Checklist to prepare 1999 LC100 for road trip in DRC / Angola

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Jun 5, 2016
Kinshasa, DRC
Hi All

I'm new to the forum - have just signed up.

I live in Kinshasa DRC and have a 1999 LC 100 (petrol engine, automatic transmission) which I bought about a year ago. One of the front stabiliser links is broken and is soon to be replaced, but apart from that the car runs beautifully and has no problems that I am aware of (it was vibrating at idle but thanks to this forum I quickly realised that this was simply because I had the spare wheel in the boot instead of on its bracket!). However I am assuming that the car has never had more that basic routine maintenance, and even that has not necessarily been carried out regularly.

I would like to take it for a long road trip in DRC and Angola. Could anyone suggest a list of checks and preventative maintenance tasks that I should carry out before I go, and of replacement parts (and tools) that I should take with me? I'm not looking to do a full expedition rebuild but would like to at least do the essentials to get it into good nick before I go. For instance, the water pump has probably never been replaced - would it be wise to fit a new one as PM?

Thanks for any advice you can give!
But wow! You live in the DRC? Tell us sometime what it's like out there.
One suggestion would be to watch the series of videos out there (some blog site IIRC) by this Belgian couple who crossed the DRC in Cruiser and had some pretty scary adventures... (there has been a few mentions of it here)
Good luck with the trip and enjoy!
I used to live in Kinshasa, from 2006-2008. I've lived in 5 different countries in Africa, and DRC was the most challenging by a wide margin.

For starters, read this entire account about overlanding in DRC: Democratic Republic of Congo: Lubumbashi to Kinshasa - Expedition Portal

Second, do some thorough investigation into your ability to enter Angola and how long you can stay. I currently live in Tanzania and work with several people who were in Luanda before moving here, and all of them lament how challenging it is to get visas to Angola.

Third, watch your back. We were in a 200-series cruiser on a road trip to the old German botanical gardens between Kinshasa and the coast (can't remember the name), and at a roadside rest, a group of people surrounded the car in broad daylight, smashed the rear-most window, and took a couple of bags. No one batted an eye - it was accepted that as foreigners we had the resources to deal with that kind of problem.

Fourth, take a spare fan belt, a jar full of odd nuts and bolts from Toyota, a set of wrenches/spanners/sockets, screwdrivers, duct tape, tie wire, some spare fuses, and a tow rope. That should make almost any roadside repair possible.

Fifth, go slowly. TLC is tough as nails, but DRC roads are brutal outside of urban areas. Go gingerly and the truck will take you places most outsiders never see.

Last, picking up hitchhikers, especially old women and old men, is a great way to have some positive energy, good directions, and a bit of an insurance policy when traveling through unknown areas.

Good luck. DRC was hard, but I met some beautiful, generous, loving people there who are still friends a decade later.
I'd say at a minimum do the 100K service.
IIRC the 99 had the 2 gear pinion in the front diff. Swap the front differential for an ARB, or learn how to remove the drive flanges and front drive shaft.
Two show stoppers I know of are the ignition switch fail and the TPS fail.

You might be able to fool the ECU in the event of a TPS fail by disconnecting the battery to clear all the error codes and manually operating the Throttle Position Sensor to clear the wiper.

The ignition switch fail completely disables the truck. There is a cast metal part inside the ignition switch that mechanically connects the lock cylinder to the switch, the design has an inherent weak spot that was corrected in later production years. Replacing it involves removing the steering column, not something you want to do roadside even assuming you could source the part. I would strongly recommend replacing with the newer style, trip or no.
You might be able to fool the ECU in the event of a TPS fail by disconnecting the battery to clear all the error codes and manually operating the Throttle Position Sensor to clear the wiper.
Could he get an OBD reader--they're pretty cheap these days--and reset that way?
I know this is old, but take someone like me as your Executive Protection Officer. Completed 5 years in Afghanistan without loosing a client. Loved my job.

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