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Re: Botswana Advice May 2013

Marinus, firstly relax and enjoy the trip, it will be great! The itinerary looks pretty good to me, except for the day you leave Maun for third bridge.

I can strongly recommend taking a flight over the delta from Maun, and personally would rather do that than the boat trip, particularly since you will be boating at Kasane. However, I would try and squeeze that in the previous afternoon, by leaving Kang early or if it's not too late in the planning stage rather staying over at Ghanzi rather than Kang.

We left Kaziikini (80km closer to third bridge from Maun) at around 7am, and only reached third bridge at 3pm. It can be done faster, but I wouldn't want to. The road from Maun to South Gate is mostly graded dirt, fairly corrugated but nothing too rough. From there to Third Bridge is tweespoor with numerous waterholes etc.

One thing I need to point out is that there are two types of water in the Moremi. The vast majority of the water is from rain that falls in the highlands of Angola, hundreds of km away, and this water takes around six months to reach the Moremi. In May, water levels will be on the rise but will not be at their maximum yet. The local rain is considerably less, but can make the roads slippery. You shouldn't have any serious issues unless you are towing very heavily though. Also, take the opportunity to talk to the rangers at South Gate about the recommended routes. Finally, the much-vaunted bridges. Important to realize that these are not really bridges in the normal sense of the word, but merely logs that lie on the ground, with supporting poles to keep them in place. So you are not going to plummet to your death. However these logs do rot fairly quickly, and then there can be gaps in the bridge, and more problematically the logs can jump up and get jammed in your undercarriage. If 1st and/or 2nd bridges look bad, there are bypasses through the water next to the bridge, just make sure of the depth on the line you want to take.

Third bridge has potable water as well as solar heating for shower water, but do take enough drinking water for at least three days in case of a real emergency.

From Maun to Savuti there may be some serious water obstacles. There is a lake/dam close to Xakanaxa, and it is in this area that Kalahari Safari broke his 4.5's engine the first time, due to water inhalation. The Kwai river can also be a formidable obstacle. Once more, speak to the rangers about routes.

If the Kwai is impassable, you need to make a fairly significant detour, so best start early. Once past Mababe, I reckon you are definately looking at the Sand Ridge road. This is fairly deep sand, and if your car is auto, stick it in low range, you will save a lot of fuel. Other than that, you shouldn't have too much of a problem. Savuti now has very sturdy ablutions with potable hot and cold water. Take note that no generators are allowed, even though they run their own for several hours daily.
by Peter Connan
15 Jan 2013 17:47
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Re: Maus en 4.8

Jacques, al wat 'n chip doen is om mens toe te laat om die bestaande en vasgestelde verstellings te verander.

Van hierdie verstellings kan 'n enjin ernstig beskadig mits hulle buite sekere perke val. Fit is dus die kennis en vernuf van die man wat die verstellings doen, wat bepaal beide hoeveel beter die kar gaal loop as hoe die betrubaarheid en brandstofverbruik geaffekteer word.

Weet maar net dat iewers iets gaan inboet.
by Peter Connan
08 Apr 2013 17:34
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Re: Photo Competition 2013?

I hope you guys are collecting nice pictures, because I am collecting nice prizes!

I hope to be able to make an announcement soon!
by Peter Connan
15 Apr 2013 18:51
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Photo competition 2013

Based on popular demand, I am introducing the second Annual, Patrol4x4 Photo Competition with the following rules:

• Photo must contain part or complete image of your Nissan Patrol/Safari;
• If you submit a photo of someone else’s Patrol, you will need to get their consent;
• Digital only and posted under this thread;
• No more than 3 pics per person, so please choose wisely;
• Photo Dates: Not specified, but photos entered in previous competitions will not be eligable;
• An independant judge (Gerrie van Eeden from WegRy/DriveOut magazines) will select the top ten entries;
• The Patrol4x4 members will vote to determine the top 3 winners from this top10;
• Entries open now and close 1 December 2013;
• Winners will be announced on 10 March 2014
• By entering your photo, you will allow Patrol4x4 to display your pics on the website.

Prizes are still to be finalized, but:
1st prize will win a custom knife made by an award-winning member from the SA Guild of Knifemakers (who also happens to be my brother, but don't worry, I personally promise a top-quality product). There will be a number of runner-up prizes as well.
by Peter Connan
17 Apr 2013 17:38
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Pintle hooks

For those guys with Y61's that have ogled the pintle hooks on the Y60's, I think I have found a source:

It looks like the RO231A05000 with 86mm x 45mm mounting (I am n ot sure if the Y61's holes are spaced like that, but I think they are).

