As I waited for my answer and examining the fuse panel again, I noticed that there were four more mysterious relays to the left of the fuse panel and also some fuses. I asked for these to be identified. I asked over and over again, Chengli/Albert always promising prompt answers from Dongfeng.

I also asked for a wiring diagram for the 4x4 and off road systems to try to identify the problem and correct it. After weeks of asking over and over again, Chengli informed that Dongfeng considered this proprietary information as well as the function of the various relays(?!)

Stymied here by this response, I asked for instructions on how to activate the off road system. I thought that, logically, it could not be merely one switch to activate the low range because accidental activation would result in destroying the transfer case or drive shaft or differential or all of these. Surely there must be a combination of switches– I asked again, and again and again.

By this time we were well into ten months post delivery and still nothing useful had come out of Chengli or Dongfeng.

I started to really doubt the sincerity of Chengli. I asked for delivery of the spares: no answer.

I decided to lodge a complaint with Alibaba. This complaint caused a sudden flurry of promises that solutions would be found and assurances that the spares would be delivered.

I also contacted a lawyer in a nearby city to begin legal proceedings to oblige Chengli to either respond properly, annul the sale or remit a partial refund.

The complaint was denied at Alibaba for elapsed “trade assurance”.

Meanwhile the problem with the 4x4 and off road system remained pending. I was forced to remove the front drive shaft due to the incredible delays (now going on eleven months) to get anything intelligent out of Chengli.

The most useful suggestion that Chengli could come up with was if I “had pushed in the clutch while pushing the 4x4 button?”. You can imagine my private reaction to receive this absolutely fatuous question after ten months of effort!

That really went beyond all comprehension and was really the epitome of all the stupid suggestions and questions that came out of Chengli. They really had no idea of anything and apparently either could not or would not consult with Dongfeng.

As an interesting aside, Chengli copied to me the e-mail of the Dongfeng chinese rep for Chile. He ignored the first e-mail and to the second he replied that my model was not made by Dongfeng. (!!??) This is in spite of my having an export certificate emitted by Dongfeng, dozens of Dongfeng inspection certificates all over and under the vehicle and the Dongfeng logo prominently displayed on the front of the cab…. And a Dongfeng Cummins diesel under the cab.

As I pressed Chengli more on the subject they began to blame me for misuse of the vehicle and having caused all the problems alleging that it was in perfect condition upon leaving their factory where the dumper body was added to the Dongfeng chassis.

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