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Reply By: Mark T6 - Friday, Apr 04, 2014 at 16:19

Friday, Apr 04, 2014 at 16:19
Did the CSR last year, happy to answer any question you might have.

I just want to make one comment before that though, the biggest issue on this trip is suspension, it will get hammered like never ever before (or probably after).

I took, but didn't use, a spare front and spare rear shockie...just the originals (which I kept after putting on after market Bilsteins).

I didn't have to use them BUT we took very good care of our vehicles, very regular stops (on some sections every 30-40 minutes), and constant checking.

And for good reason because I have never seen so many broken down 4WD's on a track before and every one of them with the same issue.

And believe me if something happens like that along the way you can expect a VERY long wait.....we ran into a group of Patrols (4 in total), 3 of which had done 2 or more shockies.......they had sent the remaining Patrol back to Kunawaritju to order replacements, and then had to drive to Newman (about 1000 Kms each way) to collect them....they expected to be delayed for around two weeks.

Now certainly the way some people drive along there this doesn't surprise me, be kind to your fourby and it will be kind to you.

Have a great trip, you'll love it, great scenery and you must by the GARD book and get involved in the history, it isn't all about the track!!
AnswerID: 529837

Follow Up By: Flighty ( WA ) - Friday, Apr 04, 2014 at 17:41

Friday, Apr 04, 2014 at 17:41
Great call with everything you mentioned true.
The greatest mistakes lots of people make are listed as high tyre pressure, flogging their fourbys on corrugations, and generally tryin to cover it in 10 or so days.
We did it in 2011 south to north and found in serious corro's we stopped every 15-20 mins to allow shocks time to cool a bit.
Out of interest I stopped after 20 mins and took temp reading with a digital laser meter thingy and got a reading of 248 deg C and that told me everything, re; how much of a pounding the suspension cops.

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Follow Up By: Member - ERSKO - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 00:03

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 00:03
what time of the year did you do the CSR and did you have to make many changes to you tyre pressure along the way and what speed did you go over the corrugated areas and did get dry bogged in the sand dunes
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 08:02

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 08:02

What was at 248 deg c?

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Follow Up By: Wayne NSW - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 08:35

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 08:35

I think he was referring to the temp of his shocks.

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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 09:10

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 09:10
IF that is the case Wayne then I think that something is wrong.

How hot do yours get?

We have Bilsteins on our car and I have always been able to hold them. Sure they get hot but not too hot to hold. And we tend to move along and not crawl over the corrugations. Even doing 80 KPH on bad corrugations (several tracks) and checking them after about an hour I could hold them. And on those one meter apart large undulations on the WAA line they still didn't get too hot to handle.

The worst corrugations were on the Mitchell Falls road from the river all the way to the falls. No hassles and doing around 50 to 60.

I hope that there was a typo somewhere or he is referring to something else.

Yes! Low tyre pressures as needed.


PS maybe we "race" along at such a rate that the suspension just jumps over the bad bits.
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Follow Up By: Wayne NSW - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 09:55

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 09:55

When I had the 75 Series, leaf springs front and rear, after driving from Well 32 to Well 33 I could get out of the vehicle and put my hand on the front shocks.With the 78 series the front shocks do get hot but I can still put my hand on them.

I don't wish to scare you but 99% of shock failure that I have seen in the vehicles that I have taken on the CSR have been Bilsteins.
A 100 series EFS, had brand new shocks for the trip, less than 4 weeks old, destroyed a front shock. Didn't think that he would to take spare shocks and no other 100 series in the convey.
I had spare shocks for the Troopy but they had pin/pin, 100 series had pin/eye. The only thing I could do was to cut the eye off his Bilstien, cut the pin off the bottom of one of my spare shocks and bush weld the eye back on. This worked and he was able to get new shocks once he got back to Sydney.

It is a fine line between skipping a vehicle over corrugations and it being out of control, and people have there own theory on how fast they should go.

