BIG RED How many ??

Submitted: Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 17:53
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Was wondering how many people have achieved to drive up it and what vehicle did they do it in ?? Was speaking to a tour guide last night and he said most people in diesels dont achive it as they cant get enough speed up, where as the petrols will climb it no worries eg 4 Litre prados fly up it apparantly. Regards Steve M
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Reply By: Member - colin J (VIC) - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 17:59

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 17:59
Hi all,
We drove over it easily in a NS Diesel Pajero in October last year. No problems at all, it felt as though it could have been twice as high and still would have done it.
A landcruiser just before me made three attempts before they went over. I believe they didn't lower their tyre pressures. With a bit of momentum and the tyre pressures down it really isn't to much trouble.
The softness of the sand at any particular time can make a difference.
Regards from Col.
AnswerID: 423122

Reply By: blue one - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 18:10

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 18:10
Drop your tyre pressure and low range 3rd gear easy as, no run up required.

There was a mob (20 odd) all hitting it at 80 - 90 kms per hour. Smashing their vehicles and getting stuck about 3/4 of the way up.

4.2 Patrol Diesel

Cheers
AnswerID: 423124

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 18:17

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 18:17
Tour groups can be a bit of a mixed bag - very few have had 4wd training or experience from what I've seen. Thats why they join a tour group.

Autos do it easier than manuals because gear selection is a no-brainer.

AnswerID: 423125

Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 11:08

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 11:08
I hear some horror stories about some very high profile tour operators too.

But people join tag-along tours for many reasons.

- more recovery options
- emergency communications provided
- social interaction
- education
- etc etc.

I see way too many people doing the Simpson who claim to be experienced and trained and have simply no clue whatsoever about sand driving,about remote travel, about caring for the tracks about taking rubbish out, etc etc.

My advice- do the Simpson once with someone very experienced in all of the above then make an educated decision about your own capabilities. If you want to join a tag-along and I recommend it, there are lots of questions you can ask, that will reveal the operator's level of experence, knowledge and people skills. Ask if the operator runs his own tours, if not, ask to speak to the guide who will run your tour.
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Follow Up By: Gramps - Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 12:44

Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 12:44
"But people join tag-along tours for many reasons.

- more recovery options
- emergency communications provided
- social interaction
- education
- etc etc. "

Agree. Nothing wrong with reputable tag-along tours.

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Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 18:22

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 18:22
Gday,
Not all! But lots of tour guides are full of ......stories.
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 22:54

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 22:54
........and some apparently have no idea how to drive in sand either!
Done right it's possible at most times from a standing start from the bottom, even in a diesel ;-)
Cheers Craig............
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Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 17:44

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 17:44
Craig - Correct - Our Rodeo from a standing start with 18psi in all 4 cruised up and over with no issues. With 24 (too lazy to lower pressure :-) we only achieved 3/4 of the climb.

So correct pressures no issue

Cheers Tony
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 18:38

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 18:38
I achieved it in a 3.5l petrol auto trans Jackaroo wearing Bridgestone duelers, but did not put the boot in.
Dropped the pressure to 18 and drove up at moderate speed.
Then again, I am Sand Man:-)

The achievement is somewhat overrated I think. It may well depend on how many have "chewed" the track up before you make the attempt.

Still, it is a quite achievement to complete successfully when you have made the effort to drive out there.


Bill.



