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Bert Zwalve (aka Da-BRT) landed safely in Al Ain

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:36 pm
by Da-BRT
Hello to you all,


I would like to take this opportunity to introduce my family and myself to you, because I have the feeling we will be seeing each other from time to time :D


Well I'm Bert turning 39 this October and original from the Netherlands. I found my wife Tatiana by accident during one of my trips in central Siberia (Omsk) in 2009. For sure I will tell this story during one of the trips.
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We got married after going through a lot of trouble getting her to the Netherlands (Incredibly sad how there world is discriminating). Any way we got our self a little princess a good 3 years ago and named her Milla. For me this was a whole new experience having a girl instead the two boys I already had from my previous relation.
Sadly we had to choose not to take my sons to the UAE, because of school, friend and social life they build up already. Thijmen is the oldest one, he is turning 14 this summer and Jonathan is his 11 year old brother. Its great to see how they are in love with their little sister. Most of their holidays we will have them with us in Al Ain. They both are interested in cars and they will for sure love to join on a desert trip.
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I love discovering new cultures and countries, playing Airsoft with my team, racing with my RC big scale cars, working on cars, listening to music (very divers, from: Ludovico Einaudi to trance to Evanescence), enjoying camping holidays around Europe.
Don’t like sports on the television (dislike football in any way) we only watch television to see a good movie or some series.


I started working for Sodexo some months ago for their new Aerospace client (Strata) as operations manager. I’m in charge of making sure the client only has to focus on their core competency instead of all facility or project related work. I’m looking forward going life with this tender!
Now looking for housing in Al Ain, school for Milla and of course the search for CARS….
Before this job I have been working in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City – Saigon) and I loved the open culture and the nature in the country. Have been driving a lot on my motor scooter, because aren’t of any use in the city.

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I’m currently thinking about buying a second hand Toyota FJ Cruiser or a very old Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60 (1984) but I don’t know if an expat can register an old car on their name. I read somewhere that it cannot be older than 15 years. Does anyone of you have a FJ Cruiser?


From home we have a small machine shop and this got me also into technical things. I chose to become an automotive engineer and have been designing in 3D for Citroen, Mercedes and Ford. At a certain moment I got interested in production and I ended up in China introducing a new stroller for Quinny (Maxi Cosi). I loved working in production a lot and stayed there. Been living in America (Iowa), China, Philippines and Vietnam for work. I don't like the Netherlands. To many arrangements and limitations. I love to work in the east and one day hope to find a nice place in Omsk where my wife comes from to settle and spend my old days.


Hobby related. Started building all kind of fabulous and according to my dad very dangerous machines... (backpack with handmade propeller and 100ccm3 engine to have yourself pushed forward by bike, ice skates or whatever) Beetle chassis only to drive through the woods, motorbikes without brakes and thinks like that. At a certain moment I got my driver’s license and bought a VW Beetle and modified it. Around 2001 I bought a VW Caddy pick-up with a diesel engine. I made myself to convert it to vegetable oil, so this is how the story of Image (Smoketail Supplies) starts.
Because dad bought an engine repair shop after bankruptcy we had a lot of machines to rebuild engines and including a test bench for Bosch fuel pumps. The caddy was keep breaking down because of the unusual fuel. And I tried fixing it. I got the hang of it and soon others started asking if I could fix or improve their fuel pumps. This is how I started building special mechanical diesel fuelpumps for race cars, off road cars, boats and other things. At a certain moment I was selling them to Scandinavia, Portugal, Germany, UK a couple to the USA and Canada. I never had the intention to do this professional, because I always told I don't want to work all the time as an mechanic. So I kept it reasonably small and used the money to do nice things with the family. Generally speaking the majority was Volkswagen and Audi and also a lot of project of installing the TDI engines in other cars. Highest performance out of a 1.9TDI with different rods, camshaft, turbo, injectors and fuel pump was 273HP and 492Nm torque. Stock 90HP…)
Unfortunately here don’t have that many diesels, so I will have to get used to gassers… Although I wish I could transform an off road car here to a decent diesel.


I had a couple of big(ger) projects for myself and others in the last 15 years:


Suzuki Grand Vitara for fast off road usage (kind like Paris Dakar type of cars) with a 3-door short wheel base body and a 2.5 5-cylinder mTDI (mechanical build) (VW Transporter / Audi A6 first generation) engine producing close to 330HP and 600Nm)
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Audi 100 LS 1977: with 2.5 5-cylinder mTDI (mechanical build) (VW Transporter / Audi A6 first generation) engine producing close to 160HP) Modified suspension. Was my intention to have this as my sleeper daily with a lot of power. Till the government decided that I have to pay like modern cars also road tax for this one. (120+ euro every month)


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Original to the bone, bought from a very old first owner.

Continuing in my reply

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:37 pm
by Da-BRT
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Newly created engine supports


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Finally the 5 cylinder engine and the 6-speed transmission are in place. Don’t mention the baby blue. Had some paint left and used it.


Suzuki Samurai for trail driving: With 1.9 mTDI (mechanical build) a lot of torque on this machine:
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Volkswagen Beetle for endurance race:
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Continuing in my reply

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:39 pm
by Da-BRT
Volkswagen Polo with 1.9 mTDI (178HP 430Nm) my daily for a couple of years:
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Volkswagen Jetta with 1.9 mTDI (I have had more than 20 of these Jetta’s and I love them…)
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Continuing in my reply

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:40 pm
by Da-BRT
And my biggest project that has to wait till I get back home or find a place to finish it
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1963 Volkswagen Beetle. Build up as fast off road car with homologation for road and FIA.
Idea: Mid engine V6 mTDI with 6 speed torsen diferential transaxle


There is alone more than 1500 hours of CAD into this project. I measured or 3D laser scanned all the parts myself. The body took me 2 weeks of holiday to get from the actual body a good 3D model. Crazy… YES.. haha
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Continuing in my reply

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:40 pm
by Da-BRT
Reverse engineering the 3d scan of the gearbox to a proper 3d model.
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Preparing the beetle for road admittance testing in a more decent shape, after that will continue the build like the design.


If you want to see more pictures have a look on my site: http://www.Smoketail-supplies.eu

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:59 pm
by Yoghybear
Dear Bert,
Guess is the first time in the history of the club that someone introduced himself in such a way....really interesting, look forward to meeting you!
....and of course welcome to our club.

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:10 pm
by JockJKU
Great intro! Look forward to meeting you! There's a drive on Friday for new members - get involved and see you in the sand soon!!

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:01 pm
by Da-BRT
Thanks for the welcome!

My wife and daughter arrive in the UAE Friday. Also I still have to buy my car!
Will take a next opportunity of joining with great pleasure!

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:16 pm
by Mo Sh
I hear that @Yoghybear it's the first time, Welcome to your second family and surely you'll find a second home around here

Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:01 am
by Raja
you are welcom bro in your second family.........that was interesting to know about you. see you soon :)