PartyRol is Dead !

Submitted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 11:43
ThreadID: 95529 Views:3318 Replies:16 FollowUps:20
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Maybe this post should be called "What use is a Winch on a dry flat road", or maybe "How not to react to news of an accident".
Either way Axles post about cars having a soul springs to mind here and a valid question could be did this car die or did it commit suicide ?

I am sure many will be aware of my 4800 manual GU Patrol which has been the subject of many adventures over the years which have ranged across the country from Cape York to the Canning, the Madigan line and countless trips and close calls.

For my requirements there was nothing that could be done to it make it any better, we even brought a brand new 4800 auto patrol and ran them side by side in a failed attempt to make the new one as good as the old.

Under some pressure I finally sold it to a young adult in our circle of friends and it began its new life.

Within 24 hours, what I thought was the perfect car was declared inadequate until a giant sub-woofer was installed.

1 month and three winch rescues later it came up our driveway on a fateful Saturday night a couple of weeks ago.

The young adults needed my electronic engineering skills.

I noted that the car sported a large banner in which the word Patrol had 2 letters added and it now read "Partyrol".

They had with them a 300mm diameter multicoloured plastic ball which I gather rotates and projects coloured light.
I think they have them at Disco's - forgive my terminology, this isn't my scene.

Anyway the idea was to make this thing work while hanging inside the car.

Ok, figured it out and about midnight they headed off to go to our 4wd property.

Its now about 1am and 3km from the destination on a dry but dark night on a very lonely narrow tree lined dirt road.

A half seen kangaroo jumps out from the driver side and the driver swings left.
He instantly sees that the car is heading for a tree and violently spins the wheel right, the passenger side backend barely touches the first tree as they slew right.

Their speed is only 40kmh but the car now points at a second tree and they are off line.
The driver tries to swing back left again, the car begins to respond but the drivers front wheel hits a small embankment in front of the tree.

Good effort, they almost made it but the drivers side front strikes the second tree a glancing blow as the embankment is lifting the front end off the ground.

The forces cause the backend to come around and the car begins a roll onto the passenger side.

I have always praised the stability of these cars and this is when it was needed.

Still mostly on the road, with its nose still collapsing into the tree the car goes over onto its passenger side and the back slides around a full 180 degrees.

The momentum carries the sliding and rotating car, off and past the tree.

It does a full 270 degree spin , sliding on its side but does not actually roll over.

My son was a passenger in the car.

The car has stopped and the first thing he sees is dirt through the side window about 6 inches from his nose and is aware of pressure from the driver hanging above him from his seat belt.

The ignition is on and electric windows still work so they clamber out the drivers window.

Now I have to be a little circumspect here. The driver was, shall we say "completely inconsolable".

By the light of a mobile phone they tried to make the best of things, both are tough motocross riders, they considered their injuries "Superficial".

Amazingly the winch housing was cracked but it worked noisily however it could do little to put the car back on its wheels.

Calling for outside help was low on their list of priorities, but the "mental" situation was deteriorating.

My son thought that they needed a focus and purpose, it was 2am.

He knew they were only 3km from our bush block and a hand winch and so off they ran to get it.

They couldn't find the hand winch but grabbed a drag chain and snatch block, had a short rest and carrying this load, ran back to the car which was still lying on its side across the road.

They rigged the block, drag chain and assorted winch straps such that they could get a sideways pull on the car.
But the pull just caused the car to slide along the road.
By holding the winch on and rocking the car from its roof they got the wheels to dig in and lifted the car.

A minute later Partyrol flopped onto its wheels, its now 3am.


Image Could Not Be Found


It was a mess but the car seemed mechanically ok apart from the radiator and bonnet squashed into the fan.

Using the winch, its rope was put around a tree and back to the cross member above the radiator and it was used to pull the cross member away from the engine.
Some more hammer work and checks and with great relief the engine started.

The 3rd use for the winch was to tie the rope over the crushed bonnet and winch it securely down.

At 4am they drove the 3km back to our property arriving just as the engine began to overheat with steam pouring out of the holed radiator.

2 hours rest and a few bandages later they phoned the parents.

Unfortunately the inconsolable driver received a long irate lecture and nearly lost it again.

When our call came I asked only one question - how can we help ?

A couple of hours later we arrived on the scene carrying lots of water and cans of Bars Leak and tools.

Despite a lot of superficial damage the car was mechanically sound, we bogged the radiator and after a couple more hours work the car was driven back to Melbourne.

We cleaned up the dirt road - and even the neighbours would never know of the drama that occurred there during the night.


P.S. Partyrol was declared a right off.
Robin Miller

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Reply By: JimDi - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 12:17

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 12:17
Hi Robin,
Glad to hear no harm came to the occupants. Apologies for my poor attempt at humour..but perhaps it was car suicide,maybe the Patrol decided it had become unfit for purpose.
Regards
jim
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 14:16

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 14:16
Thanks Jim , at least if never got a roofbar and spotlights , but I heard they were on order.
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 12:51

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 12:51
Bit sad to lose the car in that fashion Robin.
Pleased as no doubt you were that no one was hurt.

