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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
The 16th marked three months on the road for me, and I’ve done spot on 15,000 kms. At this rate I’ll cover 60,000 kms in twelve months, which I’ve been thinking is more likely what the trip will wind up being. That’s nothing scientific, just a gut feeling I have. I’m covering a lot of ground because I’ve been zig-zagging and detouring a lot to make sure I see and do everything I want – which really is the whole point.
I seem to be getting more and more efficient with my camping, cooking, directions, activities and resupplying so everything is still getting easier day to day.
I just did another oil change and tire rotation, which gave me another chance to crawl all over the Jeep and have a good look. I noticed a few things:
- My ‘new’ tires are wearing much faster than I had hoped. At this rate I don’t think they’ll make the whole trip, but we’ll see what happens. I picked up another flat a couple of weeks back bringing the count to two.
- The pinion seal on the front diff is leaking again… it really shouldn’t be doing that, but it’s never going to amount to much so I’m going to leave it.
- The passenger foot well is soaking wet sometimes which I think is either the heater core leaking, water getting in between the windshield and hood or a missing drain plug in the floor. I still haven’t figured out exactly when it happens so I need to keep thinking about it.
- Even after 10,000 kms the engine oil was still pretty good, I think it really likes the highway driving.
The Jeep has been running brilliantly, with only one ‘problem’ for the whole trip. I think it was more operator error, but I’ll let you decide
The plastic drain plug on the bottom of the radiator had been leaking a few drops here and there since I flushed the whole thing before leaving. When I was in Skagway, Alaska I noticed it was more than the usual few drops, so I tried to tighten it. Of course I went for too much, and the plug broke off in my hand. I ummed and arred for a while before finally deciding to pull the whole radiator out – I didn’t want any little plastic fragments floating around in there waiting to hit the water pump blades or puncture a hose.
The whole deal took about an hour and a half, and it’s nice to know it’s all fixed properly.