So here's the car I used last time I was in the US, about 4 years ago. It's a 1994 Ford Ranger, (which I naturally named Strider, which is probably not a very original name for a Ranger, but there you have it--I did do my fair share of "striding" though--over I drove over 12,000 miles in various cars the last time I was in the US, which is quite a bit of driving over a 6 month period) :
Anyway, on my last scheduled road trip last furlough, the transmission died. Apparently there is an oil line inside the tranny that is plugged at one end by a plastic plug and after a few years that plug shrinks and falls out, which causes the rest of the trans to not get enough lube and to eventually die a dry, horrible death due to lack of lubrication. I believe this is what happened to Strider's tranny. My Dad loaned me his truck instead for that trip and I left Strider parked at my folks' house in FL, thinking that Dad might replace the trans and get some use out of the truck as he had decided to sell his.
Well, Dad had a hard time figuring out what transmission Strider actually needed, and one thing after another pushed the old truck out of his mind. Finally, 4 years passed and Clare and I were due for another trip back to the US. We got to my folks' house and found that Strider had been parked under a tree int he back yard for a few years. I was afraid that the engine might be locked up with rust, but after putting in a new battery and putting an old ratchet handle across the contacts ont he solenoid, (the solenoid has gone bad), Strider's engine started right up and sounded good. At that point I decided to go ahead and replace the transmission with a new (remanufactured) transmission. So today Dad and I moved it across the yard, (Mom helped by pulling the truck with Dad's car while Dad and I pushed), and Levi sat in the passenger seat next to Oma, cheering everybody on.
So here's what it looks like now:
So what's a little mold and a few cobwebs?! New tranny and a visit to the carwash and he'll be good as new. Of course, this car really isn't very useful for a family with a toddler and an infant on the way, so we'll probably put it up for sale in a few weeks, or maybe try to trade it for an Explorer or something.