Recent return from Madigan to Adelaide

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 10:08
ThreadID: 132798 Views:3575 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
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The dramas of weather in the region . . .

Dept Trans really stuffed up on BV Tk road conds the other day.
Was down as open from BV to Marree on Thurs night when I got in, lots of western cloud building though.

So I took off 1730 for Mungarannie, got there fine with just a little light spotting here and there, and arrived 1045, getting in the swag at 1100.

Fri morn, road to Marree Open (which is all vehicles, 2WD inc !!).
Left Mung at 0550, was reasonable to Lake Harry, but then . . .
B double tanker stuck on track right side just adjacent Lake Harry, all sorts of Variety Bash (?) vehicles coming up the track !! 2wd and others.
It's a mess.
Couple of army recovery vehicles there helping a few bogged bash vehicles (later heard one of them got stuck !), truck without trailer coming up the track sideways (possibly to help tanker truck or bash members), tilt tray tow truck coming up the track sideways, me having to keep out of their way and maintain progress myself.
Got to Marree 0845.

Road closed to Lyndhurst, Borefield Rd closed.
Only exit William Ck - Coober Pedy, another 536km to the same exit point at Stirling North.
Or from another angle, 371km of potential boggy trk versus about 70km !!
So met another 4x4 Earth member there at Marree, and with no idea how long Lyndhurst / Borefield Rds would be closed at 1225 we decide we should just take WC - CP exit and at least get on the way.

Locals are in the dark as much as anyone, except I found out that . . .
1. Dept Trans uses rainfall data from local stations to decide to open / close tracks.
2. Signs are changed electronically from Adelaide.
So Marree to WC - CP Rd are classed as open to 4WD, so off we go.
Was so tempted by Borefield Rd, but carried on knowing it was the right thing to do.

Was great, up until about half way from William Ck to Cobber Pedy.
It was as bad or worse than BV Tk.
Not so much the continual mud soup, but the patches were wetter, much more driving through wet foot deep mud required, and 40km out of CP, whoops . . .

I touch the brake before entering bog, peripheral vision noted speedo drop to 0 in a blink.
Stopped . . . did I lock it up slowing and the speedo went to 0 ?
Was in LIMP MODE !!!
At perhaps one of the worse bog sections on that road.
Companion in front, advised situation, said hold up for me to come through.

Got through ok, but had a series of issues going on . . .
No power, very laggy, no turbo
No speedo function
No odo / trip meter function
No 4WD indicator lights
No gearing (auto) seemed to be in 3rd (worried about torque converter stress !)
No overdrive indicator light

Noted later on Stuart Hwy . . .
Cruise control not functional too
Some Garmin OBD2 fuel econ info not working

Got to Stuart Hwy, think I'm in 4WD, last mode in action before problem, or I wouldn't have got through the bogs.
Switch to 2WD but with no light can't tell if it's actually disengaged.
So limp into Coober Pedy literally . . . driving on and off the blacktop to avoid binding if in 4WD, and park up in the big park bay just outta town, call RAA.
RAA guy can't get anything from OBD, over rode something to find out in limp mode but can't diagnose, dealer required, closest Pt Augusta (540km !).
So, with him watching the 4WD front drive, I was able to establish it was in 4WD or 2WD as per the electronic switch.

So all good, drive into CP to think through issues and what to do.
First, try and clean up mess under the vehicle !!
The one and only commercial pressure cleaner in Coober Pedy is broken, next one at Pt Augusta 540km away !!

Decide to drive home in limp mode, seem to be able to maintain about 75 - 85 km/hr.
I fill up main tank (126lt) and put just 50lt in the aux tank to ensure I can get somewhere through the night.

Get pretty good pizza and coffee at the Shell, sit and eat half pizza and then get ready to go.
Had the battery disconnected to see if I could reset ECM, no good.
So off I go at 1915.

Hmmm, down the road aways, vibrations appearing.
Mud drying ? Balance out on wheels ? Drive shaft / other stress with mud ?
Pulled into Imogur (sp?) rest area, removed each wheel and cleaned up wheels inside and out and around hub, brake lines etc, scraped of as much mud as possible with shovel around the arches.
Removed transfer case bash plate and it must have weighed 10kg, rather than the usual 3 or 4.
Had to be quiet so not to disturb others there, so left main engine bash plates to do up the road a bit, not as much on these but left all these off in bag in the back.
Stopped a few k's further safely and did these.
Helped, a lot, but still an issue with vibration, figured it was all the rest underneath around various mech components, perhaps shockers was the problem.

So all the way further, I was looking for ways to keep the mud soft / supple.
Big puddles at Glendambo and Pimba were a godsend, and rain coming into Glenbambo and further down helped too.
Stopped at little rest area south of Glendambo (before Lake Hart) at 0100 yesterday.

Woke 0545 and got going straight up, more rain which was welcome.
Got to Pt A at 0930 and topped off main tank, only seemed to be using just over 12lt/100 which I was surprised with, only a couple more than normal hwy use.

Hit the carwash . . . I am so sorry carwash lady !!
She said it wasn't too bad, but while the outside had had some rin blasting during the night and drive down, I really don't think she know what it was like underneath.
Went into the muddy bay, got most off, pulled out for reassessment.
More needed.
Went into cleaner bay now it was pretty good, had to left / right lock to get all off cv boots / shocks etc properly, and more taken off on hands an knees from all driveline.
Left the bay looking pretty clean keeping it rinsed down.
NOW it's much better :)

Stopped at BP for a coupla bottles of Coke to get me home, and left Pt A 1035.
Back passing west of CBD at 1415, and home southern subs 1450.

