The Van Man (the end of the story)
So Honda did not totally disappoint. I called up head office in Canada to discover that the warranty (extended) on my van had expired, one month ago. The transmission had fried and i needed a new one.
Long story short, they agreed because of the cars good service record (I did my trany changes) and because I am a loyal Honda customer (my other car is a civic) to pay for the parts if I covered the labour. Let’s just say, that gave me the acceptable good side of the deal.
The bus is back, and with four kids, we need it!