Newsletter No: 66
APRIL / MAY 2009
P O Box HG 641 Highlands Harare Zimbabwe
The Chairman and Editorial Team:
CHAIRMAN: Tim Thorburn 498723 / 0912.645.518 firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITORS Mike & Pat GILL 494028 / 011.400.243 / 011.440.794 email@example.com
4x4 Club Website: http://www.4x4.co.zw
The 4x4 Club is affiliated to the Zimbabwe Motor Sports Federation - ZMSF
Our Club is a member of the Mashonaland Motor Sport Association Club House, situated at: 2 Annan Rd. Eastlea. Support your Club House. It is available for hire for weddings, conferences, kids parties, 21st birthdays, etc. Lunches and dinners at reasonable prices.
News, comments and opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Club or the Committee
EDITOR’S NOTE - Michael and Pat GILL
I am looking forward to the rest of this year. The 4x4 calendar is full, but we will squeeze in a few extras, the dry season is with us and the country will become more fun to drive in. The very high grass makes cross-country driving impossible and those dear little grass seeds just love the car radiator fins. I see there is talk of another “Motor Show” to be held at one of the sports clubs. In past shows our club has been well represented and it is a great day or two to display all those 4x4s that are seldom seen. There are several people doing rebuilds or restorations – give some thought to putting the part finished car on show so that we can display a wider range of our interests.
CHAIRMAN’S CHATTER - Tim Thorburn
First things first, I would like to thank the outgoing chairman, Mark Benzon, for his three years at the helm and congratulate him on an excellent job. I step into the breach at a time when our country is inspired with a hope of good things to come. I hope that our club can provide a full calendar of fun and exciting events.
Since taking over we have already held two events. Firstly “The Crocodile Crawl” at Taveydale Farm, a point to point challenge, and secondly, a Marimba Fishing Club fun day with a short SUV trail and a ‘stick man’ competition. Both events were well organised and my thanks go to the organisers and those who attended. We now look forward to An Away weekend, camping out at Arcadia Dam in the Bindura area. . Bring your 4x4’s, boats, tents, bicycles, etc. Also coming up is The Castrol 4x4 Jamboree, our showcase event, to which you are all invited on the long weekend 22nd to 24th May.
On a personal note, the Chairman’s Jeep ‘Barbie’ is nearly on the road again. Parts have been sourced in SA and are on their way. Anyone else who has a garage occupied by a “when I have time” project, now it’s time to blow the dust off, fix the thing and come and have fun with us.
Your Club has been sourcing discounts for members from members businesses. Listed elsewhere in this newsletter are details.
Remember “To get the most out of life, look upon it as an adventure”
Cheers for now Tim Thorburn
The AGM has come and gone. Mark gave a good presentation on the activities of the club over the last year. But the time has come for him to step down as Chairman and his place has been filled by Tim Thorburn. I know Tim will have a hard act to follow but am sure he will fill Mark’s shoes very adequately. Apart from Mark the entire committee was re-elected on mass with one new comer. Bruce Steele, who has only just joined the club, had his arm twisted to join the committee.
Dave and Wendy Taylor: Dave is well known to us as the Castrol man. Castrol have been our main sponsors for many events over the years and we are always grateful for their input. And now Dave has decided to become a member in his own right. firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce and Odette Steele: Bruce has attended a number of outings as a guest and has joined our happy throng. No sooner had he joined and he was co-opted onto the committee. email@example.com
Hamish and Chantelle JARDINE: Hamish and Chantelle have joined us on a few outings, the last being the Marimba Fun Day where we persuaded them to join the Club. They drive a Nissan Terrano. No e-mail address but contact telephone number is - 494075.
We welcome you all to the 4x4 family and look forward to seeing you out on outings.
Peter Benzon – Back to UK to go to Chirencester Agricultural College. Sadly the Ford V6 motor in Hoolie (LR S1) destroyed itself 1 km from home just before he left. Anyone with a supply of V6 parts please contact Mark.
Bruce Steele – Has been in hospital for a hernia operation. Bruce we wish you a speedy recovery.
CONDOLENCE - Barbara Dawson
It is with sad regret we advise you of the untimely death of Barbara Dawson from cervical cancer. You may remember Barbara and Kyle. They had Marshaled on almost every Jamboree and always did the Mud Run. We didn’t see much of them during the year but they were always at the Jamboree. We offer our sincere condolence to Kyle and their sons Jono and Gordon.