A trip I'll never forget.
I really think I'd rather have driven home via Cunnamulla and West NSW than do that again !!
A couple of our group went down Strz Tk and you should see their vehicle pics !!
Was just as bad if not worse.
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Reply By: LAZYLUX16 - Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 11:22

Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 11:22
Nice work PK thanks for sharing.Reminds me of my trip from Menindee to Mildura and the cops just come off the track but didnt close it..When I worked around Moomba they would close the roads soon as a few drops fell..
AnswerID: 601560

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 11:53

Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 11:53
Cheers mate it was a marathon effort getting home all right.
When I broke camp on Thurs morning, was at camp 18 on Madigan Line, and in the 2-3/4 days to home, I travelled 1975km . . . I had 2 sleeps total 9 hrs.
Was one to remember.
FollowupID: 871077

Reply By: Gramps - Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 12:19

Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 12:19
Sorry Les - no piccies, it did'nt happen :)
AnswerID: 601568

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 12:26

Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 12:26
Oh I have pics :)
But little time.
Sorting through 54 emails, 20 or so sms, work related mail and messages, balancing banking, unpacking, cleaning, drying gear, think I will be days before I can do a trip report or other such.
Then I have to look at the vehicle probl;em and try and sort that out.
This is probably the worst post trip time poor I've ever found myself.
FollowupID: 871081

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 14:16

Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 14:16
Sound like great fun Les.
Bet you can't wait to do it all again? lol

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AnswerID: 601582

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 14:18

Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 14:18
Ha, yeah if I have to :D :D
Found out just now our Strz Tk returning group members are stuck there, road closed, more rain today.
They might be there for days yet.
FollowupID: 871093

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 22:08

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 22:08
Strz Tk group home now.
Were stuck in Innamincka for 3 days, lucky they went out east into QLD, as it's not reopened, and ALL closed now.
They came home to Adelaide via Thargominda, Cunnamulla, Bourke and Barrier Hwy !!
That is a detour and a half.
FollowupID: 871312

Reply By: Member - Odog - Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 15:33

Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 15:33
Gday Les, sounds like fun! Ha... Just wondering, what was the cause for limp mode in the end, or did I miss something. How did you solve it?
Bet you were happy to get home, after such a long stint behind the wheel..
Cheers Odog
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AnswerID: 601586

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 16:17

Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 16:17
Limp mode cause unknown as yet odog, think it will end up being a control module, hopefully not ECM or TCM, but if it is will be 2nd hand one going in.

Solved it by driving the 870km odd to to home at best effect with reduced engine power.

Found it interesting . . .

As mentioned (I think) I was surprised to get just over 12lt/100km, which is not too bad considering I was running about 2500rpm at 75km/hr, normally way under this.

Also, revs were not relevant to speed as much, like it was a sliding sort of effect.
Eg. at 90km'hr I was probably around 2900rpm.
In the end I could do 90 - 95 and not be too concerned.

Trans was a worry . . . felt like only 3rd gear, no changes with using the auto shift, no overdrive etc.
Sounded like toque converter was straining when going from still to say ok at 20ks or so, then nice and easy up form there.
The suburban driving for the last 40km or so was understandably the worst for this.

The RAA guy in Coober Pedy could only override his OBD2 (big expensive type) reader and find it was in 'Restricted mode' or such wording.
He said it will most likely have to go to a dealer to get to the bottom of it.

FollowupID: 871103

Follow Up By: Zippo - Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 15:48

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 15:48
Les, I know of one case in a BT-50 where limp mode was imposed as a result of .... wait for it .... a BLOWN STOPLIGHT GLOBE.

I know it has been the subject of posts here before, but modern vehicles have so many electronic (over-)complications that those 'smarts" sometimes prove to be not so smart, particularly when you are remote as you were.

We are currently in Winton, with Boulia-BVille-Marree next. While I carry OBD2 dongles and software, even being able to diagnose the fault doesn't mean an easy fix in the field - something like an O2 sensor failure at Birdsville will remain an issue.
FollowupID: 871223

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 16:40

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 16:40
Yep, I believe a Jeep Cherokee can go into limp mode for low washer fluid, and a Pathfinder into limp mode for a blown stop light globe !!

In fact on this trip, a PX Ranger (not sure if I or II model) have a CEL come up, found his washer bottle empty, and the light went out after filling it !!
At least it didn't go into limp mode.

Might have to check that, even though my old PK isn't normally as sophisticated with such systems as it changed to with the models after that 2010 sort of era.

The thing I just thought of was I had just touched the brake when the whole thing hit the fan !!??
I'll get a look in the next few days, during final clean up underneath, got to get the old scraper going on the chassis and underbody, then another good pressure clean.
Then check all wiring on the trans / trans case etc to see if the many kgs on mud might have dislodged something.

The engine bay and main module there (Trans) was pretty celan / dry, and the ECM is inside behind the drivers kickplate panel, so hoping its not one of those $$$.

Fellow companion on this trip (maurice b here on ExplorOz) went north to Boulia / Winton etc after Birdsville.
He's wanted to go around to Alice, but got stuck in Boulia for a few days, so deceided to head Winton, ad I think he's heading south now back to Gold Coast perhaps.

Hopefully the rain will ease up for you and the tracks will allow you reasonable access to all those tracks.
FollowupID: 871225

Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 22:12

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 22:12
Some video from the iphone mounted on the dash . . .


Road between William Ck and Coober Pedy

AnswerID: 601761

Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 22:16

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 22:16
A few pics at Marree . . .

Managed to lose much of the arches stuff on the Hergott Springs drive, but underneath more stubborn.
AnswerID: 601762

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