Suspension Mishap

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 11, 2009 at 00:42
ThreadID: 125853 Views:4404 Replies:7 FollowUps:2
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Hi All,

While travelling with the Batson Brothers some time ago they introduced me to the "Poor Dumb Bastard Award" for the day where someone in the group who has the biggest problem or does something stupid gets the award.

Yesterday if I was travelling with them I would have got the award.

We were travelling along the Birdsville Develpoment road when I felt that I might have had a problem with a tyre so I stopped and checked and on finding that they were all in tact and inflated continued on thinking that it must have been something with the road surface that was making it pull harder than normal.

Stupid me should have had a better inspection as it appears that we had picked up wire from the road and it wrapped around the rear left wheel on the inside and as it became tight pulled the hand brake on, on that wheel and after a few more kilometres the bearings must heated up to the extent that the wheel siezed up and the stub axle snapped off sending the wheel off into the scrub and the brake drum backing plate started dragging on the road.

At the time we were 80 km east of Birdsville and another traveller went into Birdsville to get the Auto service to come out. As a result he took the suspension off and then returned a few hours later with a Holden trailer hub welded to the suspension and after fitting a small wheel were were then able to get into Birdsville where we are now waiting for parrts to come from Melbourne.

Dispite several hours of searching we were unable to locate the wheel that came off, so we are in Birdsville for the next few days (I hope).

Therefore I think I have wone the Poor Dumb Bastard award for this month.

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Reply By: NIK `N` OFF - Saturday, Jul 11, 2009 at 00:53

Saturday, Jul 11, 2009 at 00:53
Bugger !

But gee you tell the story well you Poor Dumb Bastard Brian ...... lol

All's well that ends well.
AnswerID: 578271

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 11, 2009 at 02:33

Saturday, Jul 11, 2009 at 02:33
Reminds me of a story a neighbour tells when his wifes car engine seized when it lost the coolant. She said it got a bit sluggish so she put the foot down harder....whew.

I suppose it is something to look out for when the tug has heaps of power.
We are all wise in hindsight. A touch of the hand of the bearing caps would have found the problem instantly and it is a good habit to follow.

Brian I like the methodology of your rescuer...........a brilliant jury rig but I suppose he's done it numerous times.
AnswerID: 578272

Reply By: Turist - Saturday, Jul 11, 2009 at 03:08

Saturday, Jul 11, 2009 at 03:08
In an emergency it is possible to limp along on three wheels.
You need to first jack up to relieve the weight from the suspension and then jam a suitably shaped lump of wood between suspension arm and chassis.
Tie it in place with a bit of fencing wire.
When you remove the jack the busted axle will not drop enough to hit the ground.

Crude but it works.

But smart thinking by the bloke from Birdsville.

"Do It While You Can"
Nobody is getting any younger.

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Follow Up By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Saturday, Jul 11, 2009 at 23:29

Saturday, Jul 11, 2009 at 23:29
Its called "Mulga Suspension" in the central desert area of WA

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Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Saturday, Jul 11, 2009 at 03:12

Saturday, Jul 11, 2009 at 03:12
Look at this mishap Wire around tail shaft
AnswerID: 578274

Reply By: galacticbob - Sunday, Jul 12, 2009 at 07:30

Sunday, Jul 12, 2009 at 07:30

You may have won the Poor Dumb Bastard Award for the month, but in our books you also won the Gutsy Award for having the courage to share your story at your expense so that others may learn from it. We congratulate you.

The lessons for us are

1. Trust your instincts - if you feel that something is not quite right, stop immediately and check it out, AND DO NOT proceed until you have located and rectified the problem. (Easier said than done)

2. The temperature of the wheel bearings can tell you so much and alert you to possible problems. I intend to be more conscientious in future and check our bearings more regularly whilst we are travelling - by both touching AND smelling.

I would also like to share my Dumb Bastard Story

Several months ago we purchased a pre-loved BT. We arranged and paid for a comprehensive external pre-purchase service and because we did not have a vehicle at the time, part of our deal was to have the van delivered from QLD to Victoria

The exciting day arrived and as the van pulled up outside the gate I smelt burnt grease and observed that there was also grease running down the wheel rims. In the excitment of the moment of changing over ownership etc I ignored my observations and intuiton and forgot about the grease.

Over the next few days as I sat outside and observed my new van I kept thinking - Oh have my new bearings been stuffed? What am I going to do? I don't even know how to check the bearings on this huge monster sitting in my yard!!! Was I dumb!

Well, I eventually faced the fear and with the help of Bushtracker, Richard from Simplicity and a retired mechanic we replaced the burnt bearings, fixed a damaged brake drum and also discovered 2 loose swing arm bolts and one fused bolt which was fractured 3/4 of the way through. We replaced all the bolts and installed swing arm locators. And also one of the rear wheels had a toe out instead of a toe in.

In conclusion I could say poor dumb me! But what a wonderful learning lesson in so many ways. I now feel so much more confident about taking our BT into isolated areas and if something should happen, I have a little more knowledge that should help us get out of trouble.

One last thing Brian - your post came at just the right time because I have been contemplating how I can have some sort of safety device to prevent the manual brakes coming on accidentally and causing severe damage.

I would be interested in hearing from anybody that has come up with a simple solution to this problem.

With all the time it has taken me to face my fear and learn how not to be a Dumb Bastard around BT's, my wife is now telling everyone -

'We are going away for the winter,
But not leaving until the spring!!'


AnswerID: 578275

Reply By: Bow & Nan - Friday, Jul 17, 2009 at 19:06

Friday, Jul 17, 2009 at 19:06

Left camp early one morning in a rush, 1km down the road the tyre sensor monitor alarm sounded.(Poor Dumb Bastard) In the rush to pack and leave camp I had not released the bushtracker handbrake.

I dont know, but I think the tyre sensor monitor might be useful as an early warning system for wheel bearing failure. I dont know weather the rim would conduct enough heat to trip the temperature sensor in the tyre pressure monitor.

AnswerID: 578276

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Tuesday, Jul 21, 2009 at 05:18

Tuesday, Jul 21, 2009 at 05:18
Hi All,

We are back on the road again after the repairs were completed yesterday and are now camped at Boulia Race Course with 3 other BT's that were still here after yesterdays camel races.

The problems continued for us as the next transport to Birdsville is next Friday, so on Thursday we left Birdsville and drove the 1100 km to Roma where the parts from Simpicity were to arrive on Thursday. Having left at 5.00am we suffered tyre damage just east of Betoota Hotel when we hit a hole in the concrete causeway. Later about 80km west of Quilpie a wedge tail eagle turn from where it was feeding on reoadkill and flew back in front of us smashing the windscreen.
Luckily we were able to get the windscreen replaced in Roma and new tyres fitted then we headed back to Birdsville without further incident.

Everything was going well until we went to fit the new hub on and found that Simplicity had not sent a lock nut and washer, so Barnsy from Birdsville Auto Centre went off to a scrap yard and found a large nut with the right sized thread, which is not very common because they are much larger than what most vehicles use. His son Sam who is a Boiler maker by trade set about reducing the nut to the right thickness then cutting slots in it for the split pin and made up a washer.

They have a sign in the workshop, "We don't believe in Miracles, We rely on them." In our case I think we had one to find a correct sized nut to do the job.

If you have a problem in the Birdsville area, then Barnsy will do his best to get you going again, and is a true outback character.

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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Friday, Aug 07, 2009 at 03:56

Friday, Aug 07, 2009 at 03:56
These are some photos of what you don't want while travelling

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