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Most disastrous holiday.
01-15-2015, 02:58 PM
Post: #1
Most disastrous holiday.
Ok, so I finally get down to report my nightmare.
We left for a place in the Chidenguele area in Moz at 3 in the morning of 27th Dec.
Just before Xai xai, the oil pressure buzzer came on. Switched off immediately and investigation revealed that an oil pipe had come off on the sandwich adapter I had fitted to incorporate an extra oil cooler. Brother went off to buy 5l of oil and extra clamps at the nearest town. Put the pipe back with an extra clamp, off we went, confident that the pipe will definitely not come off again. 5 minutes later, same thing repeated the excercise, another 5L oil. This time I removed the adapter and refitted the oil filter directly to the block as original. However, upon trying to start, the engine wouldn't turn. Didn't hear the buzzer and must have noticed the light to late. Engine seized. Unhook buggy, now to be driven by two students (friends), hook my brother's heavy duty bush trailer behind the bus, tow the lot to Xai Xai with his Hi Lux with tow rope of about 3m - not fun considering no brake boost on the bus!. Reach Xai Xai at about 10 that evening, Honeypot fully booked. Get permission to leave the Syncro there, repack everything into Hi Ace and bush trailer, including two 90l fridges. 5 people in Hilux plus two students in buggy. Continue to our destination. Hilux gets stuck in thick sand 1 Km from the house - Time to deflate tyres on everything. It is now about 2 in the morning, and the mozzies can't believe their luck with us stuck next to a swamp!. Eventually reach the house - no water so we go for a swim in the sea with a bar of soap! Get to bed at about 4 that morning, we had been going since 3 the previous morning!. At least the students enjoyed the adventure of driving through the African coastal bush in the buggy at night. Although we also had some good times, nothing seemed to be going right (except of course with the Toyota!) Four more punctures on the buggy, then the ignition switch on the buggy melted due a short in the wiper switch. The buggy was the finally stranded due to a total collapse of one of the push rod tube seals. Oil simple gushed out, and at 1 000 meticas (about ZAR 350.00) for 5L oil I felt I had done enough to support the Moz oil industry. Fortunately no harm was done to the engine.
The rest of the holiday I was worried about getting the Syncro back to South Africa (it was now standing at Xai Xai at a B&B place). In particular I was worried about what the cops would have to say about our little train. Moz traffic cops are notorious! I had heard of a guy who was fined R3 000.00 for driving with his arm outside the car. I decided that we needed a solid tow bar to tow the Syncro and the trailer. Found a pole near the house and a salvaged a rusty coupling from an abandoned trailer - at least the one end of the bar would be solid!. However I underestimated the weight of the bus + trailer: the first time my brother just touched the brakes on the Hilux, the pole snapped like a match stick. We were now heading home, and had about 300 Km to go to the border where Stuart would be meeting us. So now we were back to my 3m tow rope plus my brother's of about the same length. One tow rope snapped soon afterwards and we were back on 3m of towrope. We decided to continue very slowly until we could find some decent rope, which miraculously we found in a small town about 50Km further. Due to reports of flooded roads we didn't want to take shortcuts around Maputo, so we had to take this little train THROUGH Maputo. Those who have been through Maputo will understand what that means. With the weight of the fully loaded Syncro plus a fully loaded bush trailer weighing about a tonne on its own, and no brake boosting, my right leg soon got tired... Any emergency stop would certainly have resulted in disaster. Finally made it through the border at about 5 that afternoon where Stuart met me with a proper A-frame and towed the bus home.
Believe it or not: we must have passed about 10 to 15 traffic cop brigades and were not stopped once! This was also the first time we (my brother and me) received to traffic fines during our entire trip!
Of course this was very embarrassing for me and my daughter. The more I told my brother and my wife that it was not the Syncro's fault but my own, the more they hinted that I should get a Toyota! Even the buggy, which I've had for about 40 years let me down this time!
I am fetching the buggy this weekend, shouldn't take me more than 20 minutes to fix. The Syncro is going to SyncroHospital for a new 2.5. Initially I considered going 2.6, mainly to get rid of the existing K-Jetronic system, but that proved to be to expensive at this stage.
Hopefully I'll be ready for the North Cape trip after taking it for some trial runs beforehand.
I've been trying to think what I've learned? Maybe: do modificationss properly and test them properly before going on long trips. Or maybe: when things can go wrong they certainly will go wrong... Whatever, let's hope the next trip makes up!

It's not just a 4x4, it's a Syncro........
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01-15-2015, 03:53 PM
Post: #2
RE: Most disastrous holiday.
Hi Enkie

I thought only I have this kind of luck... luckilly my Syncro has only been a charm.
Sorry to hear about you're adventure, dont be discouraged it could have happened to a Toyota just as easily.
It really isnt nice when these things happen and always seem to happen to me when it couldnt be anymore embarassing.
Im sure your bus will be spritelly as ever once Stuart and Paul have breathed on it.

I must say Stuart is a proper gentleman always there when you need help....give that man a Bells.

1989 2.1 SYNCRO
2011 CB1000R

Stuart said "They say in "Namibia" the only problem with a syncro is when it does get stuck nothing else can get there to tow it out"

SYNCROnized OFF-Roading
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01-15-2015, 04:49 PM
Post: #3
RE: Most disastrous holiday.
Thanks Darryl,

Wnkie, we will start you bus next week, we are waiting

I may be a mechanic, but i can't fix stupid
Bad planning on your part does not make your issue an crisis to me
Bad workmanship by other garages does not entiltle you to better rates at me
Syncro, syncro , syncro and more syncro, this is the syncro way of life
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01-15-2015, 06:34 PM
Post: #4
RE: Most disastrous holiday.
Sorry to hear of the bad luck Enkie

VdubTECH have a 2.5 short block and a 2.6 head block and sump sub assemblies in Stock if you need Stu
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01-15-2015, 08:38 PM
Post: #5
RE: Most disastrous holiday.
What a nightmare!
Hope your bus will be sorted out shortly!
Wish you all the luck in the universe

Rhyno van Zyl
https://www.facebook.com/KarooPhotograph...e=bookmark
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01-16-2015, 07:16 AM
Post: #6
RE: Most disastrous holiday.
Have one as well thanks Pierre

I may be a mechanic, but i can't fix stupid
Bad planning on your part does not make your issue an crisis to me
Bad workmanship by other garages does not entiltle you to better rates at me
Syncro, syncro , syncro and more syncro, this is the syncro way of life
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01-16-2015, 08:44 AM
Post: #7
Most disastrous holiday.
Wow Enkie I think you need a holiday glad to see you got home safe
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01-19-2015, 12:16 PM
Post: #8
RE: Most disastrous holiday.
Fetched the buggy on Friday. Moz side at border didn't want to let it go back to SA, despite all paperwork being in order. Eventually got it through though and made it home safely. As Allan has said, now I need a holiday!

It's not just a 4x4, it's a Syncro........
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01-19-2015, 07:06 PM
Post: #9
RE: Most disastrous holiday.
Bet you just glad that it has all come to a end.
Have a double.
Xavier

In all things that don't succeed at first, change your approach and try again.
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