Part 2: Driving Halfway Across The Country To Swap A Transmission
So there I was, waist-deep in quicksand, being chased by angry natives, and suffering from a horrible case of Montezuma's Revenge. Oh wait, that's a different story altogether. This story is about my Ultimate Adventure debacle or, as I like to call it, the Alternate Adventure.
To recap, I didn't get my Fun Buggy done for Ultimate Adventure 2008, so I pulled an all-nighter and swapped a Detroit Locker into the front of my '86 diesel-powered Chevy 1-ton CUCV, affectionately known as the Army Truck. I left sunny Los Angeles and traveled across the desert in a lovely 104-plus-degree steel box while my coworkers followed in the luxurious '08 Toyota Land Cruiser (it even has a center-console refrigerator from the factory!). About four hours into the drive I lost my power steering and brakes due to some dirt in the power-steering pump. I limped it into Las Vegas (roughly 185 degrees in the shade) and swapped in a new pump. We got back on the road, stayed the night in Utah, and made it to western Wyoming the following day before my Army Truck coasted to the side of the road with no more forward power. The engine still ran, but the truck wouldn't go into gear for some reason. I thought it was the clutch even though it's brand new, but we luckily found some other Ultimate Adventurers to tow me up to the start of UA in Rapid City, South Dakota. There I found out that the insides of my brand-new NV4500 manual transmission had melted due to lack of gear oil. Meanwhile my Lowmax 205 transfer case was doing just fine since all the missing gear oil had pumped into the transfer case. And this is what happened next.