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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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  #1  
Old 3 Mar 2009
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What does Chris mean by "Modified 2WD"?

I am just viewing the webpage at the moment - and he refers to "Modified 2WD" - what is meant by this? how modified?
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  #2  
Old 3 Mar 2009
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In what context? can you write an extract?

G
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  #3  
Old 3 Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morocco-Overland WebLink
The 49 routes in the book are spread across six regions of southern Morocco. The Atlantic Route and five other routes are all-road (with off-road excursions), the rest are pistes, some with road approaches.
In good weather many are do-able with a suitably modified 2WD or a big motorbike two-up. Some will be suitable for MTBs (all known wells are indicated) while on a few you'll struggle even in a short 4WD or on a light enduro bike. In bad weather many will be impassable.
Nearly all start and end at a fuel station which usually means a town with accommodation and other services
Something like that!
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  #4  
Old 3 Mar 2009
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Modified

Until someone with more knowledge replies; Radiator protection as 2WD's need to take a run at dry river crossings and other obstacles and tend to hammer the "chin" of the car. This in addition to a sump guard. Higher profile tyres and perhaps stiffer springs. Start with a car with a limited slip differential and you're well equipped. Linzi.
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  #5  
Old 3 Mar 2009
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Yup, Citroen 2CVs used to be the 2WD of choice and (I think) Renault 4's. A lot of Morocco is dry and rocky (rather than muddy or sandy) meaning ground clearance is more important than 4WD. Not sure many modern cars would have sufficient ground clearance, even with sump protection. I found this out quite quickly with my Citroen AX. It was fine on low level gravel roads but struggled when the going got rough and I pretty much gave up doing any of the major pistes after a couple of "Oooooh... Aaaagh, No!" moments! In general the shorter and lighter the better with minimum nose and tail overhang.
You could always buy a restored 2CV and go and thrash it up some rocky pistes! I've seen Austin 7s do some pretty hard-core off-roading too!

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #6  
Old 3 Mar 2009
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Chris speaks

Both the last 2 replies have summed it up well:
The full story (or my version) is here: Morocco Overland ~ Mercedes 190 Project

Ch

Last edited by Chris Scott; 4 Mar 2009 at 10:42.
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  #7  
Old 3 Mar 2009
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So a 1989 BMW 525 is best left on the more solid stuff

We have new larger tyres going on - but 1mm diamter is not really going to help

I had no intention of adding sump guards - my car budget for 2009 has already taken a battering - the question is - can it be a DIY job - I have enough tools - and basic knowledge to have a go!!!

As for the car - it only has 250,000KM on the clock - drives like a dream - smooth and quick - and the autobox drops a cog at the right times. IT has new front control arms and tie rods - and freshly serviced.

I will be taking a basic spares kit - fanbelts, sockets, toolkit, condoms, tights, cable ties, oil, water, metal putty - anything else that jumps out as being a "good" idea. I am expecting the locals to be pretty good and fixing things if needed - and I already have green card AND recovery/repair insurance for Morocco - it is TCS.CH ETI European cover - and includes all Med Sea rim countries.

Thanks - so far!

Edit: BMW do a sump guard looks like I will have to call the stealer tomorrow!!!
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  #8  
Old 3 Mar 2009
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Sump guards can be fairly easily made - we put them on Golfs and old Benz 123 saloons to make them a bit more "bush proof", protecting sump and rad. Often there are plastic type guards that can me roughly copied IIRC. I have no idea what sort of suspension a BMW has, but on the Golfs we also jack them up a bit by adding spring spacers made from conveyor belting cut to fit. Works well. I was impressed by the conveyor belt spacers so stuck them on my TLC 105 and no complaints at all. Probably be a difficult one to source, but we also stick Ukrainian tyres (Rossava) on these 2wds with a taller profile and they also add a bit more durability compared to most road orientated tyres from the more "normal" manufacturers. IMHO the good old Benz 123 is still one of the kings of the busch, and are much sought after for their unburstable strength and basic mechanicals.
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Old 3 Mar 2009
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I had no intention of adding sump guards... can it be a DIY job

For Mk, you will need it. Mine cam back full of dents. In Mori one time we wired on an oven door with coat hangers. Anything will do, but a good job at home will last longer. A sheet of 5mm dural.