We have heard from the Rob Adams and Gus LeBreton families on their six-month trek up to North Africa. They have been through Kenya, Sudan and spent many happy days in the desert in Egypt. They are now on their southward trek back in Kenya, we will keep you posted on their progress. When they come back at the end of June we will persuade them to give the Club a presentation of their travels.
2009 CASTROL 4x4 Jamboree May 22 – 24th
Plans for the 2009 jamboree are at an advanced stage.
Major sponsors Castrol and secondary sponsors, such as Clover Leaf, have pledged generous sponsorship to make the event a success. Securitas will be providing security at no charge, in itself a large contribution.
The Jamboree is once again over the Africa day weekend, and as the public holiday falls on the Monday, we are expecting a load of happy campers to join us for an after party on Sunday night.
Events will kick off with scrutineering and entry on Friday afternoon, followed by a free Welcome Dinner for all participants and family members, very kindly provided by Mass and Lisbeth Kirk.
Saturday morning the event will start at 08:00 and will follow the usual format and will include the mud run and see-saw.
Remaining courses will be run on Sunday morning and will conclude with the Mud run and Extreme Challenge around lunch time, with prize giving thereafter.
We WILL have hot water for showers, even on Sunday night.
We are looking for as many competitors as possible, and if you don't want to drive, or don't have a comp vehicle, come and be a marshal.
Marshals have an up close and personal view of the action. They are fed and watered during the event, get to shout officiously at everyone and get a goodie bag to go home with. What more could you want? We need marshals.
The whole point of the weekend is to have fun, whether as a competitor, sponsor, marshal or spectator, so come and join us.
Mark Benzon Jamboree Chairman
It is coming up to Jamboree time and as always we have to start to look for Marshals. Please help and contact Roger Ellis if you are able to assist.
Roger: 498373 0912.219.154 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have paid your subs and not received your membership card yet, please contact me and we can make some arrangement as to how to get it to you. I would rather not put them in the post. You will need it if you intend claiming some of the discounts on offer. Pat Gill: Membership Secretary. 494028 011.440.794 email@example.com
DISCOUNTS FOR CLUB MEMBERS
The Committee is working on a way of getting discounts for paid up club members.
If any members run a business and would like to contribute to this facility, we would be most grateful. Just think, it could improve your business as well as being an advantage to club members.
The coordinator is: Tim Thorburn: 498723 / 0912.645.518 firstname.lastname@example.org
To take advantage of these discounts you MUST produce your 2009 Membership Card.
Discounts on offer so far:
Maguires in Willowvale for Filters etc.
Silverstone Tyres. for tyres;
Telford Mica for Tools.
Big Sky, Pomona. for Selected items.
If you have not got your 2009 Card please phone Pat Gill, 494028 to arrange collection/delivery.
Discounted Products offer by Big Sky.
Lubricants, Spares, Battery water, Battery Acid 2.5%
Motoquip / Leisurequip 5%
Willard Batteries 5%
We have a Face Book site and for those members who are on Face Book, feel free to join the site: 4x4 Zimbabwe
BROKEN TAIL LIGHTS
We all know how annoying it is to break a tail light on our cars. I have had many repaired (not all mine note) at a “hole in the wall” business in Ivan Maguire Way on the side of the Kopje in Harare. “Gerry’s” is about 50 m uphill from the back of the Kopje Post Office. They also repair rubber mountings and do a reasonable job.
SUSPENSION LEAF SPRINGS
Many of our vehicles use Leaf Springs so I thought I would tell you a little about them.
They first appeared about 1750 and have not changed much since then. Spring blades are made from several different alloy steels and as such require very accurate heat treatment for each type of steel. When you load a spring it will deflect a set amount for each 100 kg, it carries, say 10mm. So with 200 kg it deflects 20mm. Simple but as you drive down a rough road it could bounce like a rubber ball. (Try coil springs without shocks) Fortunately there is a lot of friction between the blades as they flatten and bend but this is bad for ride comfort so oil the blades. The best way to do this is to lift the car with a hi-lift jack till the wheels are just off the ground, brush old engine oil along the blade edges, so it can get inside the blades, and enjoy the extra comfort.
CROCODILE CRAWL - March 20 – 22nd.
I can’t think of an event before this that would have been better on a horse than a 4x4. Actually we were OK but Mark and Maas, who laid out the event, were riding motorbikes and the grass was two meters high in many places, the roads were completely overgrown and the Lantana (Cheery Pie) made sure they had double trouble with the ‘Wag-n-biejie’ bushes. They were exhausted by the time they got back to the farmhouse, in the dark with one headlight between them, at half past eight on Friday night.
