Jump to content

Prep to Overland across west africa


Wheely

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, I work for a company providing solar home system on credit to rural people across west africa - currently are evaluating our next market so I am jumping at this opportunity to get my Landy on the road ūüėč! I¬†will be crossing from Ghana to a few of the other countries around west africa (skipping the war zones of Burkina and Mali), finishing the trip in Senegal - about 4000km.

Now need to get going with the prep.ūüôÉ

The first thing I wanted to check with you guys is whether the standard water temperature gauge (is water temp the same as coolant temp???) and the warning oil pressure idiot light are sufficient/reliable or should get myself an EMS kit like the Madman one which would give me:

1- Oil pressure

2- Oil/transfer case temperature

3 - Coolant temp

4 - Coolant level

5 - EGT --> which I wouldn't fit as the 200TDI doesn't have the EGR plate and I am not comfortable in drilling the manifold here in GH

6 - Battery voltage

 

Everyone I asked is telling me to go with the EMS2 by Madman, I trust this being an ideal solution, my question is not whether that's a good piece of kit or not, but rather whether it's something I'd need or the standard set-up would be sufficient since point 5 is not fitted, point 6 is not going to make a world of difference, 1 and 3 should be sorted with the standard set-up, so the only real benefit I see (provided that indeed 1 and 3 are reliable from the standard set-up) is on point 2 (not very useful as the oil temp should always be around 5 degrees above the coolant temp) and 4 --> would this justify getting such a piece of kit worth about 300 quids?

Mind that my Landy is standard (no mechanical mods/upgrades ) though it has a 200 TDI despite it being a 3 axle Defender (the previous owner changed the 3.5 V8ūüėí) so I'd think that it'd be a bit heavy to pull for this smaller engine - but I am no mechanicūü§Ē

Thanks so much for all your guys feedback,

Simone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The madman thing is very expensive, any good quality gauges (VDO Vision are favourite) with correct senders and decent wiring should be telling you the truth. £300 would buy you 3 or 4 individual VDO gauges + senders easily.

1. Oil pressure is reasonable to keep an eye on.

2. Oil temperature in the gearbox or transfer box is unlikely to be an issue, I use temperature indicator stickers and replace them when I change the oil / check them by glancing at them when I'm underneath the vehicle for maintenance. I've not heard of anyone fitting a gauge for this - a warning light switch perhaps at most.

3. Water = coolant = the main temperature gauge. If it works then great, if it's questionable then a VDO unit would be my choice.

4. Coolant level you are unlikely to get a gauge for, more just a warning light connected to a float switch, and DIY versions of that have been written up on this forum at least once (see the technical archive)

5. EGT unlikely to be a worry unless you've wound the fuelling up on the injection pump.

6. Voltmeters are cheap and easy and plentiful, a reasonable warning of charging issues but you don't need anything fancy to see when it's dipping below whatever's normal.

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends how much time you have to prepare...

Those things would be nice to be able to monitor, but first I would make sure that the main systems are in good order - radiator fins intact, wheel bearings greased, all oils/filters changed, bushes/shocks not failing, alternator charge output sufficient, battery has life in it, UJs greased.

The standard gauges should be fine. Check/clean the earths as temp gauges can read a bit funny if there's an earth problem.

Sounds like a fun trip. Breaking down is half the fun anyway, or at least it was when my Defender broke down in Ghana (twice) ūüėĀ

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have done a number of expeditions in and across Africa including summer Algerian Sahara crossings. Standard equipment and gauges are fine. Just keep an eye on them. A well maintained vehicle is much more important.

You can always find something to spend money on! Good luck. Regards, Diff.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks all for your comments! much appreciated! I see you all make reference to having the engine in good order and so far, in the couple of years I have had it, it has been running fine - sparking at first attempt even after 3-4 months of no usage. My slight worry is that 1) I dunno how many miles the engine has run before it had been swapped as it has been bought here in Ghana by the previous owner and there was no record of that so may be it's going to be more likely for something to break if it had a lot of miles 2) since originally the Landy was fitted with a petrol engine and now it has the diesel one, is there a chance that some of the original gauges/senders/terminals won't work as expected or if that was the case I'd have noticed it already by now ? sorry for the stupid questions but you are a great sounding board! ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The trouble with conversions is unless you did it yourself you have potential for problems unless it has been done correctly.

If in normal use your temp gauge is rougly in the middle, the oil pressure light works, your fuel gauge works then don't worry about adding on another layer of electrical systems.  If you want to check your coolant level is ok just put the heater on - if its cold you need to top up! 

Bearing in mind you have a conversion, spend your time checking the wiring loom, look for poorly crimped terminals, poorly made add on wiring for spotlamps, radios etc and tidy it up.  Use cable ties to secure loose wires.

Make sure your radiator, hoses, hose clips are good (including heater).

