Things you have done to a vehicle to get home!.

Submitted: Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 20:25
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What horrible things have you done to a vehicle to make it home after a failure of some sort ?

Years ago I had a XE falcon that sprung a bad oil leak at the oil pressure switch, we were out on the Golden Hwy heading towards Dubbo at 1am in the morning the oil light came on and the back main bearing really made a horrible thump.As a young bloke with no patience or brains ( lol) , I remembered the 4ltr of 90 grade gear oil I had in the boot, in it went and we were off again ,not sure what went on inside that motor but it kept going till we got home, and it was sold not long after, LOL,

Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:02

Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:02
Gday Axle, I had an XE Falcon company car as a fill in for a few months, what a pile of junk, The suspension squeaked and groaned, it felt like a barge, i hated it.. But then i'm a Holden guy so i guess i would! LOL Michael
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Follow Up By: axle - Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:27

Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:27
Hi Mike, Yeah the old XE moaned and groaned alright!, not as much as the passenger I had with me that night when we came to a sudden halt......LOL ..Lol

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Follow Up By: RMD - Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 23:02

Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 23:02
Falcons only made a squeak or groan because NO ONE ever greased the top inner bushes or made sure grease actually went in during servicing.
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 18:51

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 18:51
Good on you Axle! Michael
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Reply By: Bushranger1 - Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:16

Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:16
G'day Axle,
Came across a young bloke in his old mans Land Cruiser some years back on a real steep track in the Vic alps. Tailshaft was on the ground & rear diff/axle assembly was sitting way back from where it should be!
Seems he had taken out his girlfriend for a trip & decided to tackle this steep rocky track quite a bit faster than us & broken the rear shackles.
Would have loved to see the look on his Dads face when he showed him my bush mechanics to get him on his way. Made up a bit of a wooden frame with my chainsaw & held it all together with some rope & snatch straps tensioned up with his winch.
The old man would have been less impressed with the condition of his vehicle following it's return though!

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Follow Up By: axle - Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:22

Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:22
HA hahahaha, Now that's funny mate.!

Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: Phil B (WA) - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 09:15

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 09:15
Good one Stu - don't happen to have a photo do you?
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 19:27

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 19:27
Sorry Phil no photo's.
Didn't give it a thought in the heat of the moment.
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Reply By: Member - Robyn R4 - Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:17

Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:17
We did the trailer's leaf spring on a very very ungraded Savannah Way (about 80km east) a couple of years ago.
Camped by the side of the road for the night.
The next morning, hubby chopped down a tree of suitable diameter, tied it underneath to support the axle and we limped back into town at 20km/hr.
Well, not as simple as that because we had to untie it a few times to get it sitting just right, but we did it.
Even though we had a little bit of passing traffic and all offered to help in some way, hubby is a very practical and knowledgeable person and it was his "I just want to know I can really survive a bigger sort of mishap".
Robyn :)
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Follow Up By: axle - Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:34

Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:34
Well there you go Robyn!, just cant survive with out us Males!...LOL.

Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: Member - Robyn R4 - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 14:14

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 14:14
Don't I know it!!
No LOL about it, mate!!
Robyn :)
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Reply By: Member - Patto (SA) - Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:31

Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:31
Years ago when I was working in the William Creek / Oodnadatta area we came across a young bloke in an old Valiant with all the wheel studs sheared off one of the rear wheels. To get him out of trouble we welded the rim to the axel so that he could limp home to Pt Augusta. About 3 weeks later when we were on the way home we ran into him in Pt Augusta still driving around with the rim welded to the axel. He reckoned no need to change it until it either went flat or something else happened
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Follow Up By: axle - Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:36

Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:36
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Follow Up By: Member - Keith P (NSW) - Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:49

Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:49
When I was a young fella...on the way home from Dubbo to Tottenham in a HR Holden ute....we smacked a roo at about 50 kmh fair bang smack in the middle of the bullbar. It was only a small one and it "fitted" thru the bar and pushed the grill further in which in turn pushed the radiator onto the fan. After we pulled the roo out of the bar and made sure it was dead ...the radiator and grille popped away from fan....and as we had been shopping and had plenty of water.....a half dozen eggs were cracked into radiator with a stick to poke it all in ....filled up with water and proceeded home with the cap on first catch....didn't have to top up all the way home. the repair lasted for a week or so till we sourced a new radiator too.

