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paul_s0 New Reader
11/15/17 3:16 p.m.

Hello there folks.  I don’t know if this will be of any interest to folk on here - neither my literary talent nor my engineering skills are anywhere near the level of lots of you good people, but I thought I’d try and start a thread of my trials and tribulations keeping vehicles going down here in sunny Peru. 


I’m a British expat who’s been over here for a few years with my young family, I’ve been involved in various forms of motorsport over the years (mostly rallying, with some autox type events too) although sadly at the moment I’m not involved in any, but I’ve never stopped tinkering with cars.


For those who’ve never visited, Peru can be a lovely place but it is somewhat challenging keeping vehicles in good condition, due to the state of the roads, the driving standards, lack of decent garages, and the fact that your average Joe just doesn’t know anything about cars and their maintenance.  In fact that is applicable to everything here, the vast majority of people will always pay someone else to do anything that’s not their day job (house DIY, painting, car maintenance, heck, even washing the car), so I’ve learnt to deal with incredulous looks and strange comments when I’m working on the car/apartment.  I’ve even had the Police turn up before now to check what was going on, so rare is the sight of anyone, let alone a Gringo working on a modern-ish SUV.


The roads.  Well, there are 2 extremes, deeply rutted, pot-holed, badly maintained strips of land that pass as roads (Lima is terrible), and occasionally out in the rural areas lovely billiard-table-smooth ribbons of tarmac, with lovely flowing curves and great sight lines (I get to go for a good 200km, including a climb from sea level to over 13,000ft ASL, on one of these beauties when I go to visit our main production facility, in the North Eastern highlands).



paul_s0 New Reader
11/15/17 3:17 p.m.

So, the cars.  Having lived in Blighty all my life, I was used to Banger-nomics, across the 35 cars (mostly 80s/90s hot hatches (309 Gtis, a great many of them, Almera Gti) and ‘warm’ saloons (Primera eGT, BMW 325 TDS, 406 V6), with a few classics (Triumph TR7 Sprint, TR7 V8, Dolomite Sprints, Spitfires), MR2 Mk1s, Land Rovers and random other things too) I’d had before emigrating, the average purchase price was probably only around $700.  I was in for a shock when I arrived here.  The last daily driver I’d had in the UK was a Peugeot 406 V6, unbelievably comfy and rather quick cross-country.  I’d paid 300 GBP for it, and picked up a full set of Koni Sport dampers for 30 GBP.  Over here, the V6 is rare as rocking horse poo, even so, the run of the mill 4 pot 2000cc versions were between $4500 and $7000.  Erk.   Whilst we had the use of the in-laws Discovery 3, we needed our own vehicle too, as with both of us working plus transporting kids we needed 2.  After seeing a Peugeot 405 Mi16 (described as being in ‘great condition especially the engine´, said engine wouldn’t run at less than half throttle, empty expansion tank with rusty water stains all over the engine bay, steam out the exhaust, completely rotten, etc etc), a VW Scirocco GTi (I considered it, but the steering column was lower than it should have been, broken seat rails, dodgy clutch, etc etc, but it did have Bilstein B6s fitted, so I got awfully tempted), then finally an E34 525i, which was an honest car, but basically needed everything replacing, it was very soggy, and at that point I wasn’t sure about importing parts, so finally a decision was made to buy a brand-new car…


