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Friday, September 21, 2012

THE 4X4 CLUB – ZIMBABWE Newsletter No: 94

Newsletter No: 94
P O Box HG 594 Highlands   Harare   Zimbabwe                                     The Motor Sports Club House,  2 Annan Road, Eastlea, Harare.
The Chairman and Editorial Team:
CHAIRMAN:      Tim Thorburn                498723   /  0772.645.518           
EDITORS       Mike & Pat GILL        494028 / 0778.843.843 / 0778.731.288 
4x4 Club Website                 Face Book Site:                                 4x4 Zimbabwe
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.   It is available for hire for weddings, conferences, kid's parties, 21st birthdays, etc.
News, comments and opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Club or the Committee

THE EDITOR’S DESK        -   Michael and Pat Gill
Please note our new Cell phone numbers above.
As you are no doubt aware there is a whole new collection of vehicle "safety" regulations; fire extinguishers, reflectors, etc.  While I laud the attention to this side of the road safety it appalls me to see the physical state of the cars on the road.  At night you can be sure to see more than a dozen one eyed vehicles on a short trip.  Headlights that do not dip, or cannot, drivers who wobble down the road at 40 kph in a 60 or 70 area, the use of emergency biscuit wheel tyres on the daily run, the lack of tail/brake lights and indicators and so on.  I believe that the Police need to have a whole change of attitude to motor vehicle safety.  Why can they not have a dedicated Traffic Section that has staff trained in proper vehicle safety.  It would also be nice if the Officer also had a driving licence.
Not the classic "You are lucky, today we are checking wiper blades, not tyres" to a car with different size bald tyres. Yes, it happened to a good friend.

Marcus and Felicity Campbell-Reynolds:  The new owners of Rudolph the ex Curas- Thompson Land Rover Light Weight.
Jason and Kelly Willcox:  Are the new owners of the late Dudley Hubbard's Jeep. They have a lot of work to do to it before it will be road worthy again but Jason is really fired up and I know it will not take too long.
Solly and Mienke FERREIRA:  Friends of Anne and Rick Colls.  Solly came out to Bush Pig and liked what he saw. 
We welcome the families to our club and look forward to seeing you and your new vehicles out on events in the not too distant future. 

Margie Gibson: Congratulations to Margie who has had an awesome trip to the Olympics. She was chosen to go as the team physiotherapist.  Hard work, but very rewarding.  Well done and thanks for your help at the Bush Pig.  Margie is selling her Disco but is keeping her other 2 Landies. Any takers??
Greg Stead:  Our congratulations to Greg and his driver on becoming the Africa Rally Champions.  Remember last month we told you that they were in the running.  Well their last rally win in Tanzania clinched the deal.  
Flossie Greenway:  We give thought to Flossie who is off to South Africa again for another bone op. 

Gareth Geach has created another Land Rover.  Actually a very bent, rolled LR 90 which they bought off an auction.  Stripped, bought and made parts, painted and then towed their Off Road trailer out to Bush Pig 2012, all in a few weeks.  That has got to be a record.  Let us not forget that Ashleigh played the major part in all this.

By IOL Motoring Staff
Thanks to the advent of electronic all-wheel drive systems, modern beetle-crushers are extraordinarily competent. You no longer need to be an experienced bundu-basher to get out there - way out there.   On the face of it your luxury 4x4 with electronic everything has torque to spare for towing and there are super-tough off-road trailers on the market.
But there is a weak point - right in the middle.
Towbar manufacturers are warning that extreme off-road driving with a trailer attached can stress the towbar - or the tow vehicle - beyond their design limits.  In some cases it can force the vehicle and trailer to interact in a way they were never designed to do.
A towbar should handle a deflection of 15 degrees above or below the horizontal but in certain situations you could flex the rig a lot more than the towbar can handle.
If you go beyond that - especially when the trailer is hanging down over a crest - then the hinging effect is lost and the two vehicles effectively lock together, transferring the forces directly into the chassis of the 4x4 or the frame of the trailer.” 
Depending on how strong the components are, the towbar may break; its mountings points may rip out of the chassis or it could actually fracture the ball - usually at the narrowest part of the neck.
“In a worst case scenario, such as when you're climbing up a river bank with steep sides, the trailer can literally hang on the ball, to the point where the trailer wheels are off the ground,”
“A similar thing can happen when going through an 'axle-twister', when you get a lateral twist of more than 25 degrees, the maximum the ball is designed for.”
4x4ing involves venturing into the unknown but be aware that there are limitations to each link of the chain, even with big wheels and the appropriate tyres.
If you encounter a serious obstacle, walk it first; if you think it will twist or bend the coupling beyond the angles mentioned here, try another route. Damage caused by this kind of overloading doesn't always show up immediately, sooner or later it could fail, with disastrous consequences.

