Bush Mechanics in Lesotho and Namibia

Whilst being laid up here in Walvis Bay I have time to catch up on Man vs Land Rover.  We have had a few issues of late, requiring professional intervention (shiny new head) as well as some of my traditional “just get it working again” medicine.

fanViscous fan – in a nutshell, this stopped working efficiently, causing overheating on the mountain passes in Lesotho.  I hadn’t considered this as a cause (the fan had only about 30k on it), so thanks to Paul at The Centre in Durban for the idea. Chatting/swearing about how to lock the fan mechanism in the campground (sorry mate, I didn’t get your name!) let to the revelation that people in a Jeep had tried to use epoxy, but the heat killed it pretty quickly.  “Aha!” thought I, i’ll drill some channels and slap in a few self tappers.  It worked flawlessly, problem solved until he fan was replaced back in Durban with a shiny new one.


Roofrack leg – back in Europe, the captive nut in one roofrack leg failed, necessitating a quick bodge with a nut and bolt.  Not ideal, so I bought a new leg in Joburg and fitted it.  Naturally I didn’t torque it correctly, so it vibrated loose here in Namibia (new rattle detected and identified, problem sorted in Solitaire whilst hopping around on one leg waiting for my knee to start working again (see previous post).

relayLight relay – whilst driving back in the dark from Dune 45 to the campground, we lost our high beam headlights.  Inconvenient (as there was game around) but not the end of the world as we have VisionX lamps on the bumper (with fog covers, but better than nothing).  I have identified the fault as a failed relay in our Boomslang light harness, an easy fix once I can get on the roof to my spares box (or talk Margaret into fossicking around).

busted shockLost suspension bolt – this one was a bit more serious.  Whilst juddering along the most corrugated road on earth, one of the rear shock absorber mounting bolts vibrated out, and we didn’t immediately notice (the juddering was that bad).  A few km later we stopped for a breather, and something made me check the shocks… the shock mount on the chassis had been bent off at nearly a right angle to where it should be, the shock was dented and its dust cover ripped off, and there is a gig shiny dent in the floor where the shock had been hammering it.  In true bush mechanic fashion much swearing was deployed, buying time for a solution to be dreamed up before family meltdown occurred.

Margaret was sent down the road with a walkie talkie to search for the bolt (handy having a runner available) while I attacked the chassis mount with my trusty landy-hammer (copper mallet, good for hitting sensitive things really hard and not worrying too much about denting them).  With the bracket now roughly back in shape I dug into the roof boxes and found a bolt of the right length, diameter and thread – albeit not high tensile – called Margaret back and remounted the shock.  A few bits of Gorilla Tape and the dust shield was also back in place…  rolling again!  A new shock is arriving on Monday, and we will also source a proper suspension bolt to replace my #8 wire solution.



Categories: Man vs Land Rover

1 comment

  1. Hi Mate, I recommend using an after-market twin electric fan setup. Viscous fan couplings always seem troublesome.


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