Now, I always swore I would never do it, as depreciation in the UK is terrible, but here it’s not so bad, and so after weighing it all up, plus the need to get a new vehicle soon, we placed the order for a brand-new Mazda 2 Sport, kept it for 3 and a bit years, then sold it just before it was old enough to need the annual technical inspection (Revision Tecnica).  It was what it was, it was fun enough and reliable.  However, last year saw the arrival of Mini-me (#1 is mini-her), child #2, and the Mazda 2 just wasn’t big enough.   After much pondering I decided we needed two SUVs, the Disco 3 plus A N Other.  I got very close to pulling the trigger on a Bug Eye WRX estate (I know, not an SUV, but it cropped up), but something just didn’t seem right with the sale, so I declined, then I got close with a WJ Grand Cherokee with the 4.7HO, but wasn’t entirely sure of my ability to cope with only having auto boxes to drive, I reckoned I’d go bonkers without a manual to play with.  In the end I decided to stay with what I knew – Land Rovers!  I ended up with a Discovery 2 TD5, bare bones version, no rear SLS, coil springs all round, no leaky sunroof, manual box.  However….After finding a few more things on the to-do list for the Landy than I really wanted over the next few months, that needed sorting for me to be happy driving 9 hours into the wildlands of Peru, coupled with the final confirmation that my daughter had suffered an as-yet undiagnosed condition which caused to lose her hearing, and would need 2 significant surgeries which aren’t covered under insurance, I decided with a heavy heart to sell the D2 and look for something cheaper that would need less time and money, as both were going to be in short supply for some time.


After a bit of pondering, I decided a 1st Gen Mazda 3 hatch with the 2.0 would fit the bill of being just big enough, and just fun enough to keep me interested.  So, I ended up with this 2008 version:




paul_s0 New Reader
11/15/17 3:23 p.m.

Now when I’d bought it there was a grumbling/graunching noise under hard acceleration – I was convinced it was the exhaust rubbing…well it wasn’t.  The infamous Mazda engine mounts were the culprit, or more specifically the passenger (LHD) hydro mount, which was completely collapsed and resting on the metal bracket.  In my defence you couldn’t actually see that with it on the car.. I swear!  Getting things delivered to Peru is rather pricey, so I opted to buy just the insert without the big heavy metal bracket.  Ably assisted by my daughter (proud Dad moment), we got the old one off, separated, and new one mounted in just over 30 minutes.  I was really rather pleased with how she understood what needed to be done, and in which direction to brace the bracket whilst I was messing around with it all.  After that the poor Mazda was left alone again for a while, as daughter was about to go for surgery #2.


However… I obviously can’t leave things alone.   Fast-forward a few months.  Everyday I go and drop our daughter off at school, and the roads over that way are absolutely appalling, between the pot holes and the speed bumps designed for trucks the poor old Mazda was struggling, and if I had a full tank of fuel I couldn’t get there without scraping the sills, and I was getting paranoid about the sump and the fuel tank.  Whilst a tank and sumpguard are tempting, as the front dampers were getting tired I decided the best thing to do (obviously), was change dampers and springs.  After much buggery, I found that the Mazdaspeed 3 front springs would increase front rate by about 30% and lift the front slightly (reports varied by how much), and then the front springs off a Chevrolet Chevette 1976 thru 1987 (or Pontiac T1000 1981 thru 1987) for the rear.  These were coupled with Bilstein B4s for damping duties on the front, and KYB Gas-A-Just on the rear (couldn’t get hold of the Bilsteins). 




With that lot on the car we now have 7” – 8” clearance to the sills, and I’m very pleased to say the higher % increase in rear spring rate has helped to balance the car up nicely, and it is even better in the curves now (both outright grip and balance/adjustability on the limit), even with the higher ride height.   Now that a few months have passed, I intend to take half a coil off the rears, as it is still just a bit too high at the rear.

‘Obviously’ whilst the front end was apart I changed the front lower wishbones’ rear bush, which at some point in it’s life was a hydrobush, but now was just a floppy lump of delaminating rubber.  These got replaced by Whiteline Poly bushes with a touch more caster (wooo).


