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Old 19 Dec 2008
lorraine's Avatar
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Location: Definitely Nomadic
Posts: 418
Made it in a Chevy, duct-tape and prayers...

For those who've been following the tale of the ex-surveillance vehicle I bought for $750 four years ago, I'm happy to announce that it drove into Ushuaia a few days ago! For the curious, or for those like myself on a tight budget, I've included all the repairs below. The total is approximately $4000 for parts and maintenance, which calculates to $1000 a year. I haven't treated it gently, and lived for a year in Costa Rica in an area with tracks worse than I've seen in East Africa. It's not 4x4, but I try and treat it like it is.

What now? At some point I'll sell the Chevy in S. America, probably for parts, hopefully for what I paid.

Making the trip of a lifetime, does not need a lifetime of savings.

Lorraine


1978 Chevy 350 Van purchased for $750 with 123,000 miles in Arizona, in December 2004.

2004 America
Two new tires $140
Used deep cycle battery for cabin $75
Misc electrical & oil change from previous mechanic/owner $100

2005 America
New master cylinder $50
Ignition $60
Oil change etc $45
New starter $100
New battery for engine $50
Rear differential $450
Brake cylinder $35
Fuel pump (mechanic fees PLUS towing) $350
Hole in engine block. Repair plus new water pump and timing chain. $850


2006 Mexico 140,000 miles
New upper and lower arms replaced
Aligned
New Air filter
Carburetor cleaned
Oil change/lube
$400

Guatemala-2006
Hit road defect at high speed and bottom suspension arm bent
Mechanic call out and repair $45

Costa Rica-2006
New spark plugs ??
Brake calipers $30
New engine battery $60

Costa Rica-2007
Two new tires $184
Oil change and lube ??
Brake Calipers-$30

Colombia-2007
Two Shocks $85
Muffler welded $20

Ecuador-2007
Tune-up
lube
Transmission fluid
Door sag
Align lights
Sub-total $260

Peru-2007
Door sag fixed
Muffler welded
Sub-total $30
New cabin battery (I shorted out previous) $60

Peru-2008
Steering track rod ends $30
New fuel filter $2

Bolivia-2008
Tune-up $65
Two new tires $184

Fan belt tightened
Radiator cap
Wheels aligned
Sub-total $28

Radiator welded $3
Brake line welded (twice) $13

Chile-2008
Suspension ball joint replaced $125
Alternator re-built $80
Rear brake cylinders bored $30
New rear leaf springs $360
Two rear shocks $80
Carburetor adjustment $20

Argentina-2008
Muffler welded $30
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Old 19 Dec 2008
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Location: LONDONISTAN, England
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Well done girl, great trip. Where next?
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Never confuse the map with the journey.
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Old 20 Dec 2008
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Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Posts: 40
Keep on keep'n on

Awesome Lorraine! Hope all is well and best wishes for the next adventure in life.
Safe Travels-
Nathan
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