Are we there yet ?

Submitted: Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 10:04
ThreadID: 7127 Views:2075 Replies:10 FollowUps:2
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Hi All
Yes is the answer. Been to heaven and back again.
SWMBO and I returned on Sunday after 13950 Kl, 2270 Lts diesel fuel and 8 weeks on our Kimberley exploration. A week to get there and a week back to home and 6 weeks in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
The GU Td performed faultlessly, just a couple of lost screws from the corregations, the tyres were sensational in some real time 4x4 driving and overall, and there is very little we will change before our next long trip. Strengthening the rear end suspension will be a must as the wagon when loaded, sat a bit too low in the bum. I will also look at how best to increase extra fuel capacity.
We have written a good diary story on my lap top which received rave reviews from friends and rels.
Also kept detailed fuel records. All up cost, incl helicopter & plane flights, occasional restaurant, food, fuel, fees, touristy bits etc etc was near enough $100.oo / day.

Good to be back though. Once we get through all the backlog of mail, emails, gardens, washing, cleaning etc there will be nothing to do, might start planning another trip.
Also good to see the old names still scanning the forum at ExplorOz.
David & Michelle, how was the CSR ??

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Reply By: Ray - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 11:04

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 11:04
Hi Cocka,

Good to hear your trip went well. I'm heading up that way next June. Any chance of a copy of your diary etc?? If so please send to

AnswerID: 30559

Reply By: Member - Alex B - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 11:49

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 11:49
Hi Cocka, sounds like you had a fantastic trip.
The trouble is now you won't be able to stop thinking about the next time :-))
Like Ray, I would love to have a read of your diary etc if possible. My email is

AnswerID: 30564

Reply By: Outnabout David (SA) - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 13:37

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 13:37
Hi Cocka,

Sounds fantastic. you should be locked up for telling how good it is. Now we will all want to go. If you wouldn't mind sending me a copy I would appreciate it I would love to give it to the wife to read. Having trouble getting her to go bush for weeks on end so I need some first hand accounts of how great it is.We have so little time to enjoy our land
AnswerID: 30572

Reply By: Member-The Camel(Vic) - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 14:58

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 14:58
Hi Cocka, good to hear that you had such a great trip, sounds like you did it right.
Will be heading around oz myself April 04 and would appreciate a look at your
diary story and any other relevant info from your trip, if that suits you pls email
me at Kind regards & Thanks
AnswerID: 30578

Reply By: Mulga Bill - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 15:17

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 15:17
Sounds technicalities........what tyres did you run and what pressures on the rough stony roads ? If your tyres were no drama, the feedback would be valued here.Get me outa these suburbs !
AnswerID: 30580

Follow Up By: Member - Cocka - Tuesday, Sep 16, 2003 at 18:07

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2003 at 18:07
The tyres were fitted when I bought the wagon S/H with just 15K on the clock.
Goodyear Wranglers MTR's 285/75 - R16. They can be a little noisy on the black but what the hell, wind up the windows & turn up the ABC, after all we are going off road and these are mean tyres.
The specs' on the side walls recommend a max pressure of 65psi with 1500 Kg on the rear axel. A couple of tyre retailers said they were a great tyre (one said much better than the Coopers he retailed) but said to keep the rear pressures up above 50psi when loaded.
I ran the rears at 52 and fronts 44 (cold) that allows + 4psi when hot.
Once I hit the dirt I knocked 10 psi out all round, this took the thumps out of the suspension on the corregations and softened the ride generally, not least it makes traction better/safer. I also always engage 4wd high on the dirt, and once I got the harmonic balance of the corregations was able to sit safely on 80-90 k/p/h where permissable. On soft sand we let down to 18 psi. Once back on the extended black I reinflated.
Several times we were in steep dry rocky creek beds, "jump-ups", tyre pressures around that used on the dirt or a bit softer, avoid sharp rocks on the sides and let the wagon walk (idle) slowly in 4wd low. A bit of road building was needed occasionally.
They've done 33K kl now and I reacon have another 30K kl left in them. Best new tyre price I've been quoted is $275. each.
BTW they are 7 ply on the sides and 5 on the surface.

FollowupID: 22192

Reply By: JimB - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 16:39

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 16:39
Me too Cocka, would love to read the diary

Did you get to enjoy the oysters at Kalumburu? Did you tent it or tow? I can vouch for Old Man Emu suspension as a good replacement (although I have a 100 series), Done the Gunbarrell, Gary, Heather Hwys and back, then the Cape including OTL (and Gunshot). Blew the seals in 3 shockies by the time we'd returned from the Cape and ARB replaced them no worries.

AnswerID: 30587

Reply By: Jeff (Beddo) - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 20:33

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 20:33
Hey Cocka, must of passed you some where, just returned yesterday after the 9 week adventure. Gosford)Sydney), Mt Isa, Katherine, Kununurra, Wyndam, El Questro, Gibb River Rd, Gorges, Gorges and gorges and corrugations and sharp rocks then up to Mitchell Falls a bit corrugated with the 2 travelling companions turning around in a Nissan Patrol and a Rodeo as the track was too corrugated. Ranger said it was the roughest he had seen it coming up from King Edward camp ground and that we should of planned to arrive next next when the grader arrives. Oh well and yes the helicopter trip was great (except we have to tent it every where to afford it). After this went to Broome and Cape Leveque and then to Woulfe Crater, Bungles Bungles and another helicopter trip ) Bungle Bungles road was probably getting towards what I would call a more of a 4WD track - all the rest really were just badly corrugated dirt roads - except I do believe I saw worse corrugations up at Capoe York last year. Anyway then went to Kununurra, Katherine, Litchfield NP, Darwin, Kakudu, Katherine, Lawn Hill and back to Gosford. No problems with the Surf except a slight rear axle seal leak (hilux trait) and a bracket on the fuel tank bash plate breaking - wire fixed it (same bash plate as Pardo - so Prado owners check). Apart from having to tighten the bullbar there were no problems, tyres were great (Cooper ST's - ran 35 in them and had no punctures) - though they are cut up a bit but all tyres up that way are.
Interesting to watch some people travel on Corrugations - some do it slow and it must shake their cars to bits.
PS. There must not be many people living in Victoria at present as they are all up in northern Australia living in C'vans and driving at between 70 and 90Km/h.Cheers, Beddo
Surf KZN185
<- Yengo NP, Central Coast NSW
AnswerID: 30615

Reply By: Jeff (Beddo) - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 20:35

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 20:35
Oh yeh I forgot to say I saw that sign too on the way to Mitchell Falls.
"Are we there yet".
By that time the corrugations were just the norm.Cheers, Beddo
Surf KZN185
<- Yengo NP, Central Coast NSW
AnswerID: 30616

Reply By: Bundy - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 20:55

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 20:55
Sounds like you had a great trip! Can I join the queue for a copy of your diary...we're planning a trip up that way in the not too distant future. Email is

I look forward to reading it!

AnswerID: 30620

Reply By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 11:26

Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 11:26
Hi Cocka,

Sounds like a great adventure. Could you please include me on your list for a copy of your diary? I hope to do a similar trip next year. Email is

CheersJust Do It!

AnswerID: 30667

Follow Up By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 18:43

Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 18:43
Just put it in the trip notes then we all can read itRegards Bob
Where to next
FollowupID: 21715

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