FRANCE 2017-4

We found a nice place to stop at Ste-Marie-Plage, just north of Perpignan with a lovely and clean sand beach. Also the camp side was great and first class. We had direct access to the beach and it took us only a minutes walk. Weather could be not better.

Stunning sunrise

Very clean beach

We had the swimming pool for our self. Hardly any people there.

Camp side between the trees and very quiet.

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FRANCE 2017-3

We went on the move next morning heading east to Toulouse and half way there we decide to make a stop in Lourdes, one of the great shrines in Europe to visit the Grotte Massabielle.

We travelled  further to St. Gaudens and then via the Midi Pyrenees in to Spain to a small town of Bosset which is on the foot of Sierra Sascorjada. There we stayed over Night.

 

After an early start next morning we heading to Andorra but driving the small mountain roads from Vielha  to Salardu, Port de la Bonaigua which has a stunning view from over 2000 meter. Unfortunately the fog has spoiled it but we still had a great time despite the road been very challenging for the Land cruiser.

Further to Vall d’Aneu, Sort and the Coll the Canto to Seo de Urgel  which brings us to Andorra la Vella. We stopped for a meal and of course very cheap fuel. We wished the Land cruiser had bigger Diesel tanks.

We continued on afternoon via Pas de la Casa in to France and was heading to Perpignan where we planned to stay for a view days.

FRANCE 2017-2

On the edges of the Beauce plain and the Loir Valley is the town of Chateaudun and is presided over by a massive and beautiful chateau. It is definitely recommended to visit which we have done. The view from the castle and the surroundings with many 16th-century houses  is stunning. We could not ask for better weather.

 

A couple of days later we moved on heading south again, passing by Vendome, Chateau-Renault, Amboise, Blere, Loche and got totally lost near Chatellerault thanks our backroad driving. In Poitiers we decided to go on to the toll motorway as we lost to much time.

We passed by Limoges and on to the back roads towards Perigueux we found a lovely camping side at Antonne-et-Trigonant. We stayed only one night as we want to move on to the Atlantic coast.

Again back on to the toll motorway, passing by Bordeaux, which we have visited a view years before and close to the Spanish border near Biarritz we found a camp side in Ondres on the Golfe de Cascogne which was a total  disaster as soon we had the roof tent sorted it started raining for the whole night. Not very enjoyable. Also the Camp side was not up to our taste and we moved on as soon we could.

NOKIAN HAKKAPELIITTA LT2

Since I have had the Land cruiser 100, I’ve never bothered about Winter tyres. I live in a country where it is debatable to buy some, as wintery conditions are seldom therefore making it difficult to justify the purchase. The LC is not my main transport and on bad weather it can stay on the drive.

All the previous years when I travelled to the Alps in the winter, I was more than happy with the BFGoodrich in the snow. It seems, there is now not the amount of snow on the roads as many years ago and for 2 weeks it is just not worth.

I am planning to drive to the Alps at the end of the month; I will be travelling through mountain passes where winter tyres (and snow chains) will be needed.

I have purchased a set of Nokian Hakkapeliitta LT2 on original Toyota steel rims which  makes my life much easier when I change them over.

It will be interesting to see how the winter tyres compare to the BFGoodrich that I used previously.

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I have raised the pressures in the tyres from 35 to 42 psi. Lets see if it makes a difference on the road handling

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I like the way how Nokian put the safety indicators on the centre surface of the tyre. The numbers wear out as the tire wears down. Less the 40% the tyre should not be worn in wintery conditions.

Auxiliary Tank – completion

Finally I have finished the auxiliary tank. Frontrunner claim it takes 6 hours to complete the task, it has taken longer then i thought. Then again my extra paint jobs and the preparation took a lot of time. It was fairly easy to lift the tank in to the prepared brackets  and bolting it up. It was also easy  to install the spare wheel carrier it was a very tight fit needless to say.

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I had great difficulty to fit the supplied hose for the connection between the aux. tank and the main tank. The hose is only 4 inches long  and needed to be connected to the original filler pipe. As the connection is to close to the crossmember No. 7,  I could not get a proper seal on it and I ended up using my old rubber tank filler hose instead. The hose clamp – circled –  was a nightmare to tighten. Eventually I got this right too. I hate to think that one day I will have to replace the hose.

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Filler pipe from auxiliary tank to main tank. The small pipe is the vent pipe from main tank which is now connected near to the filler cap.

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Main tank with new protector. It is much easier to remove the exhaust to fit the tank in place. I could save myself a lot of time if I  had removed it before hand.

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Some modification needed on the tank inlet pipe for the extra breather hoses.

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The spare wheel is slightly lower to the ground.

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Auxiliary Tank – Underbody preperation

The underbody of my land Cruiser has definitely seen better days and I’m not surprised to see the fixing point rot away. In some other Country’s the Land Cruiser 100  is equipped with a auxiliary tank and the same fixing points are used. The bolt holes are unusable which ment I had to cut the rotten material away.

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This must be the cheapest available weld-on nut what Toyota’s money could buy. I’m not surprised the thread was not existent.

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To make a strong connection I used a mild steel box section which I have welded a nut inside and bolted on to the rear underfloor panel reinforcement. This should last a long time.

 

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Everything is painted with chassis Lack, connected and bolted up. Before fitting the tank I sprayed on some underbody and cavity wax.

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Next step is fitting the tank.

 

Auxiliary Tank – Preparation

Finally, I have completed the refurbishment of the main fuel tank and managed to fit the tank back in place. It took me far longer as I have anticipated. Now I want to fit the auxiliary tank from Frontrunner which are made in South Africa. Frontrunner claims the tank hold 62 litres which is more than sufficient for my purpose.

The tank is much smaller than the Long Ranger which is made in Australia and hold up to 182 litres. The advantage of the smaller tank is; it is much cheaper and I can place my spare wheel back under the LC as the original layout was.

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The tank came with all the fittings and painted. The paint job is probably good enough for South African roads but definitely not for Europe with all the rain and road salt in the winter.

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I rough sanded the surface, then I slapped a couple of coats zinc primer on and after ample trying time a generously amount of black chassis paint.

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Finally, I covered the surface with DINITROL 3125 HS wax which can be used for surfaces and cavities. This should prolong the life of the tank significantly.

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