Jaleo 2- Building a 2012 E-350 4x4-Third time is the charm


If you're noise sensitive like me you might find the direct to frame mounting to be a problem. I ended up wrapping my pump in pipe insulation and then hanging with zip ties so there is no direct path for vibration to travel. I can juuuust barely hear it now.


Flashback to Summer. Continuing the Yellowstone trip. Medano pass on the Sand Dunes Park was fun.


Above St Elmo we found a nice spot to spend the night.

We do hike too.


Rocky Mountains National Park. I loved Emerald Lake. Cool place to swim.



Next Episode: Great Tetons


Great Tetons. To me, a nicer place than Yellowstone. I'm afraid Yellowstone is a victim of its own success. I do not mean to be pedantic, it's great that is accessible to so many people, hopefully, some will learn to love an appreciate nature there.


Still, Great Teton is quite accessible without being overly commercial ( I have to recognize that we hit all the gift shops

As always, be carefull with your trash. We supffered the attack of the local fauna.


We love alpine lakes. I'm sure some people wre thinking f... Europeans as we were jumping in the water in our undies. I guess it's a cultural thing.


And Yellowstone. It's still spectacular and if you get far from the entrances, specially early or late in the day, it's very rewarding. We had cahnce to migle with the locals.



Finally I was able to justify all the LED lights!!!

We were quite lucky with the camp sites situation. With no reservations we were able to find spots to camp inside. I guess the fooding this year caused a lot of change in plans and when they re-open there sere some open spots.

This guy gave us atour of hs GMC camper. Since Strippes, I always loved these things.

Sometimes you have to spoil the crew. Th breakfast buffe at Old Faithful Lodge is very nice.


Next stop: Montana
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Well-known member
Yellowstone was busy?

I went the week before Thanksgiving and there were maybe 2-3 other people camping there. Yellowstone is nice, but you're right, the Tetons are better.

The Badlands was the coolest. Devil's Tower is up there too.





Yellowstone was busy?

I went the week before Thanksgiving and there were maybe 2-3 other people camping there. Yellowstone is nice, but you're right, the Tetons are better.

The Badlands was the coolest. Devil's Tower is up there too.

It was quite busy but still got campground inside. Again, this was early August.

I need to put those too on my list. This spring we may manage to do Calgary, Glacier,... we'll see.


Leaving Yellowstone through West, Montana, we visited The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. Nice place to get some education and get some great shots of Wolfs and Grizzlys.



Th vans were great to keep the young ones entertained. Gisela did a great job with her cousins.


The lakes (reservoirs) in Montana were awesome. Our friends that live in Helena show us few great spots. Of course we had to dive in.



From there we headed to Salt Lake City to drop our daughter at the airport since she had to be to College.


And we passed by Salt Lake City and found a place to camp before we head to Moab and the next morning the transmission start jumping. Limp to the next town and find a transmission shop. Of course, this is Friday afternoon. 1676177014977.png

the transmission is destroyed. I had the transmission rebuilt and it lasted 1 month, 2000 miles. The Bell housing was missing 2 bolts, and another one was loose, breather tube was installed upside down. The transmission cooler was not replaced and most likely not even flushed. I believe this is beyond a warranty and more of an incompetency issue.I was told this was going to be bulletproof with custom valving, etc.


My brother-in-law and his family kept going with the Rigrunner and Sandy and I (my daughters already flew to college days earlier) flu back to Houston.
The van was repaired locally. I got ripped-off ($4000 and he wanted $5000 so i have to threat the shop with me showing up with the police). Flu back after 5 weeks...


I’m confused? Got ripped off at the first trans place or the second or both?
Both. One broke down in no time and the second one I feel took advantage and charged a lot for a rebuild and try to charge even more.