Bill


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Reply By: Members Pa & Ma. - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 18:56

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 18:56
Hi once again Wherehegon,
We did it in a Toyota 80 series diesle but we deflated our tyres after the first failed attempt.
We also didn't have our revs correct at first either we underestimated it a bit. took it too easy and only got 3/4 way up.
Diesle motors are a lot heavier than petrol so they can sink in the sand
The lighter your load, the easier it is of course. Are you heading accross the Simpson? Should look fantastic after all the rain.
Hope all is going well for you.
With best wishes. Take care, safe travels.Ma
AnswerID: 423135

Reply By: wheeler - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 19:03

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 19:03
What a load of rubbish. I reversed up it in my diesle 80 some years ago.
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Follow Up By: Member - Tezza Qld - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 19:11

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 19:11
I'm hearing ya . Unbelievable
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Follow Up By: Joe n Mel - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 19:40

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 19:40
What a load ..... been up it side ways, with a cup of tea while the kids watched dvd's ...... towing a city slicker in a Prado ..... :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Keith C (NSW) - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 21:42

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 21:42
wheeler, now thats a load of rubbish!! show us the pics,as Tezza said, UNBELIEVABLE
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Follow Up By: wato35 - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 09:12

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 09:12
I was there in 1997 (Brirdsville Races) and there were cowboys getting hugh run ups, most of the bogged down about 3/4 the way up. Saw a bloke just drive up without a run up then he reversed up from a standing start.
No crap.
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Reply By: pmk03 - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 19:18

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 19:18
I think there is more in the technique than the vehicle.
I have reached the top on many different occasions , firstly in a V6 petrol Pajero & more recently a ZD30 Diesel Patrol. Both cars did it easily.
No run up, No spinning wheels, No screaming engines.
Tyre pressures around 22psi & low 2nd (Pajero) & low 3rd (Patrol) I move off from the flat just at the bottom of the dune. Keep revs up & just cruise over.
I've watched many unsucessfull attempts & reckon it's lack of experience that lets them down. I've see one dill take a run up from half way to the next dune(towards the desert) Still didn't make it.
I also have watched non turbo diesels run out of puff half way up, But I've never driven one of them so I can't comment on why they were unsuccessful.
PMK
AnswerID: 423140

Reply By: gbc - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 19:20

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 19:20
If you do a search this has been 'chatted about' on numerous occasions.

I drove all three western approaches in a fully loaded colorado diesel auto just to say we had done it.

The Northern track is the one that gets the bragging rights, and took pretty much everything the little car had to get there on the day we were playing - and a few goes to get the gearing right.

I agree a petrol will 'do' the diesel version of the same vehicle when it comes to playing in the dunes. They simply have a much larger useable rev range for every gear.
AnswerID: 423141

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 19:34

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 19:34
Hi Steve
This would be the biggest load of c--p that you have been given. It is not speed but tyre pressures that get you over Big Red. I have been over it countless times in my old 2.8 diesel Pajero and even have video proof of me reversing all the way up, and succeeding in doing it. I find it the exact opposite, a petrol loose its revs and the vehicle bogs down, where as my diesel kept keeping on. It will also come down to the drivers ability in sand driving and not the vehicle.

I was also speaking to two tour operators years ago about their Simpson tours and they were saying how hard it was, having ruined 2 snatch straps to recover a bogged vehicle. When I asked how they were ruined, they said that they looped the two together and where not able to separate them, now giving them a permanent 18m strap. When I asked why they did not place a piece of timber, old towel or newspaper between them, so they could be removed it and in doing so undo the two straps, they called me a smart ass and walked off.

Like others have said above, there are good tour operators and them you have the cow boys.

Cheers

Stephen
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AnswerID: 423143

Follow Up By: gbc - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 06:34

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 06:34
Obviously the dune changes a LOT. Thankyou for your amusing comments. Was there 3 West entrances when you reversed up it, or is your info as out of date as a 2.8 Pajero?
I didn't post to big note myself, just to give some up to date (less than 12 months old anyway) info.
Some of the attached photos don't look anything like the current state of it, and to suggest that simply letting ones tyres down, and being a legendary driver is going to get you over the new 'curled over' section at the top which is quite steep - without needing momentum (speed) is ludicrous.
I pulled a vehicle off the lip last year (d40 Navara) He made it up but eased off as he crested and the vehicle bottomed out leaving 4 wheels without traction.
I hope the O.P. at least has got some useful info out of it.




