Been on the road for 8 months,what spares to carry.

Submitted: Friday, Oct 31, 2014 at 21:44
ThreadID: 110003 Views:2805 Replies:10 FollowUps:10
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I left Victoria early March and have just arrived back because i fractured my knee at Kununurra WA.I had to come back to have an operation on it.The spares i carried are fan belts,radiator hoses,tow rope,snatch strap,oil,greeze,brake fliud,air compressor,jumper leads,Shovel,axe,plastic tarp,spare fuel(Petrol and diesel),punture kit,nuts and bolts,wire connectors,2 bottle jacks, plus a comprehensive tool kit.Not to mention stuff i cant think of at the moment.The only things i used were the wire connectors and a screw driver to tighten up stuff that had rattled lose.
The brake downs i had were 2 x wheel bearings plus a leaking o ring at the bottom of the fuel filter.I was chatting to a mate and telling him what i have seen and done and we got on to spares to carry.
Gunny and i have been all over the tip of Australia plus other tracks,Bloomfield Track plus Savannah Way just to mention a few.
In 34 years of driving the only things i have used are the tow rope and jumper leads.I have never had a problem with a fan belt or radiator hose.Bear in mind this is with clapped out old Fords and Holdens.Friends i have spoken to dont remember using any of the spares i carried except for the jack in there 30 plus years of driving.
So we get down to the point of what is needed.
1)RACV total care is a must.Before anyone comments read what it covers.
2)A sat phone to ring the RACV.
3)All the spares i carried everybody carries so there is no point in taking all that crap.
4)Carrey spares that are for your car only that other cars wont be carrying.
bleep i wish i could spell.
When Gunny and i take off once my knee has heeled i will be taking stuff that my car may need.
Wheel bearings,spare axle and backing plate,alternator,starter motor etc, crap left of field that other people wont be carrying.
I am not suggesting to bludge of other people but there is know point in all of us taking the same stuff into the middle of know where.
I hope this may help someone.

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Reply By: Slow one - Friday, Oct 31, 2014 at 23:09

Friday, Oct 31, 2014 at 23:09
I know you I have had a bit of flaming about Maggy Island, but I will answer what you have asked.

With a new vehicle I carry sweet FA. As a vehicle gets older, you get to know what fails in that particular model.

Much of it depends on what you know about your vehicles shortcomings and where you are going to travel. For me I always carried sets of wheel bearings and seals for the truck and the trailer. For the 4wd I never have done that.

For me I carry water for the radiator, spare fuel filters x 2, a little bit of #8 fencing wire and gaffer tape + a good tool kit so I can throw them when I get stressed and don't forget a wee dram of gods bundy rum to calm the nerves.

For you Gunny, I have driven all those areas in trucks & trailers 40+ years ago and I think this is why I am retarded. Then again I played round town clown in a truck today and hated it.

Look after the big fella or he might bite you. LOL.

AnswerID: 541152

Follow Up By: Member - Stuart and Gunny - Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 00:45

Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 00:45
Slow One.
I like your response.Water i always have plenty,i allways carry duct tape,i have 1 used but good fuel filter.I know fenceing wire is a must but i figure i can get that.Something to calm my nerves im never short of VB.
Regarding Gunny the big boy he has saved my bum twice.Once at Mt Isa when the rodeo was on.Three locals decided to give me a hard time until Gunny told them what to do.You have never seen brown eyes turn white and poo them selfs so quick.
The second time was when i broke down( wheel beering) on the Savannah Way 20 k out side of Roper Bar.
I was told i must be the only car that has spent the night on that track still in one piece.Again brown eyes turned white.
Chat latter and have a great night.
FollowupID: 827173

Reply By: mikehzz - Friday, Oct 31, 2014 at 23:48

Friday, Oct 31, 2014 at 23:48
You are in trouble if everyone takes your advice....there will be a serious lack of spares from friendly passers by. :-)
AnswerID: 541153

Follow Up By: Member - Stuart and Gunny - Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 00:54

Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 00:54
I am not telling people what to take but what i have found to be of use.I will continue to carry all the stuff packed away in the van and if i can help someone i am more than happy to do so.I have given help to traverlers but never needed all the stuff i carry to help my good self.
FollowupID: 827174

Reply By: Vesko P - Friday, Oct 31, 2014 at 23:49

Friday, Oct 31, 2014 at 23:49
That's a great trip Stuart and Gunny. It seems to me you forgot one important spare - a knee to replace the broken one ;-) Me - the most important thing I take on the road is a reliable gaff tape :-) Cheers!
AnswerID: 541154

Follow Up By: Member - Stuart and Gunny - Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 01:03

Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 01:03

Unfortunately you are correct,i should have put a spare knee in the tool box but i over looked it.It would have been of more use than half the stuff i am carrying.LOL.
FollowupID: 827175

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 08:05

Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 08:05
Kneemonia is a bugger, but nowhere near as bad as catching Smallcox. :-)
FollowupID: 827188

Reply By: 671 - Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 00:00

Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 00:00
There is really no right answer to the question of what spares to take. I had to replace a gear box bearing in my 4wd at only 50,000 ks. That was a case of one faulty bearing in a million but I suppose it could happen again so maybe I should take a spare box on trips plus a transfer case and two diffs as well.