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Follow Up By: lizard - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 10:17

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 10:17
We had no problems when the missus and I went down CSR in 2010 , on bad corrugations we sat at 16 km/hr & enjoyed the view ....
we took a Patrol ute with a slide on camper on back - great ..... travelled solo ...
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 10:35

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 10:35
Too true about the skipping and then you come to a corner. But unlike Lizard I wouldn't want to sit in 16 either. It isn't a set rule as well. What may be right for one track could be different for another. Anyway we shall see.

Wayne you aren't scaring me. The son uses Bilsteins in his rally car and they have held up well for more than ten years. And that is much more punishing than most would expect in their 4WDs. Naturally, they were sometimes too hot to handle. But he and his crew are happy with them.

We had a problem with one on Cape York. The shaft pulled out of the bolt. They fixed it for free. They are a bit over three years old now and have done around 100Ks so we may change them.

Lets see what the experts say. I had planned on getting them tested on Monday when the car gets new rack ends and ball joints. Just a bit of preventative maintenance.

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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 11:51

Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 11:51
When we did the Canning in 2012 we were sitting on about 50 / 60KPH as it was in good condition apart from the bit heading into and out of Kunawarritja sat on about 50KM/H and rode over them, of course with lower tyre pressures which will hurt your suspension if too high.

Took spare shocks, no problems - both 4wd running OME

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Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 11:21

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 11:21
Lizards reply echoes my own feelings. Drive to the conditions and slow down. You can feel the amount of jarring that your vehicle is experiencing in any situation and it is the best indicator of the potential for damage.

I like to enjoy the scenery and can do so safely only when travelling at more moderate speeds. Many of times I have been showered with stones and dust as someone roars past only to find them hours or days later broken down beside the road needing help, usually with damage to tyres or suspension that relates to the pounding.

Add a day or two to the trip, let your tyres down, slow down and have fun.

AnswerID: 529869

Reply By: Phil B (WA) - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 12:01

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 12:01
Hi guys,

Each vehicle is different. The speed that suits one vehicle over corros won't suit another, because of: vehicle type, weight carried, type of suspension etc etc.

What I do strongly recommend is let your tyres down and leave them down for the whole trip on the CSR. On my last trip we travelled the whole way with 20 psi front and 22 rear. They stayed at those pressures for three weeks. Softer tyres improve the drive no end and its less strain on the suspension and the travellers.

With regards to the Gards CSR guide book, it’s now out of print. Hunt around and you may find a second hand copy but expect prices to go up.
Can I suggest two alternatives - the EO treks are brilliant and Work Completed Canning by yours truly. With these two items you'll have all the trek note info and history of the CSR you could ever need.

Have a look at these CSR teeth rattlers.


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Follow Up By: Mick O - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 13:23

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 13:23
Echo Phil's sentiments in respect to tyre pressures but be aware of the loads on the rears. Too soft for a continuous period can cause radial cracking in the wall. Be aware that the trade off for running low tyre pressures is heat. Drive easily and rest often.

A fully adjustable shock like the Toughdog Big Bore adjustable is a definite advantage. With the damper reduced it will eat corrugations and not foam the oil. We were able to maintain 50-60C temps in the Tough dogs where as OME nitro's on the same run were at 157C!

I'll enrichen phil's photo for you with some video.

''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 13:51

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 13:51
Same here guys.

I plan on starting on the Tanami with 20 front and 26 rear. And leaving it there for the CSR.

We are heavy and those pressures have served us well to date. No puncture or torn tyre in 50 years. So far!!!!

But I don't think that I would like to travel at 15 KPH. It was the same in 2011 up on Cape York dev road. At times we did 80. But that may not happen on the CSR. The car travels better at a faster rate than that. I won't put a figure on it though. Not getting into that argument.

We are adaptable.

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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 07:43

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 07:43
Thanks Mick, I'm totally enrichenmented now. :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 09:11

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 09:11
Thanks for the videos Mick

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Reply By: Member - Fab72 (Paradise SA) - Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 08:31

Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 08:31
I'm in the preliminary stages of planning a trip up The Canning for mid 2015. I found this video on Youtube which I reckon is pretty good. Not so much on vehicle preparation, more to do with what to see and places to visit along the way.
It's 38 minutes long but NO boring bits.

