With 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.
1978 Chevy 350 Van purchased for $750 with 123,000 miles in Arizona, in December 2004.
Two new tires $140
Used deep cycle battery for cabin $75
Misc electrical & oil change from previous mechanic/owner $100
New master cylinder $50
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
New Air filter
Hit road defect at high speed and bottom suspension arm bent
Mechanic call out and repair $45
New spark plugs ??
Brake calipers $30
New engine battery $60
Two new tires $184
Oil change and lube ??
Two Shocks $85
Muffler welded $20
Door sag fixed
New cabin battery (I shorted out previous) $60
Steering track rod ends $30
New fuel filter $2
Two new tires $184
Fan belt tightened
Radiator welded $3
Brake line welded (twice) $13
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
Muffler welded $30
www.LorraineChittock.com All Over the Map - Radio Show & Travel Books
Congratulations Lorraine, quite an achievement.
I think you've proved that 2wd can get you there and, looking at your costs, get you there without a huge budget.
And speaking of budgets, as I said previously, ours is tiny so maybe you should make that sales pitch!
Seriously, if you want to sell it, get in touch, it could save us a lot of bureaucratic hassles and besides, I love spanners...
Congrats again and Feliz Año Nuevo..!
Beware the dark, mechanical bird.
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