To get to the snow, and the best backpacking spots, I needed a 4×4 system. I decided on Quadvan to convert my van in the summer of 2019.
John McKee, the owner of Quadvan is a passionate builder, and loves to talk about all things mechanical, his van builds in particular. Through those conversations, John recommended I develop a relationship with my local Ford dealer and have the transmission fluid changed before the recommended interval so they can see the build and all the OEM serviceable parts being used.
After a few months of driving my Quadvan, I decided to heed John’s advice and take it in to San Leandro Ford for a transmission fluid service in the fall of 2019. The day after my appointment, the van was smoking a little. I assumed some fluid must have spilled during the service and was burning off. A few days later, going over a grade from the San Francisco Bay Area toward Tahoe, I had a full boil over, transmission fluid leaking down to my exhaust pipe and smoke going everywhere. Kids crying, vacation over.
Long story short, San Leandro Ford wanted nothing to do with my van after their transmission service and refused to work on my van any further. They said the cause of the issue was the after market 4×4 system.
I was in constant communication with John at Quadvan and he tried talking to the Ford dealer as well. No luck. Fortunately, I had been baptized into the Quadvan family, and he recommend I take it to a mechanic he knows in the Bay Area to get an accurate diagnosis. Upon arrival, I assumed I had the wrong address as there were Lamborghinis, Porsches, and other NASCAR type cars being worked on.
Turns out John has some pretty “switched on” mechanic friends. They promptly started moving hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of race cars out of the way to get my van up on a lift. After a few Facetime calls between John and his friend, we found that the transmission had been overfilled by over a quart of fluid, leading to the boil over.
I was very nervous through this whole ordeal after spending many thousands of dollars on my conversion. John assured me every step of the way, offered to fly down if needed, and was always willing to take a call. My bill for the top notch race car mechanics fixing Ford’s mistake: $0.
I just got back from the snow again yesterday. The 4×4 system is working great.
They don’t make guys like John McKee anymore. I wish I could say the same thing about Ford.
Thank you John and Quadvan!