2 December 2011
It is worse case scenario. The whole gearbox has to come out as they could not find the fault elsewhere. Not with the hydraulics, nor the linkage, so now they have to take out the whole box and my heart sinks as I the further they go with the operation the more bolts and nuts and parts are lying around and wondering if they know what will need to go where once they have to put all back together. Problem is, there is no one we know and we don't know who is better/worse than the other company.
Problems did not end there. Just before knock-off time, I noticed water seeping from the gasket between the waterpump unit and the engine. This means the water pump and the attachment unit must be taken off the engine to fix the gasket because if running out of water, the engine she ain't going to go nowhere. I think at this stage, we will replace only 3 components - the engine, the gearbox and the body and we are sorted. The 'Cape to Cairo' is turning into F1M2AM - 'From One Mechanic to Another Mechanic'. At least I get analyse the various African soils close-up very often as I am crawling underneath the vehicle.
Furthermore we only have a week visa for Malawi and the vehicle won't be ready before then, so hopefully we can get an extension at the Immigration Office which is thankfully just around the corner from the mechanics. Problems for Monday
At the camp site people are coming and going. We are bound for a dull weekend in the town of Lilongwe where we are stuck without a vehicle.
BUT, we will struggle through and see what happens next.