lundi 10 juin 2013

The Jeep freak buys another Jeep ... Let me introduce the Grand Jeep Cherokee!

Hi lovelies!

Well 'Jeep' and 4x4 adventure posts are coming back to this blog for the meantime, I have really not enough time to keep 2 blogs running....

Being the Jeep freak lover that I am I just had to introduce my new car to you guys!
The Wrangler back in France, with a desert driver pal :)
You probably remember my other Jeep, the Wrangler ' Desert Frog'...the car that has taken me several times around the Moroccan desert...
Well I still have my cute little green amphibian Jeep, but not in Morocco at the moment...

If you have read my previous posts on 4x4 driving you may remember that I had a bad accident with the Frog (i.e.: photo above and below, a bridge that wasn't finished).
We knew that the front axle was dead, and got it changed...but more bad news arrived later...

The whole chassis was bent. 
The chassis is like the car's skeleton. 
My 4x4 garage in Spain, Sahara 4x4 , put a new front axle in for me said that there was a 8cm difference between the left side of the car and the right...bad news...very bad news... To get a chassis put straight you have to strip the car naked to be able to get the job done. That takes a lot of work, so is very expensive.

So the 'Frog' is now back in France at our insurance's garage...up to them to decide the future of the Desert Frog. If the repairs cost more than what the 'Frog' is worth they will send it to the crushing yard for scrap metal... 

I'm crossing fingers at the moment that she will be repaired... I put a lot of money into this car (new shocks, springs, lift kit, snorkel...and loads more) to be able to participate in  humanitarian   desert raids...I really hope they can make her 'road safe' again.
Fingers crossed!!

As the Wrangler is in 'intensive care' we were left car-less.
 I still have the Ford XR3I in France... but that's a really low sport's car... Here you need a four wheel drive (the roads are really bad).

Before the introduction, here's a quick fun video I made using Jeep ads and my own videos! 
Just to show how fun Jeeps are!

So we decided to buy another car. Another Jeep. 
All four wheels drives (old ones) are cheap in France because petrol has become so bl**dy expensive. Here in Morocco it is half the price ( only 0,7€ the litre of diesel)

Here is our new (old) car. A Grand Jeep Cherokee 3.2l TD from 2000. A great price, and she looks great on the outside ...
Well one thing I learnt is never let your boyfriend or husband buy a car, especially when he knows nothing about cars (but pretends he does).

I'm one of those strange girls who knows loads about cars and engines. I don't know why, cars have always been a sort of passion/hobby for me.  I have had many different second hand cars in the last 8 years, and I know what to look for when buying one. You can get a great deal like you can get a piece of sh*t.

I could do a whole post telling you guys what to watch out for on cars, how to ell if it's a good buy or not, if it's really what the seller is saying it is. For example, on old cars most people knew about the 'skew-driver' technique for rewinding the km counter (meter). Well on new cars you can do that too. After the accident with the 'Frog' I had to take out a fuse because with the axle being bent the ESP kept coming on. Well, without that fuse not only did the ESP and ABS not work, but also the speed meter and counter. I could drive for kms and kms with the clock stuck on 110 000. So watch out if you're buying a second hand car!

So this Jeep was a bad buy. A real piece of sh*t. Franck not knowing what to look at just brought it because 'it looked good'. I was the one that had to pick it up one week later and drive 300km back home....
Sure she looks like a pretty smart car... and she kind of is. A real 4 wheel drive full of fancy potions ( heated electric leather seats, cruise control, and lots of other cool stuff...)

He should have been weary straight away : the car is from Italy, and was sold by a Portuguese guy... sounds like fishy business!

Sat in the driver seat it felt pretty good...until you started her up....

I turned the key and that Jeep shook the living daylight out of me!!
I still decided to drive it home. on the highway I didn't dare drive at 130km/h ( the normal speed in France). I couldn't control it. I was actually scared. I haven't often been scarred in a car, but this one was evil. Really bad.It wouldn't steer properly and wouldn't break properly. For the first time in my life I thought to myself on that lonely highway : 'damn, this car really wants to kill me!!'

Back home safe and sound I noticed that she was leaking oil. Once having crawled underneath we found out that there were in fact several oil leaks... plus a water leak...

Because off all these leaks this Jeep already has a name. I had called her Dragon, but my 4x4 pals decided otherwise. All I said on Facebook was that she liked to 'mark her territory'. Well from then on the guys decided on another name for this Jeep. As they nicknamed the Wrangler 'the Desert Frog' they decided to call this one  'the Dirty Toad'. Doesn't sound very glamorous hey? So I call her the 'Dirty Dragon', but everybody else says the 'Toad'.

This naming cars thing sounds kind of goofy...especially when a friend yells in a restaurant : 'Hey Bel! Did you bring the Dirty Toad this evening?'...weird and embarrassing. But it does actually have a reason. When we go on rallies of course some people have the same cars. Mainly Toyota's, Nissan's and Jeep's. When you talk on radio you have to be short and precise. If a car has a problem it's easier to use it's code name. And then you just get used to talking like that...
So anyway, off she went to the garage.

Once up in the air, where we could be a better look, the outcome was worst than I would have ever imagined...
The brakes and brake discs were dead, so were all the silent-blocs (that's why she was shaking). The 2 front tires needed changing (on a permanent 4 wheel drive all your tires must be in the same state). The worst thing was that the radiator had completely ripped apart... 
Then I found out that the car hadn't passed it's MOT (you normally have to pass the MOT to sell a car in France...)

It took a lot of time and work to get her repaired.

So fed up with the car, I decided to make a hula hoop stage out of it ;)

Once repaired it was time to drive the 1600km down to morocco with it. 
All went well.
But the weather down south is not the same as up north.
In France we had the heating on. 
Once in southern Spain the weather and temperature changed... It got hot...

It was only at this point that we realised that the AC didn't work either!!! 
We drove though Spain in what seemed like a sauna! 
Damn leather seats, when wearing shorts you literally 'stick' to them!

Anyway, we did get back to Morocco with no major problems.

We also got to try her out in '4x4' driving last weekend (wanted to go to the beach, but because of all the rain the track has collapsed in certain places, leaving giant cracks and holes next to the cliff. Only 4WD and 'donkeys and carts' can get down to the beach now; pretty cool, you have the whole beach to yourself!)
The 'Toad' did pretty well! (better than I had expected).
So there you go, that's our new Jeep. Turned out ok in the end. 
Just beware of second hand cars!!
Take care!

14 commentaires:

  1. Hi Bel! Nice to read from you again :) (You still don't show up in my feed and I have no idea why ;/ I even added you to my blog roll, but this blog doesn't show up :/.
    Anyway sorry about your laptop >< The same (alcohol poisoning) has happened to one of my lappies as well.
    I hope Frog gets well and luckily the new one turned out to be okay :D

    1. Hi Lara! It's nice to be back :) Weird my blog will never show up in your feed! I really I have no idea why!
      Sorry for your laptop too (at least I'm not the only one lol)
      Take care

  2. how fun!! you make me want to have a jeep! i'm sorry though that your jeep didn't work out exactly as you had hoped in the beginning. glad to hear that all is well now at least!

    - sarah -

    1. Jeeps are well fun :) We just got ripped off on this last one, but things could have been a lot worse!

  3. Awesome car! I bet you could take it anywhere :-)
    I like the hula hoop photo hehe!

    Sky High Style

  4. Sure you can anywhere in a Jeep (that's why we get them, over here in Morocco you really need a 4WD, roads when they exist (otherwise tracks) are bad!). Lol, the hula hoop photo was pretty funny at the time, I was just so annoyed with the car I decided it was only worth hula hooping on!!

  5. Amazing photos as always!

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