January 2013 – Roadworthy & Mapping

Feels like ages since I’ve done an update, well the amount of work that I have been doing I feel a year older, never under estimate the amount of time needed to get a project car thru roadworthy, at least take your estimate multiple that by two and then again by two. All the little small things takes a vast amount of time, it’s almost unthinkable.

Jaguar 4×4 Trailers

Since the car went thru Police Clearance and I got the final papers back from them a week later, I had no problems putting the car on my name. Luckily for me the previous owner is one in only a handful, each year he renewed the license for me, and this time round we just did all the paper work over, thanks a million. Just a final word on the subject of Police Clearance, since September 2012 all vehicles / trailers in South Africa that has to go thru Police Clearance is required to be fitted with Microdots, I would just like to let you know you have to be wake up when these said accredited installers fit these microdots to your vehicle. I went to a company called Jaguar 4×4 Trailers as they are close to home, but damn what a mistake this turned out to be, just look at the comments about their attitude on South Africa’s leading 4×4 forum: 4×4 Community Forum . Let me explain what happened, took my car to Jaqueas, he applied his dots, after I informed him this is my pride and joy and do not want to see this crap. Once I returned and his dots dried, it was all over my bonnet, flares, engine bay and area between the bonnet and windscreen. It felt as if dust was under the paint, I was about to cause damage. I thought I’ll give the man a change to explain and rectify his mistake by phoning him the next day, the conversation went like this:

Me: Hallo Jacques, you added the microdots to my Datsun yesterday.

Jacques: Yes, I remember the blue one.

Me: Yes, since these microdots dried, it can see and feel them all over my right front paintwork, it feels like dust under the paint, but you can see the blobs of glue, I would like to know what you are going to do to rectify this problem?

Jacques: I suggest you take a Lacquer Thinners cloth and see if it will remove the dots.

Me:…………….(thinking, this could not be a professionals opinion) what, that will ruin the paint, please contact your suppliers and come back to me.

Needless to say, I have not heard of him again, any mechanical person that can build a trailer surely must know that lacquer thinners and oil based paint does not match and these establishments calls themselves professionals, I beg to differ. For anyone that also ends in the same position than I, you can remove these microdots with a cloth drenched with petrol, it takes some rubbing to get the glue loose, but it works.

It took hours, much more than I expected to get the car ready for roadworthy, but at the end I got it done and just as luck would have it, took the car for a drive, hardly 100m from home and all of a sudden the bonnet flew open, luckily I did not hit anything, drove the car home, in due time I will replace the bonnet and fix the shear marks that the hinges left behind. But the bad luck was still not over, a week before roadworthy I had to remove the Martin Bruwer throttle bodies as I was unable to get the car to idle low enough, they were replaced with the original intake that I converted for RWD use. What a mistake this would turn out to be, more about that later. Once at roadworthy the car passed with flying colours and the next morning I was up early to hand the papers in to get Datto’s License disc. This was a long time coming, while I was at roadworthy I had the car on the scale, total weight came to a whopping 1080kg, I expected the car to be heavier, but not that heavy, but seeing that there is only so much you can remove from a Datsun, it is almost to be expected. I also got the front & rear axle weighed, the front came in at 540kg and the rear at 520kg, not bad weight distribution.

During the next week a few other small things was taken care off, before Datto’s date with Ian Oberholzer from Rezlo Auto Works to do the mapping on the car. Friday 4 January 4am I was up, 04:50 me and Datto was on the road on our way to Villiersdorp to pick up my father that was going to accompany me on the trip. We approached the trip as a holiday away from everyday life, the views next to the road kept us happy and chatting away at the beauty of our country, especially the Garden Route. Since I booked us a spot between Hankey and Loerie, we felt the urge to show Datto the Gamtoos Valley, especially since the N2 was getting way to boring, it didn’t take us long to swop the nice N2 toll road for the old N2, the poor thing, we towed him until the tar roads ended and we found a turning point just a few kilometres from the entrance of the Baviaans Kloof. This must be some of the most fertile agricultural ground in the Eastern Cape, just have a look at the red colour of the ground, even the pigs are trying to blend into its surrounds. On our way to our camping site we stopped over at the biggest Sundial in Africa just outside Hankey, standing 18m, 34.6m long and weighing an enormous 1000kg.

The next morning we got up quite early packed our stuff and towed Datto to Ian’s premises, once there we were greeted by a man quite busy with fabricating a few parts for his race car. We started unwrapping Datto and I started and drove Datto into the driveway, Ian made a remark that usually vehicles that arrives normally must be pushed, a statement I will not forget. Even with his busy schedule, Ian offered me the change to ask a lot of questions and we discussed the whole process, from what his thoughts are and what I would like out of it. We left Datto in his capable hands and was at last free and could venture deeper into the surrounds that the Eastern Cape have to offer. We basically drove around Port Elizabeth following the coastline until we got to Jeffreys Bay, avoiding the N2 completely, it’s a nice road, but damn boring. We popped into the legendary Supertubes before we drove to St Francis Bay to have a look at the devastation left by a few fires. We drove to Brakkeduine Camping site on the shores of the Klipdrift Dam to setup camp for the night. The next morning we left early as we still had a lot of coastal towns to visit, seeing that we on a road trip. We just had to have a quick stop at the Bloukrans Bridge, the World’s highest bridge bungee. On our way back I got the best fuel consumption yet with the Toyota 3.0 D4D at 9.3l/100km.

