it's smoking so much. He said it isn't real bad coming out of the back. It doesn't sound like a real bad leak since think he's only had to put about a quart and a half in it. Still any ATF leak isn't good and warned him about running it low. I'll keep everybody posted next time he calls.
I take it that if he had the tools with him he could handle the repairs on his own. I would tell him to Google the next AutoZone in the direction of travel, spend some of that gift you gave him on a cheap toolset and whatever it takes to fix that leak. AND fix it right in the parking lot.
The terrain just gets worse down the road. Not good to run it with a quart low trans...
I'm sure he has the aptitude/know-how to fix it but the question is would he diy? I taught him mechanics when younger but he found it waay to frustrating and just doesn't have the patience. And he knows I just installed new/tight plastic inserts in the frame/body to hold the bottom rubber cover on. There's also a couple bolts/nuts in the front 2 corners. I doubt if he wants covered in atf once he drops the cover/gets into the repair where he has no place to clean up. Bet he doesn't even have any old clothes with him either. He's about a pro marathon runner so doubt if he'll do the repair himself like you or I would. After all, who doesn't take their tools with them on a long trip?
He did post on fb 6 hours ago he's in Texas, things are going real well, has driven 1,160 miles, and 1,140 more miles to go. I asked if he got the trans leak fixed but haven't seen him post anything back. Best of luck!
My kinda guy.
Good to hear things are overall going so well, thanks for the update.
I was worried you wouldn't be able to find good balance on the trailer but it sounds like you got it dialed to within spec. By now he's got a good idea how she rides and will be ready for the mountains. I think he's gonna make it!!
I'm curious though where the fluid is escaping from and would have to crawl under just to see what I could find out.
"You can set my jeep on fire and roll it down a hill,
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille."
Thanks Chris and sure appreciate the support along with getting the trailer balanced.
Just talked to him and he's in Albuquerque, NM, doing fine at 5pm their time. Said it's cold (60) and windy there while not liking the wind blowing him all over the road. You can tell the trip is wearing on him and he may sleep tonight instead of driving. 700 miles to go and guess the hills/heat are in Arizona, or maybe CA too? He is worried about the upcoming hills/heat but what can you do.
Strange his trans quit leaking fluid by itself. He said it may drip once in a while but not like it was yesterday in the heat/hills. Will the vent tube behind the converter start blowing fluid out if the tranny's too hot? Seems strange but sure am glad it stopped leaking. Will keep posting as I hear from him.
It wasn't overfilled when he left here but maybe the combination of high heat along with steep hills made it come out of the vent tube. I asked him how much ATF he's added so far and while he didn't tell me he said it's now over full. I warned him about not doing this since it will blow seals. So it may be smoking some more when he hits the heat/hills again. We'll see...