tyre pressure- gibb river rd

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 16:58
ThreadID: 32183 Views:5308 Replies:9 FollowUps:4
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Hi folks,
I am heading north to visit the Kimberly region and plan to do the Gibb river rd April/May..
We have a nice new Patrol 3lt and have Cooper ATR's fitted and the question is what is the best tyre pressure for a fully loaded patrol.
I always thought 38psi front and 40 rear would be best but have heard some people say to drop pressure to 26/28 as to absorb the corregations and to make life a little more pleasant.
Any info on this and other tips on the Gibb will be much appreciated.
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Reply By: Notso - Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 17:02

Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 17:02
I Ran 28 PSI Front and 32 Rear on the Patrol with a fair load on it. That was with Bridgestone Dueller AT 265/75 Light Truck Tyres made in Aus, not the japanese ones.

I used the same on the Oodnadatta Track . The tyres had 70,000 on them and never had a flat.
AnswerID: 162980

Reply By: Member - Doug T (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 17:24

Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 17:24
Running at the pressures 26/28 might be ok provided youer car is not loaded up to heavy with extra camp gear, etc are you travelling alone or will a woman be with you ie [trailer needed ]....just jokin' as the other post said depends on weight, road conditions , it might graded or it may not, but keeping the pressures down a bit reduces the risk of stone fracture and there's plenty of them, some you won't want to straddle or they will knock your diffs outn I travelled it in December 2004 and it had just been graded and some of the rocks near Durack river were quite large , say as big as a head, the roughest bit i had was between the end of the sealed Derby end to where the mine is about 50-60 klm on , after that it was good . Enjoy your trip.
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AnswerID: 162983

Reply By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 17:53

Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 17:53
I drop my tyre pressure to 28 all round whenever I get on dirt road. A much more comfotable ride for the tyres, suspension and occupants. Even more important is to drive at an appropriate speed for the conditions. Cheers Rob
AnswerID: 162988

Reply By: Warrie - Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 18:20

Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 18:20
Hello Bill, we did the GRR in SEpt 05. You must drop pressures to 30 psi and you won't feel the corrugations as much. I got a 2 inch gash in the sidewall of my brand new caravan tyre which destroyed it just near Queen Victoria's Nose. Then a few days later on the road near Tunnel Ck I did the same to a bridgestone 265/70 16 inch. The first time I was doing 90kmh but the second only 60 or so as it was shockingly corrugated. See my comment in the GRR trek notes. Cheers.

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AnswerID: 162992

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 18:50

Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 18:50

I would be looking at after market suspension before you go.
I would then have 36/38 psi with a full vehicle.

Speed is the other thing. The road may look like you can do 90kmh, but don't be fooled. Keep the speed down especially if this is the first time you have driven this road.

Dips, pot holes, corrugations and on coming traffic are a few of the things that will also make you keep the speed down. After a short time on the corrugations the shocks will start to fade. The tyres will start to spend more time in the air than on the ground. Go into a corner too fast and the vehicle will have trouble stopping.

That is why after market suspension and keeping the speed down is important.

AnswerID: 162996

Follow Up By: bill - Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 19:25

Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 19:25
Thanks to all for all the info, i will definatly keep the speed down and go through all the stuff we are taking and see what i can do without to cut down the weight but its not easy cause you always think "i might need that or that will come in handy"
Anyway thanks guys
FollowupID: 417751

Reply By: South - Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 22:02

Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 22:02
The GRR has many different sections of road type, so you might be changing pressures a few times. I would start around 30psi on a good stretch of road and go lower from there.

All tyres, cars and loads react differently to the conditions. You really need to play around a bit, dont just take someone else word, as what suits them most definately wont suit you. If you feel the ride is a bit too harsh, then jump out and drop the pressure... what might take you 2mins could save you from having a sore bum for quite some time.

28psi suited our vehicle from start to end with no change. That included rock crawling, beach and lagoon driving, and the gravel/rocks/bulldust conditions of the GRR itself.

Speed wise, we found it quite safe to drive along at 100km/hr in quite a few sections, when it got a little rougher the speed was moderated between 60-80. Kalumbarru Road is another ball game though, towards the top end its rough as guts and is basically a crawl then a quick poke of the throttle, back down to a crawl again.

That is my experience, everyone will differ... Most of all enjoy the journey, its well worth it!

AnswerID: 163041

Follow Up By: sastra - Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 23:03

Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 23:03
Mmmmmm, 100km/hr! We probably have drivers like you to blame for the Gibb River Road's rapid rate of deterioration after grading. Wouldn't it be nice and a lot safer if drongos slowed down and enjoyed the scenery a little?
FollowupID: 417796

Follow Up By: South - Monday, Mar 27, 2006 at 09:57

Monday, Mar 27, 2006 at 09:57
Im a drongo because I can safely handle my vehicle in those conditions?
FollowupID: 417851

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Mar 27, 2006 at 00:40

Monday, Mar 27, 2006 at 00:40
I never go above 28psi on dirt roads - badly corrugated ones I'm usually down in the low 20's with a fully loaded cruiser. The risk of punctures is reduced; the ride is a bit better and I'd rather the tyres get hammered than the vehicle and occupants. Works for me.

AnswerID: 163061

Reply By: Kiwi Kia - Monday, Mar 27, 2006 at 06:58

Monday, Mar 27, 2006 at 06:58
Start gently at 26 and see how your vehicle handles. If you are concerned and get the feeling that you are sitting on a wobbly jelly then up the pressure but I would def. not go over 30. You do NOT need special after market suspension add-ons it's generally a very good road and you should drive according to the surface conditions at the time. I just can not see why so many people must try and set a speed record on corrugated roads with no consideration for their own vehicle or other road users. If you hit any rocks or pot holes that damage your vehicle then you must have been traveling to fast. 4wd is not a requirement on this road however some of the side tracks may need it.
AnswerID: 163074

Reply By: Steve63 - Monday, Mar 27, 2006 at 10:45

Monday, Mar 27, 2006 at 10:45
The conditions on the GRR can vary a lot. One bit can be great and around a corner there could be a washout right across the road. Have a look at the post from Anne at Drysdale, with a late wet chances are the road will be pretty messy and may not have been graded for the whole length in April. If it is a really late wet it may not be open at all in April. Check the road coditions at Kununarra or Broome (depends which way you are going). You need to lower the tyre pressue but it depends on how you drive, how heavy the load and what the road conditions are like. There really isn't a magic pressure, what works in one senario may not work in another. As always do your adjustmets to tyre pressue and drive to the conditions. Be wary of track talk. One persons easy is anothers nightmare. In general you are trying to preserve your tyres. Try to keep the pressures and the speed down. If it feels wrong it probably is. There can be plenty of hazards on the GRR including cows, stationary vehicles and cyclists besides the usual rocks, dull dust etc.

It's a great trip. Take it easy and you will have a great time.

AnswerID: 163106

Follow Up By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 09:30

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 09:30
The GRR is our standard route when we go to Kununurra so have been up and down it many times.

Tyre pressures - lower them as suggested here. No need to keep readjusting as long as you keep the speed to 70-80 max.

This is a potentially very dangerous road - and made even more so by people who travel at 100 km/hr!

Take this seriously - there a LOT of accidents on this stretch. A realistic safe maximum is 80 km/hr and we normally drive at 60-75 km/hr.

Just remember there's likely to be many tourists (for whom this is the first time they have been on a dirt road) and not uncommonly the first time they have driven on the left hand side of the road.
Collyn Rivers
FollowupID: 418619

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