Usual things that break when you least want them to are clutch, clutch hoses, master/slave cylinders. Wheel bearings, prop UJs.  The heat built up on long days of driving in a hot country tends to accelerate failure of hub oil seals, diff seals, gearbox output seals etc.  Useful to carry an alternator regulator also.

If you don't swap them out beforehand, at least carry them as spares with the right tools/fluids/grease to do it roadside.

Keep everything as simple & standard as possible, 4000km isn't a huge distance and largely these days you don't have to go far for assistance.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Wheely said:

Thanks all for your comments! much appreciated! I see you all make reference to having the engine in good order and so far, in the couple of years I have had it, it has been running fine - sparking at first attempt even after 3-4 months of no usage. My slight worry is that 1) I dunno how many miles the engine has run before it had been swapped as it has been bought here in Ghana by the previous owner and there was no record of that so may be it's going to be more likely for something to break if it had a lot of miles 2) since originally the Landy was fitted with a petrol engine and now it has the diesel one, is there a chance that some of the original gauges/senders/terminals won't work as expected or if that was the case I'd have noticed it already by now ? sorry for the stupid questions but you are a great sounding board! ;)

 

1. If you've owned it ~2 years I would want to do a full service on it before setting off - ALL the oils & filters, grease everything, check everything. Personally I would replace the timing belt & tensioner (can always throw the old ones in the spares box just in case) and maybe even the clutch if it's an unknown and you can get a good one. Depends how serious your overlanding is likely to be / available time & money. Aluminium release bearings and uprated clutch arms are available for 200TDi's and both are a good idea.

2. If the gauges work & read correctly then great. If not (as I found with my conversion) buying a VDO gauge + VDO matched sender gives you a matched pair which reads out in degrees so you definitely know what's what. Mis-matched senders/gauges can read correctly in some places but swing wildly in others (EG normal might be normal, but massive overheating might only read a little above normal) so it's a bit of a risk.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/27/2019 at 12:53 PM, FridgeFreezer said:

 

1. If you've owned it ~2 years I would want to do a full service on it before setting off - ALL the oils & filters, grease everything, check everything. Personally I would replace the timing belt & tensioner (can always throw the old ones in the spares box just in case) and maybe even the clutch if it's an unknown and you can get a good one. Depends how serious your overlanding is likely to be / available time & money. Aluminium release bearings and uprated clutch arms are available for 200TDi's and both are a good idea.

2. If the gauges work & read correctly then great. If not (as I found with my conversion) buying a VDO gauge + VDO matched sender gives you a matched pair which reads out in degrees so you definitely know what's what. Mis-matched senders/gauges can read correctly in some places but swing wildly in others (EG normal might be normal, but massive overheating might only read a little above normal) so it's a bit of a risk.

Thanks a lot for your suggestions

1) Yes I'd go ahead and change all oils/filters/grease it all up (wheel bearings greased, bushes/shocks not failing, alternator charge output sufficient, battery has life in it, UJs greased).

The timing belt (1 belt inside and 1 of the two belts outside) and tensioner were changed couple of years ago but since then I'd have done less than 2000 miles. Unfortunately the kit I had bought was the one for the 200TDI (TIMINGKIT200DEF) and so the front-cover gasket and water pump gasket wasn't correct and there wasn't the idler (ETC8560) since my engine it's rather a Disco one (VIN:12L77414A).  What would you recommend me doing having done so little miles since then but not having changed all of the components ?

What does the clutch aluminium release bearings and uprated clutch arms do to change them as a precaution? something like this (link)?

Do you think I should change the radiator pipes to give it another layer of security?

2) I see your point there on the mismatched senders/gauges - indeed they may work but signal something not adequate for the engine - swapping the VDO water temperature then and adding one for the oil pressure so to avoid relying on the idiot light?

cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Wheely

Great to see it's going to travel

An infra red temperature meter would be worthwhile , they are cheap enough to buy and a good way to monitor transmission and wheelbearing heat . The cam belt should be good for 5 years /50k miles  but they do degrade if left stationary for long periods . Fixable if it goes on the trip but failure when running will bend pushrods and maybe break the odd rocker arm .

The clutch release arm is worth the upgrade , the std. version splits around the pivot pressing with no warning and if you are in there upgrading to the metal housing thrust bearing is peace of mind .

Accurate coolant temperature and oil pressure gauges is peace of mind too , particularly oil pressure as a fall in pressure will be noticed way before the warning light comes on at 5psi .

The radiator pipes just need a good check , good original pipes last well .  

