Accidents/Breakdowns - big trip - the landy - accidents/breakdowns - timing belt and halfshaft


You should've driven over here!

Glum face

August 28 2002

During the drive from Lethem on the Brazilian border to Linden in Guyana, we broke a halfshaft in a sandy jungle puddle during the night. At least we'd had three days with four wheel drive since the last broken one was replaced! Worse was to come at 9am on the graded roads 30 miles south of Linden, when some nasty noises and loss of drive signalled the end of the timing belt, only one year and 45000kms old. B waited with the car whilst T went to Georgetown to get another belt and some pushrods, returning after dark.

In the morning B jumped a lift to Linden on a lorry which was going to the local mine workshops, with the idea of borrowing a torque wrench needed for the repairs. After listening to our story the resident mechanics made light of our troubles, towed the landy in and set to work with us to repair the damage. This was like a gift from the heavens, the job would have been close to impossible on a dusty road miles from anywhere, now we had a workshop, food, a place to stay and some new friends!

Cracked hot spots

The first set of bent pushrods

Bent valves

The injectors need a clean too

By the evening we had replaced the pushrods and the timing belt, ready to reset the timing. This proved tricky, the dots weren't lining up after the crank had been turned, the valves where hitting the piston so they must be bent too, and of course now the new pushrods where bent as well. We called it a day and went for a chinese, bought for us by our hospitable hosts.

B went to Georgetown on Saturday to get more parts whilst the head was dismantled, T finding out we needed valves, 3 hotspots ($50 each!) and more pushrods. None of the cashpoint machines take Visa here, but thanks to our friendly bus driver who got his mate to lend him the money, B managed to get the parts required. T also straightened the little metal triangles (baffles?) in the radiator, a lot of which had been squashed flat by repeated blast through cleaning with pressure hoses.

By the end of the day the new valves were ground in, new hot spots in place and the head re-assembled ready to do the valve clearances. Whilst turning the crank the valves were still striking the pistons - we realized that we had to reset the timing belt as we had done it with bent valves the first time so the dots weren't lining up properly, but perhaps the camshaft was bent too?. As it was Saturday night we tiredly headed to the local disco for some entertainment after another long day.

Lots of wheels

Can i have a look at your pistons

Allicock grinds in the new valves and...

...uses a home-made tool to put them back in

Sunday we had a go at getting the front driveshafts out to see which one was broken this time. It was the short side and we had the same problems as after Canaima, the halfshaft jammed solid at the diff end. After a few failed attempts to extract it, the same technique of welding a plate on the end of the protruding shaft and bashing it with a sledgehammer did the trick. We made further use of Paper Bags' skills, first we got him to weld a nut on the end of the hub bolt which was rusted in, so we could remove it and check the wobbly bearing on the rear wheel at last. Then he made us a bonnet mounting for the sand ladders, so we dont have to haul them back onto the roof all the time when offroading in the mud. It will save a lot of effort should the need to use the ladders arise ever again!!

Still concerned about the timing problems we decided to check if the crank was bent. Dismantling the head again we found one of the tappet sliders was very worn and needed replacing. Luckily a friend of Allicocks living locally, who happened to be a landy mechanic too, had a spare one. We went round to get it and asked his adivce about our timing problems which confirmed we were actually doing it correctly!

Paper Bag... good at welding...

...luckily for us and our stuck short halfshaft

T takes a liking to the front diff

Monday and we had to go to Georgetown again to get some more money and the short halfshaft, plus a full set of brakepads as the jungle mud had eaten the fronts almost away and the rears had been soaked in oil, making them fairly useless. When we got back Allicock had replaced the tappet slider and put the head back on, so we set the clearances and, with some trepidation, fired her up! All seemed to be well apart from a slight tapping noise, the clearances were not quite right, plus the exhaust manifold was blowing a bit.

On Tuesday the end was in sight, we worked fast all morning and put in the new driveshaft, replaced the brakepads all round plus replaced two sets of wheel bearings which were looking worn. The electrician took a look at the lights and despite being a bit confused by all the yellow wires, he fixed up the broken bulb holder sockets. We set the valve clearances again, a couple had been a little off, and by 1pm were ready to roll, massive thanks to the mechanics at Omai mine who worked four long days in between doing their normal jobs. Patching up a wicked travellers landy was an interesting change for them, lucky for us!

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