Tyres and the Gibb

Submitted: Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 18:11
ThreadID: 103941 Views:2532 Replies:15 FollowUps:21
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Not a great day. Decided we really ought to be taking 2 spares for the Cruiser to the Kimberley. Wasn't interested in buying a new alloy, that hopefully will never be used. So, back in July ordered a steel 18in rim. Was told would be here mid August. Yeah, you guessed it, phoned today and they aren't coming in until mid September. Not much use to me as we leave at the beginning of September.
Is it worth me just buying the rubber and some bead breakers? The guy at the tyre place reckons not. I was thinking if at least if I have a tyre I may be able to get someone up there to put it on a rim if I need to.
I run Mickey Thompson 305/60 18's ATZ 44-rib.
I know its a piece of string question, but could I get away with just one spare and my puncture kit???
Anyone want to lend me a spare for 6-7 weeks??? LOL
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Reply By: cookie1 - Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 18:36

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 18:36
That's what I have done and would do, the steel rim adds more weight and for the same price you can buy a set of Tyrepliers or R&R Beadbreakers.

Why not learn to do it yourself? That way you can do your own repairs such as plugging or putting in a tube or a gator patch - you can then keep going.

and I'm tipping you mean ATZ 4-Rib - I run them but they are 17's

cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 18:39

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 18:39
Opps. Didn't even notice that Cookie. Yep 4 Rib. Sorry.
The reason I questioned the bead breakers is because the guy at the tyre place reckons I would basically need to drive the Cruiser over the wheel to get the tyre off. His words, not mine.....
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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 19:45

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 19:45
It would be a little harder given the smaller sidewall profile but you can get it off - I ran some 10 ply once and they were hard to remove.

I also use a bit of dishwashing liquid to get the bead reset once done

cheers

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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 18:42

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 18:42
Hi Phill

While we had no tyre problems in the Kimberley we only took the Gibb River Road with Kalumburu and Mitchell Plateau Roads included. We carried two spares for the caravan and one for the F250 with additional tyre and carried Tyre Pliers. We would have a long wait if we needed tyres in the Kimberley. We of course carry tyre plugs.

The previous year our son had a puncture on the GRR and repaired it with a line of four tyre plugs. You would be unlucky to damage a tyre so badly it couldn't be plugged to get you out of trouble if you stay in the main roads, but it may be different if you are taking other tracks.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 18:46

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 18:46
Hi MH

Good to hear from you again. I guess a lot of it is down to luck. We are only going along the Gibb, east to west. Planning on driving around some of El Questro and stuff and wherever our noses take us. I am pretty confident with the MT's but there's always that niggling doubt. I just know that if I take another, I'll not use it. If I don't, I'll need it. Ah the dilema's of the traveller!!! LOL
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 18:49

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 18:49
Hi Phill

If you have the room, go for the extra tyre and bead breaker; the good 'insurance' always works for us. If you can't accommodate one, I'm sure you will be fine where you are going.

Mh
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 18:47

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 18:47
Phill,

Yes, you could get away with just the one spare and the puncture kit.
BUT, what happens if you get a puncture that can't be repaired?
Perhaps damage to the side wall.

When traveling in remote areas I always like two spares. I have matched the camper trailer wheels to be the same as the vehicle, so I have two spares between the two of them. A plug repair kit will fix most, but not all punctures, as I found out once traveling the Borefield track, heading towards Roxby Downs. The sidewall was not only punctured, but totally destroyed by the time I noticed a problem. (I have now invested in a TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring sytem).
On that occasion I chose to travel home without a spare, the remainder of the trip home being on bitumen, but I was still rather nervous.

A set of "Tyrepliers", or "Beadbreakers" is a good thing to have anyway on the odd occasion that you need to remove the tyre from the rim, perhaps to put a patch on and add a tube, or remove an internal foreign body.

And of course, adding Murphy's Law in that with a means of repairing a tyre, or replacing it entirely, you will never need to do it:-)

An extra carcase is a good investment for your trip, as is a set of Tyrepliers/Beadbreakers.

Bill


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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 18:52

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 18:52
Hearing you on matching up the tyres Bill. However can't match up our van and Cruiser. Have to say that the 18in on the Cruiser have been more trouble than their worth!!! Was headache sourcing the tyres originally, and..............here we go again. Can't get steel rim for love nor money in Perth!!!
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Reply By: Goerge - Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 19:10

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 19:10
Gday Phill,
Get yourself some tyre pliers, around $125 a set and awesome bit of gear. Mine broke a bead I struggled to do with a normal bead breaker.
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 19:39

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 19:39
Thanks Goerge. I'll have a squizzie.
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Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 19:16

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 19:16
G'day,

take a skin if you have the room.
If you can't do it yourself you'll find someone that'll do it for a price for sure.

