Networking - The New 4wding Backup !

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 11:45
ThreadID: 107486 Views:2141 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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It was the local impossible hill that did it.

While simply rolling back then snatching 1st it happened, total and completely noiseless loss of drive !
But everything felt good, no strange noises, engine good, clutch worked, but just no power delivery anywhere.

Well thats what the one of the kids said when arriving at our bush block on dusk asking me for a load of recovery gear.
Another was showing others how beat the hill in our well sorted out 4.8lt GU SuperPatrol when it simply failed.

But this post isn't about the hill but how this turned into a full social media recovery and repair session that lasted 23 hours and made me think about the approaches I have used in the past and how it compares with the process used by the
Kids of today.

I'm interested in whether you have noted, or used, this change in the way some things get done today !

Super Patrol had been rolled backwards, precariously down 300m of the hill to a junction by the time my recovery gear arrived.
Assisted by a lone 1990's Patrol on its last legs it got out to a track but it just didn't have what it took to tow SuperPatrol.
However social media had already cut in as a party was being organized at our bush property Km's away and some other kids in mums Lexus landcruiser
were online and were diverted to help out. Now mums Lexus had never towed anything more than a couple of filly's but they got by and about 5pm Super Patrol was docked near my shed.

Multiple calls for help had gone out by now and the problem seemed to defy traditional logic.

It had to be in the drive train - previously the huge engine power had twisted an input shaft and on another occasion had stuffed a clutch but each of those things
left scars or bad noises. An axle or broken diff would also have been obvious and we would have had some drive, so what was the problem ?

However now we had another Issue, how to get a GU Patrol with no drive up an incline into the shed.
Only way seemed to be to get another car to shove it in but no other car was near enough in height to limit damage to the odd panel.
My long term memory still works well and yes I still had it, that hand winch everyone buys and never uses.
It was 20 years old and in new condition. Chained it between a shed post and car and blundered about with it and eventually it did the Job.
Fortunately we didn't need car ramps as well because the only good thing about 37" tyres is that there is plenty of room to work under a car.

It had to be a gearbox failure, and in such a way as to leave no trace as gears still changed and clutch seemed ok.

An obvious solution was to change the gearbox - but it was easter Sunday, 6pm and 150km from the city.

The pack got to work, not less than 10 kids were around our kitchen table, each armed with Ipads/Iphone and all the gadgets you could think of and saturated the ether, facebooks twitters and lists I'd never even heard.

Through connections and interconnections options were considered, it looked like the Patrolapart boys would be best source but they were also in the bush and not home for 24 hours - unacceptable - the kids as usual, demanded an instant solution and soon found a gearbox from a diesel patrol which was close enough but the guy was only a friend of a friends friend and wanted $700 cash up front no exceptions and was 150km away.
Much arm twisting later and a friends girlfriend was co-erced into plastic carding the cash and with dark looks at her boyfriend it was done and by 10pm they arrived with the heavy gearbox.

Meanwhile the extent of the task of swapping out a GU Patrol gearbox with few tools and just a trolley was dawning.

More calls and posts ensued, but time was split between it and managing the growing party and associated bonfire.

Video streaming was called into play but eventually the nastiest "how to remove it suggestion worked". I.E. throw a old tyre on the ground, undo all the bolts and get 2 biggest guys to just yank it back and let it fall whilst they rolled out of the way.
But first the gearstick had to be removed. Its a pain, and held by a large inside type circlip, somehow I managed to remove it cleanly in one go to the onlookers (and my ) surprize and cheers.
Time for the big pull, and out it came and was on the ground by 11pm.
The problem was now obvious, and also the reason why it left no trace.

Unbelievably the massive 32mm diameter gearbox output shaft had simply snapped clean off (Photo - which shows how we drilled it and extracted it with a screw).

400kw at one end, 37" muds at the other, and the no-give triple plate clutch in the centre meant that something had to play fuse, but no one, even in the online extended audience had seen this before.

