LJ78 Build Thread

Ben Feb 6, 2017

  1. SteveS

    SteveS Well-Known Member

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    Great pictures Ben - been a bit lazy getting my pics to you which I will do now as we have good internet access at long last. We really enjoyed the trip with you and lex
     
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  2. SteveS

    SteveS Well-Known Member

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    I went over to the guys in the mud and asked whether they wanted to continue going downwards or needed help . He shouted to the other driver to put the recovery strap around the tow ball.....we retreated to a very safe distance. But they did a good pull at the second attempt and he got out.....Ben saw the doors open a load of stinky mud fall out

    The nice panoramic views were from the fire tower on a beautiful day.

    It was a great w/e -loved it!
     
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  3. SteveS

    SteveS Well-Known Member

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    Still waiting for my 32Gb data card to fill up on the main camera so I can download the pics
     
  4. clivehorridge

    clivehorridge Well-Known Member Supporter Guru I am in romania

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    Great write up guys and such wonderful photos! Great to see members meeting up especially in such ideal locations.

    Thanks for going to the trouble of posting... it means a lot to us “armchair” Overlanders :lol:
     
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  5. Ben

    Ben Well-Known Member Guru I am in australia

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    Time for an update......................

    Just before my last trip I had noticed my visous fan was cracked and had a few bits missing. :thumbdown:

    Obviously from hitting water crossings a bit fast in order to make a big splash for the camera. :icon-redface:

    So I had made a temporary repair using cable ties. :shifty:

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    Then while on that trip I was intermittently loosing power steering and the steering would go very heavy. :wtf:

    It made the trip and kept its record of being a 100% reliable vehicle but obviously needed fixing.

    So I decided it was time I spent some dollars and show it some love. :icon-cool:

    I bought a new fan and a timing bet kit as the last time I changed the timing belt was 7 years ago.

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    And just before Christmas I made a start stripping it all down.

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    I was expecting to have to rebuild the power steering pump, but the issue proved much simpler than that and had I diagnosed the cause on the trip I could have fixed it.

    One of the bolts that holds the hose fitting to the pump had been lost and the other one was loose.

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    So I bought a genuine O ring and found a suitable length M6 bolt and that was that fixed. :dance:

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    From that point on things didnt go to plan..................

    Whilst changing the timing belt one of the M6 bolts that hold the hydraulic tensioner on sheared off in the engine. :angry-screaming:

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    When I last changed the timing belt I foolishly drowned all the bolts in locktight. :icon-redface:

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    I tried turning it with vice grips but that didnt work so then I resorted to welding a nut on.

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    Sadly that just resulted in it shearing off flush. :icon-mad

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    So not wanting to remove the grill, radiator and all those bits I went out and bought a right angle drill and an easy out (damaged bolt remover).

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    Annoyingly the evil out snapped off leaving a piece of its hardened steel in the bolt. :angry-banghead:

    So then I had no choice but to strip it all down in order to remove that section of engine casing in order to replace it.

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    Found some Lincomb sand in one of the pulleys from when I drowned LJ 8 years ago!

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    I had to make some tools like the ones in the FSM, one to hold the bottom pulley while removing the nut and another to pull it off.

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    Normally I use Amayama when importing genuine parts, but as I was desperate for the replacement casing section I used Megazip as in the past I found them to be a lot quicker.

    Well that was a mistake. :|

    I ordered just before Christmas and it took a month to get here when they estimated it would take 10 days. :angry-screaming:

    I should have saved some money and gone with Ama. :shifty:


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    So anyway.....................eventually it arrived complete with new seals! :dance:

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    Comparing the 2.

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    Bolted it on.

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    Torqued the crank pulley bolt up.

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    Timing belt went on next.

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    Followed by the cover.

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    Next the vacuum pump needed to go on, but it would need new O rings, which I'd forgotten to order. :doh:

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    Got new O rings from my local bearing shop, not genuine but very cheap and exactly the right size.

    Went to do the power steering hose fitting up only to find the nut wouldnt go tight and had cross threaded! :icon-rolleyes:

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    I couldnt find a part number for the fitting the bolt screws into but I could find the part number for the bolt so I ordered a new one of those and hoped it would screw in.

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    Unfortunately the thread in the fitting was too damaged and I didnt want to force it.

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    Not a problem I will buy a tap and re-cut the thread.