Cheers Keith
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:59

Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 21:59
In a station Landcruiser ute, and one of the engine mount arms bolts sheered off, causing the fan to contact the shroud. Had a couple of crowbars in the tray, so shoved them in under the engine, one from each side, and "Cobb & Co'd" them to the bull bar. Needed a bit of adjustment, but got back to the station okay.

Don't think I was real popular because there was a suggestion my driving was a little too aggressive. :-)


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Follow Up By: axle - Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 22:02

Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 22:02
They Had No Sense of Humour Bob!!....LOL!
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Reply By: batsy - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 07:48

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 07:48
Competing in a car rally one night in an xu-1 Torana when the diaphragm in the mechanical fuel pump called it quits. Quick think...only other "pump" on the car was the electric windscreen washer pump so with a couple of pieces of plastic tube pushed into one another, I connected the electric pump bypassing the mechanical pump & off we went. Had to turn the pump switch on & off constantly as the electric washer pump over fuelled the carbies. Finished the event in third place & drove 200km home. Couldn't do that today with the sophisticated electronics in current vehicles.
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Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 08:12

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 08:12
Was fishing at the Mary rivers famous barrage (Shady Camp) for barra. Was going to sleep in the boat , on the trailer for the night. Come midnight the mozzies and rain was so bad we just had to head home. Toyota only just stated. Got 2 klms down the dirt road on the way back to Darwin when suddenly we had no electrics at all. . Motor was still running. Lucky I had 2 dolphin torches in the car and a few batteries. I drove all the way (probably 180klms) with the torch in my right arm and my mate had a torch in his left arm, hanging out the front windows. Pissing down rain, but thankfully the electrical storm kept the road alight often enough and at 2pm there was bugger all traffic. A night I,ll never forget. Cheers
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 08:41

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 08:41
Many many long years ago I was stationed at our companies Pt Hedland branch.
Part of my meckanicking duties was to do a 3 week trip around the various mining companies in the Pilbara. Nowadays most of the roads that I traveled are bitumen but back in the 60s they were just dirt and soon got chopped up pretty good by heavy transport carting in construction material and various other supplies.
The field service vehicle I used was a Ford F100 with a stand up inside sort of workshop on wheels body on the back.
To say the boss was less than impressed with the condition of his near new F truck when I got back to head quarters would be a massive understatement.
The rear axle housing was bent, one of the front suspension I beams likewise, the battery carrier complete with battery had torn itself from the guard where it was originally mounted and crashed onto the alternator of the 6 cylinder motor spilling most of the contents of one of the ruptured cells over said alternator, 2 of the 3 long bolts holding the steering box to the chassis were missing and I had made use of the left over fencing wire from holding the battery and carrier in place to sort of hold the steering box roughly where it should have been. Now that (new at the time) F truck didn't have power steering but about 6 turns lock to lock pretty much made up for it. This particular vehicle had about 9 turns, the first 3 just took up the slack in the fencing wire. This whole debacle on wheels was capped off with a rather nasty bend in the chassis rails just behind the cab.
Did I mention that the boss was not impressed with his young field service mechanic. (:= ((
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Reply By: Dusty D - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 09:38

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 09:38
We had a similar incident to Robyn R4, broke a trailer leaf spring on the Plenty. It was a stinking hot day and the wife was not all that impressed that I decided to sit under a tree and partake in a cold beer whilst figuring out how to do a temporary fix. It's amazing how a cold beer can stimulate the grey matter and I remembered seeing the carcass of an old truck tyre about 30 or 40 kms back, so I disconnected the trailer, left the wife and the dog to stand guard and went back and got the tyre.

To cut a long story short, after a bit of jacking and a lot of swearing, sweating, grunting and various other bodily noises, I managed to jam the old truck tyre between the axle and the floor of the trailer and with the application of rope, bits of chain, #8 fencing wire and a couple of big ugly tent pegs a bloke had given me somewhere in our travels, I secured everything and we continued on our merry way.

I don't think that trailer was ever easier to tow than it was with that old truck tyre suspension and we towed it all the way from west of the NT/QLD border to Emerald before I could source a replacement spring. It just floated over the rough.

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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 11:06

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 11:06
I bought a nice little D1310 International 2-tonne truck from a bloke in Geelong in 1995. I flew over to pick it up, fully intending to drive it home.

I also knew another bloke in Geelong who was a machinery and vehicle dealer, and a wrecker (I'll call him Mac), and after I picked up the Inter, I thought I'd pay him a visit - on the off-chance he might have sold something to W.A., that needed to go across as well.

