Finally made it to Childers, Qld but....

Submitted: Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 19:35
ThreadID: 68615 Views:2773 Replies:6 FollowUps:9
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But not without major drama's. As you know we had the engine in the cruiser rebuild in Coffs Harbour. We drove to Grafton (85kms) and the belts shredded. Got towed back to coffs and spent weekend in a motel thanks to RACV.
Monday morning mechanic drops around replaces bent pulley on water pump and new belts. While they are tightening them I notice the belts don't look straight in line with the water pump pulley. Mech has a look and sure enough they are not lined up. He checks the alternator (this is the one we had replaced at Sale auto electrics back in March) and it is not the right one for the 1hz motor. The pulley is sitting quite forward of the other pulley's. So we are now up for another new alternator. The belts came off in Bairnsdale also which caused the engine to overheat causing the rebuild in the first place.
We head off about 10 o'clock, get to Grafton and do a check over on the engine. Belts are all ok but when I check the oil it is about 2mm above the empty line on the dip stick. Remember Grafton is only 85 km's from the mechanics. I ring him to find out what the heck is going on. He says fill it up and go to Repco in Ballina.
When I get there the oil is almost empty again. A few phone calls later and find out it is going out through the breather hose off the rocker cover. Apparently there are small metal tabs inside the cover that should be bent to 30 deg's off being closed, about a 10 mm gap. Factory setting is 90 deg's. At 90 it allows oil to enter the rocker cover and get sucked out the breather. It basically sucks the sump dry.
When we open the cover we find the tabs are bent almost shut causing the rocker cover to pressurize and then blow the oil out.
Got them set right and now it has not used a drop. Had to get belts tightened as well as they were loose and making a noise. Anyway we finally made it Childers.
Was ready to work here until I got gout in my knee so now laid up in bed for a few days. All up 3 weeks off unplanned and about $10,000 dollars later. Now working out what I am sending to Sale auto electrics for reimbursement. At minimum $7000 for rebuild, maybe also accom and car hire plus lost wages. It is going to be a long road to travel I think.
Just glad the car is good now and we are in Qld. The girls were so over Coffs. Anyway a couple of days watching videos and I should be right. Still looking forward to Cape York.
We were saying imagine if we were at home with these problems. At least we are out still having a look around. Yes it has been a real bugger and stress levels have not been this high since I quite my job back home lol but we are still on the road and having fun. The budget is stretched a bit now but we will manage, better than stretching the budget on a mortgage LOL. Thanks for your previous comments and support.

Josh, Maree, Julia and Jasmine
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Reply By: Willem - Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 20:09

Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 20:09
Josh and family are pretty resilient and patient ! What a bugger!!!!

First glance and things look right and then later things go pearshaped and you wonder what has happened.

I am confident that you are over your troubles now and from here on it will be plain sailing.

Good luck and enjoy the jpurney.

AnswerID: 363741

Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 20:25

Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 20:25
Thanks Willem
This is the first real big problem we have had in 2 and a half years on the road so I can't really complain, Just annoying it was caused by someone elses dumb mistake. We have seen so much and have learnt to appreciate life for what it is. Yes we could let this wreck our trip our just make it a memory that one day we will laugh about. Not really laughing just yet!!!

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Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 21:37

Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 21:37
Try a bit of epsoms salts for the gout, old bushies trick.
He told a friend of ours that had gout really bad for weeks on end, took all sorts of prescription drugs all not much good and the epsoms sorted it out, pretty quick too. A half a teaspoon first up and just a pinch occasionally keeps it at bay.
If you have too much it just gives you the sh**s . ;-)))
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Reply By: Member - Ingo57 (NSW) - Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 21:24

Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 21:24
Hi josh,

Persistence conquers all!!! Obviously your not lacking it.

Have been following your trip with great envy so enjoy the rest of it for us.