Canning Stock route movie

AnswerID: 529918

Reply By: Mark T6 - Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 15:25

Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 15:25
I run Bilsteins, and yes found they were getting pretty hot on me on the CSR, couldn't touch the back ones any time we pulled up due to the heat, not so bad on the front.

As to pressures, the CSR is that variable (in conditions) that we were changing fairly often.......started at 24 front and 28 back, went down to 20 front and 24 back and slowed down over the corrugations.

Dropped back a little further when we hit the dunes BUT then discovered the dunes were nothing like the Simmo so we pumped them back up to the 20/24 levels and found that suited pretty well.

We tried all sorts of combinations to help with the corrugations (both tyre pressure and speed) to be honest they were so bad nothing much helped.

They are bad through most of the 2100 Kms but worst about 60 KM's either side of Well 33, I took so Go Pro video of my front tyre.....VERY scary.

The rocky parts of the track are as bad as anything mentioned, I had a brand new set of BFG's on and the damage to them at the end of the track was very noticeable , and believe me we were not going gung ho.

We took 22 days to do the track, this included a two night stay at Durba Springs and another two night stay further up (forget the well number)....we loved the two night stays gave us a chance to "smell the roses" many we talked to were up at 6.00am, on the road at 7.00am, going hard all day and not stopping to about 5 or even 6 at night....they were trying to do the track in about 7 or 8 days.

They were there just for the track, we however were there for the track, the scenery and also the history.
AnswerID: 529941

Follow Up By: Wayne NSW - Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 20:40

Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 20:40

You will have to let me know where the "Simmo" is. I have been around a bit and I would have thought I would have touched on most deserts.

I will try and get away from camp 2 hours after sunrise, the sand is firmer in the morning which makes cresting a dune easier. I know where I want to camp for the night and if we get to camp early, time to get the camera out.

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Follow Up By: Mark T6 - Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 20:53

Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 20:53
My apologies the SIMPSON desert!!

Dunes there are much steeper (and I am not talking just about Big Red).

It depends on which route you take (and there's a few) but there's a day I remember from that trip that we were going over 17-19 Metre Dunes.

Sort of like driving up a three story house!!

Nothing like that at all on the small section that had a couple of taller dunes but most were very easy....remember the CSR was designed to take cattle through so they picked the lowest point of each dune.

Sometimes on the CSR you drive for 4-5 kms through the swales just to find that low point, over you go, and then 4-5 kms back to begin going forward again!!
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Follow Up By: Wayne NSW - Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 21:12

Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 21:12

Apology accepted.

While the dunes in the Simpson Desert are usually higher they do have a straighter run up to them.
On the CSR as you have said there is usually a sharp turn at the base. They also tend to be wider on the top similar to Big Red.

BTW the path that the cattle used is not the same as the vehicle track we use today. The cattle would have gone in a straighter line from well to well.

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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 06:57

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 06:57
If this is within the rules may I ask a question of learned CSR travellers. Underbody protection; Remove it or not? Trip in later in the season but I am getting very conflicting answers.

AnswerID: 529989

Follow Up By: Wayne NSW - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 07:12

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 07:12

I would leave it on, but make sure every time you get out of the vehicle check it for spinifex grass build up. The time of year that you are going the grasses would have been mowed down along the main tracks.
Also check the bolts that hold the under body protection on, they have a bad habit of coming loose.

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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 07:24

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 07:24
Hi Wayne

That's how I "feel" as well. Checking the bolts is part of the normal check that this mob do for even an oil change. Car gets dropped off in about an hour. Too cold to go and sit outside the shop at the moment.

Knowing your background I appreciate the quick response. I may just see what the majority say. Not ignoring "learned" advice. Okay!!!

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Follow Up By: Phil B (WA) - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 08:13

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 08:13
Hi Phil,

Given the amount of traffic the CSR sees nowadays, there is bugger all spinifex growth on the main route, so you could leave your guards on. You wont need a spinifex blind either.