Whilst changing the rear springs, I noted that the rear anti-roll bar droplinks were on their last legs, and ordered up some Moog problem solver endlinks from Rockauto.   Then, in the garage under our office in the warehouse, I set to work changing them before starting work.  One side went fine, nice piece of kit the Moog end links, then when I went to change the other side, I noticed the threads on the new end link are mullered.  I tried teasing the nuts on to no avail, so that side got the old clonking drop link again, whilst I contacted Rock Auto for a replacement.  You know I mentioned getting stuff here takes a while?  Well, my one week delay between receiving the end links and noticing the threads was enough to be outside the 30 day warranty period of Rock Auto, I wasn’t entirely happy, but at least I know for next time to check everything straight away, and I now have an excuse for buying more tools (I left behind everything when we emigrated) – time for a tap & die set, and cut some new threads.

paul_s0 New Reader
11/15/17 3:27 p.m.

Bear with me folks, I'm trying to get the hang of image resizing with Imgur..



Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
11/15/17 7:03 p.m.

In reply to paul_s0 :

Welcome! I'm enjoying the ride along, keep it coming.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth MegaDork
11/15/17 7:08 p.m.

My overall impression of Peru (from our amazing American education system) is llamas and dirt paths, funny hats, and cold. Obviously there are substantial cities and that means proper roads and cars, but I've got to know, what is driving around Peru like? And can I come visit? 

dculberson PowerDork
11/15/17 9:17 p.m.

I spent three weeks in Peru back in 2000. Hard to believe it's been that long. What a beautiful country. Welcome and thanks for posting about your cats!

paul_s0 New Reader
11/16/17 7:23 a.m.

Thanks for the kind comments and welcome folks.

Seth (the legendary Mazdeuce, one of the reasons I got addicted to the GRM forum), Proper roads?  Well, there are some, but as you mentioned there are a lot of dirt paths too!  Peru is very much a country of two extremes of very good and very bad, and therein lies it's biggest problem, the age old gap between the well off and those in poverty, although the last decade has finally seen an increase in the 'middle class' so to speak. 

The cold is only really up in the Highlands, here on the coast winter is around 15 deg C, but the humidity (98%!) makes it feel a lot more chilly, but summer time is 35 - 39 deg C, up North around Mancora it's even hotter.

Driving in Peru is.....an experience.  Coming from the very ordered and strictly regulated roads of the UK it was certainly an eye opener, I'd imagine for someone who doesn't actively enjoy driving or lacks confidence it would be very intimidating.  Whilst there are rules and regs, for the most part they are only intermittently followed, and that includes by the Police.  Running red lights etc is an everyday occurance., and one of the favourite past times is turning across 3 lanes of traffic (turning right from LH lane and vice versa) because the other lane doesn't have a queue.  You have to have your wits about you.  It's not just the drivers either - pedestrians are like lemmings.  One of the most scary experiences in my life happened last year - my wife and I were on the way to the in-laws beach house one Saturday evening, thankfully the in-laws had taken our daughter with them earlier, whilst my wife and I were at work.  Anyways, it was about 19:30, around an hour after sunset, we were 30 mins South of Lima on the Pan-Americana (the main motorway/freeway), in no rush, steady traffic.  Lots of oncoming vehicles with main beam on,or DIY HID kits fitted aimed far too high, in short you couldn't see far in front.  Just rounding a slight left hander, my sub conscious registered something wasn't right with what I could see ahead, and I threw out the anchors as hard as I could, and just stopped before collecting a drunken old guy walking down the middle of the lane.  My wife didn't know what was happening until the last fraction of a second when he was just in the throw of dip beam.  To this day I'm not sure how I realised, I can only assume that in the glare of the oncoming traffics' lights I registered a human shadow.  If I hadn't.....

Outside of Lima Peru is really a beautiful country, and I really enjoy my drives up North for work - it's between 6.5 hours and 9 hours driving, including a climb to over 13,000 ft asl, depending on traffic in Lima, and the state of the road.  The last time it was a 9 hour trip, as the main road through the highlands was still being repaired from the floods and landslides at the start of the year, it was washed away in 3 places, so there were some interesting detours.  I've a few dashcam videos if folk would be interested.

