Syrian Passing

Finally through Syria, where i couldn’t post to the blog. The Dutch team had a timing belt failure and this caused quite a bit of damage. I diagnosed them on the road just outside Homms. Not the best place in the world the breakdown! We were on the side of the road for about two hours at which point we arranged a truck to take them to the dealer in Damascus. We slept in the car park in the dealers for two nights and although i had a lot of the parts needed i didn’t have spare rockers for the rocker shaft. I had spare push rods and belt and a fuel pump (which also was faulty). We ended up only using the fuel pump as we managed to get the rest in the parts in the local market. Syria has never had this model of engine so it was a miracle they had any parts at all. This also meant the mechanics didn’t know what to do so i did quite a bit of the repair (after we lost our temper with their fumbling). I changed the timing belt and adjusted the timing and put all that back together. The rocker is an easier job so they did that. Spending 5 days without a shower isn’t fun. On the second night we were awoken to the sound of small arms automatic fire and 50 caliber, helecopters and RPG explosions. Rather worrying. This was 4km away and the attack on the Government Communications centre. We wanted out which is why i did the repair otherwise we’d be still be there. The middle eastern men don’t like losing face but we just wanted out.The fees for getting in and out are also pretty steep. £161 in and $50 out USD some of this was a tax on diesel cars $135 !!!

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