I had in mind something that could fit on the tray of the Inter to help cover the fuel costs.
However, once in his yard and talking to him, he said he had a truck to go to Norseman in W.A.
It was an 8-tonne diesel Commer "Knocker", fitted with a Hiab crane behind the cab, and a tipping tray behind the crane.

This was interesting! I reckoned it would be easy to fit the Inter on the back of the Commer, and drive the Commer to Norseman!
Once at Norseman, I could unload the Inter and then have a modest 700km drive back to Perth in the Inter!
We agreed on $1300 as a payment figure for delivery, and I reckoned this would be easy money.

So, I said to Mac, "Sounds good, show us the Commer!".
Well, talk about a shock. We walked up to the Commer, Mac opened the door, and about 50 big spiders scuttled for cover. The interior of the cab was full of cobwebs!

I said to him, "You sure, this thing actually GOES?"
"Too bloody right it does! I'd drive it to Brisbane tomorrow", he says. "Best truck ever built, nothing ever goes wrong with them! It's even fully licenced, and it has a pink slip as well!
"I'll go find a battery for it", he says, running off to scrounge a very secondhand battery.

Well, after he digs up about 4 batteries with no life in them, he actually finds a used battery that will start the truck.
He cranks it up, and sure enough, the old Commer diesel promptly bursts into life with a cloud of blue smoke.

I hop in and drive it around to the ramp to load up the Inter. I note with some concern, the rust right around the roofline, hidden by the copious amounts of duct tape!
This thing actually has a pink slip? Ye gods, I hate to think what you need to have wrong, to be defected in Victoria!

We load the Inter up, he fuels the truck up, and off I go, heading for Bendigo, first stop.
As I leave his yard, I'm startled to see what I thought was a bushfire starting up near his yard!
No, it wasn't a bushfire! - it was just the colossal column of blue smoke left by the Commer, as I gunned it up the street!!

For those who don't know, the Commer Knocker was quite an amazing piece of engineering for the 1960's.
It had power steering, air brakes, and the "Knocker" engine (properly known as the Rootes TS3), was an amazing piece of work - a horizontally-opposed-piston engine (6 pistons in 3 cylinders, facing each other), with cranks on the ends of the conrods driving a central crankshaft.

Did I mention the "Knocker" was 2 stroke, and supercharged as well? The noise they made at full revs, would make the bunyips turn tail and run!
Add in the fact that the vertical exhaust ended at the roofline, right near your right ear, and you get some idea of the noise you had to put up with, driving them!

Well, I must admit, the old Commer actually drove O.K., even if she was well-worn. Flat out at 85kmh - but that was a good top speed for trucks built in the '60's, when the blanket speed limit for all trucks was 80kmh.

But there was a worrying imbalance in the left front tyre, that got worse as I travelled towards Bendigo!
Next thing, there's a loud BANG!! - as the LHF tyre bursts!

I get out to check the damage, and see what I could do about changing the tyre. Guess what! Yep, there was no spare wheel, no jack, and no wheelbrace to be found!
I got on to the blower to Mac (thank God for the old analogue mobile phones), and told him my problem.
"No worries", he says, "I'll bring you out a spare".

Half an hour later, he arrives with a spare for the Commer in the boot of his big old Mercedes - along with a jack and wheelbrace, too!
We change the tyre and off I go again.
I close in on Bordertown as it's getting dark, and I go to turn the lights on. Yep, you guessed it! No headlights!
But I had parking lights, so I just squeezed into Bordertown as dark fell.

I pulled up in the main street outside the pub and shut her down to see about a bed for the night.
Yes, I could get a bed, so I went back out to start the Commer to shift it - and guess what?
That battery didn't have enough guts in it to crank it up again! Oh well, she stays in the main street overnight.

Next morning, I thought I'd be needing to round up another battery - but surprise, surprise! - the old Commer cranked right up.
She did take 4 litres of water, and 2 litres of oil, before she was right to start again, though!

So, off we go, on to Adelaide and then Port Augusta! Somewhere through the Riverland, I blew an airline along the rear of the chassis, and started losing air.
I stopped at a garage in a small town (can't recall the town now), and got them to repair it, and off I went again!

