Canning Stock Route 08

Tuesday, Dec 22, 2009 at 12:22

Member - Wim (Qld)

Background info.

The incident has some background which in fact precedes the start of our trip from Erldunda south of Alice Springs.
Our trip started with the Gunbarrel Hwy. This is a worthwhile trip to do in its own right. What appeared at the time to be some irritating problems, would pale when it came to what lay ahead.
I will try to concentrate on the main problem as this is the basis of this report.

The trip proper started in Wiluna where everybody resupplied and refuelled. 1200Km to our next fuel supply. Now it goes without saying that all of the vehicles must have been close to or exceeding their maximum weight (sarcasm on my part).

Right from the start we were hearing stories of vehicles with all sorts of problems, mainly suspension issues.
At this point it may be appropriate to give some background to those involved. I did pose the question to our trip leader as to the chances of having this level of experience available.
Trip Leader – Nissan Patrol tray top – A lifetime of outback experience. He will need it.
The team Mechanic – Very modified 75 series - As it turned out a very handy guy to have around.
Our team fitter – A number of people benefited from his experience during our trip. Not just those in our party.
The team electrician and as it turned out carpenter – Electrical problems always seem to crop up on trips like these.
The two retired cockys – these guys were amazing with their bush fixes.
An early retirement – due to issues of his own he moved ahead of the group.
Our NT member – what he carried in that Toyota was amazing.



The main problem.
Part way into the trip David started to experience problems with his shock absorbers. Over a period of time he ended up losing the two rear and one front shock.
As I have subsequently learnt this condition has consequences other than just an uncomfortable ride for the passenger.
Via HF & VKS various efforts were made to quire new shocks. This eventually proved fruitless. However HF contact was comforting.
After a day of relatively easy going (the conditions in themselves had not been that arduous just three weeks of it had taken its toll) it was getting onto 4.00pm and we were looking for a camp for the night. At that point David heard a very disturbing noise from the rear of his Nissan. After some inspection it was clear this Nissan was not going anywhere without a truck to carry it out or some sort of bush fix.
Due to the lack of sock absorbers in the rear the spring mount had bent and the rear chassis had a large crack in it. This appears to be a common problem.
Given the cost and more importantly the time frame to remove the Nissan to a repair shop we needed a fix.

The fix.

After some discussion the the method of repair was decided.
The rear suspension on both side would be made solid. This was done by removing the bump stops and inserting a block of grevillea between the axle and the chassis rail on both sides.. These were then wire tired in three places to the spring.
The top of the spring mounts were then chained to the rear axle and the chains tightened to holed the grevillea bocks in place and support the top of the spring mounts.
A modified steel plate was inserted under the chassis rail and clamped in place by two “U” bolts.
The result of this was that the gap in the crack in the chassis rail was gone and we now had a solid rear end.
The tire pressure was now reduced to 10psi. It was now 8.00pm. Four hours and it was ready to go.
A couple of very slow days (walking pass) and the vehicle was on the Tanimi road and still going strong.
To try and make David's journey as easy as possible, the corrugations were reduced through another bush fix but that's another story.
This bush fix allowed David to get back to Townsville where repairs were carried out.
Camper setup
July 2012 - Hay River & Binns track
VKS 737 Mobile 0091
Selcall 0091

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