Back I the 1980s I bought a well used 504 Peugeot and put another 430,000 ks on it without any starter motor problems but I remember having to replace a failed starter motor on a new 505 Peugeot at work during its pre delivery service.

I have replaced lots of failed fan belts and radiator hoses at work but I have never seen one fail that looked like it was in good condition. They were always cracked, frayed, brittle or soft and swollen. If you start a trip with good ones, you should still have them when you return.

The same applies to wheel bearings. The only failed ones I can remember seeing had either done a squillion miles or had water in them and were rusty.

One thing that I have noticed though after running around the coastal regions and the Outback for over forty years is wherever I go I am surrounded by local people driving standard cars that are almost certainly not carrying any spares.

You simply can’t predict what is going to happen. If you don’t push the car along hard in rough conditions and keep it under its maximum weight, you would have to be unlucky to need anything.
AnswerID: 541155

Follow Up By: Member - Stuart and Gunny - Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 01:19

Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 01:19
I agree with you it does not matter what you take you can not cover all possible brake downs.My van is well maintained because of the places i go to.I drive to conditons and take my time i dont stress the car where possible.The thing i did not realize at the time was because of the over hang of the car the amount of pressure i was putting on the rear wheel bearings.Check profile to see the over hang.Now that i know this i will carry a spare axle and bearing just in case.Plus i will have them regulary checked.
FollowupID: 827176

Follow Up By: 671 - Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 22:14

Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 22:14
"The thing i did not realize at the time was because of the over hang of the car the amount of pressure i was putting on the rear wheel bearings"
If only more people were aware of that when they are loading cars and modified suspensions to raise sagging rear ends, there would be a lot less cars with bent chassis, cracked axle housings, collapsed wheel bearings, cracked wheels, broken wheel studs and even axle flanges snapped off.

Whatever a car has behind the rear axle is levering the rear end down and trying to lift the front. A long but light weight overhang should not cause any problems but if it has a lot of heavy material in it then the forces generated when the wheels rise and fall suddenly on uneven surfaces will be well above the static weight. This will result in a big question mark always hanging over the car's reliability. The driver will not be aware of exactly how much stress each part is under until something breaks.

This is why car manufacturers want some of the weight lifted off the rear end and transferred to the front wheels with a WDH. They are not much use though when you are not towing anything.

Regarding your spare axle: they may be different lengths so you may need two of them
FollowupID: 827235

Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 02:33

Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 02:33
I've never carried a wheel bearing and never replaced one on the road. I have replaced front wheel bearings on Holdens that got water in them via deep floodwaters, that then went rusty (the vehicle usually has to sit for a while afterwards, for this to happen).

I've carried spare fanbelts and radiator hoses, and cannot ever remember using them on the road.
I always carry a length of heater hose, which is usually a source of problems long before radiator hoses.
If you use top quality fanbelts such as Gates, one fanbelt will virtually last the life of your engine. The Perth bus fleet use Gates fanbelts and they get 500,000kms minimum out of them.

The most useful things I ever carried were contained in a small centre tray in my toolbox.
That tray contained all the little things that you need, such as air fittings, nuts & bolts, screws, a range of wheelnuts and studs, a length of fuel hose, threaded adaptors, clamps and clips, pipe fittings, small parts, small electrical items - and the 1001 other vital little items that you always seem to lack, when carrying out a repair.

I think I've helped more people who have broken down on the road with no spares, than I have ever carried out road repairs on my own vehicles. Blocked fuel filters were probably the biggest hassle I ever had on the road.

However, one night, I was completely mystified by my V8 F100 that just started going slower and slower and started occasional backfiring.
After much checking and head-scratching, I discovered that a dry rubbing block on the breaker arm of the points on the 302 Ford V8 was making the breaker arm chatter - and this was causing out-of-sequence spark plug firing and making the engine lose so much power I was struggling to get over 30kmh.
I pulled the dipstick, dropped 3 or 4 drops of oil on the rubbing block, and I was cruising at full speed again, immediately!
If only all mechanical problems were that easy to fix!
AnswerID: 541158

Reply By: Member - geoffqld - Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 07:17

Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 07:17
I carried spare fan belts as well as other spares for 2 trips around Australia and 2 trips across. Decided to replace the original belts because the Patrol had done 160,000km just in case. Although the belts were the correct ones according to the manual they never looked like fitting, ended up buying new ones by trial and error, good parts supplier, and throwing the others out. I'm glad I didn't wait til one broke before replacing them, could have been interesting. The only spare I ever used on the road was a fuel filter. Of the tools I carried the only thing I didn't use was the chainsaw. Carried shovel, crowbar, tow chains, towed a landcruiser out of Battlecamp Creek, plus all the normal stuff. Got to be prepared as I don't know what I'll need when.
AnswerID: 541160

Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 08:15

Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 08:15
The only spares I carry are for the van. I carried more spares when I had the turbo diesel but carry none of that with the V8 petrol Cruiser.