There's a huge variety of vehicles here, some of which can be interesting:


but also contributes to the traffic problems - you have some folk flat out at 20 mph with no funcioning lights, on the Pan Americana, and others in the brand new SUV pulling 100 mph weaving in and out of traffic:

Binbag door:


I first visited Peru in 2007, and it has changed a huge amount since then, I can only imagine how much it must have changed since 2000!


More car stuff in a bit...







paul_s0 New Reader
11/16/17 7:32 a.m.


So, the Mazda is up to date..The Discovery 3.  Now, this is also a 2008 vintage, same as the Mazda.   I (foolishly) thought that at that age the Disco really should be in quite good condition.  It wasn’t.  100,000 miles on some of Peru’s more questionable roads, coupled with some truly terrible maintenance had taken it’s toll…


Back in 2013, when we were first offered use of the Disco, I had a drive and thought there were some issues, so I parked it and just quickly popped the front in the air.  What I found astounded me – both front wheel bearings had sufficient play that I could move the top of each wheel by nearly an inch (!!).  I immediately forbid anyone to drive it, and went about seeing how I could get wheel bearings.  It turns out that a quote had been obtained previously, a mere S/.2000 each – around $600 each. Hmmm.  I contacted a few suppliers in Blighty, around $150 each, plus $150 in courier fees.  Ok then, get them on the plane.  After a good old fight with customs and the carrier over import duties, I set to work, and found that ‘someone had been here before’.  Oh my goodness.  So, all over the sealed-for-life bearings were witness marks, screwdriver gouges, where someone had pried the races off to grease them, looking back through the records I found a receipt for ‘maintenance of wheel bearings’.  Argh!  I also found one of the caliper bolts cross threaded and only half way in... Anyways, I got those changed and that then allowed me to hear that the CV joints in the front driveshafts were clicking away, so once again I got hold of a quote here – S/4000 each ($1200).  So once again on the phone to suppliers in the UK and around $250 each for the driveshafts, so over they came too.  Since then I’ve changed all 4 wheel bearings, the (infamously bad) electronic handbrake module, several sets of brake discs and pads, various suspension bushes (some several times due to a parcel going missing in the post and having to use a locally sourced cheapy), balljoints, all fluids, and various bits. 


In 2014, we had the misfortune to buy and fit some Dunlop Grandtrek AT3s on the Landy, after 2 years we started getting some horrible noises and vibrations, I spent a long time triple checking wheel bearings etc, and found some uneven wear on the inner shoulder of the rears, but the alignment was ok, the various noises got worse and I found some reviews online from Australia, that several people experienced problems with these tyres on bigger SUVs that matched our problems and always with tyres that were not made in Japan (like ours)  Well I started planning to change them, but then luckily drove it one day (it’s my wife’s daily), and noticed at low speed a definite oscillating movement from the back, and found one of the rears had a big lump in the tread.  Well, it couldn’t wait any longer and so the next day off I went:





This really was the shape, it’s not the angle of the photo:


The stories will continue shortly...

NOHOME UltimaDork
11/16/17 9:31 a.m.

One of the items on my "retired guy" list is to skip out on Canadian winters. As a Spanish speaker, South America seems to offer some attractive places to spend 3-4 months. Peru is one of the places we have been researching.

Question is, after the first few weeks, what the hell do I do with myself?!

paul_s0 New Reader
11/16/17 10:36 a.m.

Go around spotting the variety of old cars?  There are some bargains for someone with time to rescue them, a lot are just seen as ageing machinery and thrown away, there's a few old Volvo PV544s, Amazons, lots of 1960s/1970s North American stuff, some 1960s/1970s Peugeots, etc etc.

paul_s0 New Reader
11/16/17 10:40 a.m.

