Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mechanics on the move!

We have passed the 5 000 km mark, and now the maintenance monster reared its head. The problem of the front axle oil seals raised its head as well. These oil seals keep the oil from the front differential from the wheel bearings and velocity joints. I had my doubts about them before the trip began, but was assured that they were OK. However, the first time we had to use the 4X4 the joints started showing oil.

Black market petrol
On our way from Atar to Nouakchott, with the outside thermometer showing 62 degrees, we thought to fill some petrol, just to be sure. In the small town of Akjoujt we sought a filling station, but they all had only diesel. Eventually we were stopped by a guy who had been phoned by the others: he had 20 liters in a jerrycan.

We did filter it, but on the last few kilometers to Mouakchott the Cruiser began to hesitate, missing some beats.

The Auberge Menta referred us to Omar, who introduced himself as an African mechanic, who does not need any manuals, thank you!

Dismantling was not a great problem, but to find the right grease was. And, I pointed out to Omar, this is a Japanese car, and grease is not grease. After rejecting his proposed greases from the UAE and SAR, I took him to Toyota Nouakchott, where the right grease was found.

Caution: Bush mechanics at work!
We had to make do with the filters we could find, I had the right oil to hand, and after a hard day the job was done to my satisfaction, and to the manual’s specifications. The next day we tackled the aircon, and after two attempts had found a replacement compressor, filled it with the right (old style) gas, and the thing was churnig out cold air like an ice machine.

However, the work on the front axle had affected the steering somewhat, and in Dakar I found a Speedy to look at that. These guys confided that their electronic machine did not work, but they adjusted it by hand and eye, then checked the gearbox oil, filled the battery, and blew out the air filter, just to make sure I understood that Speedy is not just a garage, but a place where a South African would find service!

And now to find a way to replace the window winder mechanism that had given up! 

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