Took a shortcut through the Northern part of the Mt Lofty ranges to avoid the main part of Adelaide, and made it Pt Augusta by early afternoon. We were cooking with gas!
Then, west of Pt Augusta, in the farming area - more fun.

Remember that cabin roof that was held on with duct tape?
Well, the duct tape got very tired, West of Pt Augusta, and decided it couldn't hold onto the roof any more!

First, the front of the cabin roof started lifting and flapping. Then it got worse - it opened up on all three sides!
I could see this old Commer rapidly becoming the first Commer convertible truck around!!

So, I pulled up, pinched some wire from a nearby fence, and after cutting it into short lengths, I punched holes in the four corners of the roof and the cabin, and wired the roof in place!
I must admit, it looked pretty good, and it was much stronger than duct tape!

So, I was back on the road again and flying (well, flying along at 85kmh, anyway).
Nightfall came, West of Kimba, so I pulled off the highway into a gravel pit (before dark! - I was getting cunning now!), and camped up for the night.
It was early December and quite pleasant weather - but during the night, a late-season cold front rolled through, and it went down to 3 degrees overnight!

Do think that sad battery would start the Commer in that cold, next morning? Not a hope!
So, what next? The battery in the Inter was too small to crank the Commer - but the Inter had an alternator! And I found some more fencing wire!

So, with some judicious twisting, I fabricated up a set of very long jumper leads (keeping in mind the fact I couldn't unload the Inter, as I needed a ramp to unload).
I hooked up the fencing wire jumper leads between the Inter and the Commer batteries (making sure they didn't touch any metal anywhere, seeing as they had no insulation) - but after about 40 minutes of running the Inter, the Commer still wouldn't crank over fast enough to start!

So, I flagged down a passing truckie (that took a while!), and he pulled into the gravel pit and he gave us a jump start! We were cooking with gas again!

I got going and went nearly all day without any drama - but just West of Caiguna, about 2:00PM, the air pressure started dropping! The air compressor had packed it in!
What was worse, the rear axle was fitted with maxibrakes!
They're the brake boosters that come on, when the air pressure drops! I ground to a halt with the rear brakes locked on!

I had just passed a Main Roads, roadside camp compound, so I walked back, borrowed a long socket and ratchet off the blokes there, and went back to the Commer, and wound the rear brakes off, by screwing up the long bolt that compresses the internal big spring in each booster, that applies the brakes, when the air pressure drops.
I now had no brakes, and no air pressure - but I had less than 350 kms to go! So, off I went!

I reached the outskirts of Norseman just on dark, found a gravel pit with a suitable bank of dirt in it, to use as a ramp, about 5 kms out of town.

I backed up to it, stalled the Commer in reverse to hold it in position, and unloaded the Inter, and drove into town to find the Commer owner (he worked for the Shire council).

I found him easily, told him where his truck was - and warned him it had no brakes - handed him the keys - and I was finally shot of the worst, nerve-wracking drive, I think I've ever endured!

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - Trouper (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 12:39

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 12:39
Ron, What a tail, that would make a good story for "Outback Truckers" !!!

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Follow Up By: ian.g - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 12:41

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 12:41
Think you should sell the movie rites for this yarn, would be a knock out. Cheers Ian.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 13:17

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 13:17
Ron, I'm just guessing here, but I would imagine if them 50 large hairy spiders that had found board and lodging in the cab of the Commer didn't abandon ship at the sound of that 2 stroke diesel bursting into life, the ensuing clouds of burning oil and partially burned fuel would have done the trick. (;-))

Oh the sounds of a Commer Knocker in full flight......LOL.

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Follow Up By: Bob R4 - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 13:27

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 13:27
Nothing will ever quite compare to the sound of a Knocker motor on full song.
Every once in a while you get to hear a GM wind up, but the old Knocker was in a class of its own.
Thanks for sharing your story Ron.

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 17:23

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 17:23
There's an amusing postscript to the Commer Knocker story. The bloke who bought it rang me up about a week later.
He said he'd found the problem with the air compressor - it was simply a broken disc valve in the compressor head. He sourced a new one, and she was right to go again!

Then he said - "Geez, how much oil did you go through on the drive over?"
I said, "Well, it took about 2 litres a day, on average".
He said, "Do you know where it went?"
"Well", I said - "I thought it was burning it, judging by the exhaust smoke!"