Have a great trip,

Steve
AnswerID: 516722

Reply By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 19:30

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 19:30
Hullo Phill
We are just back from that part of the world.
Took one spare plus a skin, plus tyre gear such as levers, puncture kit, etc. If needed, I break the bead using a hi-lift jack mounted on the van.
There is a tyre repair place at Imintji (Kevin) and I am pretty sure there is one at Mt Barnett.
Cheers
Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 19:43

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 19:43
Cheers Andrew.
I am thinking that at least if I have the tyre, I would be able to find assistance somewhere. We don't have a hi-lift jack. Only a trail mate.
I am going to look into pliers and bead breakers. Not sure at this point the difference. Have to go cook some tea, so my further investigations will have to wait until tomorrow.
All the best.
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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 20:34

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 20:34
Phil
Provided you are not on a tight schedule, I think that membership of your state AA club upgraded to the highest level of cover is some of the best "recovery" gear you will ever buy, provided you are on gazetted roads.
They provide pretty comprehensive cover and associated "collateral damage cost" protection.
That's my experience with NRMA.

Mark
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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 21:36

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 21:36
Depends significantly on the interpretation and definition of "gazetted road", does it not? Some insurances take that term to mean blacktop ONLY, and "off-road" to mean anything not a tarred surface.
Seems anything to avoid paying out!
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Follow Up By: wozzie (WA) - Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 22:30

Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 22:30
I wonder if they would be real happy about coming out to the middle of the GRR, from either Derby or Kununurra at the other end, to repair a tyre.

It would be a nice long round trip of around 600 ~ 700 klms for them, and doubt whether you would be covered for that distance, without a very substantial Co-Payment.

It would be cheaper to buy another spare wheel, or take a spare casing, plenty of plugs, and get some R & R beadbreakers.

When I travelled up that way a couple of years ago, I had three spares, a casing and a set of beadbreakers.

Not needed at all on the Gibb, however in the Gammon ranges around Arkarooola, I was lucky enough to get 2 flats in the one day.

Nothing worse than "having" to stop somewhere awkward and "having to" repair atyre to keep moving.


Tony



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Follow Up By: desray (WA - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 00:12

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 00:12
Wozzie ,,,I wonder if they would be real happy about coming out to the middle of the GRR, from either Derby or Kununurra at the other end, to repair a tyre. ..The AA ,,Rac ect do not come out and repair tyres. They will put the spare on but NOT repair tyres anywhere.They do not have any equipment to repair tyres
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 06:27

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 06:27
I think it is free towing for 150km (from your vehicle to the point, they don't count their travel out). No they won't repair a tyre but they will tow you that distance should it be required as your vehicle is not driveable.
The GRR is a gazetted road. It has been so long ago since I did the GRR and my recollections are too hazy to be valid. But what I have found on extensive gravel road travel is that if you start with near new tyres, stay on a road and away from mulga stakes, the chance of getting more than one puncture is very, very low.
I've carted a 2nd new spare tyre without rim around in addition to my standard new spare before, I wouldn't bother again.

Comes down to "risk analysis", to me a high level of AA car club travel and good tyres to start with is "all" that should be required.

If you are doing true off road, different story.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 07:08

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 07:08
Last year we broke the 80 series just off the Pentecost River on the Karunjie Track.
We fixed it enough to get through to Wyndham and then got towed into Kununnurra for repairs.

The towie was saying it's $10 per km towing on the dirt and $5 per km on bitumen.

If you have the top cover with NRMA, RACQ, or whatever you are covered up to $3000 of benefits per year. That would give you 300 km towing on the dirt.

For exercise it was $500 worth of towing, 2 nights accommodation and a hire car for a day and we still had over $2000 of NRMA cover for the rest of the trip.