I have not phoned for a price though, but they have branches in Chloorkop/Kempton and in the cape.

However, take note that you may need to modify the aluminium step to create clearance for the pintle hook.
by Peter Connan
14 May 2013 17:24
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Re: Sticky Speedometer (VDO specialist needed)

Years ago, I used these guys: ... er=348,919

Obviously, I can't comment on their level of service now, as that was 15 years ago.
by Peter Connan
07 Jun 2013 14:18
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Re: Diff locks

Roy, as said above:
The teeth on the dog engagement are quite large. It probably has about 8 teeth, thus engagement could take a significant amount of differential movement between the rear wheels.

If there is a problem, the chances are 85% that it is a vacuum problem. This is relatively easy to sort out. Some guys strip and overhaul the solenoid, some replace them with far more robust industrial solenoids. Just don't ask Nissan to fix it for you.

Most of the last 15% is that the electrical switch on the rear diff that tells the system when engagement has occurred is faulty. I have heard that this is the same switch as is used to activate the reverse light in a 1400 bakkie, but can't confirm this.

Bring it round for a look-see?
by Peter Connan
23 Jun 2013 07:51
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Re: Ian's Thing...

Autodesk Inventor Jorrie
by Peter Connan
18 Jul 2013 05:43
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Re: What are they for?

Clem, your first guess was correct. The are for lashing during transport.

Definitely not to be used for snatch recoveries please.

On your 4.8, there is a very heavy-duty hook bolted to the bottom of the driver's side chassis leg. This is a very good recovery point. If you want, you can purchase a second one from Nissan for around R550-600, there are holes in the other chassis leg to attach a second one.

On the rear of the vehicle, there is a closed loop hook in the middle of the chassis just under the rear door. This is Nissan's attempt at a rear recovery point and according to them is rated for 8 tons, but many forum members are sceptical. There are two possible options, the one is that a standard NAto pintle hook fits the same bolt holes:

Another option is that forum-name G-Man makes a heavy duty replacement. Personally I prefer the pintle hook as it eliminates one shackle, and four M10 bolts are at the end of the day only so strong.
by Peter Connan
27 Jun 2013 16:29
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Re: Best Drawer System

I think a drawer system is a very personal thing, and me being the opinionated bugger I am, did not like any of the commercially available systems. My major reasons are that these systems in my opinion waste a heck of a lot of usable space in the name of being neat, and since I am trying to fit four people in my car, rather than just two, this was a no-no for me.

Here is a link to what I did, and some of the reasons and thoughts are contained there as well:

I need to run now, but will be back...
by Peter Connan
21 Aug 2013 17:52
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Re: Photo competition 2013




by Peter Connan
28 Aug 2013 06:31
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I do not think this is normal or correct.

On the other hand, it only takes a very small problem to generate these results in a Patrol, and many cars seem to have it. Some cars seem to be more problematic than others. I had a problem for a while, but it was due to very badly worn ball joints on the drag link. Since that was replaced, it's been fine.

However, I very much doubt your local Nissan agent has anybody with sufficient knowledge and experience to stand any real chance of finding the problem, and while I agree that it should be sorted under warranty, but in reality I think it will just be an exercise in frustration.

Firstly, before you even take it to Nissan, have a wheel alignment check done and take carefull note of the values. Maximize the toe in and see if that helps.

If you want to, you can take it in and ask them to do th following:
1) Jack it up, remove the front wheels and all the steering linkages, then check the kingpin bearing preload (there are specifications in the manual for the amount of force that should be necessary to turn the hub assemblies). Also, check that the suspension bushes are all in good condition and properly torqued, particulalrly the panhard rod.
2) Before re-fitting the drag link and track rod, feel that the ball joints are all tight and smooth. Thre must be absolutely no detectable play in any of these.
3) If the problem has not been identified by this stage, the steering box should be removed from the vehicle and the adjustment checked. Once again there are torques in the manual, but this cannot be done on the vehicle. When re-fitting, they need obviously to re-fill and bleed the power steering.
4) Check the wheel bearing play, or just re-torquee the wheel bearings. If they have the right tools, this step will take them half an hour, if they don't, don't let them touch it... They need a special spanner and probably three different torque wrenches (196Nm, 5-7Nm and around 80Nm if I remember correctly)
5) Check that there is no runout on the drive flanges, and that the wheels are true.