"No, it couldn't have been burning too much", he said - "Because there was about 10 litres of oil splattered all over the drive train and chassis! It took me nearly 3 days of pressure cleaning, to get all the dirt, and all the oil coating, off!"

Despite all that, the bloke was quite happy with the Commer - he reckoned it suited him fine as a farm truck, as he had a small farm South of Norseman - and for what he paid for it (I think it was $6000), he got a tip truck and a crane combined, for the money.

But as for ever being a roadworthy rig again? - not a hope!

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member Andys Adventures - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 16:29

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 16:29
Had a HZ one toner auto and the transmission oil line broke dropping all to oil out. Cut line and put a bit of garden hose and 2 clamps on and filled it up with motor oil. Mechanic with me said it won't work, but got me 120 Klm to the fix it shop. Told them what I did and they just shock their heads. Flushed it out and put the right oil in.

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Reply By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 17:16

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 17:16
As an apprentice, i was sent out to check and bring back a truck which had a busted clutch. Not busted at all, just the slave was leaking and dry. Slave changed ,but no oil, i had some lemonade so in it went. Now its very hard to bleed lemonade. So after a few bleeds and many miles we arrived home just in time to clean out the system and put in the propper oil.
Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

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Reply By: Member - Warren H - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 17:46

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 17:46
I was working as a surveyor/chain-man for an oil exploration company in western Qld in the late 70's. The surveyors had the worst vehicle in the fleet, a mongrel old Landrover series 3 lwb well-back ute. The camp mechanic nicknamed 'Dipstick' was supposed to be qualified but I have my doubts. If you needed first gear you had to lasso the gear-stick to the dash board as the gearbox was just about stuffed and spat it out of first whenever you backed off the throttle. The bonnet catch was r/s so we tied it down to the bull bar using the spare tie mounting bolts. At one point Dipstick announced he had made a new bonnet catch and 'btw the bonnet strut was shorting the battery (it wasn't) so I removed it.' Driving down the Springsure-Rolleston road on one of the few bits of bitumen road we used, the bonnet catch gave way just as we witnessed the very rare occurrence of a passing car. The bonnet flipped up and sailed over the cab like a kite (the split pins on the bonnet hinges were also not fitted), the two spare tyre mounting bolts punched two neat holes in the cab roof, the dog got such a fright she jumped from the tray into the cab (the sliding rear windows were open) and the passing car driver probably left a brown streaks on his daks as the bonnet clattered to earth still on our side of the road, We picked up the bonnet chucked in the back, the dog sat on the middle seat and we hatched a few choice words for the mechanic. A few weeks later we got our own back when the going was fairly heavy and the 10 gallon tank was not going to be enough to get us home, so a visit to a bore pump and a shandy of about 1/3 petrol 2/3 diesel kept us going with use of the choke and throttle to keep the vehicle idling when opening/closing gates on the way home. We arrived in a cloud of smoke and dipstick had a lovely job of cleaning out the fuel system. We borrowed a spare cruiser and dipstick had his revenge when a bowed stick took out the rear brake lines, OK I thought, the vehicle was new enough to have split front rear brake lines, but no brakes? There apparently had been a problem with the front brakes and Dipstick had cut the line and banged in a nail to seal it, so fortunately the entire day was spent driving on bulldozer tracks through the bush, but stopping at 100 m interval markers while driving flat out required a good deal of anticipation. OH&S wasn't a big priority 40 years ago, I was in a new cruiser being ferried out to the party, it dropped a big end near Roma. We had to hire a car and the deputy party leader, after a few sherbets in Charleville was trying to do the ton in the Commodore hire car while driving down a fence line track, it hit a low termite mound in the middle of the track, became airborne and hit a tree which fortunately had been termite food and disintegrated. That time there were brown streaks in my daks.
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Reply By: Erad - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 18:06

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 18:06
I have had a few interesting limp-home efforts myself, but this one from a friend of mine takes the cake...

Friend was a technician employed to keep the Snowy's computer running in the days of valves etc in the computer - it was around 50 years ago. Ron had gone from Cooma to Wagga - an arduous trip in those days. When he got to Wagga, the SU electric fuel pump in his Morris Oxford decided it was time to stop. Quick check showed that the points in the fuel pump solenoid were burnt out. Ever resourceful, Ron got his 12V scope soldering iron out of his toolkit and soldered 2 wires to the solenoid, and brought them through the glovebox so that his wife could sit there tapping the bared ends of the wires together. Tap Tap Tap Tap, simulating the operation of the original fuel pump system. All went well until he started going up Talbingo Mountain, when he could feel the engine starving for fuel. He shouts to his wife "Faster Faster!" They got up the hill eventually, and were still married years after. Interesting bloke... I wonder how many other interesting limp-homes he had.