    Well I knew it was an obscure size as I measured it as 9mm and my local engineering suppliers confirmed it was M9 x 0.75.

    A very odd size and one they didnt carry a tap for. :doh:

    I went to see my local hydraulic hose shop to see if they had any sort of fitting that would work, even if I had to TIG weld it on.

    The guy serving me didnt have a tap that size and was struggling to find a fitting that would work, when one of the other guys who works there came in and by shear fluke he had an M9 x 0.75 tap! :dance:

    He said hed bought a big random assortment of taps from China off ebay for $100 and it had pretty much every size tap available! :icon-cool:

    The guy wouldnt even take any money from me for re-tapping the thread and supplying me with 3 new copper washers! :shock: :clap:

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    That all bolted up beautifully! :character-beavisbu:

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    And along with the new O rings could be bolted back onto the engine.

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    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  6. Ben

    Ben Well-Known Member Guru I am in australia

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    I put the old fan/ac belts on and drove it around for a few days and it became apparent that the clutch badly needed replacing. :doh:

    So I got it on the hoist at work the Friday before last.

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    And one hour later the transmission was out and clutch off! :shifty:

    Much easier and faster than doing it on the driveway!

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    Flywheel had a few hot spots.

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    The rear main oil seal looked like it had been weeping slightly.

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    So at great expense I bought one from my local main stealer.

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    Fitted it.

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    New clutch kit and nicely machined flywheel.

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    Its 8 years since I last changed the clutch and that was when I originally fitted the 1Kz engine into LJ! :think:

    And that was an Exedy clutch so I figured if it can take 8 years of heavy off road use and abuse then I will fit the same again! :icon-twisted:


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    Every component in the box was made in Japan. :clap:

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    Bolted the flywheel on.

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    Followed by the new clutch.

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    And then got the transmission back on.

    While it was on the hoist I also investigated the poor handbrake and discovered one side was not healthy at all! :doh:


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    The shoes were destroyed.

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    As was the inside of the rear disc brakes which they run in. :icon-evil:

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    Drum brakes are absolute bull shit they really are, I hate them! :angry-cussingblack:

    So I'm going to fit some proper hydraulic rear brake calipers that have a cable handbrake mechanism on them! :icon-twisted:

    The rear calipers on the Ford Ranger Raptor look perfect!

    I just need to source some and mount them! :icon-cool:

    While it was on the hoist I also took the opportunity to grease all the UJ's on the props and change the diff oils.

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    Very fine swarf but thankfully no lumps of metal.

    The diff gears have run in beautifully since I got the diffs rebuilt and front locker fitted.

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    So quick and easy to when you can just pump the new oil in.

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    The plug that plugs onto my temp gauge sender on my engine had seen better days and was no longer making a good connection, resulting in my temp gauge not working.

    So I bought a new pug off ebay.

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    Fitted it to a piece of 2mm wire.

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    Quick comparison with my old one while fitting it.

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    Soldered the wire on to my loom.

    And now my temp gauge is working again! :dance:

    I folded some 2.5mm alluminium and got it powder coated.

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    As roof mounted lights/light bars are currently illegal in my state, its best to have them covered to keep the vehicle legal and avoid any attention from the police.

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    It pushes on easily and is a nice snug fit.

    When I do my off road trips I will just remove the cover prior to doing any night time driving.

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    And my final little bit of work on The 78 didnt go to plan either. :icon-rolleyes:

    I went to fit new fan and ac belts, got them on, tensioned all up lovely then found the idler pulley nut wouldnt go tight. :doh:

    I couldnt find the part number for the bolt so had to order a complete unit and for once I was actually surprised by how reasonable the price was for a genuine part from my local main dealer! :wtf:

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    It was only this bit I really needed but for the price I was happy to replace everything.

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    All fitted! :dance:

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    Then after all that work and The 78 being off the road for almost 2 months it was time for a shake down trip. :icon-cool:

    My boss offered me some fire wood from his farm so I went on a 200k road trip with the trailer to get some.

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    She didnt miss a beat and was a pleasure to drive! :clap:

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    4 day High Country trip next weekend! :dance: :icon-twisted: :flags-australia:
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  7. Chris

    Chris Super Moderator Supporter I am in europe

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    All in all then, just a couple of simple 5 minute jobs then Ben.

