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Nicaragua nightmare

Help! My son was driving his 80’s Ford van through Nicaragua on his way back to the U.S. when the rear differential let go. How can I help him find a mechanic in Managua? He called the Ford dealership in Managua and they refused to help him.

How about calling the US Embassy in Managua to ask if they can recommend an English-speaking mechanic?

Thanks for the suggestion - I called the Embassy and they are working on it.

Does not really sound like a nightmare. Sounds like an adventure. I would see if it can be fixed with Embassy recommendation or any mechanic. Ford’s nor differentials are not rocket science. Parts will take time.

Plane or bus tickets may be easier than fixing it.

Fixing differentials is not easy, but replacing them is (I did it in my dorm’s parking lot). His best option to get back on the road quickly is to find a replacement used differential from a junk yard. These thiings usually outlast the car/truck. Good luck!

ps-One thing you could do to help is call (or better, drop by) a nearby junk yard/auto recyling business with info on your son’s van (make/model/year/engine). They should be able to print out a list of all the vehicles that used the same axle. Send it to your son, it might help him find a replacement.

pps-I’m talking about an entire rear axle, everything except the brakes.

Unless, for some reason, they did not have Fords there, I would be surprised if there are not a lot of small shops all over Managua that can fix the differential inexpensively. Your best bet might be to find an entire axle assembly and swap it in.

The nightmare ends with an airline ticket home…There are very few 20-30 year old Ford vans laying around Nicaragua to gleen parts off of…The cost to jerry-rig something would be more than the van is worth or the airline ticket…