Another interesting trip to say the least
We left home on Saturday 26.10.15 nice and early, had a pleasant run up to Cunninghams gap, which VP had not climbed before. It is longer than the range climb at Toowoomba, but not as steep.
All was going well just before we started the climb, all of a sudden no power, down, down the gears just to move the thing along. By this time we were in the lower parts of the climb, it felt like a brake was locked on but there is no place to stop along there at all so just kept pushing it in first, eventually seemed to run a bit easier so got up to second. That was where she stayed until the top of the range, there is a spot to pull over so we did and I felt all the wheels looking for the hot one. WTF there wasn’t any above barely warm ! So started up again and VP took off, running as perfectly as she had been up to now !
Got to within a couple of kilometres of Warwick and it started happening again. First time was at @ 150 klicks, second time about 15 klicks, this is getting serious so we stopped and I called a mobile diesel mech that had worked for McAffertys in the past so knew the 2 strokes well. He had a job on but we agreed if we could get to the Caltex truck stop he would meet us there, we managed that but it happened again as we pulled in, only about 3 klicks this time. That happened later in the afternoon and he did all sorts of checks and could find nothing wrong, although he did notice that the jakes seemed to be letting go late, while he was revving it. We took it for a little run without the trailer and it seemed fine, so fixed him up (only $100 for a few hours work as he felt he had not done much). Put the trailer back on and moved right to the rear of the Caltex to try and get some sleep as it was getting dark, noticed on the way 1 trailer blinker side light was not working.
Woke up and checked the trailer lights, the cable must have caught on the coupling where we were reversing, few wires need reterminating, do that and get ready to leave, bring one side in and it stops, blown fuse, replace that and start up ready to go, turn on all the 12 v stuff, nothing. A fuse that looks perfect but has no continuity is to blame. Notice a pattern here ? both these incident fall under the “these things come in 3’s” banner.
Headed south to fuel at Gilgandra, VP is running like a charm without the jakes switched on so ready to turn right and head to Broken Hill on the way to Albany. While fuelling I noticed we had a broken front wheel stud so we found a caravan park to pull into and rang another mobile mech to give me a hand to change it (I had a spare). While he was doing them up another two snapped, with hardly any pressure on them. Thats it, I am not moving until we have a new set made. As I write this the new studs are in the mech’s hands and will be fitted Tuesday as Monday is a holiday.
We have a guy in Brisbane who makes new studs and nuts for the alloys (this one knows what he is doing) so we called him to get a set for the front made. He had to go away to a funeral so left it to his leading hand to complete. I arranged for my son to go to Brisbane and get them, then give them to the produce carriers we use, they run a B double to Melbourne every day at that time of year. Met up with the guy at the Shell at Gilgandra, got the young mech out to give us a hand, popped a wheel and knocked out the studs to find the guy making them had used the wrong reference file, they were too small.
Went through the whole exercise again, got the new set, they were overcompensated, they were too big !!! Grrrr!!! So the mech took them to an engineer to run the knurling down slightly, he took them too far, now they are, just, too small !!! Bloody hell, put them in, mark each one to make sure they stayed tight, wheels back on and we are out of here and heading home, stop every 50 K’s or so for few couple of hundred just to make sure all OK. Spent the night at Yelabon, very pleasant. Started out next morning, sometimes after releasing the accelerator at the top of a hill the pedal stayed down, tried a few things to solve but no go, funnily enough the last time it did it was right at the top of Cunninghams Gap, not the place you want this to happen going down. No further dramas till we got home.
Had a complete new set made and fitted by CPF, after they were all done we discovered they had made the outer hex part of the nuts 2mm smaller and the chrome trims would not fit. Back to the drawing boards, still waiting for the new set, want to fit during Xmas. What a drama !