Servicing your bongo in the lower mainland BC, canadians?

For all owners and afficionados of Mazda Bongo Friendees and Ford Fredas based outside of UK or Ireland.

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mctacoslayer
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Servicing your bongo in the lower mainland BC, canadians?

Post by mctacoslayer » Mon May 23, 2016 7:57 pm

Hey!

I'm looking to purchase a bongo soon here in Canada. Are there any repair shops that are familiar with the bongo around Vancouver? Would love to hear from any canadian bongo owners that are around!

Thanks!
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Re: Servicing your bongo in the lower mainland BC, canadians?

Post by mikeonb4c » Mon May 23, 2016 10:21 pm

mctacoslayer wrote:Hey!

I'm looking to purchase a bongo soon here in Canada. Are there any repair shops that are familiar with the bongo around Vancouver? Would love to hear from any canadian bongo owners that are around!

Thanks!
Wow. My brother lives in BC and he loves my Bongo. But when we discussed it we said he'd never seen one in BC and opted for a VW Westie as being available with left hand drive plus easier to get fixed. However, he envied the much greater power, agility and general comfort of the Bongo so don't let me put you off. And for the most part Bongos are simple enough beasts to keep on the road.
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Re: Servicing your bongo in the lower mainland BC, canadians?

Post by Bob » Mon May 23, 2016 11:04 pm

Welcome aboard. :D

I've never heard of one in Canada but others may know better.

The only thing that you really need to fully understand is the cooling system and the need to bleed it after its been drained.

There's 3 really good You Tube videos produced by Club members which cover it.

Not applicable to the 2 ltr petrol. :wink:
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Re: Servicing your bongo in the lower mainland BC, canadians?

Post by helen&tony » Tue May 24, 2016 5:27 am

Hi
How are you going to get a Bongo to Canada, might I ask?....I should have thought the shipping costs were a bit daunting? Do you have a good shipping contact for spares?....Most parts will either have to come from Japan directly, or the Club (Bongo Fury) can supply, or e-Bay...and a fair few other retailers.
Sure, the Bongo is a nice useable vehicle, and a fair number of us have kept our vehicles for many years because there's nothing quite as practical, but surely there is a massive choice of Day-vans in the 'States....I love the Dodge vans...especially the big engines!
Mechanically the Bongo is simple, but because of the engine situation, they are difficult to fiddle with, meaning that maintenance is likely to have been ignored , as with many other cars with access problems,,,,also, as stated, the cooling system needs a lot of checking!
You may well think that the 4x4 system is as stated...a 4x4.....BUT they are rear wheel drive with a traction control system that locks the transmission via a viscous coupling to engage the front wheels when slippage is detected at the rear wheels.
Good luck finding what you want
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Re: Servicing your bongo in the lower mainland BC, canadians?

Post by Ian » Tue May 24, 2016 7:34 am

There's been some Canadian Bongo owners on here in the past, take a look at this thread: http://igmaynard.co.uk/bongo/forum/view ... 41&t=50532

One of them lived in North Vancouver and was a member of the club until fairly recently.
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Re: Servicing your bongo in the lower mainland BC, canadians?

Post by helen&tony » Wed May 25, 2016 4:45 am

Hi
That's good to know, Ian...the Bongo seems to go everywhere. Once you have them really checked over, and all the niggles fixed, then they should last pretty well with regular maintenance
Good Luck
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Re: Servicing your bongo in the lower mainland BC, canadians?

Post by Diplomat » Wed May 25, 2016 9:28 am

Before I realised that there was somewhere else on the planet as attractive as British Columbia but right hand drive, my dream was to live in Vancouver and own a good sized multi-purpose van. This was because I immediately saw that there was adequate parking space almost everywhere and there was no point in having a small vehicle where a bigger one could be so usable without the restrictions we suffer here.

To me, the great thing about the Bongo is that as well as fitting into a UK parking bay, above all, it was designed from scratch for right hand driving (unlike the bodged eurocrap and eurojap otherwise on offer in the UK). Whilst I can understand the desire to drive something rare and quirky, I would think long and hard about what else would be far better for the location. Just for a start, having the only sliding door on the wrong side is a major hindrance in places where it is either conventional or obligatory to park and load in the correct traffic sense. For Vancouver, the previous boxy styled Transit Tourneo would suit me well.

As proved here, as long as you can get the parts, servicing can be done by anyone who understands that some specialised learning is involved. Thanks to the internet and the Bongo fraternity, the necessary knowledge is all on this forum to assist any competent mechanic.

Good luck, my eyes will be peeled next time I visit!


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Re: Servicing your bongo in the lower mainland BC, canadians?

Post by mctacoslayer » Thu May 26, 2016 6:11 pm

My desire is to have a van that I can take a small family camping, with minimal fuss...something that we can use when its not perfect weather...I live downtown Vancouver so owning a tent trailer is tough, as we would have to store elsewhere. Cost is an issue, and VW's seem quite expensive, very high demand for a nice one. The bongo seems perfect with its lower cost and poptop. sliding door on the wrong side wont be a problem as it wont be our daily driver, only place we will be going is out of town. I was looking at this one..

http://www.velocitycars.ca/vehicle/1996 ... go/966?s=1

10k canadian is about 5200 pounds...

so tempting!

Cheers!

tac
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Re: Servicing your bongo in the lower mainland BC, canadians?

