Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Having exceeded 120k Miles...

Here's a quick update - I passed 120k miles recently so I'm officially off the Isuzu drivetrain warranty. I was headed down to Winter Haven FL to visit Isuzu enthusiast and VX owners Joe and Kathy Black - did a quick oil/filter change and replaced the PCV. The first odd thing I noticed was that there was a bit over 5 qts that drained from my VX - about 5.5 qts. I try to keep it topped up as it tends to use about 1 qt every 5k miles. This surprised me - when I went to refill the 5 qt bottle I got a bit of run-over. I also had to fill a bit extra to top up - about 5.25 qts. No clue what that means - I always do changes in the same spot in my carport. The VX drove exceptionally well and I got better than usual gas mileage which I attributed to the new PCV.

I was in Winter Haven about a day having driven 500 miles or so. Joe helped me to install a radio I picked up from a friend and installed a cup-holder from the bottom DIN - doesn't work worth a crap as cans don't clear the dash. Got that one a while ago on eBay. Just before leaving I checked the oil and found it needed almost a quart. Joe diagnosed that I probably got a bad PCV - so I replaced it once I got back to Atlanta (down another 1/2 qt!). I did some searching and have decided to go to a canister collection system from the PCV to the intake - ordered a unit on eBay and it's on its way.

Joe helped me do some maintenance on my VX when he noticed something disturbing - both bolts were missing from my tranny mount - this is the mount that holds the tranny to the cross-member (also missing was the small heat shield that blocked heat coming from a CAT on the drivers side. A thin, fine metal powder was produced from the rubbing of steel and aluminum - looked like black graphite. This was when he noticed the leak coming from the from of the tranny pan (it may be the main seal - I'm investigating - bought a dye kit today). Looking towards the front, both outer CV boots were split all the way around. To add insult to injury, my recently replaced HP Power Steering line seems to be leaking again.

Here you can see the missing bolt:

I talked this over with my bro-in-law and he said the swaying tranny may have caused both the leaks and the torn boots due to all the movement. I've ordered a boot replacement kit (doing all 4) from Independent 4x4. I'm ordering parts to drop the tranny pan and change the filter from Merlin at St Charles Isuzu tomorrow, along with anything else I can think of to offset a disaster. Wish me luck! More with pictures coming soon.

-- John