A brief aside…

So, I briefly mentioned the safety/security aspects of life here.  Accidents here are annoying.  I have just now arrived back from taking my son to the clinic.  On the way back, on a 3 lane (each way) road, I was in lane 2.  Taxi in lane 1 to my right half pulls into my lane and stops, as another taxi in front of him stops suddenly.  I have to stop quickly, but only from around 30 mph, sadly the taxi behind didn’t, Just that horrible *scrreeeeeeeeech thump* as he clonks into the back of the Mazda, I hit the hazard lights and get out, check my son was ok, then go to see the damage.  Not much, just slight damage to the bumper, then I go to speak to the taxi driver.  “It was your fault” he utters straight away.  “My fault?!” says I, “you just ran into the back of me, you need to leave enough room between you and the car in front to stop!”.  “It’s your fault” he repeats, “you stopped”.  Arggh!! “Look, you have hit the back of me, I had to stop because another taxi swerved in front of me and stopped” says I, trying to stay calm.  “It’s your fault” he says.  Gawd.  “It’s your fault, I tried to brake, I braked from all the way back there, look at the lines on the road” says he, triumphantly. “Sir, if you couldn’t stop then it means you were going too fast for the distance you had allowed, in every way possible you are at fault for this accident”, I calmly state.  “It’s your fault” he repeats.  Ok, this isn’t working is it.  Calling the Police isn’t an option, they’ll take for ever and the cost of filing a complaint (you have to pay to report anything!) is more than fixing the bumper will probably cost, and it's anyones guess what the Police may decide, sadly corruption is still rife here.  The only compulsory insurance here is 3rd party personal injury, no 3rd party material cover, this guy won’t have optional insurance, so the only way for me to get anything is for him to hand over cash, which blatantly isn’t going to happen, he has a car full (actually totally overloaded, the rear was on the bumpstops…..) of witnesses (who know nothing of driving nor the rules of the road) also stating it was obviously my fault.  I have insurance but the excess is more than the bumper repair.  In the end I have to just shrug, get back in the car and carry on.


So recommendations for repairing a small hole in the black plastic part of the rear bumper..?

paul_s0 New Reader
12/21/17 11:22 a.m.

So, a little update.  First off the Discovery 3.  The poxy Electronic Handrake failed again around a month ago, I got a phone call from my better half saying "The handbrake is screeching and won't stay on".  Followed shortly by a scraping noise in reverse from wheel.  I disassembled that wheel, and found one return spring slightly chewed up loose inside the drum (I say drum, but the inside of the disc, it has the handbrake inside the rear discs).  Goodness knows how that has happened, I adjusted it all up around 6 months ago, and haven't had it all apart in a year or more.  So that got fixed, then I had to unjam module (it jams itself and then can't move, hence the screeching). 

Then the power steering pump started groaning.  A fluid change was on the to do list anyway.  Now, a Disco 3 specifies a specific Texaco Cold Climate Fluid made from Unobtanium.  Unsurprisingly it's unobtainable here.  To get it through a dealer or to import a litre or 2 costs around the same as a new pump.  Now, older Discovery 2s also specified this fluid, but stated if you were in warmer climes you could use a Dexron 2 or 3, various Discovery 2 owners have done just that, and seem to have, in general, reported no problems.  So figuring that a new pump would cost the same as getting the Unobtanium based fluid here, I figured it's worth a try with normal Dexron.  Flushed 1.5 litres through the system and refilled with fresh Dexron and the pump is now silent and until now no problems.  The main risk appears to be leaks caused by the different characteristics of the fluids.  Only time will tell on this one.

Now the only  biggish job left to do is change the rear lower wishbone bushes - it's getting a rather squirrelly under braking, the forward bush in the rear wishbones is a huge voided bush, and just with a short bar I can move it enough to change the rear tracking by 5 degrees or so, so that needs doing urgently... That'll be some fun for next year, bcs, as of Saturday..... we will have a new project *cough* I mean vehicle, as the Mazda has moved on to pastures new..  The replacement has double the number of cylinders wink

gearheadE30 HalfDork
12/22/17 12:44 p.m.

Always fascinating to read about life in other countries, car stuff or not. I'll be following along as well, and am looking forward to more stories (And pictures, of course!)

CyberEric Reader
12/22/17 3:48 p.m.

What happened to the Mazda? Another crash? 