In 2010 I broke a main leaf on our 18.5 ft Gazal van about 80K south of Walcha near Nowendoc NSW and luckily I was able to find a quiet spot off the road and unhook so that I could get into Walcha to have the spring repaired for a temporary fix.

On another trip around Nov 2013 we hooked up with a mate and his Jayco Sterling and we discovered he had a broken spring. Luckily we were only 80K out of Toowoomba QLD and he got a replacement set of springs for one side, all that was available at that shop.

I did a trip to York Peninsular back in March this year and on the way back broke a spring on our Jayco Sterling. It broke right through the centre bolt.

Given our past experiences we carried a spare spring the mate had given me when he upgraded and, once I found a suitable place to do a repair, we were back on the road in an hour and a half.

The mate decided on a trip to Darwin via central northern QLD and back via Alice Springs, Coober Pedy etc.

Between Alice Springs and Yulara he lost a wheel. An outer bearing disintegrated and the whole shibang headed for the hills. He had to get a replacement hub, bearings which he carried spares for, brake shoes etc. $1600 later he was back on the road again, albeit with a serious pain in the rear where his wallet sits.

Further along, somewhere near Wagga Wagga he found that he had a broken spring, one of the brand new set he had put on since the trip before. Luckily he had a spare old one strapped to the underside of his van and he was underway again in a short while.

Now he carried spare bearings and grease but failed to repack his bearing before leaving home on this trip. The broken spring, I can’t say unless they were imported from somewhere and were of a lesser quality steel, however they were genuine ALKO springs and were an upgrade full set of seven leaves whereas the originals were six leaved.

As I have upgraded to seven leaves as well I am wondering when I will next get a broken spring. To this end I will always carry a spare as it is the only thing that has happened to the van so far.

I have had 3 Cruisers. The first was an 80 series with 316 on the clock when I got it and it never missed a beat in the 2 years I had it before bending it around a tree.

The second 80 series, replacement for the first was a 95 Multi valve turbo running gas as well and I never stopped spending money on that vehicle. Very happy when I sold it and bought this V8 petrol.

This current V8 petrol has cost virtually nothing (except fuel) since I bought it, has never let me down and is an absolute pleasure to drive and does a wonderful job of tugging the 24 footer around. No spares required so far. I do not even carry oil for it. Mainly because I am never too far from a garage as it often needs a drink. LOL

I was going to abbreviate all this but decided it may contain something of use for someone else running large vans.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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AnswerID: 541162

Follow Up By: Member - Paul K - VIC - Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 09:34

Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 09:34
What fuel economy do you get out of the V8 petrol when towing the van
FollowupID: 827198

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 10:07

Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 10:07
Hi Paul,
I used to keep meticulous records once but don't bother anymore as I reason that if I am worried about how much fuel I am using I might as well stay home. It costs what it costs. However I reckon I am in front as I spent heaps more when I had a turbo diesel. Not on fuel but on everything else to do with the vehicle.

I would say I am getting around the 17 mark, maybe less running around town (country town) and when I am towing the van, somewhere around 2.5 tonne weight, I am getting around 23 or 24ltr per 100K.

In our turbo diesel we were getting around 18 to 19L/100 with this weight van.
Interestingly I bought that turbo diesel vehicle from a bloke who also updated to a V8 petrol, and he was very happy with his new choice also.

That is what inspired me to update to the V8 as well.

I do not regret the change.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

Lifetime Member
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Reply By: Member - Geoff B (WA) - Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 10:34

Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 10:34
Hi Stuart (and Gunny) please don't tell me Stuart that you missed out on a Drysdale Burger on the GRR because of a dicky knee
AnswerID: 541170

Follow Up By: Member - Stuart and Gunny - Sunday, Nov 02, 2014 at 13:08

Sunday, Nov 02, 2014 at 13:08
Hi Geoff
Yes Gunny and i missed out on the burger because of a little fracture in my knee.Us vics are not as tough as you guys over there.The knee has a l shape plate and about 6-8 screws in it.The two of us will be back over there in June or July to do the trip.When i where there in early October it was a little to hot and late in the season.So next time that will be changed.I hope you two guys are well and we may catch up for a drink or 20 next year.
FollowupID: 827246

Reply By: Member - tommo05 - Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 21:17

Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 21:17
I don't like to take up valuable space with a whole heap of spares I probably won't use, but these 3 items have got me out of most sticky situations:

Duct tape, cable ties and tie wire

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AnswerID: 541191

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Sunday, Nov 02, 2014 at 17:44

Sunday, Nov 02, 2014 at 17:44
G'day Stuart,

Packing another strap and half a dozen screws for the other knee? Would save a drive back home.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 541231

Follow Up By: Member - Stuart and Gunny - Sunday, Nov 02, 2014 at 19:03

Sunday, Nov 02, 2014 at 19:03
True but i was not carryins s/steel screws
FollowupID: 827276

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