Well all the kids then retired to the party till 3:30am.
With foresight I had made them move the bonfire 150m away to the next paddock so the "Older guests could snore in peace".
During the party my new Aldi electric chainsaw was requisitioned and used to significantly build the fire while I slept blissfully on, the quietness of the battery chainsaw alone meant it was worth its $99 cost.

In the morning some of the guests had to be taken driving but we soon got them seriously stranded and left.
They had 2 hours of winch work ahead and no real need of us.

Still it wasn't till midday that the kids got seriously back into the issue of how on earth you replace this thing!
GU Patrol gearboxes have to be lifted high then rotated a bit then lifted a bit more then pushed home but how ? Its a frustrating job even in a good workshop and they are heavy.

While contemplating all this and with no obvious solution the mood wasn't happy and to boot a potential marriage was under strain, but a remarkable thing happened.
A young Koala came walking across the ground to the shed we were working in and everyones mood was lifted, and the temporary distraction it provided caused a few laughs we needed.
(We were to dirty to get pic's but similar to one that wouldn't leave our shed as per post 86009.)

The social media was still in full swing with pictures text and streaming video and out of it came a cute little observation!
The only thing stopping a direct gearbox lift was the bell housing starter motor bulge - but this car was a petrol.
Diesel patrols use 3 starter mounting bolts but in a petrol only 2 are used as petrols start easier.
I.E. The 3rd bolt position flange could actually be cut off which removed the protrusion in the bell housing and an almost straight lift might work.

It did (Well after trying to fit the transfer case twice because a dowel pin was found where it should not have been! )

4pm and the main work is done - in less than 24 hrs beginning easter sunday, the car was recovered, a difficult job for a workshop had been accomplished with much networking help, a couple of relationships were strained, and then everyone was off to Alexandra pub for a Parma and home to Melbourne by midnight.

Some good things came out of the above events.

The new gearbox was out of a recently new blown up 3lt CRD Patrol and was in better condition than the now broken one.

The cars didn't go near Big River - reports indicated several large campsites had been blocked off and every car checked for roadworthy's etc with several known to the group citated.

A hat had gone round collecting cash which was returned to a girl friend which immediately increased the likelyhood of an engagement party and a real spirit of friendship and mission accomplished permeated the young group.

I'm also sure Telstra was very happy with the outcome.
Robin Miller

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 12:09

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 12:09
Thank you Robin for a great read! Wonderful what young folks can achieve before they get old enough to know that some things aren't possible!


J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 16:00

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 16:00
Hi John / Val

You know it really is a bit like that, putting aside the fluency with which they used a maze of media devices , as soon as it was determined that the problem was confined to a gearbox and it was late on a sunday holiday night my only thought would have been get a flatbed in and I would have put that off to the next day even.

But for them it was barge ahead ," where not mechanics but nothing will stop us" , (which probably was the attitude that caused issue in first place - but that remains unsaid !).

Overall though it was a serious team building exercise.
Robin Miller

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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 13:32

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 13:32
Ah Robin, those kids of yours will be the death of you.
But until then, they must surely be a source of absolute joy!

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 16:37

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 16:37
Your probably right on both counts Allan - and I don't even own most of them !
Robin Miller

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Reply By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 19:21

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 19:21
Well done again Robin

Very entertaining as we expect from you.

The mind boggles at what that younger set can achieve can with the technology and networking at their disposal. Communications have come a long way since the old phone/telegraph line was 8 gauge fencing wire strung out from Wyndham to Broome 40 years ago - when it was necessary to put your telegrams on the next plane out in 'the wet' at times.

Hats off to those participating for their initiative and the determination.

Never a dull moment at your camp it seems.

Cheers - Phil
Phil 'n Jill (WA)

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 07:38

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 07:38
Thanks Phil - we could use a dull moment after the 10 day easter break.

We all use some of that stuff these days , but it was just 2nd nature to those concerned.
Robin Miller

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