And your Spanish must be better than mine to have that conversation after an accident. 

My father once got pulled over in Mexico and I had to negotiate with the cop in Spanish and it wasn't easy, not that my Spanish is great (I spent some time in Argentina). The driving wasn't much better there. I saw a taxista hit a pedestrian once and just keep driving. 


paul_s0 New Reader
12/26/17 3:34 p.m.

Cheers gents.  My Spanish is better than it was, but not as good as it should be after 4.5 years here!  I do struggle a bit with languages, but I also seem to be developing some hearing issues too which doesn't help!

The Mazda got sold on to my wife's cousin (well, her husband actually).  Earlier on this year they'd bought a Mazda Demio (early Mazda 2).  Unfortunately they didn't realise they'd bought an absolute shed of a vehicle.  It was one of the infamous "converted" cars that occasionally appear here - dodgy RHD to LHD conversion.  'Specialists' import JDM cars and lash together a conversion.  This one appeared to have front struts from 'something' else, left front a good 1" lower than the the rest of the car, top mounts way off centre, completely missing screen wash system, huge amounts of play in the steering (I reached under the dash and could move the column a good 1/4" - 1/2" in all directions), etc etc.  I asked them for the sake of their children to get rid of it ASAP. 

Most of this year the route I've been doing to school and then to the office where I work in the morning, has been down massively pot-holed tracks and unsurfaced roads, hence having changed springs, dampers etc on the Mazda.  However, it's getting worse, and they're forecasting more extreme weather this coming year, and driving standards if anything are worsening.  All this coupled together meant an SUV was becoming an increasingly likely option.  As the aforementioned family members suddenly announced they'd sold their car and made us an offer for our Mazda 3, we agreed (I, rather reluctantly!), and set to looking for a replacement.

I went to see a Mitsubishi Montero Sport, and didn't like it.  Just, everything really.  I was already unsure as the 3.0 versions are fairly slow, and the example I saw certainly didn't help.  The owner proudly told me how it had been 'stored' for 4 years in a garage at the beach house, so it was in 'excellent condition due to having 4 years less use'. 

Hmmm, leaving a car sat for 4 years in a humid salt-laden atmosphere.  It showed, lots of rust, interior trim falling off, etc etc.  Lots of evidence of bodge jobs.  I walked away.

So then I saw this:



It's a 4.7 Limited with the Up Country package and Quadra Drive.  The PO works for Jeep here, and it's had a new radiator, hoses, water pump, fuel pump, and a few other bits (all driveline fluids changed in the last year, and filter for the box).  What it needs are some suspension bushes - hitting a bump at the moment is a white knuckle event, and the whole rear axle jumps over, checking underneath the bushes in the rear upper arm are totally shot..  Dampers whilst not tremendous (they're Monroe), are adequate for the short term.  So, just filling out my Rockauto order for rear upper arm bushes and balljoint, an auxiliary belt tensioner pulley (whining), belt (I can see 1 crack) and some spark plugs.  They'll be coming with a courier (limited by the $200 limit where it becomes notifiable to Customs here), then I shall be placing an order to come with snail mail, with track bar bushes, trailing arm bushes, maybe a steering damper, we will see.  That snail mail parcel had also better include some rear brake pads for the Disco 3, as during the handbrake repair I did note they were getting a bit low.

Having just reset the onboard MPG computer yesterday after filling the tank, so far we've averaged an indicated 7.6mpg... I'm hoping that improves!  It does have oversize (265/65 R17) tyres on though which won't help.  I'm thinking I will need to invest in some upstream O2 sensors.  I'll hook up the OBD2 bluetooth job on my phone for the drive home and see what the fuel trims are doing.



bluesideup HalfDork
12/27/17 1:52 a.m.

I did the rear upper arm and ball joint on my WJ last year and I've swapped the whole rear end in the past. Do yourself a favor and buy a 21mm ratcheting wrench like this one in my link. It makes the job much much easier. It's very easy to cross thread the bolts securing the ball joint plate to the top of the differential because they'll be buggered up with locktite and the housing is aluminum. 


