Rookie: Sani Pass first trip?





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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Default Rookie: Sani Pass first trip?

    Hi all,

    I bought a Colt about 2 months ago, my first 4x4. I have never taken it off road and would now like to go up the Sani Pass on 31 December 2011 as early in the morning as possible. I will be based near Underberg for the weekend, so I just want to go up, take the camera, have a beer at the pub and come back down.

    1) The gearbox has low range and diff lock and is an automatic - do I need to be concerned that I have NO experience in 4x4?

    2) should I buy any maps or extra bits?

    3) any advice for what we should try and do once through the pass, as we will only have a few hours?

    Happy Christmas to everyone and all the best for the coming year!

    Brett
    ______________________________
    Brett Scheepers
    2002 Colt Rodeo 3.0 V6 D/C 4x4 Auto
    Old man emu shocks, Wildcat branch, Uni-chip,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Krugersdorp
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    47
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    Default

    Hi Brett
    Your Colt will be fine and the auto will make ascending the pass even easier. Only the last portion where you get the sharp turns is the pass fairly steep and should you engage low range going up and down, the rest can be done in 4H. Other than that the pub is nice and a Maluti Lager has never tasted better. The trip will not take up a whole day so if you start out early and get to the top early consider driving a bit deeper into Lesotho and view some of the countryside. Enjoy

    KUBU 4X4 TRAILER RENTAL
    083 631 6995
    [email protected]
    www.kubu4x4.co.za
    Click here for the latest updates in the Commercial Section
    Jannie Engelbrecht a.k.a. Granlor

  3. #3
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    Default

    i did it as a novice too ... ( still am)... was not bad ....dont use the diff-lock unless u get stuck , at the top with the windy bits u will battle to turn with it on ...the difflock really hates sharp turns .... other than that its fun and really has amazing views ....
    Kb300 Dtec 4x4 ...let the mods begin
    2003 Kb300Tdi d/c lx 4x4 - sold
    GP0274 batmandiver




  4. #4
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    Aug 2007
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    Try and avoid the difflock as it only damages the road. The autobox should make it fairly easy. Enjou the ride and please post some pics when you're back.
    "If you don't care where you are, you ain't lost"

  5. #5
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    Don't forget passports!
    FJC - Just Cruising

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Blairgowrie, JHB
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    Default and?...

    Brett, How did it go?

    I just did a quick up-down in December as well, drove down from JHB and went up Sani at about 1300 (maybe an hour and a half to the top with scenic stops) and slept over at Sani Top Chalets. Headed back down in the morning and on to the Eastern Cape from there.

    Its really a fun drive and a nice way to start or end a holiday with a bit of 4x4ing

    @ Granlor; couldnt agree with you more, the Maluti Lager was awesome after the bumpy ride up, which i had to do at a fair pace as the bakkie was heavily laden

    __________________
    Aaron
    Mitsubishi 3.2 Triton with stuff

  7. #7
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    Default

    Hi Bret! Dont you have any pics to post?

  8. #8
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    Durban
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    Default delayed reply...

    Hi Guys,

    Thank you for all the advice and so sorry for the delayed reply; the trip we did was.... interesting. As you said Jannie, the trip up the pass with the auto was really easy - we made great time and were having a cup of tea at Pub by 10:30am. The problem we had in fact was coming down.......

    Because we made such great time I was keen to check out the Black Mountain pass - apparently less than 10kms into Lesotho, but about half way up that pass I somehow managed to get the gearbox stuck between LR and HR, thankfully it felt like it was in 'neutral'. Nothing I did would get it back into a drivable gear!

    A friendly chap travelling from the Eastern Cape on his way to descend the Sani offered to tow us back to the Sani Pass in his '90 Hilux - a huge relief! En route, we were all flagged down by a Ford Courier 2x4 that had got itself stuck in some mud. The Hilux man unhooked me from his towbar, proceeded to pull the Courier out the dwang, then returned to continue towing me - what a legend!

    Once back at the Sani Top Hotel - I convinced the Courier 2x4 man to tow me down the pass so thatI coudl get my gearbox fixed in Underberg. I bought everyone lunch and a few beers to gather the courage and two hours later we got to May's Workshop in Himeville who managed to do a quick fix on the transfer stick within 30 minutes (allowing me to drive the vehicle in 2x4 mode back to Durban a few days later), at 3pm on a Saturday on New Years eve... another Legend!