I will actually be very surprised if they have the tool to do all the above correctly and as per specifications, but if they don't, they may well make the problem worse.

If all the above fails to produce results, try rotating the tires, and then just live with it...
by Peter Connan
08 Sep 2013 09:30
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Clem, I only have the number for the Y60, and I can't guarantee that it is correct for your car. It is checked with a spring balance.

It's on my computer at work, but I will post it tomorrow?
by Peter Connan
08 Sep 2013 09:58
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Clem, 0.6 - 1.75kg, measured at the hole of tie rod's ball joint.

Note that this measurement is to be made without the grease seal on the back and with the side shaft removed, so it's a bigger job than I thought!
by Peter Connan
10 Sep 2013 06:55
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Re: GQ Coils

Is daar enige moontlikheid dat die linker en regter vere omgeruil kan wees? Die regter vere is langer as die linker...
by Peter Connan
22 Sep 2013 19:48
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Re: Ladder for Roof Rack.

Dawid, please send me your e-mail (again?).

Cedric, I used mild steel and galvanized it. Not only cheaper, but easier to work with. Stainless would probably be the "ideal" material for this one though, but it's more difficult to find the square tubing that the legs are made from, and more difficult to weld (the steps are made in two pieces which are welded together).
by Peter Connan
02 Jul 2012 10:06
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Re: Trailer Coupling

I could be wrong about this, but I suspect that by the time you are exceeding the angular travel of the standard hitch with a typical overlanding trailer (which tend to have fairly high centres of gravity) you might well be in trouble anyway?

Oom Mac (Kagiso) sort of half-rolled his trailer on Van Zyl's pass a few years ago. I could be wrong here, but I reckon if he had one of these couplings, both trailer and car would have ended up lying at the bottom of the mountain, bacause the standard hitch caught the trailer before it could get any momentum built up? :think:
by Peter Connan
29 Sep 2013 10:53
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Death Wobble is a difficult thing to diagnose and fix, because for it to happen at least two things have to be wrong, but the list of things that can be wrong is quite long.

The primary cause of death wobble is that there is some play in one of the steering/suspension joints. I would say the primary area for concern is probably the trunnion bearing/kingpin/knuckle flange bearing area. On the patrol, there are two bearings on each trunnion. These are taper roller bearings and are located in the top and bottom of the knuckle flange, with four bolts each.

Now it seems as if yours were recently replaced...
With a taper roller bearing, the outer race is pressed into place. If these were not pressed in deep enough, then usage will cause them to become loose. They also need to be shimmed up during assembly, and if this was done incorrectly, this may also cause the problem. Note that the top and bottom shims must be the same thickness.

The only reliable way to check this joint is to jack the front of the car up, place the front axle on axle stands, remove the wheels and split the steering arm ball joints off (drag link and tie rod). Now see how easily the knuckle flange turns. The manual shows that a draw-scale should be used in the hole where the ball joint is fitted, and the resistance should be between 0.6 and 1.75kg. It is best to be as close as possible to the maximum value.

The other area where play may exist, is in one or all of the steering ball joints. While they have been split off, check their condition by feeling how smoothly and easily the taper pin can be moved inside the ball. The movement should be reasonably smooth with a fairly even friction. They should definately not be loose.

The above are the primary causes of the death wobble, but these conditions may exist for a long time before one ever experiences the death wobble, because to actually set up the death wobble, something else needs to be out of spec or out of balance.

This can be one of the following:
1) Bent rims
2) Rims not mounted correctly
3) Out-of balance tires
4) A bump in the road

The best way to check for conditions 1-3 above would be to perform a wheel balancing operation on the car. However, very few people have the necessary machine to do this check. A normal wheel balance should however show conditions 1and 3. To check for condition 2 without the right equipment, firstly make sure the fitting surfaces both on the rim and on the car are clean. Secondly make sure the hole in the centre of the rim fits correctly on the hub spigot. Now bolt the wheels on, and arrange a scribe on the face of the tire. Rotate the wheel, and make sure the line is the same distance from the edge of the tread pattern all the way round. Do the same on the sidewall as well.

