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Africa Inland Mission
September 5, 2016 4:04 am
Published in: Ministry Life

The Land Rover was running great and I returned home in time for supper. I had been a good day, visiting several area church primary schools and local evangelists. I parked the vehicle and called it a day.

The next day I was to go on another trip. The Land Rover wouldn’t start. Oh, it turned over O.K. but would not fire at all. Thinking it was a fuel problem, I had an African workman step on the starter while I held my hand over the carburetor input to try and ‘suck’ petrol (gasoline) into the system. But, instead of suction, the carburetor ‘blew back’ at me. What?? I went to the back of the vehicle and put my hand over the exhaust pipe opening and found suction there! What?? Double What?? Intake=exhaust; Exhaust=intake!!! Timing is way off.

Big job! Radiator removed; fan removed; timing cover removed.  That series of Land Rover used a chain & sprocket system for the timing. The chain was loose and, on removing it, I found that the  hydraulic tensioner had developed a pin-hole in it allowing the hydraulic pressure to escape. The timing had completely reversed in the process, probably while trying to start it that morning.

As a temporary fix, I drilled the pin-hole larger and hammered in a copper rivet which sealed it. I put everything back together and it seemed everything was now O.K. and the vehicle ran fine. But, just in case, I tried to get a new tensioner – but none was available in either Tanzania or Kenya. I had to order one all the way from England – and that took close to 2 months before it arrived.

I never put the new part in. The Land Rover kept running for several more years with my copper rivet in the tensioner. When I sold the vehicle about 4 years later, before we came to the USA on leave, I passed on the new tensioner to the purchaser. There really is no use doing another ‘repair’ that really wasn’t needed!

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