After spending several days in Barra de Navidad and seeing the small surrounding towns of La Manzanilla, Cuastecomate, Isla Navidad and Melaque it was time for us to push on. We now had to make it across the entire width of Mexico and head to the other coast. The other coast being the Atlantic coast, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Looking at the maps, Gps and the like we knew it was going to be roughly 1,800 miles to get across Mexico and was going to take at least 10 days. In the states you could easily drive this distance in two days or so, but in Mexico because you can’t drive at night, rough road conditions and other possible hazards, any trip this distance was going to take caution, patience and we didn’t want to rush and miss anything. We only had one major problem now, and it was a major problem! Our Land Rover was throwing misfire codes on cylinders 1,3,5 and 7, only on the left side of the engine and we could not figure out why. It was also running very low on power, starting to overheat and could barely get out of it’s own way going up hills. Now things where not looking good for the team. We met a few people in town that referred us to a mechanic that specialized in fuel injection as we thought that might have been what the problem was. We spent a day at the mechanics shop in Melaque and he was kind enough to let us use a work area and some of his tools to pull the top part of the engine apart, take the fuel injectors out and test them. Everything checked out fine and we replaced them and yet we still had the same codes after hours of work. Also, we replaced the spark plugs, inspected all the wires, reset the codes and did everything we could possibly think of. To make matters worse the only Land Rover dealer was in Guadalajara which was inland, up through the mountains and several hours away. We were getting quite frustrated and were running out of options. Finally we made the decision to try and make it to the Land Rover dealer in Guadalajara. What’s the worst that could happen? We would tow it. It wouldn’t be easy or fun, but we had no choice.
Our stop at a road side fruit stand in route to Guadalajara.
After saying our goodbyes to all the friends we made in Barra we took off for Guadalajara not know if we were going to make it, but we knew we had to get going. We reset the codes, topped off the fuel and hit the road. Looking at the map we knew it was pretty much an all up hill drive for several hours. We would be starting our trek into the interior of Mexico. We planned to take it easy, keep an eye on the gauges not to overheat the Rover, and figured if we took it in increments we would be okay. Our first planned stop was to be in the town of Colima, as we wanted to see the Volcano, http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=48886.
Our stop in the Volcano town of Colima, Mexico
As we made our way through the mountains, Scott called over the radio ” I have to pull over, the temperature gauge is getting into the zone!” I knew what that meant and he did not sound happy to report that. I had noticed a few miles before, that I was actually able to keep up with the Rover in the mountains and usually that was not the case as my old Cruiser is slow with just a straight six and all the weight of the expedition equipment. Normally Scott would be calling me on the radio asking me if I was sightseeing or something because I was so slow. Soon we pulled over to the side of the road and waited for the temps to subside, checked the fluid and then continued on. We were relieved to see we had not lost any fluids. That would have been the last thing we wanted to see was the Rover totally overheat and quit on the side of the road in Mexico. Finally after arriving in Colima, we parked the trucks in the center plaza, went to get something to eat and try and to find some internet and look for more answers.
So how does this all end?
So far so good we’re thinking! Not!
Stay tuned to find out what the real problem is!