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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 07:59

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 07:59
gbc
You are so funny.


If you want a real challenge where run ups and speed are impossible then do a REAL Simpson trip, Geosurvey and Geographical Centre of the Simpson Trip, where some of the dunes out there that are pure virgin dunes put Big Red to shame, so before you make stupid statements, look at my profile pictures to see where I have been and other like you only dream of getting there.

And for the record, yes there were three entrances to Big Red.
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Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 12:54

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 12:54
Hi Stephen,
Yes I agree with you.
How the dunes change in different conditions. The day we travelled it had had a bad wind & there was a blow at the top, we eased off too early.
The bloke who owns the station that the Big Red Sand Dune is on prefers you to use little red.
The true Big Red was by his cattle yards and watering p point for his cattle.
About 12 yrs ago now, he was thinking he'd have to shift the watering point or try to stop the use of it because his cattle wouldn't go into water. It would be very hard to shift the watering point.
If these people want some big dunes, go across the Simpson as you've suggested and not the easy way either. At least then you're seeing something worth while and not just doing Big Red and annoying the owner just to say you did it better than someone else.
The Canning S.R, has some good ones too particularly after Kunnaruwitu (how ever you spell it) and a great trip. Go South to North and enjoy. Going up them backwoods would be a lot of fun and probably easier. LOL.
Safe travels.

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Follow Up By: gbc - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 16:39

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 16:39
"The main track looks similar now but firmer. The descent track is to the left even further left than the wheel tracks that go to the tree. I have made it up the descent track in a diesel auto, but only just. Last year I had three Petrol autos make it up the descent track and this year one petrol manual 3L Pajero"

Are you going to tell Olsen's they're full of c--p too?



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Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Wednesday, Jul 07, 2010 at 11:13

Wednesday, Jul 07, 2010 at 11:13
Hi gbc,
Thanks for your reply.
I'm not going to tell anyone they're full of crap assand dune conditions change all the time.
I think that wheeler was a bit unfair to me. I'm not going to call him full of rubbish, that's not what this Forum is for.
Wherehegone asked who'd done it & what in, I answered that question and didn't elaborate.
Of cause it's not only the tyre pressures, there are a lot of variables to consider as well. They're important though and so are the tyres you have on, ours were not really good for sand.
Everybody is entitled to their own opinions and also people always need to do it for the first time and learn, Just because they're learners doesn't make them idiots.
My husband has done a fair bit of Sand Dune driving on cattle stations bordering the Simpson desert, some of those dunes were huge . The Toyota's were specially set up to handle them.
We'd just bought the second hand Toyota and weren't sure what it could do, my husband isn't an idiot but he's always open to suggestions .
Take care, safe travels.
Regards Ma.
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Follow Up By: gbc - Wednesday, Jul 07, 2010 at 11:41

Wednesday, Jul 07, 2010 at 11:41
Last reply wasn't directed at you Ma., I was merely borrowing a StevenL line so he'd know to whom it was.
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Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Wednesday, Jul 07, 2010 at 14:06

Wednesday, Jul 07, 2010 at 14:06
Hi again gbc, that's O.K.,
It came into my inbox and my reply was just my thoughts on the whole issue in general.
I thought it would be rude not to reply , no harm intended.
Thanks for clarifying the mix up.
Take care , safe travels.
Regards Ma.
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Reply By: Member - David K (QLD) - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 19:40

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 19:40
Drove it in a diesel Courier last Sep.

We started from the base of BigRed & drove up both sides, drop tyre pressure & had it in low range 3rd gear, easy as.

Cheers
David
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 20:06

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 20:06
Hi David
That is exactly how I do it, right at the very bottom, with no run up.

Cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: murrayman - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 20:01

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 20:01
Hi, i am just wondering by the replies as to weather you are refering to the sandhill straight on from the info bay "little red" or in fact big red 2 kms north of little red. cheers mark
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Reply By: Member - Prickle (SA) - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 20:23

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 20:23
I did it in our 1989 non turbo diesel hi lux in 2004, had to work hard, but I did it.
Russ


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AnswerID: 423155

Reply By: Wherehegon - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 20:30

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 20:30
Presume this is big red ?? I havnt been their YET so just found this pic

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Follow Up By: Wherehegon - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 20:32

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 20:32
May be its the last part he was talking about, he said some thing about you have to veer left then right, bit like a dogleg ?? Regards Steve M
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Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 11:13

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 11:13
That is an old pic in a dry year.

The main track looks similar now but firmer. The descent track is to the left even further left than the wheel tracks that go to the tree. I have made it up the descent track in a diesel auto, but only just. Last year I had three Petrol autos make it up the descent track and this year one petrol manual 3L Pajero.
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Reply By: Patrol22 - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 20:41

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 20:41
Went over in a D40 Navara 2.5 diesel auto in August 2009 - select D - tyres were already at 22psi and no problems at all.
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Reply By: Mad Cowz (VIC) - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 21:40

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 21:40
I think you get the picture from the posts above.
we got up in a 4.2 gu patrol, also in our group a td and naturally aspirated 100 series and a paj. up there we saw a variety of jeeps both modern and very old. I reckon I'd get our 1 litre suzuki up there as well as our 2.8 non turbo hilux.

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Reply By: mullyman - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 21:53

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 21:53
Back in the 80s when Ford were testing their new Longreatch ute,Big Red was conquered with consummate ease.
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Reply By: mullyman - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 21:54

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 21:54
Back in the 80s when Ford were testing their new Longreach ute,Big Red was conquered with consummate ease.
AnswerID: 423175

Follow Up By: Fab72 - Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 11:47

Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 11:47
...same too when Holden were testing their Adventura (Commodore based AWD wagons). Piece of cake.
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Reply By: Going Bush - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 22:16

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 22:16
Have you seen the Saudi you tube videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCpsd0duCok&feature=related
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Reply By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 22:16

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 22:16
Hi Wherehegon, we did it in a 4.2GU Patrol, and that was Big Red not Little Red

Cheers

D


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AnswerID: 423180

Reply By: geocacher (djcache) - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 22:34

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 22:34
4.2 TD GUIII
Bout 22psi.

Didn't even scare the missus. And she scares pretty easy....

Dave
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Reply By: vk1dx - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 22:44

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 22:44
Look out for the Datsun:

Who needs 4wd to get over Big Red
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Follow Up By: Wherehegon - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 22:54

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 22:54
Was just watching all the clips of big red and come accross that one, he was moving on the way back. Plenty of them getting up there, was also a prado the same as mine get up there, I still think the petrol have a bit of an advantage seem to rev harder obviously giving them an advantage. Regards Steve M
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Follow Up By: Signman - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 11:39

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 11:39
Was that Geoff Portman ??
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 13:16

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 13:16
Who is Geoff Portman?

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Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 14:57

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 14:57
- ex rally car driver who ran in the 1979 Repco Around Australia Rally and now runs motorbike tours
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Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 15:14

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 15:14
Yeah Geoff Portman who had a couple of Datsuns - skinny tyres, nothing altered on them. Used to take them over the Simpson - good in the sand and hopeless in the mud. They were called 'Goldie' 'Pinky' names like that.
Geoff put Ian in the passenger seat of Goldie and took him for a spin up and over Big Red, then hooked up the trailer loaded with wood - up and over and round again - I think the only way Geoff hasn't done Big Red or the Simpson is on a ride on lawn mower backwards. I fed him up for a few days the time he rode his motorbike over the SImpson east to west in just under 9 hours. Came back the next day in a little over 9 hours. Mentally very tough man - physically as well. He was very well prepared for that trip and had stashes of fuel and water and baked beans across the Desert.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 15:15

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 15:15
They were Skylines!
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Reply By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 23:34

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 23:34
Been across the Simpson, but couldn't see the point in driving up a sandhill "just to say I've done it"..... Did watch a number of people take almighty run ups, just to get stuck, churn up the track, stuff around with recovery gear....then do it all again exactly the same way.

