If you were reading our earlier Great Lakes Cruising posts, you may remember us mentioning having to stop periodically in order to add transmission fluid.
And if you've followed the posts more recently, you may have noticed we haven't mentioned the need to add transmission fluid.
Don't think for a minute it was Phil's mechanical skills that solved the problem. Of course he attempted it . . . he couldn't help himself. But, give him credit for at least acknowledging his level of expertise, he wasn't about to take anything apart. So it was basically "look for the leak and if it's a fitting or something easily changed, attempt to correct it."
He did discover a little filter on the inside of a fitting that was full of black gunk. And there appeared to be a stream of transmission fluid coming down from the fitting.
So now we had a clean filter and a sealed fitting. And still a bad transmission leak. That stream was coming from above the fitting. But with close inspection while underway, we at last found the source. And it would require a mechanic, because there's no way Bernie would let Phil lose transmission pieces (or, put them on backwards!).
The Port o' Call says this about Snug Harbor Marina in Pentwater: ". . . a first-class stop for mechanical work and fiberglass repair . . . "
They're right, and we can't say enough good things about their mechanic. He's really good.
It was late Friday afternoon. But with Phil's explanation of the source, and a quick visual inspection, they analyzed it as most likely being an o-ring inside the top assembly. They were then on the phone with a parts distributor who faxed a parts diagram of the transmission (which I got a copy of - no more mysterious black box transmission) and from the diagram determined what parts to order. It wasn't much, only a couple of o-rings and a few other tiny pieces.
We didn't mind staying all weekend - after all, Pentwater is a great little town and it was Homecoming Weekend - but hoped to leave first thing Monday. We wanted the part there waiting for the mechanic, so we paid for overnight delivery. Bernie would hear of nothing else.
Monday morning came and the mechanic worked on it for 2 1/2 hours. Apparently the assembly was a bear to take apart and put back together. We're really glad we used them. And the old o-ring was in a million pieces, so more than likely that was the problem.
When the bill came, we ended up paying over $50 for that o-ring. Not counting labor of course.
But, hey, it solved the problem. And we got a transmission diagram out of the deal!