Fixing a hole in the sump

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 13, 2007 at 23:44
ThreadID: 41183 Views:4829 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
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I am retelling this story from a book by Douglas Lockwood “Crocodiles and Other People” published in 1959.

Douglas Lockwood was visiting his mate Jack MacKay out at Mainoru Station on the southern border of Arnhemland. Jack was relaying a tale of how they had been travelling with the old International through the long grass bumping in to stumps and anthills along the way.

Quote; “It knocked the bottom out of the sump and before I could do anything about it all the oil drained out into the sand. Now you can’t separate sand from oil and I didn’t have a spare drum of oil on board. We were forty miles from the homestead and it is a principle with me that I never walk.”

“So what would you have done, Doug?”

“Walk” he said.

“Nah, I told you, no walking.”

“Then lay down and die.”

“Nonsense! This country is kind to you if you know how to use it. Never panic. Always sit down first and have a think. Boil the billy, have a cuppa. It helps the old thought-stream.”

“How does thinking or drinking tea help you get oil?” asked Doug.

“Mean yer dunno? It’s dead easy. We sat down and boiled the billy. Then I got the stockmen to build a bigger fire, and then we took the top off a 44 gallon drum to use as a boiler. The old refinery you may say. Then we tracked down a bullock, the fattest one we could find. I shot him and we rendered the fat into the drum. While that was bubbling away I made a doughy damper and tied it on to the bottom of the sump with fencing wire. There’s nothing like damper and fencing wire for patching things up. When the fat was all ready I started the motor and let it get good and hot and then I poured the hot fat into the hot engine. Had to keep the motor going and running good and packed our things up real quick and the old girl got us home. And all that happened in under a full day!”

“But you should’ve seen the mess when the engine got cold again!”

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Reply By: Member - Jeff H (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 02:37

Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 02:37
point taken. Bro cracked a sump in a Falcon , Bizzo's gap (Simpson's, maybe), W of Alice anyway). Patched it with araldite. (1973)
I guess it's all a case of surveying the setup.
btw, I do apologise for mis-identifying the young bloke as a 'she cat' in your signature photo. Never was much of a hand with pussy identification. Jeff. H.
AnswerID: 215187

Follow Up By: nickoff - Monday, Jan 15, 2007 at 09:03

Monday, Jan 15, 2007 at 09:03
Similar story of sump repair in one of Len Bedell's books of his stories about surveying Central Australia in the 50's. Can across another vehicle, with a holed sump. Offered to repair it with a beaten out "penny" but had to ask the owner of the vehicle if they had one, as he had no money with him at all. Took sump off, flattened out penny with hammer to right shape and soldered it to the sump.
FollowupID: 475650

Reply By: Hairy - Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 03:11

Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 03:11
Sit down.
and fix the problem.
nothing is that hard if you think abouti it
AnswerID: 215190

Reply By: Kiwi Kia - Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 06:28

Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 06:28
Great yarn but.... if you have ever rendered animal fat... I doubt it would be a viable solution to the problem :-))
AnswerID: 215194

Follow Up By: Willem - Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 13:03

Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 13:03
Thats what it is..... a Yarn.....probably true as well..........

But there is always someone who has to post a smart arse remark....that seems to be true too.....:-))
FollowupID: 475525

Reply By: Member - MUZBRY (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 09:43

Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 09:43
Good morning Willem
I was interested in your story , as i have read "The Front Door " by Douglas Lockwood. I was just wandering around the house trying to find it as i thought that you might like to read it as well.

Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

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AnswerID: 215203

Follow Up By: Willem - Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 12:11

Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 12:11
Thanks mate. I seem to recall reading that one as well and might even have it in my library. Will have a look for it when I get home later in the month.

Having lived in the Top End from the late 60's I relate to many of the stories and know a lot of the characters, some of them them long gone by now.

FollowupID: 475518

Reply By: obee - Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 22:05

Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 22:05
I like to carry some ferrapre, the stuff the plumbers use but the name has changed and cant think of the new name. You can use the stuff under water which means it will stop a leak in the radiator and it goes off hard and sticks t like that brown stuff does to a blanket.

A good yarn but probably walk forty miles before I could find a cow and shoot especially as I am averse to guns since the army days and don't own one.

If it happened to me and I couldnt walk the distance I would hunt up the cooking oil, dieseline and dif oil. The old diesel engines had a prob with the fuel getting past the rings into the sump anyway.

A motor should idle along for while on the oil left on the working surfaces and a wrecked motor is better than wrecked me.

It all depends on how desperate you are I suppose.

AnswerID: 215326

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