Simpson Day 1

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 17:18


Day 1 Bendigo to Hattah Lakes
A wet night, a wet morning. A straight forward trip up the highway. Lunch at Sea Lake, sunshine from Sea Lake on. 3 pm arrival at the camp site.
Only drama was running out of fuel 8km from our planned refuelling stop at Ouyen - with a calculated 10 l of fuel still left in the tank!!??
We pulled off the road, the engine had cut out, and contemplated the significant unpacking required to get access to the reserve fuel on board.
I tried the starter motor - success. Was it dirty fuel? One kilometre down the road and the same thing happens. We pause, we contemplate. Ignition on, I hear the pump in the fuel tank operate momentarily, the engine starts - but it is not happy. Then a thought. The engine runs well enough for a quick figure 8 in the dirt beside the road, and we drive to Ouyen without further incident where we are able to put just 50 l into the 60 l tank.
Why? My guess: The fuel tank is a saddle tank sitting across the transmission tunnel, with fuel pickup on one side, and an internal pump to move the fuel from one side to the other. If that pump is not operating there is about 10 l which is not accessible. My figure eight sloshed that fuel around a bit; I must figure out which side the fuel pickup is on.
Fuel consumption was a bit better today - 12.2 LHK, help by mostly travelling around 95 km/h. Based on unexpectedly high consumption 4 years ago on a similar trip I suspect there are three contributing causes: (a) vehicle weight, (b) the AT tyres - probably high rolling resistance, and (c) the roof rack.
Fuel was 1 cent/litre cheaper at little Ouyen than at Calder (Melbourne)!
Jamie, Les, and Jessica arrived last night. Jamie's swag did not cope well with the significant rain and he ended up sleeping in the car.
Peter and Jean arrived a couple of hours before us, Stephen shortly after us (carrying a cold so left today rather than yesterday, allowing more time for recuperation).
Martin and Bev's bedding got wet - the roof-top pod leaked - so they were drying it out before leaving Melbourne 11-ish.
Damian left around 1pm so should be here an hour or two after dark.
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