Turbo Trouble!

The good news is that the group is all together again. Clive and Ann in K-Nine met up with Mel, Kolob and Mog just outside Campo Grande two days ago (2006-08-26). K-Nine had driven north from Asuncion and crossed into Brazil at Ponta Pora. Mel, Kolob and Mog returned the 300km from the southern Pantanal.

The not-so-good news is that the garage in Asuncion had not been able to properly repair K-Nine's turbo. They thought it was OK, but they had used parts from a Brazilian turbo and there was still too much noise. Because of the time it would take to ship a new turbo from the UK, Clive decided to follow the advice he had from Mercedes in the UK and go with the assurance from the Asuncion garage that the turbo would be OK.

Our first night together again was spent at a delightful fish restaurant by the river in Coxim (S18.525862 W54.739495). Even Lily, the restaurant's macaw, ate fish.

Today (2006-08-27) the group drove on towards Cuiaba and the northern Pantanal. The bad news is that as we were leaving Jaciara, K-Nine's turbo began to make a lot of noise and Clive was forced to stop. As soon as the engine was cool enough to touch, Mick disconnected the air intake to the turbo and was able to feel that there was significant "play" in the fan/turbine bearings. (Turbo - 101. The turbocharger is a fan that blows air into the engine allowing more fuel to be burnt. Power for the fan is provided by a turbine driven by the hot exhaust gasses. Turbos run very fast and very hot. The bearings should have no discernible "play" and the turbo should make little or no noise. The photo above shows K-Nine's turbo before the second "repair")

After reassembling the air intake to the turbo, K-Nine limped along a few kilometres nearer Cuiaba to a roadside restaurant where we are now parked. Clive has contacted Mercedes in the UK by e-mail to arrange for a new turbo to be shipped to Cuiaba.

Tomorrow the group will drive the 150km into Cuiaba (hoping the turbo does not disintegrate).

Stephen Stewart.

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