The chronology of my transmission ordeal was this:

1- Took the trans out and took it to shop A which I've used in the past. $800
2.- Shop swapped the output shaft, recheck everything and rebuild as 4x4
3- I install the transmission back but forgot about clocking the torque converter destroying the newly repaired transmisison.
4.- Not wanting to screw up again and since shop A is far from home, I took the whole van to shop B for complete removal, rebuild (bulletproof is how the shop owner defined the work to be done) and re-install. $2500
5.- 2000 miles later the bulletproof transmission blows up just south of Salt Lake City. Home is Houston so I have shop C rebuild the transmission. $4000 (after 5 weeks he called me a said that the new price was $5000 or he will not release the van)
6.- New thing!! six months later as we are driving to Colorado and at 3 a.m. one hour from Amarillo Texas, the flex plate snaps leaving us stranded at night with a temperature of 20F
7.- Shop D in Amarillo was able to replace the flex plate in one day and $900 later we were on our merry way.

So far I'm more than $8200 deep just in the transmission. I screw up in step 3 but, oh boy! I'm paying for it. 1676240669835.png


Well-known member
Wow, that sucks. That is equivalent to a vacation.

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I'll get back to finish the summer trip later on. I've been experiencing some lack of performance. On the Christmas ski trip to Colorado, the van struggled on the mountain passes. I'm afraid the cats are clogged. I've run a few gallons of Lacquer Thinner hoping it will help but I'm not sure.

In any case Coils and plugs are probably due for a change also. I wasn't sure how difficult this would be with the extra CNG system, but it was not much harder, just an extra rail to remove. Here is the CNG injector rail with the extra injectors on top of the gasoline injectors.


Gasoline injectors didn't look bad. Since I was not getting any codes I just soked them in lacque thiner and replaced O-rings.


Plugs didn't look too god. With 143k miles I guess it was time to replace.


I haven't drive much since the changes. It feels quieter, but not sure if the mountain pass issue is fixed, I live in Houston so it's going to be a while since a see another climb. I may change the catalytic converters just to be proactive.


Well-known member
Yeah those plugs don't look good. Did you happen to test spark on one just to see if you could tell a visual difference in intensity? I would bet those plugs were most of the problem.


Back to the summer trip. Five weeks after the transmission broke down, I flew back to Salt Lake City to pick up the van and drive it home. I should have brought it to Advance 4x4 since they are in SLC, but the breakdown happened on a Friday afternoon and we were already out of town...

I decided to visit Moab anyway. The exhaust was still giving me problems. The place that did the re-routing left a lot of leaks and I burned 5 O2 sensors during this trip. It's amazing that the two things I didn't do, transmission and re-routing the exhaust were the ones that ruined the trip. I tried in Denver and several other places to have the leaks fixed and nobody was able to help. "I can take a look in a couple of weeks..."

In Moab, of all places, I found a welder that helped me the same day and didn't rip me off. Sometimes someone restores my faith in humankind. Thank you Moab Metal Works.

Another Natural Gas refil. the whole CNG system came with the van. I think I was able to find CNG 3 times during the whole trip and in some cases I have to take detours. DEfinitelly is not worht it. I'll keep the tanks and fill them to use as range extender in remote areas. They are definitelly not worth it.


Lonely camp spot in public lands. I love this. Too bad Texas has almost zero land for free use.



Being in Moab, i had to visit Arches Nat'l park. You need to book a entry perit in advance, but if you arrive before 6 am, you don't have to. Early weak up, give you also great light over the arches. I'm not a morning preson, but it was worth it.



Always espectacula the European heavy weight overlanders. This is a French Reanult. Probably a retired fire truck. Not sure if i'll like this better than my van.

Getting back to Texas I stopped at Roswell NM. Cheesy turist trap. Last time i was here was 14 years ago. Same stuff, just 14 years of accumulated disrepair since.

Near Rosweel, a nice place to visit if you are in the area are the cenotes


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Near Rosweel, a nice place to visit if you are in the area are the cenotes on Bottomless Lakes State Park. Probably not worth a long drive to get there, but if you are in the area



I had nice neightbours paying a visit as I was changing before picking up dinner.


After that, it was just straight to Houston.

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