Just out of town (luckily only just past the checkpoint) and I think something is wrong. I can hear a slight grinding when slowing for the checkpoint. The car had been feeling a bit bouncy since yesterday. I attributed this to the road surface as it disappeared later that day. Time to stop and have a look at everything.

Broken rear lower shock mound

The grinding was the lower shock pin and associated washers rubbing on the wheel rim. The pin itself scoring round the tyre wall. Luckily it hadn’t done much damage to the tyre and it’s superficial. If had not got to it soon enough, I’m guessing a blow out.

The entire front portion of the shock mount broken away. Part is missing and that looks to be quite old as the surface is corroded. The last piece must have given in either today or yesterday.

Scoring round the tyre wall
Scoring round the tyre wall
This is the good side

After a short time asking in the fuel station we decided to go back to town. We know the approximate area to go to find a place and we wait 3 hours for them to open at 3pm. I use the time to make a template and prepare my plan for repair. I’m not letting these guys decide the way forward.

They can’t do welding so send us down the road to another place. Nobody speaks English which isn’t too much of a problem. I know what they need to do.

The new place agrees they can do it. We negotiate the price. They want 500 which is ludicrous and about £110. We settled at 350 which is still daylight robbery. £75

They fabricated a plate to weld on and It takes them 2.5 hours in total.

At least the welding seemed ok.
Sharp buzzing no splattering. Looks ok.

Pretty happy with the repair. Of course nowhere near the standard that I would have produced if I’d done it myself. At least they were constantly checking with me that it was satisfactory. That’s all it is, but it works. It’s not neat or permanent which is where my repair would have succeeded. This will need redoing later. I don’t think it will break again. I’m slightly worried the hole may not allow the shock to move around enough under articulation. This could break the shock pin. I’m going to take a look when we are next on a solid surface.

Looks better from this angle. happy thoughts
This angle not so great.

This is all on top of the breakdown at Maraya the other day. That was the clutch slave cylinder and a failed hydraulic seal. I’ve used my last spare seal for that so need another one just in case. No clutch slave means no functional clutch and pretty much no gears or driving. I’d not attempt to drive with no clutch here.

The driving here is the worst we have ever encountered. They don’t give you an inch and will undertake, overtake, hard shoulder (emergency lane) drive, form multiple lanes ad hoc, ignore all road signs, drive the wrong way on the road, pull out every time without stopping, push in, cut you up and just generally do whatever the hell they want. The only time anyone behaves is when there is a police car or checkpoint and even then it lasts 15 meters. They do slow down for speed cameras.

People do get very upset when you say the whole nation cannot drive properly. The truth hurts. It’s not like it’s a minority. It’s everyone and everywhere. It’s truly the pinnacle of dangerous driving. They will overtake or undertake on the slip road and absolutely do not turn off and exit until 5 meters before the exit finishes. Entering highways through an exit is commonplace and not even acknowledged as dangerous. Use of a phone when driving is seemingly mandatory. Watching YouTube or other videos is also commonly seen with cars travelling at 120kmph. I spend more time looking in my rear mirror now to see who is going to swing out three lanes to swing back right in front of me in the last 5 meters of the exit slip road. Every time without fail. At least the danger is blatantly predictable. This is the only saving grace.

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