Five teams entered to try and find the shortest distance between 10 GPS marked points and for us it was a serious challenge to locate a track, forget taking short cuts. Just to add fun there had been a storm with over 150mm rain during the week which washed away one crossing, now a 2m drop off, and there was water everywhere.
Malcolm Attwell in Jeep “Fugly” went into mud and Lantana on several occasions and had to be rescued by his teammates. All in all a great fun event but we missed having a couple more entries.
Our thanks to Pip Mattison for the kind use of the farm and to and Baz Downey for providing camping on his lawn and the use of his house facilities.
Mike Gill/Tim Thorburn in Patrol – Stubby; Peter Benzon/Tam Ellis/Baz in L.Rover - Hooli.
Malcolm Attwell/Kelvin Weare in Jeep – Fugly; Rick /Ann Colls / Dave Taylor in L Rover 110.
Mark Benzon/Mass Kirk in Cournil Organisers and Observers.
Marimba Fishing Club – Chivero
This was the first time the Club has been to Marimba and everyone who joined in the fun agreed that we should have another day like this. The Upton family have a nice lake view site and we managed a short, 1.5 k, trail drive that took over 2 hours, with the added challenge of making a “Stick Man” from natural bits found on the way. The kids of all ages got stuck in. Two independent judges announced the results after braai lunches were over. The trail drive gave several people a chance to test their cars in Low Ratio when we had a short muddy crossing. This was no problem for the first four cars, but then Pete Jenkin buried his Rangie and towing and the fun started. Once again a welded tow hitch was pulled off the chassis. This time it was off the front of a Land Rover 110. Luckily no one was hurt.
A welded recovery point can pull off the chassis. It has happened too often. Ensure that recovery points are always bolted on, even if they are welded. Avoid using the factory transport tie down fittings, they are not designed to take big loads and certainly not at an angle left or right. Remember that a 1-ton pick-up can need more than 2 tons pull to release it from axle deep sand or mud. Never use a tow ball as a recovery point, they are rated at about 1.5 tons and often snap off and join the rope on its way through the stuck cars windscreen. Please carry your own recovery straps and shackles etc. Another tow strap was damaged while trying to help a car out of the mud at Marimba. As a 4x4 Club member you are expected to have the right recovery equipment because either you or your buddies WILL GET STUCK somewhere.
APPEAL FOR HELP
Some of you will know that your Editor owns a V8 Lightweight. Ever since we started to use it, after a chassis up rebuild, it has refused to start on the starter when hot. In the last 2 years we have tried everything suggested without success. It always starts instantly if run down a small hill or towed and runs perfectly when started. Leave it standing for an hour and it starts when cool and runs perfectly. But – When it is hot!!
I cannot find this fault in any books and have had many experts scratching their heads, so I would like any suggestions from members.
Calendar for 2009
These dates may change as the year progresses, however as usual, we will send out flyers before every event.
May 1-3 DAM weekend
May 9-10 Course Building Weekend
May 22-24 Harare Jamboree
June 19-21 ECO Challenge
July 4 Christmas in July – American theme
July 19 Trail drive/Orienteering
Aug 7-11 Away Week-end Aberfoyle Club
Sept 25 - 27 Bushpig Beatrice
Oct 16-18 Bulawayo Jamboree
Oct 30-31 Three Hills
Nov 20-22 Mutare Dungbeetle
Dec 13 Christmas Run
ARCADIA DAM: 1st to 3rd May
We are taking bookings now for the Arcadia Dam weekend. We have to book in advance to secure the site. If you would like to join us, please contact Roger Ellis to put your name down.
Roger: 498373 0912.219.154 email@example.com
Directions on how to get there will be sent out in a flyer.
Motor Sports Association Club House
MSA Membership: From the beginning of April, all MSA club cards had been “switched off” if members had not paid, or if the Clubs had not forwarded membership. Membership would have to be renewed, plus a cost of $5 to switch the card back on. Costs of cards were $5.
Hall for Hire - Hire our affordable Club facilities for parties, Wedding Receptions, meetings, seminars, courses and other functions. Assist us in this way to obtain funds required for the upkeep of the Clubhouse.
Drinks - The Clubhouse Committee has asked me to remind members using the Clubhouse that as the bar now carries stocks of most alcoholic beverages no "own drinks" will be permitted at functions held at the Clubhouse.
Michael and Pat GILL