Well folks, I had the opportunity to pay the local tow company a whopping $400 to tow my old rig home yesterday. On the way back from a day trip it finally left me stranded along with my two boys, bro in-law and my wife. On a state highway about 40 miles from my home the engine and transmission decided they didn't want to be attached any longer. On a long grade going 60 mph the engine lost all connection to the trans and rev'd up really high as my wife (she was driving) tried to figure out what the hell happened. We coasted into a driveway and that's as far as the ole van took us yesterday.
Luckily, our friend, who we had just left after playing on the river, came to pick us up and let us borrow their truck to get home. Yates Towing and Recovery out of Chattanooga picked up the van, they were great. Cheap, no, but got to us quick, took great care of the van and got it back in my driveway in a couple hours. That was key, since it was loaded with our raft, sups and gear from the day.
Here is photo of the ole rig from a trip back this winter:
This was over spring break:
So now I'm trying to diagnose the issue and decide how to move forward. I'm fairly certain it's the flexplate that is broken. The van won't start, sounds like the starter solenoid is out. Just wizzes when you crank it, engine does not turn. I popped off the rubber stopper in the bell housing and the flywheel turns free - not connected to the crank.
If I would drop the trans right where it sits and replace the flexplate it would likely be fine. However, it's got 225k on the van. It's the 5.4L with 4R75W trans. I've had the van six years, put about 50k on it with minimal issues. My build is pretty much done, except for final lights and interior paneling.
The engine runs fine, no tell tale signs of failure, but it's not a spring chicken. It doesn't smoke or miss or knock, etc. The trans also hasn't given too many signs of issues, but it has slipped/acted funny a time or two.
Overall, I've put too much work in the van to not consider a new trans and engine eventually, but I'd rather do it on my own time, over the winter, etc.
I'm debating having the transmission rebuilt now since it has to come out anyway. However, I really don't want to be without the van for too long.
I do most of my work myself, but this is something I will likely have a shop do as I've got plenty of other things to work on right now. I will at least have the torque converter replaced as well, along with the flexplate, at a min. But may also go with a rebuilt trans or have this one rebuilt.
Thoughts from any of you folks who have faced similar decisions?
Anyone have a trans rebuild shop recommendation for southeast TN/North GA area?