Thursday, November 29, 2012

Steering work

I've been doing some work on the steering/front axle, and I took a couple of pictures of some "damage".

Straight, right?
 Left side
 vs. Right side
I guess HD steering parts are in order ;)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Alcaraz, first run of local club "Vado la Nava"

We were invited to join a new formed 4x4 club in Alcaraz, "Vado la Nava", going around this beautiful land around Alcaraz.

As always we had lot of fun and did a little picturesque run, that turned out into an advance 4x4 track at the end with deep fording and tons of mud.

After all that, we had a nice lunch at a local restaurant.

We can't wait to go back to "Sierra de Alcaraz"

Really good trail at first, 

 All 4x4 were welcome
 Snack by the new dam,
 Some local ATV joined us too.

There were some "grandpas" on the run and they performed very well:

 Fall around here, with all the rain is just gorgeous.

 Our friend Julio on his first run with the "new" Td5

Picture perfect mushroom

Fording the infamous "Vado la Nava" 

 Gooey, sticky mud everywhere at the end of the trail, Land Rovers and Jeeps performed flawlessly

 Cleaning up the mud at Manolo's place, with a view of the old castle of Alcaraz, thank you for a great day!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Terrafirma follow up and hub repack

This last week, after the trip to Morocco, I checked the front wheels and there was some play, I repacked the hubs and what a difference it makes.

And also, I double checked the Terrafirma lift, to see what is going on after a year with it installed.

In Morocco, I had problems with the springs coming out, no springs broken so far, but the rear ones are a little too low for my taste (2 cm in 1 year), shocks are on their way out definitively,  so not that great for a year old lift.

Rear, used to be 87 cm, now 85 cm

 Front used to be 83 cm, and still is 83 cm.

NOTE: I just realized that I used to have a 235/70R16 and now I have 235/85R16, the difference of radius is aprox. 3.5 cm, that means that the springs with the old tires would place the body at around 80 (front) and 82 rear, almost stock springs lift. Very disappointed in the Terrafirma lift.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Trip to Morocco (I en Manada a Marruecos del CLRTTE)

 It’s been a fantastic trip. We have done a little less than 5.000Km with little amount of Km on the roads. We started the trip as a big group and finished it with just 5 Land Rovers, 9 people. The whole thing has been one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had.

My brother and I started the trip on Friday the 26th of October. All the way down to Almeria and ferry to Melilla. In the ferry we met most of the other people on the expedition.

The 27th we passed the border to Nador (Morocco) and started by going straight to the Rekam Plateau, here we drove some hamadas and got into some oueds, very fast tracks, with some surprises along the way… I did hit a huge rock, but I was lucky only the support of the axle got hit. We camped half way to Merzouga in the middle of a Hamada. Some in the group had presents to give away to kids along the way, it felt like Xmas or something.

The 28th was very similar, very long day, driving off road all the time, some orientation was needed, as we didn’t follow lots of trailed paths. We arrived to the Baraka (Merzouga), we had a big nice dinner.

The 29th was the day for the big dunes, Erg Chebbi, dunes are always fun, we ended up having lunch in an oasis next to the big dune. I realized that the 300tdi is underpowered for the big tires I run now, so the big dunes are not easy to tackle going up, but still,  it was a lot of fun.

The 30th we left and headed down to Ramlia, this was a fantastic part of the trip, pure offroad, we saw almost nobody the whole trip, water, mud, sand, dunes, rocks, everything you could ask for a technical offroad trip. Again, lots of fun.

The 31st we started the route for the day (Orange Dune) but my front spring kept on popping out, my shock absorbers are gone pretty much by now, so we decided to return to the hostel and work on the car to make sure I didn’t have anything else, after some tinkering, the whole thing kept on going very well, no more problems, although my suspension was pretty much ineffective. They threw a big party with singing and dancing and good food, lot of fun.

The 1st we decided not to go any more south and start slowly our return. We saw some savanna plains, very rocky terrain, at the end, the group split into 2, some heading for the extreme hardcore trail around Tinghir and some decided to go to a hotel and take it easy for a night. We went to the hotel as I had no suspension, good thing I did, as the trail turned out to be the most dangerous in the trip and wasn’t equipped for it.

The 2nd , after replacing a pin for the swivel housing in the hotel parking, we had to divide the big group as some of them had to be back to get a ferry on the 3rd, at the end only 5 Land Rovers stayed and we took off, going through the Todgha Gorge, such a beautiful area. Rain had destroyed the road, so what started as an easy drive through the mountains turned out to be yet another semi-offroad trip, we drove through the Atlas, very high, to find out everything too cold and wet to camp, so we decided to stay at a family own hotel in a little village way up high in the mountains.

The 3rd we continued our trip through the Atlas and we discovered yet another new scenery: green forests, greener than northern Europe they seemed, very pretty and wet, lots of mud and water, destroyed roads and bridges, lakes and probably the most beautiful camping site I’ve ever seen. We even saw a wild monkey.

The 4th we started the descent to Ifrane, where we split the group once again, 3 went all the way to Tanger and 2 of us went to Nador, we did head to Nador, since there is a nice highway there, we had time to relax, clean the cars of tons of mud and sand and have a little dinner when we arrived at Nador.

The Land Rover has been a champion this whole trip, no issues, just some scratches and the shocks went south, but, kind of expected of such a great workout for the car. I had the Terrafirma that came with the lift, but I may go back to some Bilstein for now.

Lots of driving, but this may very well be the trip of a lifetime…. At least for now.

Thanks to all these great people from the Land Rover club of Spain (CLRTTE), this has been a great success and I feel I have made some friends for life.

A little video:

Let me add just one more picture, I love of the trip: