Fixing Things

Recently we took a trip to Doro, South Sudan, to scope out our soon-to-be permanent residence. As usual, upon my arrival several maintenance lists were marked just for me. This base is often short-staffed and missionaries do not have enough hours in the day to start (or finish) many of the projects that need to be done.

Welding a gate

I quickly got to work; installed a new solar system, rewired an old one, set up a fridge, replaced light bulbs, fixed a leaking ATV tire, welded and installed a gate to improve security.

My favorite project by far was helping a friend work on his 6X6 Polaris Ranger. He and his family lived in Kurmuk, Sudan but were forced to evacuate when bombs started dropping the fall of 2011. With only a few hours to get out, they left behind everything.

My friend moved to Doro to rebuild and continue work. Many of the people they formerly worked with were now refugees in the nearby camps. Miraculously, the Ranger also ended up in Doro albeit broken down and abused.

Fixing the Ranger would conceivably be easier (and cheaper!) than buying a new vehicle and shipping it to South Sudan. So that’s what we did!

For those of you interested in the details keep reading…

He already replaced the battery, drive belt and oil filter as the originals were missing or destroyed. After pouring in new oil and clean fuel we turned the key. Errrrr. Errrr. The engine turned over, a good sign, and had spark but wouldn’t start.

We pulled a fuel line loose checking to see if the fuel pump was pumping.  Definitely not, but there was power to the pump.

Bad fuel pump = Problem #1. After seeing what remained in the fuel tank, I wasn’t too surprised.

Since we couldn’t just run to the local auto shop we borrowed the pump from the broken down 4-wheeler. Unfortunately the carburetor was leaking and still wouldn’t fire. Problem #2.

So we removed the carb, disassembled, cleaned, reassembled and installed it. I also removed the valve cover to quickly inspect the top of the engine for any serious damage. Everything looked in good shape, coated in a thin layer of clean oil indicating the oil pump was working. After reassembling we said a prayer and turned the key. This time the engine roared to life!

A small adjustment to the idle speed and we were set to see if the transmission and drive train still functioned properly. Hi, Low and reverse all seemed to work fine.

One thing left, the winch. The cable was broken and the hook missing. We bypassed the missing controller by hot wiring and found the winch itself still worked fine. Our short list of parts to order was much better than buying a brand new vehicle. We are thankful no major damage was done and it will soon be fully operational.

4 thoughts on “Fixing Things

  1. Hi, I lived in Central African Republic in 1975 1nd 1976. My job for my short stay was to fix anything broken. God always supplied the parts. A soccer ball inner tube became a diaphram in a Landrover Stromberg carburetor. Worn shocks became mufflers, U-joint bearings with a little bit of shortening became needle bearings in a 7 ton Mercedes transmission, etc, etc. It took His wisdom to show me how secure that I really was! I was 80 miles west of South Sudan in a village named Obo.

  2. What you just described would take most of us at least a month and several hundred dollars worth of spares. You are blessed to be gifted in these ways! Keep up the good work.

  3. Such a good letter…I even like the details 🙂 My daily prayers have been answered today, knowing that you were able to fix so much of the Ranger, and that it even made it to Doro. Praise the Lord for the car, your skills, and your commitment to the Lord in all of this! Nice job on the gate too 🙂

  4. You truly were a blessing to your friend! Even if he had been able to fix it on his own, there is so much more joy in working alongside another.

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