Also the bushings in the end of the arm need to be clocked properly or they'll wear out in short order. I have pictures of the project somewhere and I'll dig them up for you. 


The axles take friction modifier or fluid that has it. Some work better than others. The transfer case fluid is special if you have the unit with 4 full time and 4 low. 


Wjjeeps.com is a great reference site. 


GearWrench 85921 XL 21mm GearBox Ratcheting Wrench

21mm GearWrench

paul_s0 New Reader
12/27/17 8:03 a.m.

Thanks for that.  Yep, I'd read a few guides with regard to the orientation of the bushes - I shall have to see if I can get hold of a ratcheting 21mm - ratcheting spanners are very new down here, and carry a price tag to match!  I'll be sure to clean up the threads on everything cheers.  Pictures would be great too, thanks.

As the PO worked for the Jeep dealer he assures me he used the correct special Mopar fluids in all the driveline... I hope he's telling the truth! I shall program in a fluids change, but it won't be just yet, unless I find anything untoward.

Having just checked what I can with the OBD2 app I have, both upstream sensors are fluctuating nicely, and short term fuel trim is between -2% and +2%, Long term trim I couldn't find the option for until just now, so that will have to wait until later.  Downstream sensors were showing a steady 0.7V ish.  Coolant temp showed a fairly quick (fairly high ambient temp here as we're coming into summer) warm up to 92 deg C then held steady at that temp.

Once I've done 100 miles or so I'll fill the tank again and see how a calculated mpg figure (adjusting for the tyres) compares to the computer..

A non car-related question - how do I edit the thread title??


paul_s0 New Reader
12/27/17 8:45 a.m.

I just have to say, I know it's a great big SUV with an auto box, but I do love hearing that V8, it's been 12 years since I last had a V8 (Triumph TR7 V8), and I've missed that 8 cylinder burble.

CyberEric Reader
12/31/17 1:22 p.m.

Cool! Hope the Jeep treats you well.

That was good of you to sell the 3 to the family member, that Demio sounds... bad! 


paul_s0 New Reader
1/3/18 8:17 a.m.

Thanks! The husband of the cousin said to me the other day - "It really is very stable isn't it, I was just doing 80 and didn't even realise it, the Demio felt really unstable and scary at that speed".  That Demio really was a very scary vehicle. 

If folks are interested, here are a few videos from my trip up North into the Highlands last year

Not particularly exciting, but it gives a flavour of the roads at sea level outside of Lima:


Missing bits of road after the landslides:


Some nicer scenery:



paul_s0 New Reader
1/3/18 11:30 a.m.

Some of the variety we get here:

paul_s0 New Reader
1/23/18 4:40 p.m.

So, having failed to get anything done on the WJ in the last few weeks, I left home early this morning to get to work early and use the garage at the warehouse. My plan was nothing too ambitious, just to change the spark plugs.


My reasons for wanting to get this done were twofold:

1)I had no idea when they were last changed

2)I wanted to see the colour of the plugs and see how things were.


So, I popped the resonator etc off, and saw the evidence of “someone has been here before” (look at the hose running along firewall):


Hmmm. Breather hose held together with insulating tape. Lurrrvely. On closer inspection it’s the plastic tee that has fractured. A new breather hose would be some 2 or 3 weeks away at best, plus around $100 with shipping, and I was stuck at work. So, some slightly more air-tight bodgery was employed, and it was glued back together, then reinforced with more bodgery tape, which shall all be replaced ASAP. Then it was a quick rush to get the plugs changed (really Jeep, those rear 2 plugs are a PITA, and I really don’t like using UJs on extensions for things that thread into aluminium.) and get cleaned up again.


