MB 1120 Coming to America!

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
Back in the day, aka, the '70's, I worked in Panama. At least once a month someone would come to the office, looking for the cheap boat/ferry/road to Colombia. Didn't exist then, doesn't exist now. (Interestingly, however, there is a lot of migrant foot traffic across the Darien.) Had a lot of folks spending a lot of expensive time in Panama.

While many have found reasonable shipping arrangements to Colombia, it is often very expensive. Some random advice:

-- Don't focus on Colombia, it may be less expensive to ship to Ecuador, Peru, or even Chile. Just depends on the shipping lines.

-- May also be better to do two trips, one to Panama and return, and one to South America, specifically Montevideo, Uruguay, and return.

Don't obsesses over a line on the map, take the route of least resistance.

Resources that are more up to date than me:

Kathy and Rick Howe: http://www.travelin-tortuga.com/Travelin-Tortuga/travel-information/shipping-the-vehicle/

Claire and James Young: https://thisbigroadtrip.com/

Nina and Rob Blackwell: http://www.whiteacorn.com/home/theamericas

These all have different dates, but all are serious folks.
 

Neil

Observer
Simon.

Our truck is abandoned in Colombia. And has been since March I reckon the grass must be up to the doors now. Not sure when we can return. Maybe next year, maybe not.

Our next stage will be shipping out if Cartagena . As said ealier , it expensive. You can ship from Uruguay to Canada for similar money.

I think we will go to Mexico where you get a 10 year TIP. This gives us time to relax and ride out the Covid Storm

I am not sure that the Central American counties will be open for transit any time soon.

Costa Rica is a no no for RHD, luckily we are LHD.

Should be fun

Neil
 

Sitec

Adventurer
Simon.

Our truck is abandoned in Colombia. And has been since March I reckon the grass must be up to the doors now. Not sure when we can return. Maybe next year, maybe not.

Our next stage will be shipping out if Cartagena . As said ealier , it expensive. You can ship from Uruguay to Canada for similar money.

I think we will go to Mexico where you get a 10 year TIP. This gives us time to relax and ride out the Covid Storm

I am not sure that the Central American counties will be open for transit any time soon.

Costa Rica is a no no for RHD, luckily we are LHD.

Should be fun

Neil
Yeah, I know your truck is stuck there. Do you have a plan forming to get it home? I wonder why Costa Rica is such a set no for RHD. I'd have never found a LHD truck here unless I imported one... tho having looked at my cab in depth I could fit another wheel and pedals on the left! ;)
 

VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
Hey guys, although starting to sound a bit repetitive we are back from another backpack jaunt. This one was a bit short due to a large part of Glacier National Park being closed (Covid) and smoke from the forest fires. We have not been in Glacier in about 9 years and I will admit, this was not the best time to visit it, but it was relatively close, so what the heck.

Out front being grizzly bait ;). There is a bit of smoke in the air, too bad as one of the parts of Glacier are the amazing views.
IMG_20200918_115835.jpg

Guessing this section of trail was built by the Civilian Conservation Corp. They really accomplished some amazing work.
IMG_20200918_135334.jpg

Starting to feel a bit like fall.
IMG_20200918_093536.jpg

And Neil, you guys come up often in Heather and I's conversations. Really wish you could get back to your home and continue on with your life. Although we are a bit bummed out not being able to ship our truck out of North America we are very grateful that we are still able to use it and move around in the USA.
 

Sitec

Adventurer
Some amazing pics there. That trail cut into the edge of the cliff is amazing! Looks like the USA is a must for us! It's great that you are getting to use your truck properly too. It must be a good feeling knowing all the hard work was worth it!
 

Neil

Observer
Hi guys. Thanks for the thoughts.

South America is,way behind Europe on this Covid Journey, but its numbers are rising at an alarming rate.
At the moment we cannot return . The risk is too high and there are no flights in. Our truck and motorcycle are now Illegal so we don't knowxwhat sort of fines or confiscation we will face when we get back.

We have a vague plan that I might return next year and try and get the truck shipped to Mexico. You get a 10 year TIP there on motor caravans so at least we can relax and store it there until it is safe to travel. The motorbike might become a casualty.

It a mess but we are OK. Many have it worse.

In the mean time we have bought a camper and intend to travel around the UK and maybe Europe.

Cheers guys

Neil
 

VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
Some amazing pics there. That trail cut into the edge of the cliff is amazing! Looks like the USA is a must for us! It's great that you are getting to use your truck properly too. It must be a good feeling knowing all the hard work was worth it!
In my opinion, even with the issues here in the USA it still has some of the most amazing scenery we have seen anywhere in the world. Plus with the federal land in the western US boon docking is easy and free. Should be high on any nature lovers visit list.

Hi guys. Thanks for the thoughts.

South America is,way behind Europe on this Covid Journey, but its numbers are rising at an alarming rate.
At the moment we cannot return . The risk is too high and there are no flights in. Our truck and motorcycle are now Illegal so we don't knowxwhat sort of fines or confiscation we will face when we get back.

