Trouble in Botswana

Please share information about trips you have done
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gupster
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Trouble in Botswana

Post by gupster » 09 Dec 2014 16:58

My friend Kenda and I recently did a 2 week trip into Botswana. As this was her first forage into Bots, we included Kubu Island, Tsodilo hills, Drosky,s Caves and crossed the Central Kalahari from Ghanzi via Xade, Deception and then back to SA.
As luck would have it, we were in Deception and at the end of the trip when the steering rod arm ripped off of the tie rod end. It was the first thing in the morning and suddenly it felt as if we were either in very thick sand or had a flat tyre.
I was just trying to figure out what to do when a Landcruiser pulled up with three maintenance guys from Maun in it. They had just done some repairs at a lodge in Tau pan the previous day and were on their way home. They very kindly set about to assess the damage and see if they could repair it with thread tape. I was quite surprised to see that the thread tape was nothing more than PTF tape and suggested they use my Pratley steel instead, which they did. I said I would try and make it to Rakops and find someone who could weld it for me to get me back to SA. They told me that just 37 Ks away was the lodge and they had a working welding machine.
We waited the full 1.5 hours for the Pratleys to set and I drove very slowly to the lodge where they successfully welded both ends just in case. On the drive there, I figured that if the Pratley did not hold, I would use one of my ratchet straps tied around the tie rod ends hopefully holding the arm in place.
Now I pose a question. Should I have left the Troll in 4x4, or set it into 2 wheel drive as I did? If the strap failed, would the front wheels have tracked better if I reversed, pulling rather than being pushed? These were all options that went through my mind on that very long 37Ks. I look forward to your opinions.
As to what happened to cause the threads to strip I am not too sure. I agree that the nut might have come loose to allow the threads to wear away, but the Troll has always tracked well with no toe in or out issues. Before my 2013 trip up West Africa, I had the toe in adjusted. They had to take the car to a garage to heat up those nuts in order to loosen them to do the adjustment.
I always carry a spare set of tie rod ends but knew if I fitted them in the worn out steering arm, we would have no way of setting the toe in and how far would I be able to travel before they too wear away.
I am rubbish at taking picks but am going to include ones showing the welding and perhaps some that Kenda took.

My vriend en Kobus Ek het onlangs 'n 2 week reis na Botswana. As dit was haar eerste voer in Bots , ons ingesluit Kubu-eiland , Tsodilo heuwels Drosky , grotte en oor die Sentraal- Kalahari van Ghanzi via Xade , misleiding en dan weer terug na SA .
Soos die geluk dit wou hê, was ons in Deception en aan die einde van die reis toe die stuurstang arm afgeruk van die tie rod end . Dit was die eerste ding in die oggend en skielik het dit gevoel asof ons óf in baie dik sand of 'n pap band .
Ek het net probeer om uit te vind wat om te doen wanneer 'n Landcruiser opgetrek met drie onderhoud ouens van Maun in dit . Hulle het net gedoen sommige herstelwerk by 'n lodge in Tau pan die vorige dag en was op pad huis toe . Hulle baie vriendelik stel oor die skade te bepaal en kyk of hulle dit kan herstel met draad tape. Ek was nogal verbaas om te sien dat die draad tape was niks meer as PTF band en het voorgestel dat hulle gebruik my Pratley staal plaas , wat hulle gedoen het. Ek het gesê ek sal probeer en maak dit aan Rakops en iemand wat dit kan sweis vir my om my terug SA kry vind . Hulle het my vertel dat net 37 Ks weg was die lodge en hulle het 'n werk sweismasjien.
Ons wag om die volle 1.5 ure vir die Pratleys te stel en ek gery baie stadig na die lodge waar hulle suksesvol gesweis beide eindig net in geval. Op die stasie is daar , het ek gedink dat indien die Pratley het nie hou nie, sal Ek gebruik een van my ratel bande vasgemaak om die das staaf eindig hopelik hou die arm in plek.
Nou het ek 'n vraag stel . Moet ek het die Troll links in 4x4, of stel dit in 2 wiel as wat ek gedoen het ? As die band misluk, sou die voorwiele beter nagespoor as ek omgekeer , trek eerder as gestoot ? Dit was al die opsies wat deur my gedagtes gegaan op daardie baie lang 37Ks . Ek sien uit na jou mening.
Oor wat gebeur het om die drade te laat strook Ek is nie so seker . Ek stem saam dat die neut kan kom los te laat om die drade weg dra nie, maar die Troll het altyd goed nagespoor met geen tone in of uit kwessies. Voor my 2013 reis op Wes-Afrika , het ek die toon in aangepas . Hulle het die motor te neem na 'n garage te verhit diegene neute om hulle los te maak van die aanpassing te doen .
Ek het altyd 'n ekstra stel tie rod ends , maar het geweet as ek toegerus om hulle in die uitgeput stuurarm , sou ons geen manier om die opstel van die toon in en hoe ver sal ek in staat wees om te reis voordat hulle te dra weg het .
Ek is rommel op te neem optel , maar ek gaan dié wat die sweis en miskien 'n paar wat Kobus het in te sluit

