Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Technical, cardan, Part 1.

Day 814
90,687 km since the beginning of the journey,
Pichilemu, Chile.

For some time there has been no technical post here. Neither ordinary post with pictures and stories, but the last time the technical issues were described was 3 months ago (the problem with the front amort ) in the beginning of February. Such unscheduled technical, which means that something is broken or not functioning as it should.

Anyway, so now it is my fourth day in Pichilemu, a small town of nearly 13 000 inhabitants and the city is located by the Pacific Ocean and considered to be one of the main surfing areas. Only just now it is not the right season. I arrived here on May 7 in the evening and before sunset I found even a decent overnight place.

The first part of the day was spent in town and later I found a campsite with wifi by the ocean. And since the rest of the household was also satisfactory, ie, - hot water and electricity - then I stayed for another night intending to move on in the morning. In the morning, it was planned to fill the tank first and then move on.

And now the technical story begins. I am in town and drive uphill, the main road is just in front. Having given way to the passing cars on the main road I begin to drive and then suddenly - there comes a crash from behind the car and almost just in the middle of an intersection the car stops.

The first thought – something has happened with the clutch, but no, it must be something else. The first gear is on but adding more gas does not make the car move, instead – the car seems to start moving backwards. I put the hand break on, turn on the hazard warning lights and have a look under the car. The sight is not encouraging – the cardan has come loose from the gearbox. Next, it is necessary to get the car away from the intersection, which was not difficult , I just let the car trundle about five meters back.



And the oil from the gearbox flowed on the street until I found a plastic box to put under. Then I made this picture to document the situation, or something similar.

My inner voice said that probably no leaving this town today. And right it was. One local picked up the parts of the cardan from the intersection and suggested to get help from a mechanic, not far away. But first I had to find out myself what exactly had happened and what parts had broken. So I put on my work clothes, climbed under the car and I turned the cardan off. There's no need of a mechanic just to loosen the 4 bolts and the cardan has been replaced before - so – nothing new. The first joint crosskit was attached to the cardan and was unbroken. But the next element was damaged.

Quite a vague picture of the broken piece


Next I took the broken part and the Russian manual of MAZDA (The Russian manual is more detailed and has more pictures compared to the English one), and a local took me in his car to a shop of repair parts.

A shorter summery and thoughts and facts of the long story –

The mechanic promised to help with the problem and then it took me some time to arrange the problem of towing - to get the bus back to the camping - site.

The broken cardan – bought in The Republic of South Africa. It was said to be a new one and looked like a new one. It was just my ignorance that could not distinguish a restored cardan from a new one.

The issue that while in Africa I took the old broken cardan with was the right thing to do but as I didn`t need it in Africa and decided to leave it in Cape Town camping – was not a good choice. Although the reason was the weigh of the car while driving in the sand in Namibia and Botswana. In these conditions every kilogram is important. So the restored cardan lasted about 45 000 kilometres.

The equipment for the planned oil-change


The process of oil-changing. Quite simple. The bottom protection off, the used oil out, the new filters on and the bottom protection back.

For a moment it seemed that things are ok again and can move forward. But not. I drove downtown and parked in the middle of the road according to the local custom (in the middle of the road there are parking places). And half an hour later, coming back to the bus - fresh drops of oil under the bus caught the eye. So back to the camp site and under the bus again. Crosskit was oily and I guessed that probably the seal had had damages as well
The next day- the new seal before installation.

At the workshop with the silicone it was nicely fixed and in half an hour everything was supposed to be in order. Supposed to be, but the fact was that back at the camping site everything at the bottom was oily again. Again my own fault- one must check everything. On closer inspection it turned out that the cause was not in the seal, there was a hole in the middle of the welded part, and that's where the oil came out.

A quick temporary solution – used a rag to prevent the oil from flowing out and fixed with two plastic sticks.

The workshops could bereached, it`s only a 1 km

Here is a picture of the welding, and I very much hope that it withstands 200 km up to Santiago. The story continues tomorrow.

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