Cheers Ingo
AnswerID: 363755

Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 22:42

Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 22:42
Thanks Ingo,
Must ring my mum and tell all these years she called me stubborn she was wrong, it is persistence lol. Thanks mate

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Reply By: Member - Old/new Girl (QLD) - Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 21:33

Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 21:33
its a real pain in the butt when you go all out to have your vehicle right to have it go wrong. Im with you. One thing I have learnt as you have is the only way to deal with bad luck is to pull out the good bits if any and reflect on that. When are you planing to be on the road up to the cape.
AnswerID: 363757

Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 22:54

Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 22:54
Hi Sharon,
We will work our way up the coast over the next 4 weeks and hope to leave cairns on the 9-10th June. We will spend 4 weeks on the cape. We talked about not during the cape with all this happening but decided that is not an option. I plan to be in Seisia on the 19th for a fishing charter, been waiting the whole trip to do this. My parents told some friends of ours the trouble we were having, their response was "they should just pack up and come home". I'm not sure how that would help. We have had to change some of our plans after Cape York due to time and money but I have not one regret about what we have done. We have seen as much as we possible could and done as much as we possible could on our trip and loved it. We have now been to every capital city in oz and we have been to the southern, western, eastern most points and the dead centre of Australia. We only have the northern most point to go and we are done.

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Follow Up By: Member - Old/new Girl (QLD) - Friday, May 08, 2009 at 14:16

Friday, May 08, 2009 at 14:16
"Pack up and go home" hell no those comments come from people that haven't been able to escape that bubble. I would find a job somewhere away from home(they are out there) before heading back if money was that tight. Its a funny thing most of us have on this forum and that's that feeling you get when getting into the bush well any travel . I never understood what that realy meant until many trips and a short stint on a property 80km from Ballera. Anyhow enough dribble we will be following in your foot steps and be at Seisia on the 19th & 20th July.
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Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Friday, May 08, 2009 at 15:16

Friday, May 08, 2009 at 15:16
It has been interesting being on the road for so long with who bothers to keep in touch and who doesn't from back home. I have no desire to return to Warragul when we finish travelling. A few people have kept in touch but most just don't get what we are doing and so don't really care/understand.
I actually work for a company as a sales rep while we travel, problem was I was supposed to 600km north of where the car broke down. The company has lost about $25000 worth of sales so far but not a complaint from them. They have been fantastic.
It will be a small get together in Seisia on the 18-20th. A few EO people up there then. We will keep an eye out for you on the road, if not see you in seisia for a cuppa.


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Reply By: Big Woody - Friday, May 08, 2009 at 07:04

Friday, May 08, 2009 at 07:04
Hi Josh,

Incredible chain of events you have listed there all stemming from what should have been a very simple alternator replacement in Victoria.

I hope you have left the bad luck behind you.

If you are interested in any tips on what to see while you are in the Childers area let me know as I am not far from there.

Another coincidence is that I am also planning to arrive at Seisia on the 19th June. Leave here on the 12th and get home on 30th so a bit quicker than your trip but it is the only time we have.
Look out for me in an 80 series that looks almost identical to yours but is charcoal in colour.

AnswerID: 363801

Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Friday, May 08, 2009 at 08:38

Friday, May 08, 2009 at 08:38
Hi Bret,
We will keep an eye out for you on the cape. We will be in Seisia from the 17-20. I have been waiting the whole trip to do this charter so I hope it is worth it. Not interested in a days fishing charter are you. If you are let me know and I will let you know the details. Maybe email me at if interested. Have a great trip, you said not as much time as us but at least you will have made it up there. See you there.

FollowupID: 631477

Reply By: Member - Paul F (QLD) - Friday, May 08, 2009 at 13:42

Friday, May 08, 2009 at 13:42
Gosh Josh,

You really have had a time of it.

Now you're in Queensland everything should be fine.

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Reply By: P7OFFROAD Accredited Driver Training - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 08:54

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 08:54
There's plenty to see and do around Childers too...

Let me know if you drop down into Hervey Bay (45 mnutes away).


AnswerID: 363963

Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 11:06

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 11:06
Thanks Dave,
Currently laid up in bed with a stuffed knee so I'm not goin anywhere at the moment. We head off Monday to gladstone. On our way back down from the cape we might do a bit more sight seeing!!!

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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 12:26

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 12:26
Let me know when you hit Gladstone.

I'm just west of Gladstone in Calliope.

Cheers Kev
Russell Coight:
He was presented with a difficult decision: push on into the stretching deserts, or return home to his wife.

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