Kind regards
Barry

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Have Troll, will travel.

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Alex Roux
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Re: Trouble in Botswana

Post by Alex Roux » 09 Dec 2014 17:05

Hi Barry

Thanks for that trip report.
When something goes wrong, the last thing I think of is photos.

The only comment I can add, I think, is that the strain on the steering rod would have been more had you been in 4x4.
Of course with power steering you do not feel that necessarily.
Skilpad & Shortie

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Re: Trouble in Botswana

Post by gupster » 09 Dec 2014 17:11

Thank you Alex for backing my decision to return to 2 wheel drive. Must admit though to getting very nervous when the sand got very thick.
Have Troll, will travel.

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Alex Roux
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Re: Trouble in Botswana

Post by Alex Roux » 09 Dec 2014 21:25

gupster wrote:Thank you Alex for backing my decision to return to 2 wheel drive. Must admit though to getting very nervous when the sand got very thick.
Sure, but hey, you were driving a Patrol!
I understand having tyres flat enough is a bigger plus than 4x4 when in sand anyhow.
Skilpad & Shortie

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Re: Trouble in Botswana

Post by Clem » 10 Dec 2014 06:45

when the steering rod arm ripped off of the tie rod end
Hi Barry, what was the cause? Surely a very abnormal event in any vehicle!

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Re: Trouble in Botswana

Post by bogeyman » 10 Dec 2014 09:02

Barry
Those tie rod arms are very strong on the patrols and will only fail under extreme conditions.
In your case I suspect the heating when trying to loosen the nut , damaged the metal and most probably was not fastened properly afterwards.
When loose , it would rattle until the thread is no more. I would go and have a chat to the people responsible.

Generally , welding on any critical component is not permitted and renders the component unusable. In this case , it was an emergency.
The female end is cast iron and the lock nut is steel. Not compatible with normal arc welding. That will explain the "hoenderkak" welding. It would not be something I would trust my life on.

I trust you have replaced the whole tie rod.

Regards,

Chris.

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Alex Roux
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Re: Trouble in Botswana

Post by Alex Roux » 10 Dec 2014 10:51

bogeyman wrote:The female end is cast iron and the lock nut is steel. Not compatible with normal arc welding. That will explain the "hoenderkak" welding. It would not be something I would trust my life on.
:rolling: I was wondering about the look of that welding. That explains it.

What to do:
Step 1: First get a quote from Nissan stealers on the tie rod.
Step 2: Shake your head in disbelief.
Step 3: Then you call Dawid Volschenk for a perfectly good old tie rod and;
Stpe 4: Smile. :woo:

Dawid may have just acquired that LHD Patrol with no enjin and no wheels.
I am sure there is a perfectly good tie rod in the mix there.
Skilpad & Shortie

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