Further factors that may axacerbate the death wobble are:
1) Caster angle
2) King pin offset
3) Camber angle
4) Condition of the suspension bushes
5) Steering damper
6) Larger/oversize wheels

The caster and camber on a Patrol are not ordinarily adjustable.
Tha camber angle can only go out of adjustment if the axle tube is bent.
The caster angle is affected by suspension lift. This is normally corrected by using special suspension bushes (caster correction bushes), but can also be altered with drop-boxes or special suspension arms. A reduction in caster, usually caused by a suspension lift without the correct caster correction being used will reduce the stability of the suspension because caster is what causes the steering to self-centralize.
The king pin offset is altered by fitting wider rims, rims with a different offset or wheel spacers. The larger the offset is, the more unstable the suspension becomes.
While the lack of a steering damper cannot cause the death wobble, the steering damper does fight the death wobble and will thus reduce the extent of the death wobble.
Oversize wheels increase the leverage the wheels have over the suspension and steering systems.

Therefore it is important to realize that Tiger Wheel and Tire (and similar service providers) cannot fix the root cause of death wobble, they can only make sure the wheels are correctly balanced. And while this may temporarily remove the wobble, it hasn't actually cured the problem. Note also that the root cause of the problem will also cause other damage in the long run, and must therefore be fixed.
by Peter Connan
31 Oct 2011 08:08
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Re: Steering Rattle

Kobus, the steering damper cannnot fix the problem, only hide it.

However, it could very easily just be a wheel balance problem.
by Peter Connan
30 Dec 2013 21:24
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Re: Diff lock light?

Frans, daar is drie algemene goed wat fout kan wees:

1) Die diff lock op die trollie het net omtrent 12 tande. Met ander woorde, die wiele moet some redelik ver draai voor die diff sal sluit. Jy moet die kar redelik baie draai voor hy sluit.

2) Die skakelaar wat wys as die diff sluit, werk soms nie. Toets hom op gras of sand om te sien of hy regtig nie sluit nie (onthou hy moet in 4x4 wees). As dit wel die ligskakelaar is, dis blykbaar dieselfde as die 1400 bakkie se reverse-lig skakelaar.

3) Die solenoid gee gereeld probleme, en die pypies kan ook vrot. Die solenoid is op die firewall gemonteer, binne die enjin-ruim en aan die linkerkant van die kar. Die vacuum pup van die enjin af, split net voor die solenoid in twee en gaan aan die kant in, en die uitlaat-pypies kom voor by die solenoid uit.
Hierdie goed gee gereeld probleme, ek glo dis oor die breathers nie goed genoeg is om stof ens uit te hou nie. Met die enjin wat loop en die transfer boks in 4h of 4l, trek die twee voorste pypies af. Jy behoort by een die vakuum te kan hoor en voel suig. Skakel die diff lock aan, dan moet die vakuum na die ander pypie skuif. As dit nie gebeur nie, is dit die solenoid, dan kan jy die pypies omruil en sien of die diff lock dan aktiveer.

As dit wel die solenoid is, kan jy die twee inlaat pypies afhaal, in met 'n klein boorpunt se agterkant of 'n sweisdraad deur die pypie voel of jy die solenoid se plunger kn indruk. Spuit bietjie Q20 daarin, en die kanse is goed hy sal weer werk!

As dit nie werk nie, toets die elektrise coils in die solenoid vir weerstand. As 'n coil uitgebrand is, sal jy maximum weerstand (open line) meet. Dan moet jy hom maar vervang, waarskynlik met 'n Macair solenoid (jy sal hulle hier op die forum raaklees, laat weet as jy nie regkom nie).
by Peter Connan
04 Jan 2014 15:09
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Re: Unbreakable Patrol keeps breaking

David, download the manual anyway.

It is very very much more informative than any of the books on the market...
by Peter Connan
10 Jan 2014 17:06
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In search of rain- Kgalagadi in December

