Left Townsville at 11:00 AM Saturday on an 875km two day journey. Townsville up Hervey Range continuing past Keelbottom Ck, Star River, Burdekin River to Battery Crossing to the Gregory Development Rd, thence past Bluewater Springs, over the Clarke River, a refueling stop at Greenvale and onto the Lynd Junction. Took the Kidston turnoff and along the dirt to Einasleigh. Overnight at Einasleigh, departing for Mt Surprise at 9:00 AM Sunday across the Copperfield River and along the dirt to the Gulf Development road and then bitumen into Mt Surprise for a refueling stop. Then down the Gulf Development road past the Undarra turn off to the Gregory Development road to the Lava Plains turn off, lots of roadworks delays this section. 175 km of dirt past Lava Plains, down to Mt Fox to the top of the range then bitumen to Ingham and home to Townsville.
The Monit trip computer was calibrated before departure distances showed remarkable consistenct with the Garmin GPS.
The fridge operated well freezing water bottles, there will be cold beer for all!
There was about 300km of dirt with at least half of that corrugated and very rough, some very deep floodways that tested the bash plate. Also there were many cattle grids where we were almost airborne. Some sideways motion, plenty of rattles, although no more at the finish than the start.
Engine power was quite adequate, Hervey Range in third gear, fuel consumption was between 6.25 and 6.75 km/litre (17.6-19.0 mpg), giving about 500km on the main tank and 600km on the reserve for a total range of 1,100km.
The car boiled at the top of Hervey Range, radiator topped up at Keelbottom Creek but boiled again before Star River boiled again and topped up at Blue water Springs Roadhouse. Travel speeds 70-85km/hr. The bash plate seems to be restricting the airflow and causing the engine to heat up. At Bluewater Springs rear edges of the bonnet raised about 25mm to let hot air out of engine compartment, this action and reduced speed to 75kph seemed to solve problem. We will provide some vents in the bash plate, flush radiator and refill and test again
Initially with a normally hot engine oil pressure was holding at around 20psi at a constant 80kph. With the engine overheating the oil pressure dropped to 10-15psi Relieving the overheating should enable better oil pressure. We will check on the next run.
The car will be put on a hoist and the entire underneath checked for damage, oil leaks loose bolts tightened, exhaust system for leaks and loose joints, suspension bushes, universal joints, check and repack wheel bearings etc. Then a 6,000 mile full lube job and service performed. Clean air cleaner and replace oil.
Steering problem with something binding in system, got progressively worse with further distance travelled, almost undrivable on return to Townsville. The cause was lack of lubrication and overtightening of the recirculating pin. Lubrication and adjustment solved the problem.
Differential whines above 70km/h no change to noise level over journey.
Dust penetration into the cab and boot a huge comfort problem We will pad the baffles at bottom of doors to seal against the body and provide a flexible rubber seal along the bottom of the boot lid and sealing around fuel pipes to reduce dust entry.
Next trial run scheduled for third week in June to allow last minute adjestments prior to transporting the car to Brisbane on 23 June for shipment.
Loading up Townsville, where do we stow all this stuff
Crossing the Copperfield River