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Reply By: Member - Roachie - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 18:09

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 18:09
I drive a Chevy Silverado.

All I have to do to get home is make sure there's diesel in the tank!!! hahahaha

Roachie....Don't follow me....I'm lost!

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Follow Up By: Dean K3 - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 18:25

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 18:25
Bit hard to push to start them aren't they

Unlike a honda F1 where it goes faster when you do push it
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Aug 09, 2017 at 07:45

Wednesday, Aug 09, 2017 at 07:45
Now now Roachie......

What about those pictures I saw with your Nissan on the flat bed with the broken chassis?

Does that


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Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Aug 09, 2017 at 08:43

Wednesday, Aug 09, 2017 at 08:43
Didn't the Honda powered McLaren get fastest lap in the last GP?
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 15:32

Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 15:32
It wasn't a horrible thing, but ....

We were in a 2007 Prado, towing a Kimberley Karavan on a remotish track on the way to a destination about 6 hours from home. About 2 hours short of our destination the Prado's alternator light came on, accompanied by a bit of a squeal. I immediately assumed a bearing had failed in the alternator and wondered if it would hold out long enough to get us to where we were going.

The 1KD-FTV diesel and the systems in the Prado pull about 13 amps when running, so to keep us going for those two hours I paralleled up the second battery (normally isolated with a dc-dc charger) to the cranker and we got to camp in fading light, running on the batteries. The squealing diminished as we drove, but the alternator light stayed on.

We had a few days in camp to think about what to do to get home. I had just fitted a big lithium battery pack (360Ah) to the Karavan and figured that if I could get that power forward we could run the Prado off the Karavan, and that's what we did. We bypassed the dc-dc chargers and fed power forward from the Karavan through the Anderson to the cranker. There was a bit of support from solar on the Karavan roof and the fallback if we got caught in the dark was to strap the genny onto the Karavan's firewood rack and run it to power the 40A mains charger in the Karavan to keep up with load.

We drove the 6 hours home without a hitch.

When we got home we determined that the alternator bearings were fine. The failure was the one-way over-run clutch in the alternator pulley, so the alternator wasn't being driven by the belt. Thankfully the bearings in the pulley remained intact, it was just the clutch function that had failed. Why do they have those things anyway?


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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 16:58

Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 16:58
Frank, all the info on over-run pulleys is in the link below. They are there because they're an energy saving device.

If you're flooring her through the gears, the rapid acceleration followed by deceleration of the engine speed pulls the speed of the alternator rapidly back and then up again (keeping in mind that alternators do about 4 times engine speed).

The over-running pulley is designed to even out alternator speeds to reduce power losses, to reduce alternator belt wear, and to also reduce vibration levels.

Gates - diagnosis of over-running alternator pulley problems

Cheers, Ron.

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 18:30

Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 at 18:30
Thanks Ron.

There is one on my BT50 but I don't know what variety it is (ref your link, two possibilities).

But at least now I know why it's there.

I don't drive my vehicles hard, just sustained moderate acceleration with auto transmission that smooths out gear changes, no banging it around with stick and pedal for me. No point in a heavy ute with 2 tonne behind the hitch. So I doubt there's all that much benefit with my driving style/useage, but I guess mine may not be typical. I can see more relevance with a manual transmission.

This leads to a couple of off-topic questions re efficiency.

The Ranger has its "smart charging" system that reduces load on the alternator for a miniscule savings in fuel consumption and which arguably contributes to the early death of the crank battery which then must be replaced - at what environmental cost?

Then on the Ranger and the BT50 there is the demand driven oil pump that delivers only the oil pressure needed in the circumstances - another miniscule saving in fuel consumption over the constant pressure type with a relief valve.

And Ranger's electric power steering that saves another miniscule margin of fuel consumption over the conventional hydraulic PS.

But then Ford undoes all the good work with their part time 4WD system in 2WD (most of the average 4wd ute's life) which leaves the whole front drive train turning - half shafts, diff and drive shaft - uselessly.

Why not auto (or even manual) front hubs? Or an equivalent in the front diff?

That I cannot figure.


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