We have a vague plan that I might return next year and try and get the truck shipped to Mexico. You get a 10 year TIP there on motor caravans so at least we can relax and store it there until it is safe to travel. The motorbike might become a casualty.

It a mess but we are OK. Many have it worse.

In the mean time we have bought a camper and intend to travel around the UK and maybe Europe.

Cheers guys

Neil
Yup, saw your new camper on FaceBook. Looks like a nice rig for traveling developed areas. If we eventually get to ship the truck out of North America we might buy a small van for times when we visit the US to see family. So, about your truck. Is there anyway you could hire someone to move the truck to a shipping port and get it on a ship to Mexico? Coming from a sailing background it happened fairly regularly.
 

VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
Oh, and to chat about the truck for a bit.

Working on installing a subwoofer for the habitat stereo. Got the unit screwed down and will run the power today. Awaiting some speaker wire from Amazon to complete the job. I also replaced the hood flap gasket. I ended up getting a non-Mercedes bit of gasket (Amazon) that seems to work perfectly, way cheaper than ordering/shipping out of Europe.

Very seriously considering the Atego turbo upgrade. Would be great to get a bit more oomph in the hills. There is a shop in Germany that is helping a bit with the details and would provide the bits.

And also working on getting some new parabolic front springs/shocks out of Germany. Really would love to soften the ride on corrugated roads and get a bit of suspension travel.

 

Recommended books for Overlanding

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Tortillas to Totems (Every day an Adventure Book 4)
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Tschiffely's Ride: Ten Thousand Miles in the Saddle from ...
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Neil

Observer
. So, about your truck. Is there anyway you could hire someone to move the truck to a shipping port and get it on a ship to Mexico? Coming from a sailing background it happened fairly regularly.
We have looked at this option. It is very hard, bordering impossible.

You would need to arrange for every handler of the vehicle to have a Poder, which is a legal document giving them authority.

It really can only be arranged locally.

Some friends of ours , who were in a similar position in Ecuador have just managed to get a vehicle to the states using this method.

It took them over 5 months to arrange and he estimates it cost in excess of 10,000 usd in legal fees. It was also a very stressful process.

The vehicle turned up in the US quite damaged.

I think our best option is next year I return , if allowed, and try to get it to Mexico.

It's a mess

Neil
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Oh man what a nightmare. Fingers crossed it all works out! Question: How does it work with the Carne de Passage? Guess you will loose that money too if you can't get your vehicle back?
 

Neil

Observer
Oh man what a nightmare. Fingers crossed it all works out! Question: How does it work with the Carne de Passage? Guess you will loose that money too if you can't get your vehicle back?
Luckily for us you don't need a Carne in any of the Amercas, This would have been an added complication for sure.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
If I recall, some carnets have language involving acts of god? A pandemic might count.
 

VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
So, while we are hanging out with family I am slowly (very slowly) working through a few outstanding projects. A strictly fun one was adding a subwoofer to the habitat stereo, a small "under seat" powered one. Really helped fill in the sound and we are enjoying it.

A more serious project is finally plumbing in the coolant circuit to our Webasto coolant furnace. I already have the plate heat exchanger installed (we are planning on using the same furnace that we use for the habitat for engine pre-heat) but now I am starting to look at the where to splice in the new coolant lines. Is there a recommended place to do this? I see on YouTube that they Espar recommends a high pressure point for the inlet and returning to the water pump. Of course the example water pump had a spare port, looks like mine does not so I am assuming a Y of some sort there. I am also guessing the same at the high pressure point which the example is at the rear bottom of the engine.

Now onto another issue that has popped up. Right before the engine pull apart to fix the coolant issue our starter started to "stick". First time it ran for a while until I slowed done enough to where the starter was spinning faster than the engine. I thought it was the ignition key sticking in the start position. Well, when the mechanic was bleeding the air out of the fuel lines he used the remote start button. After a lot of cranking the starter did a bit of a shriek. It ended up happening a few times. Now it is happening every now and then after starting. I am assuming the starter is now staying engaged too long. Any thoughts? I see I can buy a new non-oem starter here in the USA for $140 shipped, I am guessing I should order one up.
 

Neil

Observer
Mine is spliced into the the flow and return to the heater box under the dashboard.

If I open the grill at the front then pipes are there right in front of you and easy to access and splice into.

From memory they are 18 mm steel tubes, I Tee'd into them at the bottom in the rubber section.

Obviously to pre heat the engine you need to introduce a pump into the circuit on the engine side

I added an extra pump on the heater circuit side too , so that I could pump hot water around the heating and calorifier without having to turn the heater on.

Eberspacher said if apply an additional power source the the existing pump it may feed unwanted power back to the control panel, so I kept it all separate

Its worked perfectly.

I have put a valve on all 4 ports on the heat Exchanger.

Neil
 
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luthj

Engineer In Residence
Two issues with the starter. One is the bendix drive is not retracting the gear. That's a lube/wear issue. The other is a sticking/welded solenoid contact set. Both can probably be addressed by you on a bench. Both sound different, and typical a stuck bendix is will eventually retract on its own.

The final option is a sticking ignition switch, or sub relay if used. You would need to test with a meter when this happens to determine.
 
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