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NOT QUITE 4WD - Outback Trek Car 13 - Roy the HG
Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 09:59
Member - STOCKY (QLD)
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PROUDLY SUPPORTING THE ROYAL FLYING DOCTOR SERVICE...
When my mate Hans and I decided to have a go at the Flying Doctor Outback Trek back in 2007 we didn't really know what sort of vehicle we wanted. We knew it had to be made no later than June 1971 and so we ended up with a HG Holden Panel Van - Roy the HG!
Roy the HG Raising more the just Money for the Flying Doctor!
Hans Fitting the Roll Bar
Gordo's Magical Oil Recycler
There are plenty of spares for the old Holdens and our choice turned out to be pretty good if only for the knowledge other Trekkers and support guys had of what goes wrong with them!
After tidying up the body, reinforcing the front wishbones and fitting a roll bar we thought we were ready. After all the car had done a Variety bash before and did have big springs in the front and a stiffened rear, as well as a tailshaft catcher, a bash plate to the back of the gearbox and a fuel tank protector. What more could you need?!
Well the first Trek in 2008 told us we needed an engine, gearbox and air cleaner system.
We dusted the already tired engine and Gordo introduced us to his magical oil recycling contraption that captured the oil from out of the dip stick hole so we could pour it back in the engine again!
We ditched the Trimatic auto for a Celica steel case five speed gearbox (why didn't Holden think of that?) and rebuilt the old 202.
Stocky and Big Pete ..They Know What They're Doing!
Patented Engine Height Adjuster!
The speedo had to be re-calibrated for the five speed and, by a bit of maths, trial and error and a printed sticker for the speedo itself, we now know how fast we're going. Can't read the odometer anyway! The final drive in 5th gear is 0.8 overdrive so in the NT we drove at 130 Ks (on the biitumen) easily!!
We also ditched the air cleaner after the good people at Donaldson gave us a ripper unit that required us to sacrifice the heater to fit it under the bonnet. Small price to pay for clean air really and we didn't want to "dust" another engine!
The "New" Engine Ready To Go
The New Gearbox Crossmember
Roadside Welding on the Road to Roper Bar
We stuck with the standard wheels although we did find out that the HK wheels we had came loose so we eventually tracked down a full set of HG wheels. Bridgestone have been great to us and supplied a set of Firestone CV 4000 8 ply tyres. In three Treks we haven't have a puncture!
Now we had a car, didn't we? Well not quite as it tuns out.
The second Trek saw us take on the horror stretch from
King Ash Bay
front and back suspensions! More work!
We gusseted the front end towers making them the strongest part of the car, replaced the flimsy upper ball joint bolts with high tensile ones; replaced the rear centre bolts and the spring rubbers with neoprene ones; ditched the rear spring bolts for a later model U bolt setup and then clamped the spring in front of and behind the axle, just in case. The rear clamp actually holds on an over-ride spring which we modified as well. Once we replaced the ball joints and wheel bearings for a second time we reckoned we were getting close to having a car that could really take on the bush. We fitted a
with another Donaldson spin filter on top and felt pretty confident we finally had a very reliable car to take on the worst of roads.
It turned out to be pretty true with only a lower rear shocky bracket snapping after we stiffened a shocky with a large rock!
There are always little things to do to prepare including electrical bits and pieces. We've had a couple of near misses (of a fire on board) but think we have that under control now.
Roy sports a HEMA 5 GPS, that I borrow from my Suby, and it's great for letting us know where we are and the rally meter application is invaluable as a backup to our front wheel driven rally meter for navigation.
We've also fitted halogen headlights, although we try not be out after dark! The windscreen is kept clean by a dual washer system that copes with mud! We also have an external speaker system that we can hook up to our radio, stereo, microphone or even our mobile phones! Comes in handy for entertaining the local kids if nothing else.
We've just replaced the front springs with strengthened HQ V8 coils and that's lifted Roy a fair bit. The old springs were strengthened but not up to what we dished out to them. We also had the front gas shocks re-gassed. We're almost ready for the next Trek!!
The Flying Doctor Outback Trek is the largest community fund raiser for the fabulous RFDS and has contributed around $20M since its inception 22 years ago. Funds are required every year to ensure "The Doctor" is able to keep up its amazing level of service to people who live and travel in the bush...
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Click here to donate to the Flying Doctor.
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Flying Doctor Outback Trek - Proudly Supporting the RFDS
Not Quite the Trek - Flying Doctor Outback Trek Car 13
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