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Old 07-17-2019, 06:13 PM   #1
1999montana
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Niagara Falls
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Finally, Had to Ship Her off to Car Heaven

NOTE: ** Thanks to all who assisted me in keeping our van safe and roadworthy all these years! **

After over 21+ years and over 306,000 Kms, numerous small repairs to keep her healthy and on the road, Vanna Montana as we knew her entered into rest at the salvage yard not far from here.

In her last days the AC leaked down and did not perform well, but with a top-up she returned to normal ice cold air, then leaked down again. It might have been a leaky shrader valve, or compressor, or evaporator, but nonetheless she was on life support for that one.

Then this past week she sprung a small leak in either the fuel line or fuel return line (definitely was not the Evap leaking - no code set) in that plastic tunnel that runs through the cross member under the driver's floor and makes an immediate turn up the firewall to the engine.

I had fixed a leak at the fuel filter two years earlier and registered in my mind that it was just a matter of time before she sprung a new leak. The new leak was definitely in a location where hands could not reach, and only pulling the engine would have allowed access to the fuel lines and evap line.

Finally, we almost got into a rear-ender when her back brakes failed to fully apply on the highway necessitating a left shoulder diversion to avoid a collision when the traffic stopped dead without much warning.

Had replaced everything two years ago including the steel lines, flex hoses, wheel cylinders, calipers, drums and rotors. When I broke a steel line up inside the frame immediately below the Traction Control / ABS module, all the steel lines to all four wheels were replaced with nickel copper lines and joined with unions ** to the good steel tubes 'above the water line' on the TCS / ABS module.

** In some states and provinces, unions in the brake system are not permitted and the lines must be continuous from one point to the other, but are fine here in Ontario where Vanna lived.

Evidence revealed that the rear wheel hubs had begun to leak grease and coated the brake shoes making them less than operative.

Powertrain was just fine. Trans had been rebuilt at 228,000 and engine had already been repaired for the pesky LIM gasket issue twice under GM warranty. Second time was the charm.

Rack and pinion was replaced when the Trans was rebuilt at 228,000 due to a leaking pinion seal. It was leaking again when last inspected this week.

Had none of these new problems surfaced, Vanna would have received her second set of rocker panels, the first set improperly done by a body shop in town.

A loaded van with virtually all the toys including alloy wheels, auto leveling, embedded radio antenna in the windshield, front and rear AC and 6-way power captain's chairs on both sides among other nice to have features.

In her resting place, she sits on 4 new tires (3 years young) and too many lovingly performed repairs to keep her going.

RIP Vanna, - but please don't come back as a Chinese washing machine!
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