Quiet little Systems Check

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 13:24
ThreadID: 83594 Views:3433 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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The winch is in, the lockers in , the low range transfer gears are in , the long range (well mid range) tank is in, the radios in, the centre console has been thrown out.

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Must be time for a little test drive.

Couple of k from our place we approach a rarely driven downhill rocky track, the rocks are sharp and so we put the locker in , not for traction, but to keep the wheels from slipping and cutting the tyres.

Smooth descent so all is well.

Approaching a long dry clay surfaced 25 degree downslope this calls for engine braking so we engage low range first in the auto petrol Patrol and let her run free - yippee only revs out to 3000 rpm so low range engine braking seems to work.

Into the gully below and its tight but ok until we come across the TREE !

Some mischievous little wind devil had placed it directly across the track such there was no way around.

Further they made it much bigger than my chainsaw and then had the gall to place it above the ground level so you couldn't even build an upramp to drive over it without a dozer.

Attacking this problem would take some thinking - but the winch needed a live test and without any expectation of success we tried a pull anyway.

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The tree just scoffed at the attempt but at least I now know the winch can drag the car with all 4 wheels locked hard.

Ok , only the chainsaw is going to work here and being alone the job will have to be approached slow and careful.

Trees like this are a real problem because so much potential energy is contained within them that they can move viciously and kill, or at least jam the bar.
Here the tree is so big that you have to make cuts from both sides.

First though I cut up from underneath a bit so that if tree falls to ground then that section is cut.

Then I cut down from top watching intently the width of the cut, any narrowing or widening indicates that the tree is moving.

Well after a few minutes I have cut right thru one end but the tree hardly moves and just sits there mocking me.

Ok, lets do this again from the other end.

So we cut thru the other end with a view to leaving a 3m wide opening but this stupid tree still won't co-operate and just sits there fully cut thru on both sides of the track.
In fact the tree is so fat that it just kinked a little and jammed itself, both ends off the ground.

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I had enough by now, especially as I knew tea would almost be cooked and besides I wanted to see how the Dakar was going.

Out with the drag chain, I will just pull out this multi tonne centre section and be off.

Knowing this tree was a stubborn so and so we dropped tyre pressure to 12psi
engaged locker and low 1st, this was going to be a test of pulling power.

Hate stressing things so we tried a steady pull and only succeeded in spinning all wheels.

A little snatch and jerk did the trick though and the tree reluctantly gave up its centre section which promptly fell on the ground blocking the track.

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With a small 40mm pulley setup we managed to create a sideways pull and winched the tree enough to get round.

Just then the UHF radio wakes up and commands me back as tea is being served.

A bit scratched up and sore now I turn for home not even getting time to see what was past the tree that took me a hot hard hour to move.

Back up the 25 degree slope and I notice a low overhanging branch - its so low I get out of car and check its not going to scratch the roof.

Mistake that was - I'm parked on a sharp rock and I here hissing.
Next I feel rain.
Yep right thru the side-biters of the Bighorns is a wound, but the tyres not quite flat so I drive a few meters to level ground and begin the plugging process, hoping the holes small and the rain is just a shower.

Yep, was carrying a full puncture repair kit !

Next to be tested was the new ARB air compressor, hey it works, and off home we go !

I figured this little run had been designed by someone who hates me and was choreographed to test each bit of the cars new gear.

Well I won because they forgot to test out, and perhaps even get dirty, my
new ultimate little 4wd accessory - the $9.95 stainless steel Aldi shovel.

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Happy endings I love, and as we got home the little shower has passed and left, for a beautiful few seconds, a triple rainbow hanging over the house and car.

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Robin Miller

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Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 13:33

Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 13:33
Ahh Robin, another beautiful tale again. Should put all your anecdotal stories into a blog so they don't get lost.

Cheers mate

AnswerID: 441475

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 19:13

Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 19:13
Hi Captain

Hope you survived Xmas ok , certainly looking warmer over you way.

Gotta do that one day - but seem to run out of time to quickly - one of those acessories has already been a major drama , but that will be subject of another story if time permits.

Robin Miller

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Reply By: Dasher Des - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 14:31

Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 14:31
I love reading your little adventure stories Robin. At least you know that it all works for the next time when you may not be playing.

AnswerID: 441485

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011 at 12:46

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011 at 12:46
Hi Des

I agree that its important to check things beforehand - honestly the number of times I have had people find out their winch etc has doesn't work, only after they hooked it up in an actual situation is a real worry.

Robin Miller

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Reply By: Rockape - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 15:00

Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 15:00
good read, can I ask what sort of ground speed you get at 3000 revs with the low range transfer gears fitted and the auto in low.

Have a good one.
AnswerID: 441488

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 16:37

Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 16:37
Choose mine for 5kmh per 1000 rpm in low low Rockape , so about 15kmh

To fast for rock crawler , but acceptable for a 4.8lt petrol tourer in Vic.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Rockape - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 18:00

Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 18:00
thanks for the info, it is a pity Nissan don't offer a converter lockup system as this would be a great unit for a petrol/auto to control down hill decent. The only down side is you would have to remember to switch it out of lockup when the revs get low or you will stall the vehicle. A driveline retarder would also be good but just a little heavy

I like your winch setup, I see you choose not to run a bullbar so will have minimual weight on the front axle.

I learnt a long time ago to only rock crawl in company vehicles. Ha! Ha! they would still like to catch me.

Have a good one and keep the info coming, I think most people enjoy your adventures.
FollowupID: 713586

Reply By: TerraFirma - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011 at 13:39

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011 at 13:39
Arrgh... another fantastic tale from "Millers Miles", she be a good book me fellow pirates, Arrgh....!
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