Well done on tracking down the TCS.CH tip.
Brit campers manage but AFAIK it's been the missing link for 4x4/motos (from UK) for years and might even work in Algeria & Libya... I predict a flood of interest from the UK.

Ch
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  #10  
Old 3 Mar 2009
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Unsealed Roads

Hi, if you stay on the hard stuff then you might take dirt tracks which are flat. These do not need ground clearance and other 4WD features but the bottom of the car will get hammered by rocks and stones. Use mud flaps and check what is going to get hit, like suspension arms, floor pan, exhaust and fuel tank. The car will easily make it but be very rough looking fast. Poor BMW! Linzi.
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  #11  
Old 4 Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post

Well done on tracking down the TCS.CH tip.
I live in Switzerland and the BMW is a Swiss car - the TCS ETI only covers Swiss registered cars. Again the European cover matches the European cover of my insurance - and includes Mediterrenean rim countries!!!

I will get on the phone to BMW in a minute and get an idea of how much a sump guard will cost. If it is expensive I will make sure I have my jacks with me this weekend and will fashion something myself.

In the meantime - you mention protecting the fuel pipes and and exhaust - what have you used in the past??

We leave in the 3 weeks - maybe I should have got this sorted earlier - but the car will only be collected on Saturday after having all the work done on it.

MoroccanAdventure@hardmeier.net - Zurich-Tiznit-Zurich or BUST!!!

Edit: I called BMW over here at the part comes in at 235CHF (or about £135). I then got on the phone to my UK mechanic - who prepares my race car - and he has seen one. The last time was when he worked at the main dealers over 15 years ago. He said they were very good. I reckon I will give it a go - and then make up some pipe and tank protection myself.

Last edited by ngummow; 4 Mar 2009 at 10:45.
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  #12  
Old 4 Mar 2009
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Hi,
My 'modifications' to my Citroen AX were as follows, and I can recommend them all:
  • Trucker's fan screwed to dash.
  • Extra spare wheel from scrap yard (£10)
  • Cup holders from Halfords. (It's a thirsty place!)
What I didn't need:
  • 20l jerry can. There were petrol stations everywhere.
What I wish I'd done:
  • Home made sump protection
In the end I had two problems, the first was to do with the petrol cap and unconnected to driving in the desert. The second was my alternator gave up and had to be repaired by a local. Apparently dusty conditions are very bad for alternators, so this might be worth considering in terms of servicing tools and spares.

I found the Moroccan mechanics to be either very bad or very good bush mechanics. The chap who fixed my alternator used the guts from another he had knocking about in a drawer at the back of the filthiest garage I've ever seen. I doubted the repair would last the week. It lasted another 40,000 miles!

Great thing about a car is the amount of tools and spares you can take with you. Duct tape and zip-ties are invaluable!

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #13  
Old 4 Mar 2009
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Thanks Matt - I will check the fan performance of the BMW ventiliation system!

The Sump Guard is on order - and I will post pictures on our site of the "modifications". I get to play mechanic - which is always fun
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  #14  
Old 4 Mar 2009
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Oh well, TCS was a false alarm...

In the meantime - you mention protecting the fuel pipes and and exhaust - what have you used in the past??

Well on the 190 they were recessed up into the floor pan (maybe all cars are like this) so just some thin metal sheet tacked across the channel did the trick - or a half pipe if they are not recessed.

btw, I just re-read the 190 pages after many years and see the bash plate was the most important mod - as Matt agreed.

Ch
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  #15  
Old 4 Mar 2009
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I was under the car last week - and think they run under the body - inlet and return - alongside the brake pipe - I reckon I can come up with something. Any attempt to make a fuel tank protector may prove a little more complicated - but I am up for the challenge.

Just have to work out whether to borrow my brother-in-laws sand ladders and air jack - we eschewed borrowing their Land Cruiser - because 4400KM to Morocco in that doesn't appeal - the BMW should be OK at 90mph on the motorway!!
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