Steve
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Reply By: Rangiephil - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 08:14

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 08:14
I met a bloke in a first model Prado V6 at King Edward River campground. It was his second attempt to visit Mitchell Falls as the year before he had reached King Edward River crossing when the engine stopped. His premium cover had covered the tow back to Kununurra , where it was eventually found to be a rubbed through injector loom.( common problem apparently)
I did GRR and Kulumburu road in 2009 with BFG Long Trail 205x16 tyres which were reinforced not LT with no punctures. I have matching wheels and tyres on the camper trailer and carried a spare on each.
IMHO using tyres with at least say 75% tread, not overloading, reducing pressures for dirt are the key elements. I carry a plug kit but have never used it in the bush. Destroyed sidewalls are IMHO mainly due to slow leaks and not checking tyres every morning.
BTW, there are several places along the GRR that can change tyres .El Questro, Drysdale River Station, and probably a few others, so in this case I don't think tyrepliers are necessary. They will not have tyres but can change them so if you are insecure take a carcase.
Regards Philip A

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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 19:32

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 19:32
Thanks for that Rangiephil. I am probably being a little excessive by saying they are down to last 25%. They still pretty good.
I have ordered another tyre so will go with that. Hopefully it'll not be needed but if it is......its there!!!
I like to think I am mindful of the conditions and will drive accordingly. I'll nurse the tyres as I would my whole vehicle. So regular monitoring and adjusting pressures will all come into play.
Thanks for the input. Appreciate your time.

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 08:15

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 08:15
Thanks all.
I have the top cover RAC so that is covered. I have checked about insurance as it has come up before about possibly not being covered. Both the Cruiser and the van are covered for anywhere in Australia, providing that I am there legally. The Cruiser is covered for 4WD use and off roading.
I will take a tyre as current set are probably 3/4 way through their life. I am going to get the pliers or breakers, (need some research) and see if I can get a quick tutorial from my tyre supplier. They are pretty helpful so may all work out good.
AnswerID: 516754

Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 14:08

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 14:08
hi phil
tyres that only have 1/4 of their tread left in my experience when towing a heavy van/ c/tr are a risk
because the casings are weaker with age and are closer to the objects as the tyres passes over them
so more care is needed in this respect

i have taken 2 full spares on some desert trips and never used them
but on my last lower CSR / karajini
mt augustus etc trip I took one full spare and a casing with internal patches
plus plug kit and tyre pliers but still didn't get a puncture

but on all my trips I left home with 4 near new tyres
except for one trip with half worn set and got one puncture from a sharp shail stone piercing straight through the center of the tread on a rear tube type tyre on a well formed gravel rd west of alice springs
pulled it to pieces and put an internal patch in as back in 1987 there were no plug kits
fear of --is always a factor
but if you can change a tyre with confidence like i'm able to do owing to my farming back ground
its just par for the course
get someone to give you a lesson using tyre pliers or bead breaker and plugs and patches actually have a go just don't watch
haven't you ever watched it been done at the numerous 4wd shows over the past years??
it would be well worth it even if you have to pay
its really not rocket science
cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 19:40

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 19:40
Hi Mazcan.

I think I may have been a bit overly critical by saying down to last 25%. They still look pretty solid. If I had any doubts that they weren't up to it, I'd be changing them.
I think its just all the blogs and TV, that says `take two spares', that makes me pause. Only an idiot doesn't listen to good advice. Especially from people that have been there, done that and got the T-shirt!!! LOL
Nobody would kick me harder, than myself, if I didn't cover all the bases I could. Mind you saying that, the other half would probably give me a good old whack!!
I've only ever seen them once change a tyre on the TV, and then they didn't really go into it. I have looked at a couple of vids on U Tube and it all looks pretty straight forward. It is just that the words of the tyre guy about not being able to get the thing off without driving over it, is ringing in my ears, and has now sown seeds of doubt.
C'est la vie............decision made and now I am going to roll with it!!!
Thanks for your time mate.

Cheers
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Reply By: toffytrailertrash - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 09:09

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 09:09
Have a look at the R & R bead breaker, not cheap but it does what you want when it comes to changing/repairing tyres..

Cheers

Merv
AnswerID: 516758

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 09:15

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 09:15
Phill

The GRR and the Kalumbaru roads are not ones known for sharp high country rocky sections that will tear your tyres apart. They are just rough outback roads that need to be respected and driven accordingly. No Peter Brock or drifting styes mate. About the only way that you will get a puncture out there is by going off the side and finding a stake or running too fast on under inflated tyres.

But if you want to venture onto some of the station tracks like those in Home Valley (rough as . . . .) with all the rocky outcrops that you have to cross then that is a different matter. But just the GRR itself and the Windjana and Kalumbaru roads will not be a hassle. I'd even take the kingswood with city tyres there. Slkowly of course.

One spare and a repair kit will be fine mate.

Phil
AnswerID: 516760

Reply By: i'machocoholic - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 13:35

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 13:35
The great tyre debate! We have just come off the GRR and heard all sorts of stories with tyres. One guy had 4 punctures, another guy had 2. They were both running more than 40 psi. We on the other hand run 28 and had no probs this trip or on previous GRR adventures. We carry 2 spares.