TAKE NOTE!!  In Zambia - The Dollar, Euro, Rand or Pula, etc.  will NOT be accepted anymore.  Change your money before you get to the border, even the Kazangula Ferry will only accept Kwacha.  

What do the experts say?
We often drive our 4x4s along twin tracks at this dry time of the year.  Have you seen the way dry grass collects in the chassis, etc.
The so-called cross-members — support structures which crisscross under the car and form part of the chassis – intersect with the exhaust system. Grass collects there, and the heat from the exhaust system can set it alight.
Off-roaders should consider either asbestos exhaust bandaging, or move the whole
system. The bandage is wrapped around the entire exhaust, fixed in place with wire or metal straps.  Many game rangers choose to move the exhaust system completely, due to the risk of veldt fires.   A sealing compound used on the undercarriage of some vehicles, which is used as a noise insulator on the underbody as well as inside the car, under carpeting, seems to be quite flammable.
The grass is just a lighter or catalyst. Once that compound catches fire it’s over.
(I once took a 20 ltr drum of dry grass out from the chassis of a Hilux that had just had a Service by a major Auto Dealer….Ed.)
Keep these tips in mind
Check for grass and small seeds around the exhaust pipes, prop-shaft, in areas like on top of your petrol tank (if possible). 
Also check the grill and radiator area and on the inside of the wheels and the suspension system.
Check inside the engine bay, especially if you don’t have a grass protector fitted.
Don’t rush it. This is one aspect of your trip on which you cannot take short cuts.
Set a reminder to stop and check.
 These last three items are from the very interesting 60 page Isibonela Adventures Off-road & Outdoor E-ZINE news letter.  A South African publication by Alan Goodway.  Look it up on the web.   

Man who run in front of car get tired.          Man who run behind car get exhausted.

BIG SKY - BUSH PIG  14th–16th September
A new venue, a farm on the Shamva Road.  Bush Camp next to a lovely dam, temporary showers and ablutes put up by the farmer.  His staff made a fire for hot water.  A good caterer for our three meals a day.  What more can you ask for. 
For those who do not know, the Bush Pig is a 4x4 team event, 2 cars, 4 people, which takes place out in virgin country.  The organiser seeks out short routes of about 300 to 500m in a variety of diabolical bits of terrain.  The teams are not allowed to see the course; when called they can walk it in the allowed time, say 5 minutes, and then try to complete the course as quickly as possible.  The course is not usually driveable unless your partner pulls you through the mud, vertical rocks and banks etc. and then you help him through.  When both cars and all crew and equipment exit the course the stop watch stops.  Exciting and exhausting and a bit rough on the cars.  These are usually SWB Jeeps and Land Rovers with powerful motors and deep water equipment and knobby tyres.
The courses were interesting.  Back and forward across a rivers; up high rock "gomos"; across mud fields and even a test of changing a wheel without the use of a jack.  Note that 4 tests were done after sunset on Friday night and some of us got back to camp after midnight.
We all had our moments of glory and disaster, you win some and loose some.  Yes there were vehicle failures, diffs and half shafts, burst cooling and even recovery equipment failures like the bar and winch that came off.  It took three cars and most of an hour to get my car out of a mud hole, in the dark, leaning at 45 deg. in clouds of smoke.  We had lots of fun!!
Our major sponsor was Big Sky shop, Telford Mica and Fuchs lubricants who supplied a wide range of prizes. Many thanks to Brian Cocker, the Farm Manager,  for his help with the terrain and ablutions.

We received a lovely thank you note from the Mutare boys who won the event.
"On behalf of the Mutare Lamour team, I would like to say thank you for a great weekend, we all had a fantastic time and really enjoyed a well run Bushpig event. Please could you pass on our thanks to all the sponsors, marshals and the catering team, if it was not for them we could not have spent this most enjoyable 4x4 weekend that we have had.
Kind regards Ed, Gareth, Michael and Chris. "
The winners:   Team Lamour:   Gareth Barry / Ed Danby        Michael and Chris Maas. (from Mutare)
2nd:      Hells Angels:               Trevor Butler/Chad Bruford    Aubrey Bennett / Hamish Perry
3rd:       Piss Cats:                     Adrian Watt / Jason C. Smith   Gary Buchanan/ Zeb Laubscher
4th:       Bush Rats:                   Jim Perry / Gerry Emerick      BJ Lawry / Alan Fulton
5th:       Kick Ass K's:                Mass Kirk / Steffan Kirk        Jesper Kirk / Matt K Edwards
6th:       Grunting Hooligans      Peter Benzon/Dylan Weare     Shane Ellis/ Brett Webb
7th:       Kalahari Scorpions       Mike Gill/ Murray Upton        Mark Benzon / Tony Rowley
8th:       We don't Know:           Tim Thorburn / Tyron van H   Dale Kiggen / Geoff Clack
9th:       Team Fugley                Grant Weare / Seb Ahrens     Malcolm Attwell / Jason Young
Our Club has a very big thanks owed to Peter Benzon, Carol Weare and Roger Ellis, and their helpers, for all the time spent organising and running the event.  It is good to see that there were three Father/Son entrants, check above.
We would also like to say a big thank you to the Beatrice Country Club for all their past years of dedicated hospitality.  But a new venue was definitely in the asking.  After the International Motor Cycle Enduro at Halstead Estate, it just seemed to fit the bill this year.

