Sunday, 2 August 2015

Blac's getting old... time for a few repairs

H has been busy these last 2 weeks. He's had a lot of fixing things on Blac to do. In summary, Blac is 26 years old and he's been on the road with this current 'build-up' (the motorhome bit) since 2010 and been down and up both North and South America.

Here's a bit of a run down on the repairs H has been working on.

The gear box. 
We had a strange noise when Blac was in lower gears. The noise had come on gradually to the point that we probably didn't even notice to begin with. It turned out that the best solution was to replace the gearbox and to do that we sourced a used one from The Netherlands. Added to this, the flange at the end of the gearbox was the wrong size and so we needed a new one from Mercedes. Everything is installed now, and now H and I can talk to each other again as we drive down the road (less noise!).

The Hot water system and the Heating (air) system. 
These were previously part of the one diesel system and both had been giving us trouble for some time. The hot water system was turning itself on and off at random intervals without relevance to the instructions from us (turn of the dial). The heating system had given us random problems with it's complicated electronics for a long time and now it didn't work anymore or, if it did, it smoked.

H replaced the hot water system with a marine boiler: it has a heat exchanger that runs the engine coolant from the radiator to heat the water in the boiler. These types of heaters are popular in canal boats and it means that we produce hot water while we drive down the road instead of separately burning extra diesel.
For the hot air, we bought a used unit, with simple electronics, from a motorhome wrecking yard. This system is a manual system rather than automatic, but we think it'll give us less trouble in the long run.

The tyres.
We'd bought new tyres last year in Paraguay in the trade free zone. Despite still showing a lot of tread we started getting a shaking when we reached about 80km/hr. H rotated the tyres, roadside, in Austria and it helped but advice from the Mercedes guy was that we should replace them because the tyres steel belt was broken. So the President of the Mercedes G Wagon club gave us 2 tyres and we were able to replace those as needed.

The water pipes.
Then, when we thought Blac was all good to go, we filled up the water and discovered Blac had a water leak. So, that's had to be fixed too!

And now.... we think Blac is ready (but we thought that yesterday).

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