    :angry-screaming:
     
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  8. Chris Boorer

    Chris Boorer Member I am in australia

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    Nice job mate and your patience is legendary lol glad it all came together as planned sort of lol great job and great write up
     
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  9. hairyguy4

    hairyguy4 Well-Known Member

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    Great adventures as always! The trick to getting a broken bolt out by welding a nut on is to weld a washer on first, then weld the nut onto the washer, got quite a few snapped studs out that way :sunglasses:
     
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  10. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Well-Known Member Supporter Guru I am in uk

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    I have to say you’ve been rather unlucky with that bolt Ben. I bet you kicked yourself right to the bottom of your garden and back for that one. You probably know this by now but there two strengths of Loctite, one that can be undone and the other that has to be heated to break the bond. If your luck hadn’t run out that day I’d have thought the heat from welding the nut on would have been enough to break the studlock. I’ve never had any luck with ‘easy outs’ so haven’t used them in years. Drilling out has been most successful but it has to be done dead centre followed by a tap. I’m not sure how this would go on a steel thread studlocked into ally. Difficulty factor 11 I’d say.

    I must say I was a bit alarmed to see the Lincomb sand in that pulley. That means it got into all sorts of places, particularly the timing belt cover, that you’d rather not have something abrasive. So on balance, I’d say changing those seals with the plate was no bad thing. I don’t suppose that bottom pulley gave up the fight easily.

    You learned a lot that day.
     
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  11. AndyCook

    AndyCook Well-Known Member I am in scotland

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    Nightmare with the stripped and snapped bolts,
    I have never had luck with darn Ezi outs either, they always snap and leave even harder bit of steel stuck in place....

    Good test for the new clutch with that pile of wood
     
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  12. Ben

    Ben Well-Known Member Guru I am in australia

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    Thanks guys. :thumbup:

    Its been a nightmare and the worst thing was that before I decided to do this maintenance it was running perfectly fine! :icon-redface:

    Oh well...............hopefully it will be reliable and not need anymore money spending on it for a while. :pray:
     
  13. Paddler Ed

    Paddler Ed Well-Known Member I am in australia

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    I remember when I was working on the motorbike here and needed a set of ezi-outs...

    I was in the shop looking at them, and the guys how I was going... my response was along the lines it's never a good day when you're looking at ezi-outs... which is the biggest misnomer ever for a tool - they're never there to make it easy.

    Ended up a pillar drill job to get the bolts out.
     
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  14. Victor

    Victor Well-Known Member

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    Nice write-up.. But how come you havent fitted electrical fans yet, with a button/switch to turn them off manually at watercrossings?
     
  15. Ben

    Ben Well-Known Member Guru I am in australia

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    Thanks. :thumbup:

    I hate electric fans on 4wd's! :thumbdown:

    I did fit one to my 1KZ-T engine years ago and it used to overheat all the time! IMO viscous fans are much more reliable and thats why Mr T fits them to every LandCruiser! :shifty:

    It was water crossings that I suspect broke the old one but it was 25 year old plastic that had been continually heated and cooled so it was probably in need of a replacement anyway! :think:
     
  16. Ben

    Ben Well-Known Member Guru I am in australia

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    Last weekend I headed to the town of Dargo up in the High Country for a trip with the guys and girls from the Toyota Bundera Australia club. :icon-cool:

    We were extremely lucky with the weather as we've had some really hot weather this summer and this trip was arranged months ago.

    The weather would turn out to be absolutely perfect! Warm and sunny but not too hot! :dance:

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    Where as this weekend its been in the high 30's everyday and there have been out of control bushfires and most of the tracks we drove are now closed. :thumbdown:

    I set off at 5:30am on Friday and after a few hours I was turning off for Dargo.

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    And a short distance later I was locking the hubs and hitting the dirt road towards the Crooked River area.

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    Through a few river crossings on the Crooked River Road.

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    I met up with Simon and Nathaniel who had already arrived at camp and my tent was soon up.

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    No OZ Tent on this trip as we were base camping I was too paranoid to leave such an expensive tent unattended all day. :icon-redface:

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    The fire was soon going and lunch was cooked. :drool:

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    Lexi had a swim.

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    While I relaxed under the awning with a few ice cold beers.

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    Beautiful weather! :dance:

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    Simon drove his VDJ79 duel cab to Dargo to meet the others and to grab some lunch and they all arrived a few hours later.

