Graham Smith: Sudan
We had just entered Sudan from Egypt, and had camped our first night on the shores of Lake Nasser in Sudan.We had been with two other couples that night, but I'd said to them go-ahead in the morning as I am not keen on travelling in convoy.
The next morning while trying to kill a fly I wandered off the track and split the off side front wheel. Soon after replacing it with the spare I noticed all of the dash lights flickering as we went over the corrugations, so I lowered the tyre pressures on all 4 tyres. ( first photograph) The car carried on running fine despite these electrical anomalies.
We found a dry wadi to camp in that evening. (This is where the two photographs were taken.) I stopped the car as usual and set up camp, as the sun set we had dinner and retired to bed. After breakfast and packing up the camp, I realised that the car would not start. For 2 hours I attempted to get the car to start. Plenty of power in the batteries, 24 v arriving at the starter, but no engagement of the starter motor. Although a part of me thought it was the starter that had died, I was convinced that the previous days disco lights on the dash had something to do with my non-starting car.
At 9.00am UK time (11:00am Sudan time) I e-mailed ELCO with my problem and Julian replied within minutes. "Check the alternator wires", which I immediately did and lo-and-behold it was the alternator wire supplying the auxillary battery which had been gradually stretched as the battery had migrated forward due to the cage falling apart on the corrugations, and as it stretched so the wire within the sheath snapped. I replaced this, started the car, and e-mailed Julian the great news with huge amounts of appreciation.
Julian, and his extensive knowledge sorted out our problem in 5 minutes. Had I not had an RBGAN and laptop, and had Julian not been at the end of an e-mail; I would have had to leave my family in the desert for 5 -6 days while I hitched to Khartoum to get a 12v starter motor and a stack of heavy gauge wire to re-rig the electrics. This probably would not have solved the problem anyway.... So without Julians help, we would have been in a really bad situation.
As a family we feel Julian is a special part of our trip and we all appreciate what he did for us, and it was great to finally meet him after the trip too say thanks when went to him to service and install an Intercooler on our truck. Therefore I have no hesitation in recommending Julian, his knowledege and his workmanship."
Smith Family Odyssey