Happy trails:)

Steve b

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Wheely, I find that gauges are great and important but there some habits that are just as important..... 

check your oil and water levels each morning, this quickly gives you an indication of any potential problems.

check under your vehicle every morning, look for new leaks, loose things, bolts with shiny spots around the head (shows you bolt is loose and vibrating), don't be shy to put a hand onto things and give them a wiggle

any time you stop check your wheel bearing temps by hand, if you driving hard on the open road at 100+kmh you should still be able to touch your wheel hub without it burning you, and if you find left side hotter than right side you have an early warning.

have spare oils, brake fluid etc with you, but don't let some drips under the gearbox or transfer case make you try and fill your gearbox each day, it takes a lot of "drips" to make it worth it to open the box and top up..... only to find that less than 50ml goes in...

and above all, enjoy, if you break down you won't be the first, or the last, so enjoy the african hospitality, smiling faces and helpful people and when you get back on the road you will have a story to tell....

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks guys, much appreciate all of your inputs and suggestions, so:

I see the point of proactively changing the clutch arms with uprated ones since this part fails easily and I don't know how many miles the 200TDI I have fitted has. Few questions 1) How easy of a job that is without having very sophisticated tools? I'd do it with the mechanic here in Ghana but we just have spanners with us no other special stuff (Torque wrench, etc...) [ yeah need to buy myself a some proper stuff asap]. Looking at this video (link) it looks like we gotta dismantle all the bell housing 2) would ftc2957 be the right one (link) [ the gearbox I have is the 200 TDI Disco that has the diff lock lever in front of the gear stick lever, and the reverse is next to the 1st gear) 3) I have seen this video (link) as an upgrade to prevent in the future having the split where the pivot presses (link) - worth it for GBP45 or just a normal HD one would last enough miles?

Bearing alu part no is FTC5200 (link), right?

Anything else to change on the clutch? bearing in mind that so far  (fingers crossed) no problems have been encountered with it :)

Having said that the liquid in the clutch master cylinder is always dirty (despite changing it/bleeding it/etc..) so likely the seals are gone (despite having no leaking on the footwell whatsoever) - would you recommend replacing just the seal or the whole master cylinder? and if the latter was the case, should I do at the same time the slave cylinder as I have read somewhere that they should be replaced at the same time? would they be of the 200TDI (fitted engine) or of the V8 (original engine)?

thanks a lot!!

Simone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Changing the clutch is easy if you have an engine hoist/block & tackle/crane.  The job is easiest done if you remove the gearbox tunnel covers (they are fastened down with screws), then just undo the bellhousing to engine bolts, engine mounts,  pipes, hoses etc and lift the engine up.  Change clutch plate, cover plate, check the condition of the spigot bush.  You will need to make a tool to centre the clutch,  a suitable size bit of pipe/dowel  will do.

Easier to swap the slave cylinder while engine out, you need to use the 200tdi one. Fit a new clutch arm - a standard one with a reinforcing plate welded behind the pivot point is fine, buy one ready done or a fancy one, all equally as good - and a good quality release bearing.  And yes fit a new master cylinder at the same time - they both do the same amount of work so will be as worn as each other. replace the whole cylinders as they can get worn and pitted inside. A seal kit is a useful thing to keep in a spares box though .  You dont need a torque wrench, clutch bolts just need to be moderately tight, as much as you can pinch up using a normal hand spanner is fine.  You should be able to do the whole job with a simple socket set and box of spanners.

You can also move the gearbox back rather than take the engine out - useful if you have no hoist available.  I've also done it by supporting the gearbox on jacks, unbolting everything then roll the car forwards - you can get just enough gap to replace the clutch, even more so if the radiator is out, but the engine needs to be supported with straps to stop it tipping. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/27/2019 at 12:31 PM, Eightpot said:

The trouble with conversions is unless you did it yourself you have potential for problems unless it has been done correctly.

If in normal use your temp gauge is rougly in the middle, the oil pressure light works, your fuel gauge works then don't worry about adding on another layer of electrical systems.  If you want to check your coolant level is ok just put the heater on - if its cold you need to top up! 

Bearing in mind you have a conversion, spend your time checking the wiring loom, look for poorly crimped terminals, poorly made add on wiring for spotlamps, radios etc and tidy it up.  Use cable ties to secure loose wires.

Make sure your radiator, hoses, hose clips are good (including heater).

Usual things that break when you least want them to are clutch, clutch hoses, master/slave cylinders. Wheel bearings, prop UJs.  The heat built up on long days of driving in a hot country tends to accelerate failure of hub oil seals, diff seals, gearbox output seals etc.  Useful to carry an alternator regulator also.

If you don't swap them out beforehand, at least carry them as spares with the right tools/fluids/grease to do it roadside.

Keep everything as simple & standard as possible, 4000km isn't a huge distance and largely these days you don't have to go far for assistance.

All of the above. Plus have good tyres and drive slowly and considerately for your mechanics.
It's not that far, slowly does it, never rush at the end of the day when tired and your there safely...
I'd worry more about the visa's and vehicle import documents...
See horizonsunlimited.com/hubb for that kind of thing....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website you agree to our Cookie Policy