Post by mikeonb4c » Thu May 26, 2016 8:18 pm

mctacoslayer wrote:My desire is to have a van that I can take a small family camping, with minimal fuss...something that we can use when its not perfect weather...I live downtown Vancouver so owning a tent trailer is tough, as we would have to store elsewhere. Cost is an issue, and VW's seem quite expensive, very high demand for a nice one. The bongo seems perfect with its lower cost and poptop. sliding door on the wrong side wont be a problem as it wont be our daily driver, only place we will be going is out of town. I was looking at this one..

http://www.velocitycars.ca/vehicle/1996 ... go/966?s=1

10k canadian is about 5200 pounds...

so tempting!

Cheers!

tac
That all makes sense and it looks a nice van to me, maybe seats a bit grubby and needing a valet. Lots of useful extras also (I have a bumper bar like that one and have put 100W spots on it, wired to main beam, which really improve night driving). I like untinted windows (see the colours outside better and you have electric blinds for privacy anyway). Mileage is low which may mean its sat around a lot. Check header tank for any sign of rust staining (not a good sign if so as coolant system / radiator might be a bit clogged). Don't even consider driving it without a low coolant alarm, and for real peace of mind I'd fit an engine block temp gauge also so you can see if engine is running as cool as it should when worked hard (a clogged radiator might prevent that). Personally...I'd go for it, but keep some cash in a self warranty fund as insurance against any problems. A good Bongo is a great drive, many say much nicer (and more characterful) than a VW (certainly my brother was very impressed with its power, smooth ride and agility compared with their VW Westie).

Good luck - keep us posted. :-)
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Re: Servicing your bongo in the lower mainland BC, canadians?

Post by Bob » Thu May 26, 2016 9:22 pm

Agree with Mike, and it does look nice.

Mrs B lived in Southern Ontario for 23 years so we have quite a love of Canada. :D
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Re: Servicing your bongo in the lower mainland BC, canadians?

Post by mctacoslayer » Fri May 27, 2016 2:04 am

great tips :). I'll have a mechanic properly inspect before I buy. First purchase will be the coolant alarm and the engine temp gauge. I assume I will have to order from the UK...

hopefully it works out!

T
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Re: Servicing your bongo in the lower mainland BC, canadians?

Post by scanner » Fri May 27, 2016 8:14 am

There must be a few Bongos over there as there is a white one in the background of one of the pictures.
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Re: Servicing your bongo in the lower mainland BC, canadians?

Post by mikeonb4c » Fri May 27, 2016 8:22 am

mctacoslayer wrote:great tips :). I'll have a mechanic properly inspect before I buy. First purchase will be the coolant alarm and the engine temp gauge. I assume I will have to order from the UK...

hopefully it works out!

T
Good luck. The Haydn Bongo alarm is originally an Australian product that was tweaked for the Bongo. In theory you could track down tbe Oz product, and there are cheaper devices out there. But reliability and product support are top considerations in devices intended to prevent bigger expenses and on that score the Haydn devices are top scorers from all the evidence. I've had their LCA fitted for nearly 10 years and its always worked.

Sooner or later, the lifting roof will probably give trouble on an ageing Bongo. Mine has and in the end it was two expensive new motors that fixed it. Use it regularly and don't use it in high wind, overpack the roof space with stuff, or lift the roof with loads on it, is the best advice i can give. Great feature apart from that!
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Re: Servicing your bongo in the lower mainland BC, canadians?

Post by mctacoslayer » Fri May 27, 2016 11:27 pm

Hey wanted to give you guys an update, I had an inspection done...check it out if you want

http://cdn1.instamek.com/prepurchaseins ... 377701.pdf

The coolant reservoir was empty which is a pretty big flag...but the bongo was running cool and doing fine, he ran it for a while. rad fan kicked on etc.

is that a dealbreaker? is that hard evidence of something terrible? or is that an overreaction.

Thanks!

T
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Re: Servicing your bongo in the lower mainland BC, canadians?

Post by mikeonb4c » Sat May 28, 2016 9:06 am

mctacoslayer wrote:Hey wanted to give you guys an update, I had an inspection done...check it out if you want

http://cdn1.instamek.com/prepurchaseins ... 377701.pdf

The coolant reservoir was empty which is a pretty big flag...but the bongo was running cool and doing fine, he ran it for a while. rad fan kicked on etc.

is that a dealbreaker? is that hard evidence of something terrible? or is that an overreaction.

Thanks!

T
There's no way on God's Earth that a Bongo (or any car) should be allowed to run for any length of time with an empty header tank. And it must be empty for a reason. A dealer ought to know that. Also, rad fans rarely kick in on my healthy Bongo so i'm concerned to know how quickly they kicked in on the test one. How do we know it was running cool? The temp gauge is of limited use as it only moves to hot when things are seriously overheating. I hate to sound harsh but better that than you end up buying a lemon. The questions put here need to be put to the dealer. Very frustrating as in many ways it looks a nice Bongo.

The report suggests it has cruise control and remote start, but does it? I didn't immediately spot a report/comment on condition of coolant pipes which i might have expected once header/expansion tank was found to be empty.

I wonder if the dealer might go with $2500 dollars payment being held back for 6 months whilst the engine proves it has not been compromised (probably not!). But cause of the leak will need investigating/fixing and system will have to be refilled and bled as per the Bongo special requirements.
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