Thinking of doing the Gunbarrel Hwy with a stock Ford Territory 2WD?

My family and I are new to 4-wheel driving. We've been off-road a few times in the state forests ETC but have done nothing heavy duty.

This year, we're thinking of doing the Gunbarrel Highway in our 2004 Territory TX RWD. It's had nothing added to it since we bought it. We were wondering if this was a good idea. I heard it can get pretty rough in spots and I'm not sure whether our car will be able to handle it or not.

Is this a good idea? If not, is there any other tracks that would be more suitable?

Also, is there any upgrades we can make to our car that would help?
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Reply By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 19:11

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 19:11
Hi

Are you sure you dont mean the Great Central Road instead of the Gunbarrel Highway?

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Holly R - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 19:15

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 19:15
By this I take that doing the Gunbarrel isn't a good idea. I'll take a look at the Great Central Road.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 19:21

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 19:21
Hi

Some may say nothing is impossible but I wouldnt suggest to anyone that heading up the Gunbarrel in a 2WD Territory was a good idea. GCR will be a good introduction to the area if this is where you want to head but still lots to consider. I am sure others will provide the finer details.

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Holly R - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 19:35

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 19:35
Thanks :)
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Reply By: Mick O - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 19:57

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 19:57
Hi Holly,

the Gunbarrel is a corrugated hell for much of its length. The rest is just rocky and ornary. The Great Central would be a much better alternative for your first big outback road effort but even so I would suggest having your suspension checked (and good shockers installed) as well as having a good set of A/T tyres at a minimum. Remember that overloading your vehicle will invite disaster.

If you don't own one already, purchase a small but good quality 12V compressor (around $150 upwards). Adjust your tyre pressures down between 10-15% for dirt roads and drive to the conditions....by that I mean slow down considerably.

Plenty of info on this site. Search the "Great Central Road" in the blog section for lots of first hand experiences.


Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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AnswerID: 481656

Follow Up By: Holly R - Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 09:45

Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 09:45
Thanks! I'll be sure to check out some good shockers and get my suspension checked before we head out.
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Reply By: equinox - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 20:26

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 20:26
Hi Holly,

The only drama will be the corrugations, and they are all west of Jackie Junction - so it will really pay to have your suspension checked and repaired or upgraded before you go. - My very first real outback trip I did most of the Gunbarrel so can empathize with you, it is a sort of "iconic" road.

Others have mentioned the Great Central Road, this is the softer option - nice drive though. All I will say is you have to have a dream and don't get talked out of something you really want to do - saying you did the "Great Central Road" on your first outback trip just doesn't have the same ring to it as "Gunbarrel Highway".

It is not as remote as it used to be either due to the ever increasing visitor numbers, so there will be other traffic (and it is open 24/7 not like some roads in the Simpson desert.) I'll be there in November to finish off the last two remaining parts of the road I haven't been on, only taken me 15 years :))

Good luck
Alan







Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
"Outback Yonder"


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Reply By: Member - John - Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 07:29

Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 07:29
G'day, have driven the Gunbarrel a couple of times, the last was the toughest, the area had about 50mm of rain and long stretches were under water, with out a snorkel and 4wd I would have been stuck for days...... If you factor that in and drive to conditions, prepare your vehicle correctly, you should be able to do it. Would I recommend doing it in a 2wd Territory, no way................
John and Jan

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Reply By: Gossy - Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 09:14

Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 09:14
Why? Your plastic fantastic body and dash will be ruined yet alone your suspension etc. Ford didn't make your car to do this trip to be blunt.

If your a keen tourist and want to do trips like this then you need to buy a different car. Your resale and repairs bills won't be pretty.

Sorry but someone has to be honest with you.

I'm in the process of building a bash car for the Variety Bash (84 Statesman). Everything that moves is being upgraded and everything exposed is being covered with bash plates etc. $10K to get it all done. If you do nothing to your car and go on a trip like this it will be ruined.

Cheers,

AnswerID: 481711

Follow Up By: Holly R - Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 09:53

Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 09:53
I had a feeling we'd come out the other end with bits hanging off the car. We'd like to a get a proper 4x4, however we don't have enough money at the moment. So we'll save the Gunbarrel for when we can afford to purchase a car that won't fall apart along the way.

Thanks :)
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Reply By: Member - Min (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 18:39

Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 18:39
Hi Holly,

Do the Great Central Road, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. We thought it was a beautiful drive. Make sure you stop at Giles weather station, and be sure to see the legendary Len Beadell's cartoons that he painted when the station was opened. There is also Lassater's cave and beautiful scenery and wildflowers (at the right time) along the road among other interesting things.

Do make sure you have excellent tyres. We met a couple with two small children at Warakurna (near Giles) who had been stranded there for 4 or 5 days because they had blown two tyres. He knew before setting out that they were poor but hoped he'd get by. We gave them some fresh fruit for the kids and wished them luck. The new tyres had turned up that day and they were off in the morning.

You will strike corrugations in some places especially at the NT end but take it easy and your vehicle will cope. You will also find long stretches of excellent road. It's a lottery.

Have fun.
Min
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Follow Up By: Holly R - Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 19:14

Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 19:14
Thanks! I've heard about the weather station, and we thought'd it'd be good to visit. We'll make sure to get some good tyres, as we've only got standard road tyres. Haven't heard of Lasseter's cave before, but looked it up and it seems like a worthwhile stop.
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