Saturday, January 10, 2009

Problems are just opportunities in work clothes

It was two weeks before Christmas and all through the car

A terrible clonking sound that stopped us driving too far...

One of KYB's finest shock absorbers gave up fairly dramatically by shearing at the base. So out with the credit card and on with the Konis just in time (literally) for our epic Christmas trip.

Great fun - up to NSW and all around the forests, some boring straight roads to get there, but we took back roads where practical ... which is very good fun. We got to drive some brilliant roads and camped in some amazing spots. Poor Ella suffered the embarrassment of attempting to overtake a police highway patrol car that was going under the speed limit just where the white line went solid and a fixed camera was installed. Fortunately she ducked back in just in time!

Christmas NSW 08 004

Christmas NSW 08 012

We did a fair amount of walking in the World Heritage Rainforests which were truly spectacular. There were lots of gorges and waterfalls and other nature stuff.

Christmas NSW 08 057

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The car was heavily loaded and exhibited some 'interesting' camber on the rear wheels and meant the bum dragged a bit too much for my liking. I'm considering getting some airbag spring assisters when finances allow. They're easily adjustable so I can change the pressure depending on the load in the car.

My father-in-law was impressed by BOB's newfound power as he tried to keep up with us in his turbo diesel 4x4.

The last place we camped - Nymboi/Binderay National Park - to go on a whitewater rafting trip involved some really bumpy roads and a water crossing to get in. We made it in just, but in the morning I noticed a flat.

Christmas NSW 08 157

Given the state of the roads the best idea seemed to be to patch the tyre up - it was leaking from an old patch - to get back out to a tyre fitter and save the spare for an emergency. My father-in-law had all the kit needed and dived in to do it.
Christmas NSW 08 160

Unfortunately the tyre-fitters were utter numpties and managed to strip a couple of nuts on the wheels. That's easily done on S wheels, but I'd warned them of the problem and they hadn't even told me - we were 100km down the road when Ella complained of a wobble!

Worse still, the next morning - having driven 1,000km - I discovered that I had a flat tyre. The idiots had changed the wrong bloody tyre!!! Needless to say I'm getting a couple more free tyres from them now.

The only other problems on the trip were the two broken exhaust mounts - the rear join where the pipe goes through the trailing arm (I was able to bodge that) and the gearbox mount which needs further investigation. We've also developed a bit of a noise when decelerating and a crack in the back box. All this hard driving's taking its toll!

The Konis were magic though, a considerable improvement on the harsher KYBs and I'm sure they will have limited the damage.

Christmas NSW 08 168

All up we totalled 3,800km in two weeks, fuel economy looks to have been 10.6 l/100km or 27mpg, not bad considering the state of tune, the road types and the heavy load.

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