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 14:15

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 14:15
Agree John - it had the potential to end badly , if it had gone right over.
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Reply By: get outmore - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 13:27

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 13:27
on a more serious note

40kph? at that speed it would have stopped almost straightaway and youd be lucky to throw it sideways

kangaroo??? (weve all used that one)

sounds much more like the old chestnuts of speed mucking around and inexperience

very lucky he ended up wiping off most of the speed by the time it rolled
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 14:22

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 14:22
A natural reaction Getoutmore , but I have been around a few of these things and you can be sure I carefully checked out the story.

Seemed to stack up , and despite the front crossmember taking a hit the air bag didin't deploy which allowed the car to be driven.

I think your comment about inexperience is very valid.

The driver knows very well to not swerve for animals but instinctively did nevertheless and in a second the die was cast.
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Reply By: Bigfish - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 13:45

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 13:45
Jumping kangaroos and 40kph.....yes and watch out for fairies in the bottom of the garde.....
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 14:27

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 14:27
Hi Bigfish

Good to be skeptical , but as in my reply to Getoutmore the whole scenario seems to fit the evidence pretty well.

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Follow Up By: Muntoo - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 19:52

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 19:52
Yeah, 40km/hr and you say they are stable?

Done a lot of silly stuff in my time, but never tipped one over.

Regardless though, they are young and nobody was hurt. It happens and hopefully its the lesson that needed to be learned.

Unfortunately a nice car was lost.

At least they survived. Thats the main thing.

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Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 16:24

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 16:24
I know of quite a few vehicles that have got into trouble missing a roo. A good bull bar is what's needed no matter what the speed.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 19:31

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 19:31
Hi Tony

Maybe , but I never liked them.

In the darkness they only half saw the Roo at first, and under questioning couldn't guarantee that it wasn't a Wombat which are common at the scene.

I think its this instinctive react/overreact behaviour that only hard earned experience can help with.

I suspect though that better side lighting may have helped , but the road was so narrow (no wider than the cars length) , hence the animal is just right there in front of one without warning.
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Reply By: Bigfish - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 16:30

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 16:30
Robin..I think it is my age that is showing!
Been there , done that and have blamed a few roos myself!!
Main thing is no-one hurt BUT if it was my old car I would have been a tad upset....like to think that it had plenty of travels after me still in it.

Could be an expensive learning curve.
cheers
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 19:41

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 19:41
Mine to Bigfish , I hadn't really let go of the old faithful car and its treasure trove of memories.

The crash was harder for the occupants , but I was pretty cut up on arriving at the scene.

Their are still bits of windscreen in the bush and marks on the tree and I have to drive past them every week or so, might have another work session up there soon.
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Reply By: NTVRX - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 16:30

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 16:30
Sad end to a good vehicle Robin. I bet you & the co driver were a little "miffed" seeing the vehicle in that state BUT..material things can be replaced Lives cannot....good to hear apart from a bit of skin off, hurt pride & probably some $$$$$ lighter the young adult may have learnt something. Me thinks PARTYROL has lived up to her name. !!! Rob
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 19:48

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 19:48
I hope your comment about learning some lessons comes true Rob.

Today the driver was around discussing the ins and out of their next car and all the talk just seemed to be about how main pounds of boost a 4.2 Patrol ute could be wound up to etc etc - I suggested they buy an old basic Commodore and drive it
till they saved up the cash , however I don't think my advice was well received.
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Reply By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 18:15

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 18:15
Hi Robin,

Good to here everyone was unhurt (maybe a little pride) Hope its a lesson learned as we've all done some silly stuff, I could of killed myself dozes of times when i was younger.

Cheers Wilko
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 19:50

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 19:50
Well I'm glad you dodged all the bullets Wilko - at this end a lot of overconfident pride was lost I can assure you.
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Reply By: gbc - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 19:51

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 19:51
Must be the week for it Robin. My darling daughter made it into the N.T. News last week when she and a girlfriend cleaned up a pig on the way back to Jabiru and wrote their car off.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 08:32

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 08:32
I hope she was ok GBC , I reckon some of those pigs can be tough all right, sort of like super wombats.
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Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 20:39

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 20:39
Good to see no-one was hurt, except perhaps some pride.

I know you are not big on roo-bars Robyn, but this is the exact reason I believe they are necessary. Just having one on gives a psychological edge and the inexperienced driver may not have swerved, knowing he had a protected front end.

Anyway, the main thing is there are no injuries and perhaps some lessons have been learnt.

Cheers

Captain
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 08:38

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 08:38
That is an interesting way to look at it Captain.

Knowing you have the bar - making you less inclined to swerve.

