Kenya 101Repairs
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The first thing we changed was the broken rear spring. We had a spare which Chris had tried to fit in Addis Ababa but he couldn’t get the old one off, (the trick was to forget WD40 and use a little brake fluid or diesel as releasing fluid. Works wonders!).

The second thing was the front spring, which broke on a reasonably level track, but had been severely overstressed when the rear broke. This time both leaves broke and the car dropped onto the anti sway bar. The spare needed the outer ring of the old bush removing and a new bush pressing in before it could be fitted. This was cunningly accomplished using the bottle jack against the rear axle as a press with a socket placed between it and the new bush and the bridging ladders as a solid base.

Nelly had been popping out of high range when under load so on arrival in Nairobi we went to see Paul at Land Marque and took out the gear box for a look see. Having taken it out, peered and adjusted the clearances on the transfer selector forks nothing else was obviously wrong. Whilst the gearbox was out we took the opportunity to replace the clutch plate and thrust bearing. Then, the gearbox was replaced and, after checking with a test drive, the problem seemed to be fixed.

The throttle cable which had first broken in Egypt, secondly in Ethiopia, and again on our way to Nairobi, was finally replaced with spares flown out from England (brought by Helen’s parents, I know we should have had a spare with us).

The shock bushes were replaced (long overdue) and we decided that the shock absorbers themselves were a bit tired and the front ones were replaced with “Mitsubishi Canter” shocks, these are a bit shorter overall and have less travel than 101 original equipment, but 101s were never known for articulation anyway, and these appear to work O.K. Replacements for the rears seemed to be made of unobtainium.

Back to the springs. We replaced all the spring bushes, again with supplies brought from England (the bottle jack is getting used to being used as a press). After this we thought and discussed various methods of providing assistance to the springs. We saw another 101 with coil assisters and seriously contemplated getting this done but in the mean time we tried third leaves. We had some 13mm thick ones made which we put on the front and tested. The ride was terrible; we took them off and placed them on the back. We tried this for a bit, and liked it, so abandoned thoughts of assister coils for the time being. We had some 8mm thick springs made for the front which were modified Toyota FJ75 springs, these are only 70mm wide as opposed to the 101s 76mm wide leaves but are doing the trick at the moment. Rumour has it that Kenyan steel is not that strong, but hopefully, they will last the rest of the journey.

We had been hearing a pssss noise from the servo whenever we applied the brakes and the second consignment of goods from England (c/o Chris’s parents) contained a new Lucas Girling type 50 brake servo, just ripe for adaptation to fit a 101. After a few hours in Nic’s workshop it turned out it wasn’t a broken diaphragm support plate as we had feared but a worn seal.

Ball Joints! Not an expletive, but the cause of our clonking noise whilst steering (diagnosed via international phone calls to and from Darren Parsons). Repair kits for these were brought out along with the brake servo. Thanks to the tip from Darren Parsons, and the V8 tappet donated by Glenn Mathews of 4wd maintenance, we were able to press out the worn cups that the balls sit in, (place the tappet in the bottom of the track rod end and use a large vice to press out the cup). This is something we’d been unable to do the last time we tried servicing the track rod ends.


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