The Car
 The Route
 The Team
 Thank You!

Visit this page frequently to see news and updates on our preperation and (or lack of) progress with the 2005 Mongol Rally.

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Latest News
Back to reality 22nd September 2005
The smell of the steppe 6th September 2005
We're in Almaty... 21st August 2005
Onwards into Kyrgystan 17th August 2005
More Pics 16th August 2005
Samarkand 15th August 2005
Pesky Potholes 8th August 2005
Live from the street 5th August 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
November 2004

  The joys of eBay 29th May 2005  

Having been reading over other teams progress (its a good way of scaring myself into action) I was reminded of how great eBay can be. Team Panda has had some great buys of late, so I thought it was time I had a shop around.

I've manage to pick up two bargins, but was pipped to the post on a third (being outbid with 7 seconds to go is really annoying!).

First off, a roof rack for 99 pence. Can't knock that, and secondly a pair of land ladders which retail at over ?80 for ?16.

Land ladders are used by off roaders when tackling particularly tricky terrain. They're light weight, flexible and if the can take the weight of about 3 Minis.

It would be nice to get a second pair, so that if we encounter some really terrible stretches of Road, we can run continuously, albeit slowly, on these land landers.



Submitted by Andy

  At last, a constructive weekend 23rd May 2005  

I spent Sunday carrying out some maintenance and modifications to the car. Now, organised as I am, I thought that I would carry out the essential work on the car first, leaving the lesser items for later.

First off I gave the car a thoroughly good wash and then added the Mongol Rally stickers. A simple enough task, but I managed to bodge it completely and as a result, I now have two stickers with hundreds of air bubbles... a good start then. I then added the stickers of all our sponsors however this didn't take to long as we have none.

Where should I put that sticker?

Next up on the Essential-mods-to-get-to-Mongolia list was the fitting of a twin air horn. Not too much trouble, but the wiring did stump me. What should have been a simple relay setup just wouldn't work. Some of you might remember a nearly catastrophic incident with my old car when bad wiring (on my part) caused an electrical fire. Thankfully the problem this time was just down to a faulty relay, and not my cowboy electrician abilities.

Time for some serious work... The exhaust. This was not only blowing on the middle pipe to back box join, but was very loose. Along with repairing this I managed to raise the clearance of the exhaust from 10 cm to 14 (not a huge amount, but it does not protrude anything like it did before). One of my biggest concerns with the Mini is the ground clearance, and in particular that of the exhaust. A bit more work on the rear mount and I should be able to get it higher still.

Of late the car has been running a lot hotter than normal. It has an additional cooling fan that enables the car to run without too much trouble in the Madrid heat (40 degrees in the summer), however recently something was obviously not right. Given the standard ?what has changed?? question, I was suspecting that perhaps the water pump had been damaged. A few months back a ?mechanic? over tightened the alternator belt. I thought that perhaps this had over stressed the water pump, leading to the current situation.

I decided to test the electical fan before following the damaged water pump route. Running a direct feed to the fan resulted in no movement what so ever. Squeezing into the front wheel arch I tried turning the fan with my hand. It moved, but only just. Something was obviously fouling it.

It turned out that one of the flimsy plastic securing strips had snapped, the fan mounting had become dislodged and then jammed against the radiator. I remounted this and made a small metal bracket (made from the left overs of the exhaust bracket modified earlier) to fit the fan more securely.

So what else needs doing? Well, I'm getting a bit of a knocking noise on take up, which I have narrowed down to the inner CV joint or differential. I only hope that it is not the diff...

Beyond that I think it is a question of a full service along with minor problems such as fixing the speedo and hazard lights. Oh, and of course the modifications.



Submitted by Andy

  80 days to go... 8th May 2005  

With only 80 days to go, I am beginning to get a little concerned with our lack of preparation. Therefore in an attempt to scare myself (and my even less prepared team mate) I have prepared the following list of things we need to sort out, buy and prepare... Should be a few fun months then.


  • Visas and Invite letters
  • Inoculations
  • Arrange vehicle registration
  • MOT
  • Tax
  • International Driving License

The Car:

  • Give the car a full service
  • Resolve current problems with the car
  • Carry out essential modifications


  • Sponsorship
  • Maps
  • Large Jerry Cans
  • Roof rack
  • Spare wheels and tires

On top of that that we need to raise the ?1000 minimum for charity (which of course is where you come in).



Submitted by Andy