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Microvan offroad capabilities

Discussion in 'Microvans' started by anthill, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. anthill

    anthill Member

    It seems the Czechs and the Mongol Rally-ers are the only ones beating the snot out of kei vans off-road. Youtube videos continue to trickle in, so I thought I'd post a few of them here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hNBZSXPDbE <-- At 1:16 I reckoned this was going to be a disaster

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfOvTSspYms <-- this fairly shows the van's limits

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRRvChRSwyI#t=1m10s <-- cheesy techno aside, the camerawork is decent

    <-- cautious river fording with kayak on roof!?

    And a special section for 'gari690' and his stripped, rebuilt, air-horned and crazy E12 Libero:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxE2wQv_n-o <-- drifting in tight quarters

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJmDBsBIHws <-- hillclimbing with two wheels on the ground

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60bqFC8SLJM#t=12s <-- nutball rallysprinting

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGARDx5-GiQ <-- less nutball snowy rallysprinting

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gROkdjTpEww <-- extended drifting on back roads
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  2. fupabox

    fupabox Well-Known Member

    those were cool thanks:)
  3. Stuff99

    Stuff99 Moderator Staff Member

    wow someone having fun!!! and its quite the 'shorty' van
  4. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    I'm impressed that can go up those slopes!
  5. anthill

    anthill Member

    As more people watch microvan offroaders, Youtube's video recommendations get better...

    gari690 again, doing some (dodgy, kinda reckless, but still awesome) street driving in the snow... drifting on roundabouts!
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  6. EchoVictor

    EchoVictor New Member

    I doubt I'll have much in the way of video to share, but I'm currently planning to drive my Domingo down the ice road to Tuktoyaktuk (with the second biggest river in North America flowing under my wheels the whole way... until I drive out over the Arctic Ocean!) the weekend of January 29-30.

    I was kind of flaking on whether or not to do it. Thanks for posting the videos, Anthill, you made my mind up for me. :)
  7. anthill

    anthill Member

    Oh yes, go for it mate! I have no idea why the board deleted your first travelogue post, but please post photos if you get the chance.

    Bring a shovel and kitty litter for the snow ;)

    Have you come to any conclusions about your bad mileage? Did the motor temperature gauge come up to full heat?
  8. EchoVictor

    EchoVictor New Member

    I haven't done a whole lot of driving in the Domingo lately. Inuvik is a pretty small town, and I commute to work (on the only stretch of paved highway within 500km) in a company vehicle.

    What little driving I have done has been very short (<2km) trips with long warm-ups, so my mileage at last fill-up was an insane 30.6 L/100km, or worse than 8 mpg!! :D On such short trips though, that's almost a reasonable number.

    The engine is NOT coming up to temperature, the gauge barely moves. That's going to be an advantage when we get to summer temperatures of +35C, but in winter I might need to mask off the radiator. I was just thinking today that, if the coolant system is designed anything like my ancient Civic was, if the coolant fluid never warmed up enough the thermostat valve would always be closed, and the engine would be working harder to crank the water pump.
  9. anthill

    anthill Member

    OK, that's your problem right there - with the engine cold, your ECU will be running rich all the time.

    You might not get the results you want from masking the radiator - unless your thermostat is stuck open (which is possible), your coolant should be short-circuiting around the engine until it warms up.

    My hunch would be that your thermostat is hooped. I think you could check by using the tiny porthole in the heater core coolant line (next to the floor mats under the center console). Turn the heat slider on full, then shine a flashlight on the glass as you start the engine cold. You should see no signs of coolant flow (i.e. if there are tiny bubbles on the port hole, they shouldn't be swept away). Alternately, maybe you could take the lid off your coolant tank and listen for gurgles during cold startup? I dunno...
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  10. EchoVictor

    EchoVictor New Member

    Your suggestion makes more sense than mine. My idea required that the trickle of coolant that gets past a closed thermostat and on to the radiator would still be enough to keep the engine temperature low, and the radiator just plain isn't that big!

    I'll try your tests as soon as I can, but if you're right, pulling the thermostat to test it on the stove and replacing it will probably have to wait until May or June. You'd think that everyone would want a heated garage in the arctic, but I don't think there are more than three in the whole town; the heating cost would be incredible and you'd have to build it on stilts keep it from melting, listing & sinking into the permafrost.
  11. anthill

    anthill Member

    Heh fair enough - the fellow with a heated garage must charge ridiculous rates as an emergency winter mechanic ;)

    Just realized that if during your longer drives your cabin blower was delivering heat with the engine temperature still hovering nearly off-the-low-scale, that's another sign of a stuck-open thermostat. Your cabin heater should be crap until the engine warms up and the coolant starts flowing.
  12. fupabox

    fupabox Well-Known Member

    oddly that's not the case...the cooling system has the heater included in the recirculating loop that includes engine,carb/intake preheat and heater hoses...all engine side of the thermostat.the thermostat can be welded shut and the heater will still receive warm coolant from the engine..the prblem is more likely the long travel of coolant lines to the front of the vehicle from the rear engine(and slower coolant flow at idle speeds)..tons of heat lost to extremely cold air then the heater core removes more heat..by the time it gets back to the engine it has no chance to warm up hot enough to even get the thermostat to open...if you can get at them you could use plumbing "pipe wrap" to insulate your coolant lines and rad hoses...maybe even metallic aluminum duct tape stuck to the inner side of the pipe wrap to reflect heat back into the lines
  13. anthill

    anthill Member

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