Back in August we were having dinner with my parents when my dad mentioned that he really wanted to go to the Kgalagadi. But my mom doesn’t handle heat very well. So my wife (who is also scared of the heat) says that my dad and I should go. For my sin in choosing the wrong career, I am basically forced to take the bulk of my leave during the December school holidays, so we had to jump quickly and to some extent we could not pick and choose the best camps.
Fortunately, we were able to book three nights at Rooiputs and two nights at Two Rivers (note, not Twee Rivieren), which suited us very well.
The two of us left Joburg at around 4AM on the morning of the 14th December under threatening skies. Al went swimmingly until we hit Kuruman, where my old banger, usually totally reliable, decided to just die. 15 minutes of anxious fiddling later it magically started up again, but before leaving Kuruman I purchased a replacement coil as insurance (the coil felt very hot). As a result of this and some excellent conversation and a first-class brunch with my second cousin, as well as the car getting progressively sicker we arrived at Twee Rivieren rather later than expected. After signing in we proceeded on to Rooiputs where we would be spending our first three nights, but not before unpacking our cameras.
Stopping at Rooiputs waterhole to photograph a Gemsbok, somebody drove up and said there was a lion under a bush just a couple of hundred meters away. So we went haring off to find it, and indeed a beautiful male lion was soon found.


Unfortunately, the sun had already dropped behind a dune, so we headed off to campsite no.1, which turned out to be a no.1 camp, and very soon we had the tent pitched, and the food heating (we have developed a habit of taking a cooked meal for the first night as we are invariably tired after a long drive, in this case it was leftover sheep’s offal, a favourite delicacy of ours) to the accompaniment of a magnificent sunset (which I was too late to capture) and the manic barking of thousands of geckos. As an encore, the lion roared us to sleep.

The next morning we were up at five out of the camp at five thirty. A solitary Springbuck ram was waiting for us at the waterhole, standing guard over his domain, as was the ubiquitous Jackal. General game is quite common in the riverbeds, particularly in the early morning and late afternoon, and we saw a lot of raptors as well. It was also evident that some rain had already fallen, with some small puddles of water in the road between Kij Kiy and Melkvlei. But close to Melkvlei we came across a very sad sight: a very emaciated lioness was lying in the road, drinking from one of the puddles. There were already a couple of jackal hanging around, and three or four vultures relaxing in the trees.


Shortly, two more lion appeared, one a youngster, the other a slightly older male. The male had an injured eye and a wound on its’ back, while the cub looked fine until it jogged, when it kept one paw in the air. A Spotted Hyena arrived after a few minutes and circled to approach the lioness, then noticed the other two lions and decided to keep its’ distance. However, it stayed in the area and was obviously really looking forward to lunch…


Driving south after brunch, the car died again. I tried fitting the new coil but that did not solve the problem. Eventually I asked a passer-by to give us a tow back to Twee Rivieren in the hope that there was a mechanic there. We were fortunate in that there was. With his assistance, and a phone call to Grootseun we decided that it was indeed the coil. The problems were two-fold, and as always caused by not keeping things standard. The first was that whoever had fitted the dual battery system had moved the coil to the side of the wheelwell, (rather than the top), and in this location it was very close to the exghaust, and secondly a previous owner had bridged out the coil resistor. The correct Nissan coil (which I had fitted about a year ago) is designed to work at a lower voltage, and this voltage reduction is accomplished by the resistor, and as a result of the resistor being bridged out, the coil was overheating. However, when the resistor was re-activated, the car started but immediately died. So the reason the resistor was bridged out is that it was bridged out because it was blown. The reason the car still started up is that there is a secondary circuit designed to bridge out the resistor when starting the car to obviate the voltage drop caused by the current draw of the starter. The new coil was an incorrect type and would not work at all.
So we re-installed the damaged coil, but in a different location further from the exhaust.
Midday was spent in the same pastime as most of the wildebeest in the Kalahari: hiding under a shady tree. Later in the afternoon, at Rooiputs waterhole, we watched three Gemsbok queuing behind… two secretary birds, who were waiting for… a Tawny. The bloody-minded eagle took at least half an hour to finish drinking. In the end it flew off, but by then the Gemsbok had given up and charged off into the dunes. I was starting to think the Wildebeest had competition in the madness stakes in these parts. We also had the privilege of watching a Pale Chanting Goshawk hunting (unfortunately unsuccessfully) on the way to Kij Kiy.


It took us quite long to spot the lion resting on the dune above Kiy Kiy, but fortunately we had been entertaining ourselves photographing the pigeons drinking until he woke up, had a good scratch and then ambling down for a drink. The lions around here certainly know when the tourists have to leave to make it back to camp before gate-time!

by Peter Connan
12 Jan 2014 08:17
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Re: 2001 3.0 D engine number

According to the manual, that's where the engine number is.
by Peter Connan
13 Jan 2014 17:32
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