Dungbeetle Mutare    16th – 18th November,
At last we managed to get the Mutare boys to Harare for Bushpig.  And, not only did they win the event they decided that this was such a good concept for a competition that they are changing Dungbeetle to run on similar lines.  That is to have two cars working as a team to get through the stages.    Venue will be at Smallbridge Dam, a lovely scenic venue with really good facilities. 
Make a note in your diary NOW, 16th – 18th November.  They will send out flyers in due course. 

DATE:                    6 & 7 OCTOBER
VENUE:                 LAKESIDE
ENTRY FEE:          $30
 Please phone Cheryl 071 209 836  or  09 60372 / 63033


I have a little Satnav
I've had it all my life
It's better than the normal ones
My Satnav is my wife

It gives me full instructions
Especially how to drive
"It's 60 kilometers an hour", it says
"You're doing sixty five"

It tells me when to stop and start
And when to use the brake
And tells me that it's never ever
Safe to overtake

It tells me when a light is red
And when it goes to green
It seems to know instinctively
Just when to intervene

It lists the vehicles just in front
And all those to the rear
And taking this into account
It specifies my gear.

I'm sure no other driver
Has so helpful a device
For when we leave and lock the car
It still gives its advice

It fills me up with counseling
Each journey's pretty fraught
So why don't I exchange it
And get a quieter sort?

Ah well, you see, it cleans the house,
Makes sure I'm properly fed,
It washes all my shirts and things
And - keeps me warm in bed!

Despite all these advantages
And my tendency to scoff,
I do wish that once in a while
I could turn the damned thing off.

4x4 Club Diary -      2012

These dates change as the year progresses, but flyers will be sent out before each event. 

September   29 / 30           Hwange Game Count                    for info
October 6 - 7                       Bulawayo Jamboree                      Lakeside Bulawayo
October 27 - 28                  Three Hills   (full moon)               Makumbi
November   10                   Corporate Day /Tree Planting     Donnybrook Park   
November 16 - 18              Mutare Dungbeetle                      Smallbridge Dam
December    9                     Christmas Run                              SOAP Fund Raiser

To enter Donnybrook Park on a non-event day it will cost you $2 per car, providing you have you membership card.  Non-members will be charged $20 per car.  You must sign the book at the gate and put your name, your Club and membership number.   Do not pay without signing the book.
Please note:  If you wish to go to Donnybrook to play and there is another event on, then the organizing club can charge what they like for you to enter.  They will have hired the entire complex for that day. Please don’t try and argue with the gate attendant, they will just be doing their job.  Either pay-up or go away and come back on a free day. 

Have you had a look at our Web Site?  Grant Weare has done a really good job of updating it.    Go to:
We have a Face Book site  4x4 Zimbabwe         

Motor Sports Association Club House

MSA Membership: The Club House bar works on a Swipe Card basis and any member of an affiliated club can join.  Pay your $20 Club House subscription and get your card.  Bar prices are double for non-cardholders. 
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 for the Clubhouse.

A forum for the club has been created.   Click on the following
It will be linked back to the 4x4 website in due course but register in the mean time.  Please pass this link on to anyone you think may be interested in posting on the forum.

CHAIRMAN                         TIM THORBURN                 0772.645.518     
TREASURER                         KELVIN WEARE                        0772.326.687
SECRETARY                          CAROL WEARE                                 0733.400.496
VICE CHAIRMAN                 MASS KIRK                                         0772.261.682
CHF MARSHAL/EVENTS     ROGER ELLIS                                      0772.219.154
MEMBERSHIP                     PAT GILL                                                                       0778.731.288
EVENTS / EQUIPMENT       GARETH GEACH                             0772.283.524
EVENTS                                PETER BENZON                       0775.009.218
EVENTS                                JASON YOUNG                                         0772.918.878
ENVIRONMENT                   MUZZA BLACK                                       0772.241.000
NEWSLETTER                       MICHAEL AND PAT GILL                                    0778.843.843

Till next time. 
Michael and Pat GILL
Phone:   04.494028    (M) 0712.400.243        (P) 0778.731.288

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