    Brothers Daniel and Michael in Daniels beautiful RJ70! :icon-cool:

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    And Ryan and his Dad Alan in this cool FJ73 mid wheel base 70.

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    Their tents/swags were soon up.

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    Lexi had lots of people to throw the toy for her so she was very happy!

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    I cooked dinner over the fire.

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    We had a great night around the fire! :obscene-drinkingbu:

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    The next morning I was up bright and early and the fire was soon lit again.

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    Jir and Aneta had arrived late the previous night in their almost brand new Mid Night Blue VDJ76 which they purchased last year after falling in love with my 78 and how I had set it up. :dance:

    We did quite a few trips in it towards the end of last year but I had to keep them and the car out of all the trip reports as they wanted to surprise their families who were coming out for Christmas. :character-smurfpap:

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    We hit the tracks and drove the rest of the Crooked River Road/Track.

    Past some baby cows, some of which were not even on their feet yet they were that new.

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    Through lots of river crossings.

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    The track gets a bit tougher when it becomes the Crooked River Track, after the historic town site of Talbotville. :icon-twisted:

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    We reached the end of the track and then began climbing higher and higher up into the mountains from the floor of the valley below.

    We stopped on a helipad for some pics and to look at the infamous Billy Goat Bluff Track on one of the adjoining mountain slopes.

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    The mighty 70 series has been in continuous production for 35 years and is Toyota's longest running LandCruiser model. :dance:

    On this trip of 70's we had vehicles spanning from 1986 with the FJ73 to 2018 with the VDJ 76 and 79, with my 1990 LJ78 some where in the middle! :icon-cool:

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    Group shot!

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    We headed down the mountain and over to Dargo for lunch at the iconic pub.

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    An Australian classic, the chicken parmiagana! :flags-australia:

    I went for the tropical version because what doesnt taste better with pineapple! :happy-wavemulticol:

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  17. clivehorridge

    clivehorridge Well-Known Member Supporter Guru I am in romania

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    Great trip Ben, and a great report, as usual !

    You’ve actually got a photo of a steep hill that really looks like a steep hill, something normally almost impossible to do :lol:

    How long do you think it will be before Sam and Bec will be joining you on these trips?

    It seems a shame that they’re missing out ... :think:
     
  18. Ben

    Ben Well-Known Member Guru I am in australia

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    We left the pub and headed down the Rock Of Gibraltar Track, a few k's North West of Dargo.

    Lexi had a swim in the river.

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    While we attempted to work out where the track is meant to be.

    The track followed the course of the river for a few k's and clearly hadnt been driven in a long time so it was quite a challenge to work out where to go.

    We drove down the river and crossed it many times,it was a lot of fun!

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    We left the river behind and climbed up into the mountains on the Castle Hill Track.

    It was this track that we ran into problems on many months ago and I had to winch Jiri's Troopy up the hill in the dark as we made a dash to our camp spot for the night.

    But on this occasion everyone managed to get up the steep rocky section without winching! :clap:

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    We then headed up to The Pinnacles look out and I would say its the clearest I've ever seen it! :icon-biggrin:

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    Jiri and Aneta waited with the cars as they've climbed up to The Pinnacles loads of times lately and when we got back down Aneta was icing some delicious lemon muffins she had baked. :drool:

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    After everyone had enjoyed a muffin we headed back down the road to the turn off with the most iconic track in the High Country. :dance:

    The Double Black diamond, Billy Goat Bluff Track! :icon-twisted:

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    More out of this world views as the track snakes along the ridge line!

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    I never tire of these incredible views, this is 4WD heaven! :flags-australia:

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    We stopped on the helipad for a group shot.

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    Then drove the rest of the track and headed back to camp.

    Across the big ford of the Wanangatta River to wash the dust off.

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    Back at camp a great fire was soon roaring thanks to the axe men Simon and Nathaniel!

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    A Fiskar axe for every situation!

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    We cooked dinner and then drank into the early hours!

    The next morning I was up bright and early again.

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    With the fire lit it was time for my favorite part of camping..................

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    Pork sausages, egg, melted cheese, BBQ sauce in a toasted, baked in France, brioche bun, washed down with a litre of tea! :drool: :dance:

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    We packed up and prepared to leave camp.

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    You may have noticed that on the previous day Daniel's red 70 was missing............

