Consequences of Taking the Road Less Traveled

It took two full days of cleaning and tinkering to get everything back to ‘normal’ after our choice of roads to Sucre the other day.

There was filth – lots of it. We were refused service at a car wash. They even had a power sprayer and wouldn’t take the job. We went back to our campsite and scrubbed and scrubbed. Pulled everything out and scrubbed the inside too. How does road dust get in the closet? The engine compartment had to be cleaned just so I could work on it.

Windshield – 2 cracks – both on passenger side. They will stay for now.

Tires – 1 flat. We discovered the next day. It was a slow leak that turned out to be a blown out patch from the last time. $2 to have it repaired again.

Oil leaks – 2. One from the distributor and one from alternator stand. Maybe it was just time. I found the local VW parts store (Formula Uno) and they had a very cheap looking gasket kit even though they didn’t have a distributor cap. One benefit of the dual carbs is that I can replace the alternator stand gasket fairly easily.

Carburetors – 2 unhappy ones – they were filthy inside and out and I just couldn’t tune them. Finding carb cleaner in this town was a challenge and took hours. I spent half a day disassembling and cleaning them up. Now, they tune up. Good thing I have a sync tool. There was also a new broken choke part – a lever that connects to the throttle control. Another thing for the list.

Oil – how did that get so dirty? How much blacker could it be? “None more black.”

Interior bits – we found all the screws that rattled out and have screwed just about everything back in.

Underside – the front panel that protects the brake master and steering got the puddin’ beaten out of it. The steering linkage now scrapes against it when I turn.  I’ll take it off and try to bang it back into shape when I get a chance.

Now, we’re (almost) ready for the next trip.

8 thoughts on “Consequences of Taking the Road Less Traveled

  • June 16, 2011 at 8:26 AM

    it is places like this that was the reason VW made the hurricane air cleaners LOL I am surprised those Kadrons have made it that far. hope you guys are well e mail me if I can help

  • June 16, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    well you folks are living proof on how generally reliable these vehicles can be with a little TLC. i’m really surprised you haven’t had more flats. good rubber there. 🙂

  • June 16, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    Wow! I don’t even want to look under the Sprinter. too scary

  • June 16, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    I sympathise about the repairs. We just cracked our 4th windscreen on the 18 months we’ve been travelling. Oh, and punctured a tyre. Hope it doesn’t cost you too much.

  • June 16, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    Looks like the alternator fan did a good job keeping itself clean.

  • June 17, 2011 at 6:30 AM

    Hey guys- just a heads up… I know you are probably not going to miss the Salar de Uyuni, but from there, if you are planning on going to the Eduardo Avaroa Natl Park in the very south, the roads are probably comparable/worse to your track to Sucre- multiplied by 3 or 4 days. Can’t speak to the route heading west to the Chile boarder at Ollague- but all I do know is that our truck was almost shaken to pieces by the washboard on the road to the Park.

    Also, driving on the Salar, you might consider attaching/taping a tarp or something under your undercarriage to prevent salt build up- we didn’t, and the whole underside was coated in a nice 1/4″ layer of salt. We power washed it off, but now, just a year later, my truck is one big rust bucket because of it! (It had rained though, and we were basically driving through a giant salt water puddle, so if its dry, maybe it won’t be a problem for you). Either way, good luck and keep up the great posts!

  • June 17, 2011 at 7:23 AM

    mark – so far, they have been soldered, baling-wired, and glued.

    Bumblebus – …just not everyone wants to start their day under one.

    Leo – yep – it blew all the dust to the right.

    Dave- Thanks for the tips. We’re going to try it and see how far we get – part of this exercise is to prepare for it. I also hear spraying oil or light lube under the car is a good idea. We’ll probably skip the prep and just try not to drive through any lakes.

  • June 24, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    Hi there !
    I think you should really remove this gas filter from your engine bay, especially since it is just next to some electrical wires and all… Most engine fires starts precisely here, from this little filter.
    You can remove it and place it right after your gas tank, before the engine bay… it would be much much safer… 😉

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