Just can't figure the mentality really.

Cheers,

Mark

AnswerID: 423198

Reply By: mikehzz - Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 23:41

Monday, Jul 05, 2010 at 23:41
The newer Euro style diesels don't have a problem, I'll take them over petrol any day. My Landrover went up it without a problem. The older style Jap diesels can't pull the skin off a custard and I see them getting stuck anywhere a bit of grunt is required all the time. Mike
AnswerID: 423200

Reply By: greybeard - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 00:34

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 00:34
1985 subaru 1600 with standard 13" road tyres

Site Link
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Reply By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 10:54

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 10:54
In most years Nappanerica Dune (Big Red) is not the most difficult dune on the journey across the Simpson. However in some years it is a considerably more difficult climb than other years. This is my 15th trip and I am yet to find Big Red requiring more than one attempt. The last two years I've done it in 2nd low (Patrols are higher geared) with the hand throttle set at 1300 rpm and walked beside the car with my hand sterring through the window, just to prove to the lunatic brigade a run up is not necessary - I can kill the engine remotley if I need to. I did the same yesterday.
AnswerID: 423231

Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 11:01

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 11:01
Your tour guide most likely was talking about the decent track on the north of the dune. Yesterday many were claiming that was the original track and that you did not do Big Red unless you went up the northern track. That is a load of rubbish. The original track goes to the right of the small tree and has a bend in it. The chicken track which angles off tothe south is almost invisible at present from the bottom, as it is obscured by the lush green growth.

Was your tour guide in the Birdsvlle pub last night? If he was, it was me. In any case your tour guide is correct if referring to the decent track which has metres of loose sand at the natural repose angle. Petrol autos can do the descent track whereas most diesel manuals cannot.
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Reply By: Western_Jebs - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 13:47

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 13:47
Last year went over BIG RED on my push bike
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Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 14:26

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 14:26
Righto, have read all the posts and replies - if you want to have a real go at Big Red (not Little Red but when I am suggesting it can be just as much of a challenge) - try crossing east/west and west/east in late January. Don't wait until late August or late September - because by then the top of the dune has been knocked down - up to a metre or more. Come out in late January and see how everyone goes.
Driven properly - no one should ever have to be towed over a dune in the Simpson Desert - and rarely, should you have to back down.
AnswerID: 423255

Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 15:00

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 15:00
LOL that should set a challenge.

I used to boast I'd never had to back down a dune to have another go but last year I did- talking on the radio, both hands full and in 4th- ooops :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 15:17

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 15:17
Ha ha that would have been funny to see. Old fella had a similar problem last year, not concentrating and couldn't get the top of his 'lemonade' bottle and too lazy to change gears in the V8. I enjoyed that!
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 14:30

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 14:30
2002 watched a bog stock Holden Kingswood 3 on the tree autobox up and over ,
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Reply By: rumpig - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 18:53

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2010 at 18:53
i drove up it last week in my diesel 105 series cruiser, took me a couple of attempts at 12 psi rear tyres and 10 psi fronts, a mate tried in his diesel Patrol before me about a dozen times with same pressures and gave up. when i drove over he dropped his tyres to 8 psi rear and 6 psi fronts and drove over easily. he then stopped at the bottom of the hill with no run up at all and using 1st gear lowrange he idled up the hill and straight over the top with no problems what so ever.
it's all about tyre pressures !!!
AnswerID: 423275

Reply By: Fab72 - Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 11:41

Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 11:41
Wherehegone, have a look at this video clip. It's of a guy doing Big Red in a Datsun 1600.

Dato 1600 going up Big Red
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