Heidi Hetzer World Tour - Update #14


All we can say is, "Oh Brother...". After only a month and 9,500 KM, mechanical failures continue to pile up, one on top of the other. The head gasket issue turned out to be more extensive, requiring the head to be welded. Not many details, just 2 photos.
The caption on this next photo reads "the head had a disk (washer?) welded onto it". Does that mean one or more washers were welded to one or more top-side bosses to allow proper clamping?  Were cracks beginning to show up around one or more head bolt holes, or does "washer" refer to the large rectangular patch?
With this being the second major engine condition in 9,500 KM, we have to question the expertise of the machine shop who rebuilt the motor. We don't think this is being too critical.


Apparently something is occurring with the wooden wheel spokes. They have been wrapped in cloth and soaked with some kind of liquid; why? Is it even remotely possible the spokes are 90 year old originals, now being re-saturated with some revitalizing fluid? (Bars-Leak for spokes?...LOL). 

We checked with wooden spoke wheel companies recommended by ACCA members but could find no reference to this type of maintenance. That doesn't mean it is not some form of recommended maintenance - we just couldn't find a reference. We'll have to defer to a few restoration experts for a possible answer; if you know of the process, please send us a note with the details. 

Tires look pretty good, although the shoulder tread seems to be worse for wear.


It appears the carburetor was removed for inspection and cleaning. These two photos show the recently installed cork float and a newly installed metal version. The notes reflect the cork float lost its buoyancy and had to be replaced. We're scratching our heads again, wondering why cork was used.

Heidi remains in a flux about her travel routes. Russia and Mongolia were taken off the table, but she is now regretting that necessity. Should she decide to retain these routes, she knows she will be stuck in these countries until Spring. Apparently, she's having difficulty making up her mind, so she is asking followers to vote - Russia or China?

Our vote would be to park the car, fly home and restart the journey in a couple of weeks with all repairs complete. By then Russia and Mongolia would be completely out of the question and no additional decisions necessary. Then again if these major mechanical issues keep cropping up, the success of the trip itself could be in jeopardy.