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Hartenbos by back road
01-26-2015, 01:53 PM
Post: #1
Hartenbos by back road
Hi,

I planned to undertake a trip to Hartenbos taking the back roads through Montagu, northern side of langeberg and then through Cloete pass - recommended by my good friend Hans.

Well, as they say a plan is just that! Soon after leaving Paarl I heard the sound of a front left wheel bearing struggling. I tried to ignore it for a while but alas had to stop in Robertson to have it seen to.

Eleven in the morning in Roberson is not the best time or place to find a new syncro front wheel bearing. after many attempts I ended up with the wrong one and all shops closed and no mechanic to assist. But then "Simon" came to the rescue - bless his soul. He asked me to park at the taxi rank and wait...

He arrived an hour later in a very "veteran bakkie" with a pile of tools - see photo. After dismembering my complete left front wheel setup - we discovered that my "new bearing" is not the correct one. With all shops closed, advice was sought from all the curios onlookers at the taxi rank.

I was pointed to "Gert's place" that may be able to assist. One of the onlookers offered his "scrap on wheels" city golf to get me and Simon to Gert's place. Upon arrival Gert's wife was not very accommodating - but I pleaded!!(do you know that feeling) Anyway, she obliged and called Gert. Gert however was in the bath at the time and needed to finish up first. 45 minutes later Simon, myself and Gert were discussing the options as he also did not have the correct wheel bearing.

The only solution was to grease myself out of the problem. So armed with a R50 container of grease we "sped" back with the city golf (whose driver seat could not be moved - so my knees were next to my ears - to much consternation of the taxi rank onlookers).

Then Simon greased and greased... and soon I was on my way again - after a four hour delay in the Robertson heat. The grease seemed to work as the noise disappeared and I pulled into Hartenbos at six that evening - not having touched a dirt road.

This is where I must say it gets interesting. I sent an SOS to Hans. In his energetic self he forwarded my SOS to your lot - which promptly advised on the part number, where it can be obtained etc. It worked so well that two days later I picked up two brand new SKF bearings in George from the "Bearing Ware House" and was directed to a mechanical workshop with the required expertise and presses to fit them.

Two hours later I had two new front wheel bearings fitted. After a visit to some family in George I travelled back to Hartenbos late at night. 5km from Hartenbos on the N2 my alternator warning light started to show a faint flash - and later on shine brightly. I took the off-ramp that was luckily just there and managed to get onto a back road. Very soon the temperature climbed and I decided to stop just. (just as well - the red temperature light started to flash after I switched off the engine). A quick call to my son who was traveling ahead of me rescued me from a difficult situation. He towed me back to Hartenbos with his 1600 VW Polo.

Upon inspection it became clear that the main belt broke and was completely shattered. The other two belts just jumped off but were fine. Again an SOS to Hans. This time the response was just as good. He arranged for replacement belts at Auto Zone in Mosselbay. I decided to but an extra set there and then. I picked up the belts with the Polo the next day and managed to fit the "main belt" so that I could drive - nice learning curve.

After that I was directed to ABC motors in Mosselby where after some pleading - they promptly help me fit the other two belts - not as easy as it looks!!

We spent a nice week at Hartenbos - but on my way back the gear lever started to shudder quite badly - it had a little shudder on the way there. Halfway back to home the syncro morphed into a tractor with some wild sounds from the exhaust.

But I managed to get home and is now reflecting on the "reliability" of my bus. Clearly - as Hans put it - your shake down time is a very frustrating time.

Once again thanks for all the support - without it I may have given up on the Syncro dream...

Some trip fotos attached


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01-26-2015, 03:45 PM
Post: #2
RE: Hartenbos by back road
Emil,
Sorry to learn about your woes! - I know that feeling!
Shall include full set spare wheel bearings on my next long trip. Also good to know that re-greasing will help to get you to the nearest "garage".
So what's with the tractor noise?
E.

It's not just a 4x4, it's a Syncro........
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01-26-2015, 04:47 PM
Post: #3
RE: Hartenbos by back road
I know it’s too late now, but this is what the forum is all about ( I hope I’m not wrong) I’m a forum member, and drive a very cool Syncro. I stay in Montagu (27km from Robertson), and would have thought nothing about it to tow you to Montagu. I know the owner of the local spare part shop (Wynland Onderdele) and a great VW mechanic (Oom de Vries of De Vries Motors). I’m not saying that they would have the right part, but they would have made a plan!
This is why I think we should update the member’s database, and all members should be more active so that we know each other in good times and bad times. I know that I need your guys knowledge just too often and never had I asked for help without someone responding with great answers - I would do the same for others – so next time!
Rhyno

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01-26-2015, 05:07 PM (This post was last modified: 01-26-2015 05:08 PM by syncromad.)
Post: #4
RE: Hartenbos by back road
that is why i keep asking members to update their profiles with a location, so when in a jam some one can help.

also why a forum with 100 active members is better than one with 1000 non active members

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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