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Diary Last Updated: Jun 16th, 2015 - 16:51:13


Stage 7 - Sunday 4 May 2008 - Day 76
By Dick and Pip Smith
May 4, 2008, 10:26

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We leave Ulaan Baatar but have to return.

 

We departed Wagner Ford at 7.15am on a beautiful crisp clear morning of 39F.  We refuelled at the Government service station ($1.30 AUD per litre for diesel) and headed north on good bitumen towards the Russian border. 

 

Left on the dash is our normal Garmin GPS, then the Russian GPS we just added hoping to cross the border today, and next to this is the small rectangular box which is the Spider Tracks.
Almost no traffic early in the morning in Ulaan Baatar.
A traditional Ger farm with a modern car.
Heading north on a beautiful bitumen road.
The town of Bayanchandmani.
A farm on the hills.
The first trees and cultivated green fields we saw in Mongolia.
Coal mine.

 

Right from the start Dick thought there may be something wrong with the turbocharger.  Whilst it was no longer surging, the turbo pressure indicator seemed to under-read.  However we drove for just on two hours and had covered 162kms when the turbocharger appeared to stop working.  We turned around and were able to proceed back towards U.B. 

 

Heavily laden truck.
Freshly ploughed fields.
Homes in Bayangol.

 

At first we could only climb hills at 35kph, but after we stopped for a cup of tea for half an hour, the turbocharger appeared to fix itself to a certain degree and we were able to drive up to 90kph. 

 

We had to turn around and head back to U.B. We stopped here to make a cup of tea.
On the way back to U.B.
Sunday bike riders.

 

We decided that it was still best to go back to Wagner Ford and have Baagii and Mugi look at it, as they were clearly very knowledgeable on turbochargers and the complex electronic programming which seems to run them. 

 

We arrived back at Ulaan Baatar at 1.15pm and met Baagii and Mugi, who both came in especially on their Sunday off to see what they could do.  We are sure the problem could be fixed if all the spare parts were available just as they would be in the USA.  Obviously this is not so in Mongolia, where Ford F550s are not in the marketplace.

 

The diagnostic computer was plugged in and a fault was detected.  No one is absolutely sure why the turbocharger had worked so well for the trip from Khovd to UB even with some surging. We cant work out why it should now fail completely, or nearly so. 

 

Baagii & Mugi with the diagnostic computer.
Working on the engine.
We leave the Earthroamer at Wagner Ford for another day.

 

We are now back in the very comfortable Kempinski Palace Hotel for tonight and hope to get a message tomorrow morning that they have been able to locate the fault and we will be on our way again.  There is of course a chance that parts will have to come from the USA which appears can take weeks!!  So we may be delayed once again.  Stay tuned!!!!

 

Today  324kms    27,471 kms since Anchorage, Alaska

 

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