Cactus is a 1987 VW LT 40 4×4 owned by Jose & Cristina. Cactus is helping Jose & Cristina fulfil their lifetime dream of travelling the world. At the time of writing Cactus & co. are in Chile, and are broadcasting wonderful imagery and messages via their website, Facebook page & Instagram channels:
I caught up with them and ask the a few questions that I felt weren’t covered in theri great conversion diary.
Q: Where did you buy Cactus and how many miles were on the clock already?
A: We bought Cactus in Saarbrücken, Germany, from a really VW LT 4×4 fan, he had in his place 3 more LTs. The engine was replace in some point, we don’t know exactly when. The new engine had when we bought it 160.000km.
Q: Did you add the extra-width boxes on the sides? If so how
A: The pre-owner added the extra boxes so that the bed 120×200 cm could fit transversal. It’s actually a really good idea, it saves a lot of space in the van.
It’s attached only with rivets and silicon.
What we did, was remove the space for the twin wheel, in order to have more space inside.
Q: How did you go about removing the gutter sealant around the roof? What tools?
A: Removing the silicon from the roof was horrible!! We had to work a lot! We couldn’t use any mechanical tools because we would have damage the fiberglass roof. We use all the possibles silicon removers from the market. The gutter sealant was so thick, it took us a month an half to remove everything.
Q: What mechanical work did you have to do? Have you had to rebuild your axles like many other 4×4 owner?
A: Luckily, all the drive train was in an awesome condition.
- What we rebuild was the front and rear brakes completely, except for the front brake discs.
- I ad an inter-cooler, and also replace the timing belt.
- We have fixed more mechanic parts at the trip than before it. Since we start, we have improved:
- The front and rear leaf springs
- The 6 injectors
And probably, the list will increase till the end of the year.
Q: Was your roof rack literally just screwed (with self-tapping screws?) through the roof?!
A: What I did screw to the roof was rail (http://www.zoelzer.de/content.php?seite=shop/produkte.php&hauptrubrik=254&details=172), longitudinal way, one each side. I screwed it through the fiberglass roof and also the metal structure of the roof, screw from the outside, nut from the inside. I use also sikaflex to glue and seal everything.
I screwed a square aluminum profile traversal way to the rail, 6 pieces, and then, I screwed the rack roof to the aluminum profile.
If you check the pictures of the website again, you will understand much better what I meant.
Q: Where did you ship from/to?
A: We shipped from Antwerp, Belgium to Montevideo, Uruguay. Montevideo is always the most convenient place to ship your car (from Europe)if you want to travel through south America.
Q: What are your plans now? You are home right?
A: We are still traveling!! We are right now in Chile driving through the lakes district with some family who came to visit us.
We will travel at least till the end of the year, and we would like to get to Colombia.