During the week I was almost provided with a daily update to the happenings of Datto by Ian. There was a few issues that I was unable to pick up seeing that I could not drive the car as Ian. it seemed that things was going well until I received a email the Friday evening with the following type of words in, misfire, tapper cover off, shim missing on intake valve 7, cams ok, etc. Damn not the sort of news I was expecting, luckily the cams was ok, seeing that they are worth more than the motor. The only theory we could come up was that a piece of welding from the intake that I welded shut came loose, that would explain the missing shim on cylinder 4, thus the piece of metal was stuck between the valve and valve seat, causing the shim to come out and the metal piece to start a party within the confines of cylinder 4, causing damage on the piston and combustion chamber. We decided that Ian would open the head in order to find the missing shim and evaluate the damage caused, unfortunately this motors is no joke to open up, seeing that they utilize stretch bolts OEM head gaskets is unoptanium in our country.

Seeing that the car was now a non-runner, standing in his driveway with parts weeks away, I decided to fetch the car. My brother and I decided we shall use his TDI Polo to go fetch Datto, this allowed my fiancée to accompany us and would hopefully save myself some money on the fuel bill. Very early the morning of the 19th January we left on mission go get Datto. We drove to George Caravan park in in go to setup camp for later the night, we were able to off load all the unnecessary stuff and lock it up in our private bathroom. Once we finished setting up camp we had some breakfast and this is where the Blue Monster started harassing my fiancée, obviously to my brother and myself amusement this was very entertaining, once you show a wild animal that you’re afraid off it, they have the upper hand. We continued onwards to Ian refuelling at Humansdorp, fuel consumption a staggering 6.2l/100km, this with 3 people in the car, full of baggage and sticking to the speed limit. We arrived at Ian and went thru the list of problems that he picked up with the car, during this time we also went thru the plan in getting the car fixed. This time round we pushed Datto out to the road, what an irony. On our way back we had a huge argument with the Tsitsikama Toll Plaza management, so bad, my brother and I blocked the only open gate, we were about to kill someone. All of a sudden we had to pay for Datto, while Datto was physically linked with a solid A Frame. That was fine, we handed a petrol card to them, they swiped it and informed us that we need to pay for Datto in cash, seeing that there system does not allow multiple swipes of a card for a single transaction, immediately the bells started ringing. We were tired and wanted to get going, thus I handed them cash for Datto and asked for cash slips for both payment which they were unable to produce seeing that the system only allows a single cash slip per transaction, this was it I lost it, my brother tried his best but I was half way out the door by this time, they then notified us that if we want a cash slip for the vehicle on tow we had to go and collect it at the office. They even had the nerve to ask us to reverse with A Frame as we need to stop at the office, once we explained that it is physically impossible to reverse with a A Frame and they prohibited us to make a u turn in front of oncoming travellers, we lost it and proceeded to go fetch a cash slip at the office blocking there open gate. This forced them to send a new lady out with a fresh till full of money to open another gate to handle the queue that gathered behind Datto. While we waited for the written cash slip I asked for the rules that stipulates this crazy rules, once we got going again, it did not take me longer than 5 minutes to find the definition of a light motor vehicle and the sub sections stipulating that a vehicle with or without a trailer that is physically linked with a solid towing mechanism are seen as one. Anyways, we moved on and had a wonderful evening under the stars. The next morning we started packing up camp and once we picked the tent up we discovered the long toe frog underneath, the poor thing must have crept under the tent during the previous day looking for some shade, but then was laid upon for the duration of the evening.

On our way back home we stopped at Heidelberg for some fresh coffee and to fill up the Polo, this time round with Datto at the back we got 8.6l/100km, once we arrived home the average fuel consumption for the entire trip was sitting at 7.4l/100km, I must admit the turbo diesel technology came a long way in the last 10years. After a rest I headed to the garage to start the stripping process that was halfway done by Ian. As I was taking everything apart I was constantly looking for some answers to the problem. Cylinder 4 showed the signs of the foreign objects path of destruction, luckily the damage is better than I expected and Ian and I agreed that it will be safe to leave the sub as ease. What was strange was that cylinder 3 also show the same signs of a foreign object that started a party. This must have been from the motors previous life in Japan. As I was stripping the intake assembly for cleaning I noticed a screw missing from the throttle plate, I found the problem, luckily it was not from bad cleaning of the Intake after welding, but from a freak in screw, just plain bad luck. Apparently this is a common occurrence on these motors, apparently I was warned, but I cannot remember anything regarding that specific conversation.

Luckily the parts are on their way to get this little headache fixed correctly, we have compiled a list of things to fix before I will send Datto on another holiday. Next time round Datto will be much stronger.

More PicturesJanuary 2013 – Roadworthy & Mapping

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