    The problem I face now is that when I took the Colt to a gearbox specialst (Mr Gearbox in Pinetown) the owner Derrick Moodley flushed the box and tested the transfer box and cannot find any fault - resulting in a R1500 invoice, but the issue could re-occur. So now I don't have any faith in the gearbox, but I am considering taking it to Tony at Transmission Centre Bluff (who I believe is an expert and is highly recommended) to see if he can diagnise and fix the problem...

    Then I'll be sure to go back up (and DOWN!) the Pass as soon as possible!!
    ______________________________
    Brett Scheepers
    2002 Colt Rodeo 3.0 V6 D/C 4x4 Auto
    Old man emu shocks, Wildcat branch, Uni-chip,

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Location
    Hillcrest, Malaysia
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    63
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrettSch1979 View Post
    Hi Guys,

    Thank you for all the advice and so sorry for the delayed reply; the trip we did was.... interesting. As you said Jannie, the trip up the pass with the auto was really easy - we made great time and were having a cup of tea at Pub by 10:30am. The problem we had in fact was coming down.......

    Because we made such great time I was keen to check out the Black Mountain pass - apparently less than 10kms into Lesotho, but about half way up that pass I somehow managed to get the gearbox stuck between LR and HR, thankfully it felt like it was in 'neutral'. Nothing I did would get it back into a drivable gear!

    A friendly chap travelling from the Eastern Cape on his way to descend the Sani offered to tow us back to the Sani Pass in his '90 Hilux - a huge relief! En route, we were all flagged down by a Ford Courier 2x4 that had got itself stuck in some mud. The Hilux man unhooked me from his towbar, proceeded to pull the Courier out the dwang, then returned to continue towing me - what a legend!

    Once back at the Sani Top Hotel - I convinced the Courier 2x4 man to tow me down the pass so thatI coudl get my gearbox fixed in Underberg. I bought everyone lunch and a few beers to gather the courage and two hours later we got to May's Workshop in Himeville who managed to do a quick fix on the transfer stick within 30 minutes (allowing me to drive the vehicle in 2x4 mode back to Durban a few days later), at 3pm on a Saturday on New Years eve... another Legend!

    The problem I face now is that when I took the Colt to a gearbox specialst (Mr Gearbox in Pinetown) the owner Derrick Moodley flushed the box and tested the transfer box and cannot find any fault - resulting in a R1500 invoice, but the issue could re-occur. So now I don't have any faith in the gearbox, but I am considering taking it to Tony at Transmission Centre Bluff (who I believe is an expert and is highly recommended) to see if he can diagnise and fix the problem...

    Then I'll be sure to go back up (and DOWN!) the Pass as soon as possible!!
    Going down SANI in neutral under tow is quite and achievement for a rookie.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 V8's
    NA TwinTurbo SuperCharger
    A V6 and an inline 4

    The frogs are starting to notice that the water is getting warm but it is already too hot to do anything about it.....

  10. #10
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    Thanks Keith!
    ______________________________
    Brett Scheepers
    2002 Colt Rodeo 3.0 V6 D/C 4x4 Auto
    Old man emu shocks, Wildcat branch, Uni-chip,

  11. #11
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    as the saying go, it's not the destination but the journy that counts...

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Hi Brett, never nice to have car trouble but maybe you've learned a valuable lesson. Before venturing offroad make sure your vehicle is mechanically sound by going offroad close to home and putting it through its paces. This will hopefully show any niggles like you had now and you will also learn more about your vehicle capabilities as well as become more confident with your own abilities. Unfortunately mishaps happen but I'm glad this unfortunate experience didn't put you off from offroading as you state that you'll be back to Sani.
    Wonderfull to hear strangers helping you, he sure has a story to tell his buddies around the campfire about the oke in the Colt he rescued in Lesotho

    KUBU 4X4 TRAILER RENTAL
    083 631 6995
    [email protected]
    www.kubu4x4.co.za
    Click here for the latest updates in the Commercial Section
    Jannie Engelbrecht a.k.a. Granlor

  13. #13
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    Durban
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    100% Jannie
    ______________________________
    Brett Scheepers
    2002 Colt Rodeo 3.0 V6 D/C 4x4 Auto
    Old man emu shocks, Wildcat branch, Uni-chip,

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