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Follow Up By: Mark T6 - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 09:15

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 09:15
Agree we had all that, spray bottles, spinifex remover, blind AND didn't need any, by the time we went through in early July any seeds on the main track were long gone.

In relation to the Dunes they are different to the Simpson, not as tall BUT for a novice can be quite challenging, often you go through a stack of undergrowth, to find a sudden turn to the left and there's the bloody dune, momentum all but gone.

I know why they say don't take camper trailers (mind you I or my group didn't have one) on the track, would have been hard at time for them.

That said, in my Diesel 150 Prado I never got into low range on the Dunes, holding in 2nd high and "tractoring" over was always enough.

I wasn't expecting to be honest the dunes to be as bad as unlike the Simpson when you go straight over (West to East or vice versa) with the Dunes running north to south, in the CSR you are running South to North (which I did) or the reverse so whilst challenging, and good fun I just didn't find them nearly as tough as the Simpson.

The greatest thing with the Canning is the diversity of the track, we had it all (following some rain down south), Mud, Rocks, Sand, Dunes, Corrugations, creek crossings (dry)....having done the Simpson, and most of the major "tracks", plus the Cape, we sort of left the CSR to last as we felt overall it would be the most challenging.

And it was!!

But probably the greatest ever 4WD adventure I have ever done...loved every minute!!
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 09:40

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 09:40
Thanks Mark

Pretty much the same here. We have been to all those other places and left the CSR until last. I am hoping for something different to what we had and from all reports it should be as expected. But I will still put all the stuff that you didn't use in the car. We normally carry even to the high country. A club trip returned last weekend from the High Country and even they had a bit of a fire. Besides the flyscreen on the full width stone guard is not just for spinifex. We have to cross the Hay Plains twice and it can be a real pain for bugs. And the spray bottle is also a safety supply for us. So it always goes in the car.

What did you mean by "tractoring"?

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Follow Up By: Mark T6 - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 15:05

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 15:05
Ah sorry another of my little tractoring I mean not taking things like a bull at a gate (stuff can get broken that way), it's knowing the optimum gear and revs for your vehicle and just cruising over without the need to get a big run up and go flat strap.

Big Red aside (and you have to do the above), I found Dunes were far easily crossed fairly slowly (but constantly).

For me and my Prado this was 2nd gear high range at about 2500 RPM, to me that's about when the most Torque is being generated.

Occasionally you'd have to give it a bit more berries, but 9 out of 10 times this would get me over without the fear of breaking anything in going to hard.

Despite being a travel agent during my working life I came from a farming background and had to use the old tractor plenty of times to get out of the black soil mud!!

By the way one thing we did have to use on the CSR was a fuel filter (not me on a Cruiser 200 travelling with us), I'd say we got a bad load when we topped up at Wiluna Traders, it wasn't long into the CSR when the warning light went on in my mates car and we changed the filter which fixed the issue.

I changed the air filter in Alice Springs (after the CSR and the Tanamai), and then again in Charleville (after we spent some time in the Diamantina National Park).I still have the spare in my spacecase that I carry on the roof, these I obtained along the way.

You'll love the CSR, its got everything AND as I say some great history and just magnificent scenary....make sure you take the time to smell the roses.

Make sure you do the Gorges in and around Durba (some fantastic Aboriginal Art to see) and also the Breedon Hills up north (we camped there a night....great spot)'s all wonderful.

Can 100% recommend the GARD book, what we did is stopped at each well and read a little of the history out of that well (the book is very informative BUT don't take the directions in there as gospel as things have changed a bit in some areas since that was written).

I am about to head off in my caravan (7.00am in the morning) and will be away for about 4 months, I am not sure I'll have access to Explore Oz whilst away so this might be about the last communication, so all the best for the trip and hope all goes well!!
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 16:20

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 16:20

I bought the book on line this arvo. A present for the Grand daughter who is coming with us. Easy to find. Just searched the internet and the third hit had one in a shop. Gooonnneee now.


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