Gripes and Grumbles


Excuse this Session of ranting and raving, but somebody has got to say it. These are all cases I have been involved in, but I am sure you have had similar things happen to you that made you Pig Biting mad!


Ok here goes; Customer brings his bakkie in for a complete Conversion. He has about 100 000 K‘s on the Clock. As usual he is as happy as a pig in manure. Years later after having done way over 200 000 he decides it is time for a rebuild of said Engine. Well he decides to go to his Local dealer (I suggested something like that in the “Bollie”) and get a Rebuild subassembly.

40 yes 40 K’s later it pisses oil out between head and block and his dealer tells him to come back in 1000 K’s. The customer narrated this story to me and if it is true to the point, the dealer needs to be bullwhipped publicly.

      But it gets better, after 1000 Km then, the dealer declares the Head gasket Blown, cancels the Warranty because the motor was modified. Further investigation reveals that said dealer had skimmed the Head to death, which caused the Gasket to pop. The last I heard was still no Warranty. I know Warranty’s are not exactly the most honored things hereabouts, but this really shakes my Tree. Warrantee to me means not something to kid a Customer with, but is a Belief in my workmanship- I warranty it for a year because I believe I can Work well enough for it to last at least a year!

In this case why did he accept a job he had no faith in doing? Secondly, why did he skim the Top too much? There are certain specs for head thickness and Combustion chamber size. Thirdly, if the conversion lasts for so long on the first sub, why should it not do the same on the second? Lastly, how can he ignore a problem for so long (the oil leak)? Does he expect a serious malfunction to heal itself- yep the Titanic will also float again! I hope this story is not entirely true, as that would finally cure my last ounce of faith I had in this trade.


Next one. I get phoned and interviewed by a gent about a modification on his Vehicles Motor. I spend (mors is ‘n beter uitdruk hierso) my time explaining all to him, and then he has the job done in South Africa- it was the same price as mine. Afterwards he has the cheek to come to me and complain “daai modificasies werk nie”. Hey bud I referred you to enough customers who are as happy as a…. I can get so hopping mad it makes me look as if I have an inbuilt pogo stick. This example typifies a lot of people in this country.

      A few things, a Job done by A can have a completely different result than a Job done by B. Come on; you would probably buy Jakkals & Bols instead of Granada. Secondly, once something is…. (Well worked broken is not that effective but better in a Family Koerant, than what I had in mind), it is often not possible to repair. Buy new and do it over. Moreover, you can get el cheapos, but when they mess it up-Boy oh Boy. Oh yes this certainly does not pertain to my trade only.


Watching people park their Cars in Loading Areas, just because it is convenient irritates me. Because I might have to lug a few Kilos for miles. But what gets me wilder than a Bull with hot sauce in its eyes is Handicapped Parking. You don’t need to be in a “Chair”, all you need is to be old and on a Stick or on Crutches and you really appreciate the “Mental cripples” abusing these lots. Do it in the USA and see what happens!


Mention “Spare parts” to me and I start hyperventilating. A popular 4*4 with a 24 valve 6 Cylinder Engine gets its valve gap Adjusted by Shims. We have 2 dealers here, both don’t stock them. OK logic dictates “Go forth to the Workshoppe they MUST adjust valves”. The first guy looks at me blankly and suggests I go to the second dealer. The second says they are out of stock and normally order as the need arises, on a stock order. Does this mean that you have to wait over 3 weeks to get your Valves Adjusted? Another Dealer failed to stock OEM type points for 1 of his vehicle types, for over 6 months. By the way that vehicle Ate points!


Another case that makes me wonder where these guys learned their Marketing, is with big Oil Companies. After years of sticking with one Company, we wanted to change, due to them not being able to deliver the types of Oil I wanted anymore. So we contacted 2 major companies + 1 up and coming. Each was phoned and faxed a minimum of 2 times. What was the result- nada!


A well known south African Outdoor Magazine had a caption under a Photograph of a car Winching another out of the Swamp, with the winch operator sitting on the bonnet straddling the winch “it is essential to have the correct equipment and necessary skills…” If that rope breaks or “kraaines” that operator will have no more equipment of his own. Again why do we have to pay good money to purchase a script that seems to have been written by somebody who ain’t knows a thing?


Something that makes me quiver like a Bushman in Rijknarvik is the way some people drive. As far as I am concerned if you are involved in an accident it is partly your fault. Excuses like “I did not see him” or “kyk hoe daai &$*@ bestuur” do not hold water. I have been to numerous International racing schools as well as having helped as an Instructor and one thing that is stressed over and over “Be aware what is happening around you”. I know the local Taxis do not adhere to any rules, but if you “Let op” then you have far less of a problem than driving around with a Bumper sticker “Pardon my driving, I’m just reloading”.


Don’t phone me with wastemytimes “Hi Nick, wat wou ek nou gese het?” is the best way to get my toenails curling!

So a final request, please do not ask me to cure your problem in writing! Quite often I get Letters asking me for Advice on problems or on suitable conversions. Sometimes even on Jobs somebody else cocked up, that we could have done right in the beginning! I have no time to reply to these in writing and I also don’t get paid for that, sorry, even I have to eat. If you have a question on something I cannot possibly profit on, yes I’ll help, but only if you do the following:

1) Put it on paper and mail, Fax or email it to me

2) Wait 1 week for me to research that, then phone me between 8-10 mornings or 4-5 Afternoons.

Of course you can also eMail your problem in and have your question and my reply published on my Letters page.



Oh yes, Vehicle Licenses! First we had to go through that Circus of getting “New and better” type Licenses and with the new system we don’t even get reminders to pay up our License when it expires. And finally they hand me a License Disk for a BMW instead of my Hilux 4*4.


I have loads more to say, but I don’t wish to overstress my health in the form of Ulcers! I just felt this session of throwing toys out of my cot was necessary, since most of us are to blasé’ to utter our misgivings. Maybe you want to fax, email or snailmail me your bad or humorous/annoying experiences and I can publish them on a Separate WebPage. I wish you all a Relaxed and wet Christmas.