I suspect that could be so depending on the drivers personality.

It doesn't work much for me as I'm from the "Glass is oversized for its function" rather than its 1/2 full or 1/2 empty , but I suspect its a factor for some and worth pursuing.
The driver is still kicking himself for trying to avoid.
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Reply By: fisho64 - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 21:52

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 21:52
glad everyone was ok.

Im pretty sure I couldnt get my 100TD to tip over at 40kph on a flat road.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 08:42

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 08:42
Hi Fisho , I reckon I know someone who could do it for you though !
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 21:55

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 21:55
Gday Robin,

I guess there's a good reason why some insurance companies won't insure young males in big 4wds. My insurance company just quoted $3200 a year to insure a 20 year old male driving a 4800 Patrol worth say $16,000.

I sincerely hope that you were not still the registered owner and that it wasn't carrying your insurance. I wouldn't offer a cent to help - let them learn the hard way.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 08:56

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 08:56
Hi Phil

Your a bit tough on them , but know it was all done correctly, I rather not play the games that some do !

On your insurance quote , that sounds about double our kids and for half the value.

Our 21 yo son drives an 6lt manual Maloo ute - I am told its the fastest legal ute you can buy and this combination is apparently uninsurable if you go in cold.

However we went down the path of taking out 3rd party only insurance when 18 in our joint names and just upgrading and transferring the insurance for each car - this was told to us as acceptable insurance planning , however if he let the insurance lapse they wouldn't renew it.

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 21:13

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 21:13
Gday Robin,
I have 4 kids in their late 20's early 30's. If I could teach them something about cars, it is to
#1 respect the cars they drive and
#2 drive to the conditions

If they have an accident (and mine have had a couple), then they have to take it on the chin. Can't blame the road; or the vehicle, kangaroo, wombats, dogs or their inexperience....usual story is that they were driving too fast for the conditions.

But I won't contribute to their insurance. Paying their own insurance is what teaches them #1 and #2 above. If the insurance costs too much, then they can't afford the car.

Cheers
phil
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Reply By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 00:14

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 00:14
Geez Robin, great that no one was hurt, roos and gravel roads are not a good combination at any speed. I would have been devastated if that was one of my vehicles..... Glad it all worked out OK in the end.

Cheers

Deanna



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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 09:16

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 09:16
Hello Deanna - Thanks for thoughts.

Below the surface reasons for these things are often factors that are not appreciated and I should not detract from inexperience being a big factor however these was a much more subtle factor at play , this was road improvements.

I will explain a little , there is (was) some 10km of rough dirt road up to our place, so rough that speed was quite slow.

Only a few months ago the council was given lots pf money from bushfire fires and heavily graded the road putting in drains rounding the top but making no wider and then they pored endless trucks loads of gravel onto it.

Our sons lowered ute could never drive the road previously , but now its like a dirt highway, smooth and covered in loose gravel , and can now be driven in the ute.

The average speed was about 25kmh but is now around 40.

I believe that this road improvement played a part in the events that occurred.

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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 23:22

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 23:22
I remember hitting a patch of gravel on a stretch of road that roadworks had just laid down back in the 70s, I was driving a Falcon Station wagon at the time with my four kids in it, went for a nice skid and tail sway, luckily I held it OK. It can and does happen.

Cheers

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Reply By: GT Campers - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 13:13

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 13:13
Lesson learnt, hopefull, for these lucky lads. I have seen - as I'm sure others have, too - of vehicles with similar damage, and a victim still strapped in to a seat, sans a major body part
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 15:20

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 15:20
I seriously hope they really learn the lesson GT.

So much of the after talk is about how XYZ escaped from ABC etc.
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Reply By: Member - Richard W (NSW) - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 06:26

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 06:26
Robin,

As said, glad to hear no serious injuries.
Shame about the vehicle.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 15:24

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 15:24
Hi Richard

I have begun to bring my auto 4800 Patrol up to scratch now , and as you say its a real shame about the vehicle , and am beginning to realize just how much time goes into all the little things that I modified, I have access to the old one though which helps.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 06:42

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 06:42
Perhaps they would have been safer in a Prado with Stability control, that may have not rolled. :-)

( I am just winding you up Robin)

Glad no one was hurt though.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 14:26

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 14:26
Hi Ya BooBook

It would be interesting to see what stab control does on hitting the angled embankment, but without proper wheel contact it looks like the basics physics
takes over and its a tricky call, but I suspect thats why to didn't actually go right over.

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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 15:59

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 15:59
I have no idea what would happen in that situation and don't really want to find out. My vehicle does have it and I went into the soft edge of a dirt track on a tight corner once a little too fast, and it pulled my 4wd round before I even had time to react. It was quite impressive. But that is a quite different situation to what you described and where it is designed to help I guess.

The main bloody thing is the GU would have provided a lot of protection, and all were ok. Thank god. I just hope the sub woofer was damaged :-)
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