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David Robertson ASKED THE GUIDE

Modified Urvan-Hilux oil problem

I have a 1987 Nissan Urvan camper-van that has been converted to 4WD by marrying it to a Toyota Hilux. Recently when I was just short of Coen on Cape York it came to a shuddering halt when the gearbox packed up because there was no oil. It was fully serviced only 6400 km earlier. How could this happen? We did not notice any oil leaks. Could it have been foreseen? Is there anything that I could have done to prevent it?

There appears to have been little or no warning, which is odd. If it were short of oil I would have expected it to become noisy or hot before it gave up the ghost completely. On most gearboxes you can check the oil level, that's the best way to tell if you've got a problem.