Here’s something I could have gone my whole life without knowing:

The transmission on a 1974 Perkins diesel engine has a “breather” that prevents pressure from building up and blowing out the front gasket.

But I do know that now and there’s really only one way I would: It happened. A little $0.11 nut was missing, so I replaced it. This allowed a $16.00 valve to fail, building up pressure and blowing out a gasket where the transmission attaches to the engine. This means I have to pull out the 100lb transmission from a very small space to a slightly less small space to replace that gasket.

The thing about pulling out the transmission is, once you do, you may as well replace everything on it that could make you have to pull it out again any time soon. This includes replacing several gaskets and the dozen or so clutch plates.

I give myself a potential failure rate on this project of well over 70%, but hey, that’s never stopped me before. I’ll give it a shot and worst case is I replace the gaskets causing the problem and deal with the rest of it later. So break out the JuJu bags and send some good stuff my way.

So, to summarize, an 11 cent nut has led to a $250 transmission rebuild. I’ll let you know how it went when it’s all over.