At lunch I took her out for a run, and for the first time since buying her, gave her some beans and took her up to around 4500 rpm, where she had a slight stumble, it felt for all the world like fuel starvation – the PO said the fuel pump was replaced a year or 2 ago, so I shall have a looksee at the fuel filter and see if that looks recent or not. The plugs all looked like if anything she was running a little lean, but fuel trims all looked sensible. I shall have to do some more investigating.

I’m programming time for the weekend after this one to get down to the in-laws taxi workshop to get the oil change done, the rear upper arm bushes & balljoint, and the front panhard rod bushes. The front ball joints on one side are shot too, I now have the ball joints, but no ball joint press – cost is prohibitive to get one shipped over, and they don’t seem to exist over here. Anyone care to provide odds of being able to change the ball joints using heat on the axle, new ball joints in the freezer, and a big g clamp or (horror) a BFH with suitable sockets/adapters

paul_s0 New Reader
2/5/18 7:52 a.m.

Well, I finally got down to the workshop with the WJ yesterday, but it was one of those days. 

First of all the kids and wife didn't want to get up (I needed to get them all ready to go and see the grandparents before I left).  Then my wife drove off in the Disco 3 with me running down the road after it as the trolley jack and one axle stand were still in the boot (I did catch her!).  With all that palaver I managed to forget my cordless impact wrench and 36mm socket ( which I only realised when I arrived at the workshop).

First job was to get the rear upper arm off to change the bushes and balljoint.  What a pain in the backside (actually in the head, I clobbered my head 3 times,  now have a big lump on one side, good job there's nothing useful in there).  When I got the arm off I could see the orientation that Bluesideup was talking about, however... they were abour 70 degrees out - the voided part was mostly orientated to permit maximum lateral movement.  Hmmm, that's not right! Then I went to the machine room to press them out.  That was the next hiccup - the chap with the keys had "just popped out".  Berkelying hell.  It's never been locked before. 

So, I then got on to the engine oil change whilst I was waiting - somone had been here before - sump plug had a 'sealing washer' made entirely of silicone sealer.  Lovely.  Luckily I'd ordered a new one (having encountered similar botchery on the Disco 3 when I first took over it's maintenance).  Just as I was finishing, the chap with the keys came back, so it was back to the press.  The bushes came out ok a bit of force but not too bad, however the balljoint was a right difficult fella. Whilst the pressure gauge on the press is u/s, my right arm tells me it was probably the most force I've had to use yet.  There was no way that was coming out with a balljoint splitter.  I then put all that lot back together, and realised it was 14:00 and I still hadn't eaten, and I was starting to get asked how much longer I would be at the workshop.  I decided that once that end was back together I'd just do one more job, so I opted for the track bar bushings, should be straight forward, right?  The bushes in there were aftermarket, but the outer shell was so thin walled I couldn't find anything the right diameter to push the shell out.  I ended up having to dismantle bit by bit and after well over an hour of faffing finally got one bush out.  By this time it was rapidly approaching 16:00, and I really needed to get back, so, against my better judgement, the track bar went back in with one new bush and the other I left alone. 


So, it was a semi successfull, but I need to get back down there again, this time with the right tools, and also a rear wheel bearing (right rear has play..).  Then I can finish the track bar, change the front balljoints, and change a rear wheel bearing.

All good fun.....



AAZCD New Reader
2/5/18 9:48 a.m.

... So, all over the sealed-for-life bearings were witness marks, screwdriver gouges, where someone had pried the races off to grease them, looking back through the records I found a receipt for ‘maintenance of wheel bearings’.  Argh!

Lol... good stuff. I just read through your whole thread and thoroughly enjoyed it. As a military helicopter pilot, I spent a year in Honduras in the mid 1990s and partially deployed to the Peru/Ecuador border  for peace-keeping ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cenepa_War ) but was recalled when negotiations broke down. Our rule for traveling on personal business, was 'Hire a local driver'. If a US citizen was in a serious accident, regardless of the circumstances, There were two possible outcomes: Pay lots of money and quickly leave the country, or go to jail, then pay lots of money.

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