Kimberley Trip accomplished

Submitted: Saturday, Oct 04, 2003 at 05:21
ThreadID: 7592 Views:2112 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
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Before I continue with this I would like to let all the anti-toyota owners know that they can come back at me with any comeback they like as it will happen anyway. (most likely nissan owners)

Did the trip up north from wheatbelt W.A. firstly arriving at Mt. Augustus which had modest facilities but although Augustus is bragged as being the biggest rock in Oz it just doesn't have the same punch as Ayers Rock. The track from Augustus north through Yuna was very scenic although slow and winding. Friend had two blowouts on that track. From memory it was about 200 kms give or take.

Next 4X4 section was the gibb river road from the Derby end and very surprised to see normal sedans towing caravans along it considering we'd never been on it before. My first casualty of the trip was the scrub bars breaking away from the bullbar and that was on a rough section from the Gibb road to Bell Gorge. Thankfully a ranger there lent us his personal mig welder to fix it. Yes, definitely get the brackets to attach the scrub bars to the bullbar - not welds.

The Gibb road itself was no drama but the most stress I think on the vehicle would have been the Mitchell Plateau road. All along the trip fellow travellers were saying that it was being graded but I think they were a little confused as there's a big stinking sign at the entrance to Mitchell saying, "this road is not maintained."

After arriving at Mitchell a cursory glance revealed that the rocker cover bolts had unscrewed until there was a couple of threads left. Major maker's battery bracket disintegrated, brought out the ol' bunnings ratchet straps and have never held better.

This is it, mate in front of me in a 60's cruiser hits a BBB (bloody big boulder) about 10kms after passing the grader, this blew his rear left tyre then continued to bounce along the road in front of me. Of course, as it came to rest I went over it and heard this almighty whack!!! Ten seconds later the rear right of my vehicle sags. Pull over, expecting a blowout of the all infamous Coopers tyre - oh no, the rear axle snapped including the whole housing. Boulder would have been twice the size of a footy before it was destroyed.

The rest is history but at least most of the trip was accomplished. As it turned out the axle housing snapped exactly where the vertical weld was about 6-8 inches in from the tyre. I was 100kms from Kununurra which meant the tilt tray job.

In any event the trip was well worth it and I hope my misfortune can bring some lessons to others. As we all know there are different challenges for different tracks ie. CSR is the remoteness and some boginess, gibb is the corrugtions, neverending coastal runs where fish swim, Cape for the rainforests and more slippery conditions, and the rest in the eastern states. We did see alot of other areas in the Kimberley and if anyone's interested let me know.

Looking forward to the next salmon run down south.
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Reply By: ramp - Saturday, Oct 04, 2003 at 06:47

Saturday, Oct 04, 2003 at 06:47
hi chris, i know exactly how you must of felt at the time (well almost mine wasnt quiet so bad). a couple of weeks ago 70kms outside of birdsville the axle of the camper trailer snapped one hell of a ride for the next 15 seconds. but after jacking the trailer up removing the axle and a bit of welding at the shell in birdsville all was ok.i didnt get to see coongie lakes and a few other places i had planned on as i came home on the bitumen, but still had a great time at the races. cheers rob
AnswerID: 32743

Reply By: Member - Bob - Saturday, Oct 04, 2003 at 06:58

Saturday, Oct 04, 2003 at 06:58
my Land Rover brush bar fell apart due to corrugations on the Mereenie Loop Road. When the right side fell off it was flipped up as the wheel ran over it and passed by the drivers window at about 80 kph. The Mereenie Loop isn't such a bad road, but we had covered some pretty rough ground before that. On getting back home I noticed that there were fractures where the central mounting brackets are welded to the tubing. I have replaced the brush bar with a steel TJM T15 bar which looks like it might be up to the job. The LR bar cost $1300, the TJM $980.
Having followed the posts I would have thought it was the Nissan owners who should be paranoid Geoff :-) I think we should welcome open discourse on the problems we encounter so that others can learn from the experience. It sounds like the rock would have damaged any vehicle (except perhaps the Nissan which is reputed to have an exceptionally strong drive train).Bob
AnswerID: 32746

Reply By: Coops (Pilbara) - Saturday, Oct 04, 2003 at 17:28

Saturday, Oct 04, 2003 at 17:28
Will get around to answering your e-mail shortly - sorry about that.

Sounds like an epic trip and I bet you wouldn't swap it for the world. We've just an hour or so ago returned from Callawa Road and I too have a story to tell. Right now I have one very filthy car to scrub and I shall recount my misfortunes for you and everyone else after that gigantic task is completed.
Glad you enjoyed the KimberleyAllyn
AnswerID: 32764

Follow Up By: Member - Errol (WA) - Saturday, Oct 04, 2003 at 17:44

Saturday, Oct 04, 2003 at 17:44
Thinking about that track for next year , would be interesed in your thoughs and comets on it .Why go overseas when you can ExplorOz
FollowupID: 23429

Reply By: DODO(thanks harry) - Saturday, Oct 04, 2003 at 20:43

Saturday, Oct 04, 2003 at 20:43
gday chris.
sounds like you had a trip to remember.
just curuios to what tyres the others were using that blew out and how did your coopers cope.
i sell tyres so im interseted im not up for a stir lolRaphus cucullatus
AnswerID: 32782

Follow Up By: Chris (W.A.) - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 21:32

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 21:32
Hi Dodo,

My mate had BFG All-Terrains but when leaving Perth they were already over 50% worn and he was trying to take the cheap way up which proved costly. Fortunately he had two spares which weren't much better but they got him to Tom Price.
Extremely impressed with the Coopers. The odd chunk came off here and there but that was expected. Since running them on bitumen again the fine wear and tear has smoothed out. I'll definitely stick to them but at the same time I can't bag BFGs as they were my last set and gave me 90,000kms before replacing due to low tread.

ChrisNice southerly coastal fishing trip someday.
FollowupID: 23839

Reply By: Member - Ken - Saturday, Oct 04, 2003 at 21:28

Saturday, Oct 04, 2003 at 21:28
Hello Chris

Now that you have mentioned 'they which can't be mentioned' ( The Coopers), I would love to hear how they stood up to the road conditions you tavelled on, and would you replace them with Coopers once they are done.

AnswerID: 32784

Follow Up By: Chris (W.A.) - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 21:35

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 21:35
Hi Ken,
I'll definitely get Coopers again, if you don't mind check out my answer on post id. 23839. I'm a slow typer.

Chris.Nice southerly coastal fishing trip someday.
FollowupID: 23840

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