TOYOTA road trip – how we drove used cars for two weeks without any break
On a journey from Warsaw to Tokyo, we set off with three Toyota Land Cruisers. It is generally known that for such a car, driving 15 thousand km in difficult terrain is not a problem. However, we must bear in mind that our cars are 16-17 years old and odometer runs around 300,000 km. I do not have to mention that their past was unknown. The cars were carefully prepared (on the measure of our capabilities and budget) and on the day of departure seemed to be in very good condition. The brand new tires also guaranteed that we were able to reach without problems.
So we moved into the world …. first thousands of kilometers and a smile on your face.
We checked the level of fluids and, in addition, there was nothing diminished in the washers. It promised to be great.
In Russia, one of Toyot (black) began to give slightly disturbing noises. Something happened to the belt tensioner system. Once it squeaked and then it was quiet. For another 2-3 thousand km the subject of the belt ceased to interest us because the exhaust system at the low engine speed began to emit such sounds that it drowned out everything. Several times we suspended the silencer to the frame, but the effect was short-lived so that we lost enthusiasm for such “repairs”. From the middle of Russia we rode in such noise (squeaks and vibrations) that in cities people looked at us thinking probably “wounds, what kind of rupture is going”. As it turned out later, such a problem is not a problem.
During one of the river crossings Landek (golden) was abolished by the current of the river into such a place that it was necessary to leave it immediately because the water was already getting inside. In such moments it is easy to damage and so it happened. The first hit on the stone damaged our wheel and then it was only worse. We managed to go ashore and we could assess the damage and it turned out to be quite serious:
– damaged tire
– bent steering column or steering rack (not yet known)
– damaged fuel tank (despite the fact that it had adequate protection)
– oil leakage from the bridge
– damaged left threshold
If the destroyed aluminum threshold (now we have the opportunity to replace it with solid steel) or a damaged tire was not a problem, the leak of fuel and oil from the bridge did not fill us with optimism because we did not know how it could end.
We moved on …
Already in the first kilometers of driving asphalt, it turned out that we have some damaged steering and / or suspension components. The steering wheel was cocked, but there were no leaks from the mangle, so we did not go deeper into the topic. We were worried about a leakage from the bridge so every now and then a refill. It took a lot of time because we only had a small syringe from the first aid kit so it was slow. The ubiquitous public raids arranged in car parks along the roads were a great facilitation.
At one point, we decided that something had to be done and we went to local welders. Unfortunately, their faces and scratching the head convinced us that it is better to sit with a syringe and refill than risk the repair in a roadside garage. Welding of cast iron as it turned out is not very easy. Of course, everything is to be done but remember that we have a ferry in Vladivostok and probably will not wait for us. Time so chased on the road. The boot lid looked terrible. Dripping fuel and oil in combination with exhaust gases and distance and we have a recipe for a black, sooty and greasy back of the car. It looked bad.
(On the margins I will add that every thousand kilometers all cars started to smoke strongly in black but we do not know what happened yet.)
In the end we managed to get to the ferry and the topics we expected were started. Service of the ferry reported that there are leaks from the car. Miny we had a bad luck but luckily the ship owner (Panama’s flag) was so unrestricted enough that ordinary rags were put under the car and we could sail towards Japan.
In Japan alone, nothing great happened with the cars anymore because the broken side window is not a problem. The black tape did the trick.
Cars worked great because they brought us everywhere we wanted to get there. We do not know yet what are the final damage because they are coming back from Japan in containers and only a visit to the workshop will reveal possible defects but one thing we already know …. our selection of cars was correct and another episode of travel around the world will be with our “black”, “green” and “golden”.