Best way of keeping spinifex from under the vehicle

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 07:13
ThreadID: 58320 Views:3293 Replies:11 FollowUps:4
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I have heard (but not seen) people attempting to keep spinifex from under their vehicle. One method I've heard about is to put shade cloth stretched across chassis. How effective are such methods?
I'm planning to do the CSR next month.
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Reply By: Member - Chris R (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 08:03

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 08:03
First reaction is that this might slow air flow and increase potential for fire. Doubt it would stop spinifex and would probably make difficulty in clearing it - as I guess it would need clearing for the stuff it stopped.

With regards travelling long distance with this - suspect it would couse great inconvenience as various obstacles and road conditions would soon be wanting to rip it.

Several layers across bullbar are recommended in some posts. I know from personal experience that flyscreen across the front is is completely ineffective

Found that occasional underbody check is easy and makes for a break. As CSR will be well travelled, most spinifex will be short. If you go into the long stuff, then check ftrquently and discover where it collects


AnswerID: 307454

Reply By: Willem - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 08:16

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 08:16

See post 58311 for my replies.

Shadecloth under the chassis will most likely be torn off if veturing off track or if you scrape the chassis over a sand dune. The CSR should be relatively free of spinifex or grass seeds as other veheilces wqould have cleared the track by now.

I once saw a mining vehicle on the Kidson Track and it had a chain mesh screen attached to the chassis behind the engine to stop foliage from collecting in the chassis.

My thought now is to have bigger wheels and maybe a body lift.....but that all seems too hard for the occasional foray into the Never

AnswerID: 307456

Reply By: traveller2 - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 08:22

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 08:22
We always have flyscreen across the radiator, directly over any trans/aircon/coolers in front of it.
When in grass country we wrap the whole front of the vehicle outside the bullbar and back to the front wheels in shadecloth.
As has been said you will not stop it.
I recently removed the radiator after our Madigan crossing last year and it was approximately 10 -15 % blocked by seed heads despite the above.
This was after a/c condensor and oil/trans cooler!
As regards underneath good advice given in earlier post, check often. In really bad conditions remove the bash plates so that it can't accumulate under the truck.
Also keep an eye on rear brake backing plates and wheels as late model vehicles with traction control seem to catch fire at the rear maybe due to brakes being very hot?
Spinifex in bad conditions will catch fire with the friction from rotating items like tail and halfshafts just rubbing on them.
If it is later in the season and on track you should have little problem as previous vehicles will have lopped it all off.
AnswerID: 307458

Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 08:51

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 08:51
Yep I have backing plates on rear wheel removed as well.

I think that this was the cause of a burnt out Nissan on the Gary Hwy or Hunt Oil Road some years ago.

FollowupID: 573318

Reply By: Member - Doug T (FNQ) - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 08:36

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 08:36
Have one of these in front might fix the situation.

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AnswerID: 307463

Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 08:49

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 08:49
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Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 10:46

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 10:46
Ditto :)
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Follow Up By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 17:37

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 17:37
And 4WD to boot!
Any mug can be uncomfortable out bush

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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 10:23

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 10:23
How about that fine SS mesh for termites ? Don't know how wide it is - used on building sites. Anyway, it is a big issue - was talking to a bloke only a few days back on my VKS737 sked - he was in the WA deserts and was just 'mopping up' after a spinifex fire under his vehicle - had to do a bit of temporary wiring to restore systems and was able to proceed - phew - so easy to lose the lot !
AnswerID: 307481

Reply By: Member - David P (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 13:11

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 13:11
Hi Chris,
I was wondering if a 'curtain ' of chain link, like those plastic cutain strips the fish@chip shops use, located just behind the front cross member.....cheers
AnswerID: 307508

Reply By: Member - Roger B (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 21:42

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 21:42
It wasMarch 2002, and we were in Coffin Bay SA, about to head into the NP, when a couple of members of the Pt. Lincoln constabulary arrived on the scene, on their way to try and bust some naughty people allegedly growing a 'crop' deep in the park. They stopped to pull a veh out of the sand, and told us that they were not very popular with their Sgt., and higher police at that time, as earlier in the day while on some mission, they had parked their shiny, almost new Land Cruiser in some long grass on the side of a track, and were conducting some investigations nearby, when lo and behold their cruiser caught fire!! Apparently the hot exhaust had ignited the grass, and the rest is history!! Burnt it completely out. This story was confirmed in the local paper the next day.Cheers.
Roger B....
AnswerID: 307612

Reply By: Stephen M (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 14:04

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 14:04
Have been told on petrol models to remove the cat convertor as this is the main cause of fires on petrol vehicles due to the extreme heat they produce around and including the cat itself. Totally ilegal I would imagine but dont think anyone is going to worry out there. Bloke we do tag alongs with wont let petrol vehicles tag along unless it's removed. Also would be worth carrying one of those 10 litre pump up poison sprayers from bunnings and keep full of water just incase, fire extingher will last you 30 seconds if your lucky, at least with a sprayer you can get the wand right into the area you need to. BUT hopefully you wont need to use it but better to be sure. Regards Steve M
AnswerID: 307716

Reply By: chris_s - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 16:33

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 16:33
Thanks everyone for your replies. Looks like there is no easy way to do it except crawl under with a wire hook and take the crunge out. The 10L pressure bottle sounds worthwhile,
AnswerID: 307732

Reply By: Vivid Adventures - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 17:27

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 17:27
I'm just back from the CSR.

Most of the track is already trimmed by the vehicles going before.

Exceptions are: Calvert Range track - we would appear to be about the second vehicle out there this year, but from what I understand there are many more with permits; and some of the less travelled side tracks (Helena Springs etc), or the Western "optional" track that skips Well 44, for instance, and even then, the spinifex is not that bad this year.
AnswerID: 307747

Reply By: blown4by - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 22:47

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 22:47
There is no easy way. A couple 4mm rod hooks with handles, some washing up detergent bottles filled with water and some elbow length boilermakers leather gloves and check often if you want to avoid a fire. Re the shade cloth in front of the radiator be aware it does restrict air flow and need to be easily removable for regular cleaning
AnswerID: 308441

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