thewanderlustking Posted January 2, 2022 Share Posted January 2, 2022 It's been a little over two years now since I got my Mini Cruiser. The initial pre-purchase test drive went well. Parked it, paid for it, and it wouldn't restart. It got towed home. Since then it has had a lot of adventures attempting to leave my driveway. Starting with the transmission not going into reverse so I could back it out. I have wrenched for 25yrs now, and in that time developed an allergy to ATF fluid. Especially old fluid will cause me to blister and break out in hives. I have grown to HATE any transmission related work. So in my first few weeks of ownership I ended up changing the trans filter and dropping the pan several times and essentially doing 3-4 flushes in my driveway. I got reverse back, but I had to really rev it up to get it to start going. A few short drives around my neighbor hood and each time it got better. But it sat for ages since the lights were, mostly not there... In reverse it would have a shudder, but it would go. I bought manuals on tearing down the transmission, but it loomed over my head. I would rather pay the $1500 to replace it and bribe one of my coworkers to do it, then do it myself. I have a valve body sourced and sitting in my cart until finally somebody else must have bought it. We knew transmission replacement was probably going to need to happen. And nobody wanted to buy it with the transmission messed up. We took it for a decent test drive with a potential buyer, and it was god awful slow. The transmission scared her away. I got to keep the evil beast, and was really starting to like it. But tonight, all was finally well with the world. Lights all installed, fluids checked, and generally a good bill of health. So I loaded up the spare, some tools and went for my third test drive, but the first actual shakedown. Man had I forgotten how SLOW it was... And at the gas station it was shuddering BAD in reverse, once the trans fluid was hot. I drove it around a little more, pondering the need to sort out the need to check timing and try to figure out why it was falling so flat. The transmission was shuddering REALLY badly when I backed it into the driveway. But I was home. Turned the truck off, and then it hit me. The smell. The first whip was of hot ATF fluid. Then burning clutch, but wait I have an automatic. Then it slowly started to seep in. I was smelling the brakes. Huh, I wonder . And sure enough, the rear drums were smoking hot... Gee, I wonder if partially locked up rear drums would cause the truck to be a wee bit slow, and shudder in reverse?! Oh well. My next least favorite job is doing rear drum dually brakes on the ground. But $200 in rear brake parts and not $1500+ for a transmission is something I can live with. And tell that Murphy fellow I am replacing the transmission. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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