Hahaha! that went off on a tangent. All good guys - great to read experience and knowledge of those who have seen what these tracks can do to vehicles. Good to share these anecdotes - I've learnt a stack from this forum and from observing things out on the tracks
The rest of the trip was largely highway so wont bore with those pics.
The Prado and the Hilux were looking good on the home straight
The Prado nearly made it home... 100km short of town it lost all power.
Bugger - it was pretty hot out there and everyone was looking forward to a good sleep in a comfy bed that night
I had my laptop and techstream with me so hooked it up for a diagnostic.
All sorts of codes ranging from P0400 EGR, P0607 Control module to cruise control.
It had recently had an EGR blank installed so cleared that code.
Still wouldnt start
Jumped under the bonnet and did the fuel, air, spark method of elimination
Determined it was a fuel issue - the fuel filter primer was soft and getting softer.
The fuel filter looked like it hadnt been replaced for 5 years but had worked well until it suddenly stopped.
The driver then said it had been difficult to fill - taking a long time to fill and then not able to fill completely at the last bowser. Aha! I thought - tank breather. Remembering how clogged my old 2017 breather had gotten
Jumped under the back and found the breather in the condition I thought it would be - sure enough chocked full of red dust and diesel soaked oily crud. The breather valve on the 120 is the same as the n70 hilux.
This is a clean breather on top of the hilux tank - I relocated this on my hilux to the engine bay.
Stupid place to put it - the Prado is the same deal at the back exposed to dust and water only about 500mm off the ground
Got the remaining Brit Brother to clean it out. "its still blocked" he said. I suggested he give it a blow - "nah, still blocked" I then suggested
"see if you can suck it out" ...
"Ohh SH!T, paah, pah, pfpfppff paah!"
Had to laugh
- "taste any diesel?" I enquired. Yeah - "diesel and dirt" he muttered looking hot and pissed off
Having cleared the breather and reinstalling the primer was still soft. No fuel coming to the party
It was getting too hot and late in the day to be pulling off tank stone gaurds to look at fuel lines etc so it was decided that the prado crew would stay the night there and wait for a tow truck in the morning.
Was disappointing getting so far to pull up 100km short but it could have been much worse - a common theme for the trip. I got back to town and made sure the towy would get out there in the morning.
Apparently when the prado was pulled up on the back of the tray diff oil started leaking
What ever the problem was it cost the said owner $900 excluding tow - must have been crud in the tank too??
The prado had been given a good amount of work before the trip-:2 new cv's, new radiator, alternator, turbo, water pump, egr clean and service. Seems as though the lady owner may have been taken advantage of ...
When I cleaned out my air filter on the track I offered to clean out the Prado and 76 filters. The V8's filter was clean as a whistle but the Prado filter was clogged full of leaves, twigs, moths, dust etc. Hadnt been cleaned in over a year or more by the looks. Prado occupants complained of weak aircon - same deal with that filter
2 separate mechanics/workshops gave it a "thorough" inspection. They failed to spot the leaking CV with a cable tie holding it while on the hoist - I noticed it in 10 secs by bending my knee while it was on the ground.
Anyway - just goes to show how important it is to know your own vehicle
So what would I do differently/ what did I learn from this trip?
- Go over the vehicle and tighten/loctite absolutely any and every non-standard accessory. Even nylocs come loose
- If I had of known how much the dash was going to rattle I would have looked at the windscreen plenum/ glovebox ECU
- Place a reminder on dash board to switch off traction/stability control after each stop - wasted a lot of fuel on the dunes
- Take a little less water - most of the wells at the Southern end of the track had good water even in September
- Cook up more cryovac meals - they are so quick, tasty, convenient and a god send on the track when tired
- Dont be a tight arse, buy a decent camera!
- Sort out those squeaky brakes before the trip - they wont get any better on the CSR
- If there wasnt a time pressure: take at least 3 weeks on the track, slow down and enjoy the small things more often