    This was because the engine conversion he had only completed a few days before the trip wasnt running right due to a sticky injector. :thumbdown:

    Hopefully he will have it fixed for the next trip. :pray:

    It did mean though that on the previous days 10 hours of driving I had some great company as he jumped in The 78 with me! :dance:

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    Supercharged V6! :character-beavisbu:

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    We left camp and headed off.

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    Half a K down the track Jir and I turned off for a fully days 4wding, while the rest of the guys headed home.

    It was an awesome trip with them all and I cant wait to do it again soon, they were a great bunch of guys. :thumbup:
     
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  19. Ben

    Ben Well-Known Member Guru I am in australia

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    We headed up Station Track and then onto an old favourite, Cynthia Range Track.

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    Amazing views as always.

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    We then turned onto Wombat Range Track to drop down into Wonnangatta valley.

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    Down into the beautiful valley.

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    And up Zeka Spur Track which turned out to be a much easier drive than we had hoped for.

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    We had an hour long lunch break and picnic at the only campsite on the long drive up to the high plains.

    We reached the end of the track and by this time it was already late afternoon. We decided to head down to Licola.

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    The road down was easy but very long and boring and we made the group decision to avoid this area of the High Country in future because its such a long way from anywhere!

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    We reached Licola just after 5pm and had a decision to make.........

    Take the freeway home and be home by 9pm or drive through the High Country towards Jameson and head home through Mansfield.

    It also meant we could drive the infamous Barkly River Jeep Track on the way. :icon-twisted:

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    So we headed for BRJ Track! :dance:

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    The last time I drove this track was 6 years ago in the snow and we had to winch most of the way up it.

    We got to the start of the track at 7pm and we were greeted with this warning sign. :shifty:

    IMG_4565.jpg

    I headed straight up and soon realised why there is now a warning sign! :icon-redface:

    I got to a corner with some big rock steps and despite both lockers being in I couldnt go any further and needed to winch.

    In hindsight reversing back down would have been a better choice but I didnt fancy that as the track was so badly washed out and littered with huge boulders and rock steps. :shifty:

    *Pics dont do it justice!

    IMG_4567.jpg


    IMG_4568.jpg

    IMG_4569.jpg

    Jiri and Aneta soon had the winch hooked up and I was past that difficult section.

    I then had to negotiate 3 switch backs, all of which were so badly washed out that they required 6 point turns and spotting to get around.

    I drove most of the track up the mountain on 3 wheels and at times 2 wheels! It was so steep and so rocky that I had no choice but to just go for it and hope for the best.

    I bounced my way up and over the huge rocks and around the tight hair pin bends. :wtf:

    And thought I was past all the difficult sections...........

    IMG_4571.jpg

    But soon it got really challenging again and winching was the only option!

    IMG_4572.jpg

    Aneta did an amazing job getting the winch rope to Jiri, who had to put a strap around 6 trees because they were all dead and we were worried they would pull over! :o

    IMG_4573.jpg

    Eventually we made it to the top and amazingly no damage was done to The 78 which I consider was more luck that anything! :wtf:

    I can honestly say its the most challenging track I've ever driven and I really regret not getting more pics or video of it!

    But looking back I wouldnt have driven it in my touring vehicle had I known how extreme its become, it really is comp truck territory where 37"+ Treps and Gigglepin winches are the norm. :shifty:

    We drove back down and got the 76 and were then treated to an amazing sunset as we dropped down from Mount Skene. :clap:

    IMG_4574.jpg

    We got to Jamison and I knew fuel was low...............

    A few k's outside of Jamison I ran out completely. :thumbdown:

    Jiri kindly took my jerry can to Mansfield and got fuel. :clap:

    By the time we finally made it home it was 1:30am on a school night! :crazy:

    We were all exhausted at work the next day but it was worth it! :sleeping-sleep:

    It was an amazing trip and ending it by driving Up Barkley River Jeep Track was awesome! :thumbup:
     
    grantw, Gary820, hamba and 2 others like this.
  20. clivehorridge

    clivehorridge Well-Known Member Supporter Guru I am in romania

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    Fantastic!

    Warning signs like that can only fuel your quest for a challenge:lol:.

    Smooth polished rock really does present a problem, thank goodness for winches and available trees. :lol:

    Cracking views and photos Ben, thanks for these trip reports, they make my day-trips out pale into insignificance.

    Keep ‘em comin’ mate, I always look forward to them... cheers :thumbup:
     
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