Savory Creek Crossing

Submitted: Monday, Apr 14, 2008 at 18:23
ThreadID: 56630 Views:2441 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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Post 56623 reminded me of a problem we had at the Savory Creek Crossing. Our party of 4 vehicles arived at savory Creek late in the afternoon, several years ago. The creek had a fair amount of water, there were no dry sections anywhere between the shores on each side of the creek. So to get accross we picked a place where it appeared that cars had crossed before. Our lead car, a Range Rover, started across first. However he got stuck half way accros with the water lapping the bottom of the doors. To cut a long story short, he was stuck in there for 3 hrs before we finally dragged him out backwards, well and truly dark at this stage. We decided to camp for the night and attemt the crossing next day. We managed to get all 4 cars accross without further incident. The next day the wheels on the Range Rover were making a loud noise which gradually got worse as we drove on. The following morning we removed one of the wheels and found that the bearings were completely chewed out, as was the case with all 4 wheels. We came to the conclusion that the 3 hrs stuck in Savory Creek, with hot wheels to start of with, the wheels and bearings cooled down and subsequently pulled in salt water from the creek and Savory Creek water is super salty. End result 4 lots of new bearings dropped by light plane, 4 days delay and $ 4000 later we were on our way again. I mention this story as a warning to anyone that gets stuck in Savory Creek for any lenght of time and wheels are submerged, spend the time and clean out your wheel bearings, not to do so may turn out to be an expensive mistake. It may also be worthwhile to change the diff oil
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Reply By: David from David and Justine Olsen's 4WD Tag-Along - Monday, Apr 14, 2008 at 18:55

Monday, Apr 14, 2008 at 18:55
I agree you need to make appropriate prep to ensure vehicles can be retrieved asap. However I don't think 4 hours in Savory would have done the damage you describe. I suspect some months or weeks of less than optimum care.

For older vehicles I always suggest people carry wheel bearings. If you traveled with me, I would have changed them for a lot less than $4000 too :-)

AnswerID: 298492

Follow Up By: Crackles - Monday, Apr 14, 2008 at 19:54

Monday, Apr 14, 2008 at 19:54
David many people have trouble accepting the so called high cost of going on a tag along tour as opposed to doing it yourself but in this case if the Rangie driver had paid you $3000 to do the Canning he would have saved himself a grand and a couple of days waiting for parts ;-) Sometimes experience is priceless.
PS: 3 hours to recover a car 15m! What was going on there?
Cheers Craig...............
FollowupID: 564626

Follow Up By: Member - George (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 09:44

Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 09:44
Hi David, The Range Rover was serviced as per the service book. The $4000 cost included Air transport of 4 sets of bearings from Melbourne to Perth to Derby then by small charter plane from Derby to9 the drop site near our cars, Also the actual cost of purchasing the bearings
FollowupID: 564736

Follow Up By: David and Justine Olsen's 4WD Tag-Alongs - Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 16:56

Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 16:56

I don't doubt the owner was careful, as most Rangie owners are. Unfortunately, in in my experience, log book servicing is much less than what u think. I speak from some authority, though I can't reveal how without embarrassing some people if they see this.

My experiences-

Service interval says check valve clearance- mechanic listens to noise and declares clearance good- when questioned as to why checking valve clearance cost less than $200 when I know it would cost much more, the mechanic admits they don't actually check the clearances because nobody would accept the $700 charge.

Service interval says clean injectors- charge on the invoice for a 3 litre Nissan diesel $165. I tell the mechanic I know it can't be done for that price, and he admits they just put some cleaner in the tank. I can buy it for $15.

I ask same mechanic how ofetn diff oil (lsd) is changed. Answer- "never", Nobody would accept the cost!

Packing or replacing wheel bearing is a a chore, I wouldn't be surprised if it almost never happens.

Hence I tell me participants to get them checked whatever the cost, or carry spares.

4 hours in savory would not be enough to destroy wheel bearings the next day, more like a week or two later possibly a month in my experience.

Unfortunately we are all at the mercy of our mechanics, thats why I get the car serviced to meet warranty then redo the service myself when I get the car back, doing all the things the dealer chose not to do.



FollowupID: 564806

Reply By: Willem - Monday, Apr 14, 2008 at 20:06

Monday, Apr 14, 2008 at 20:06
When we did the CSR in '94 we came across a convoy of vehicles encrusted in mud and salt.

The trip leader of that convoy told us that we as solo travcellers did not have a hope in hell of getting through Savory Creek as they had spent all day winching to get through and had churned the road up something 'orrible.

Got to Savory Creek and saw tracks coming in from the east. So we headed west for a short way and found a dry place to cross....LOL

To this day I don't know where those people had winched themselves through.

AnswerID: 298518

Reply By: Peter 2 - Monday, Apr 14, 2008 at 20:31

Monday, Apr 14, 2008 at 20:31
we had a similar experience in 92, met two vehicles heading north a day or so north of the creek, both encrusted in salty mud, winch cable on one wrapped around the bullbar as the winch had died.
They told us the same story, spent most of a day getting across. We got to the creek and headed west about half a k and drove across a narrow strip of dry land. There is no way it could have dries up that much in 24 hours!!
AnswerID: 298527

Follow Up By: Crackles - Monday, Apr 14, 2008 at 21:07

Monday, Apr 14, 2008 at 21:07
Must be a common problem when Savory Creek flows. All the way from Wiluna we were warned of the crossing, on the HF stories of those bogged for days.
We arrived, headed west, chose a spot to cross, let the tyres down a few more psi then spent a total of 2 minutes getting the entire convoy accross :-)
Cheers Craig.................
FollowupID: 564663

Reply By: wendys - Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 14:24

Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 14:24
George, you say the Range Rover was serviced as per book...Few years ago we did bearings on a LandRover, which had been serviced by the book since new. Turned out that for a while, the company had held the view that the bearings were "whole of life units" and there was nothing about servicing them in the schedules. We found this out through the Landrover dealer in Broome, at the time, who couldn't believe it either! Then for a time there was a supplementary service schedule for vehicles in "extreme" conditions, which might have been fine if a service department in suburban Melbourne even knew about this - we found at least one that didn't. Since our Broome experience, husband always insists on bearings being done, regardless of service schedules. Maybe your Range Rover mate was a victim of the same stuff-up?
AnswerID: 298678

Follow Up By: David and Justine Olsen's 4WD Tag-Alongs - Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 16:59

Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 16:59
I repack my bearings every 20,000 k, sometimes it blows out to 40,000k and I have still had two front wheel bearing failures.

Serious off-road work demands serious maintenance, and most dealers can't or won't do it
FollowupID: 564809

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