One thing to note...serious roadworks is happening between El Q and Pentecost, road was being ripped up, down to 10kms with rocks the size of basketballs to contend with as we went through. Also plenty of shale, and not to mention bone rattling corrugations in parts. Have fun!
AnswerID: 516785

Follow Up By: goddosglory - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 15:40

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 15:40
the smartest thing written in this entire thread...tyre pressures..drop from 40 to 28
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 19:44

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 19:44
Thanks to both of you. Had already decided that I'd be running at 28 so great minds think alike!!! We did all round Mount Augustus and that area with some pretty bad tracks a while back, without incident.
i'machocoholic, thanks for the road reports. Well handy. I just want to get going. It is going to be a long two weeks till we are off.
Bring it on.............
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Follow Up By: Member - Tommy T (Moonta SA) - Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013 at 08:07

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013 at 08:07
Are you talking hot or cold pressure when you suggest 28psi on dirt ??
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Follow Up By: i'machocoholic - Thursday, Aug 22, 2013 at 12:24

Thursday, Aug 22, 2013 at 12:24
Hi Tommy, 28 is the cold pressure. It seems to work well for us at that. Hope this helps.
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013 at 16:20

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013 at 16:20
Check this home made bead breaker that employs your car's towbar and stock jack. Simple ...effective...low cost as a solution.
http://www.lcool.org/technical/90_series/bead_breaker/bead_breaker.html
(probably need to join Lcool to see that link).
I made one at home (without the welded in bolt).. test use only on my previous truck (Jackaroo). Worked fine. Though never needed in the field thankfully, my kit included the usual tyre plugs, glue and patches set, two Mumme levers, mallet and the above tube. That tube and the jack easily breaks the bead. Refitting the tyre takes patience of course and the use of a low volume compressor takes a bit of practice too (a winch strap round the tyre face assists of course). As for the "fire in the hole" method of tyre re-inflation.....depends on how long your hair is I guess :-o).
AnswerID: 516853

Reply By: Member - Gaz@Gove (NT) - Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013 at 21:46

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013 at 21:46
Phil,
Answer to question 1. - Yes.
Answer to question 2 - I don't have one but if you wanna come up to Gove I will find a spare for ya. :) as well as a drop or two of "Gove 'Shine".

We have done the GRR twice, 2005 & 2008, both times with 2 universal spares for cruiser and camper. Never used. But "Murphy" missed the bus both times, so ...."When on a good thing" :)

But I'm of Scottish descent and "Murphy" is Irish, so to keep the b......d at bay I've got a plug kit as an extra resource, just have to colour it green and give it a Guiness flavour, and, oops I drink it myself .............shit. :) stuffed it again.
Mmmmmmmm, now where do we go next?

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AnswerID: 516871

Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 07:45

Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 07:45
Love the post Gaz. Had a bit of a chuckle. It is a shame that we won't be able to accept your hospitality!!! We do have a bit in common to.....my granddad was from Greenock in Scotland, so hopefully by your rule of thumb, Mr Murphy should be passing us by too LOL.
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Reply By: blown4by - Friday, Aug 30, 2013 at 16:54

Friday, Aug 30, 2013 at 16:54
We just completed ted the GRR two days ago including Mitchell Falls and the 4WD tracks at ELQ. I carried two full spares + a plug kit and didn't get one flat but was happy to carry the spares for insurance and to be independent. I fitted new LT285/70R17 697's for the trip and ran 28PSI cold on the GRR and did my best to avoid large impacts with the rock outcrops and 'bottoming out on the many sharp dips along the road. This means adopting speeds so timely evasive action can be taken but we still managed to achieve up to 110kph south of the Leopolds but we were down to 40kph on some sections. I think relying on the RAC or NRMA is irresponsible and even if they do come you will be faced with an uncomfortably long roadside wait in the heat which wouldn't be much fun especially if you have kids. If your tyres are below 50% I would buy new ones.
There is an old wise saying: "Prepare for the worst and hope for the best and you will be OK" and this has served me well over time.
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Friday, Aug 30, 2013 at 17:22

Friday, Aug 30, 2013 at 17:22
Cheers Blown4by. Glad to hear that you had an incident free trip. Totally agree with your philosophy. TIme has now decided our preparations and spares.
I got the spare tyre without a rim. I am not gung ho when I go driving, especially not somewhere like GRR. It is all about preservation and conservation. We aren't in a race!!! LOL
Will be on our way Wednesday morning and can't wait to get up and running.
Thanks for your time mate.

All the best
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