Cup weekend - McKillop's Bridge, Snowy River NP, VIC

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Cup weekend - McKillop's Bridge, Snowy River NP, VIC

Postby El_Freddo » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:02 pm

G'day all,

Sorry it's been a while since I've been on the forum - been flat out. Got another trip to report on that occurred before this one too...

So, I've been on a "little" trip. Learnt a few things on this one!

I had a number of hurdles to over come in the lead up to this trip - I should have listened to them! I got around them all though, it did cost the first day of the trip but after packing we got on the road at 3pm Saturday.

We headed up and over Mt Hotham, we caught up with the cool front we experienced back at home:

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We then missed every servo in the little towns along the way, so had to head into Bairnsdale to fuel up. At $1.329 per L I wasn't complaining! Then we kept driving towards McKillops Bridge... and kept driving and driving... and driving!

We arrived at the campground at 11:30pm. No sign of our party we were convoying with whom also said that they'd be there. So we camped alone.

In the morning we considered 4wd'n our way back towards home - but with no mobile reception I wasn't really keen on that until we were on tracks I knew (over Dargo way). But our party rocked up - we missed their sign they put up for us the night before!

So off to the infamous McKillop's Bridge. Awesome thing. Why anyone would build a bridge out here I don't know but it's pretty amazing! Especially to think that flood waters have been over the bridge at least twice!

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After a bit of time contemplating the sheer volume of water required to top this bridge we headed off to the Deddick track. The vehicles - "Big Russ", a 60 series Landcruiser that's got 2 inch lift and double lockers; and a lateish model patrol with 2 inch lift, chipped, double lockers and auto. And of course Ruby Scoo - the light weight of the mob.

The Deddick track was a good one with the start of the track promising a good offering of some decent 4wd'n with steep inclines and rocky sections as well.

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This track had a bit of everything. This scenery was captured on the top of a ridge line where there was a bit of a dip in the landscape like a bowl:

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Later meeting up in a saddle in the track:

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The climb out of the saddle:

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We had a bit of a rally section up over the top of a hill then hit some whoops/spoon drains across the track. Slow over these then let it rip on the flat stuff before climbing again. Good fun!

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Good fun until your gearbox starts making mechanical tapping/knocking noises. Initially I thought I'd slipped out of low range which can happen with a lot of drive train movement - I've only ever experienced it on the really steep stuff where the vehicle is working hard with all wheels loaded up.

I then thought it was engine related but we ruled that out pretty quickly. With the use of my extension in the socket set we could listen to the gearbox and found the noise not to be up at the low range gears, but further down along the gearbox. A quick test and "pang!" yep, second gear it is.

We continued down the hill to the river, had lunch then tied onto the Patrol and began the tow. We were about 40k's in, with 40k's to Orbost. So we got to see quite a bit of this:

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There was one section that's called the stair case. We got up two whoops before the Patrol towing us lost traction. It was impressive to see this machine able to dig 4 holes on such an incline. We tried run ups - one that lifted Ruby's front end clean off the ground as we were reversed up on a whoop.

In the end we tied the Patrol to the 60 and gave that a go - at times it still wasn't enough so I used first gear that seemed to work alright. At a break in the climbing Mrs El_Freddo got bored and took this pic of a grass tree, we started to see more in this area.

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Another steep rocky section and we got there in the end and that was the main thing!

Then we saw more of this:

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And more of this:

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Eventually we got to one of the main roads - the type that's been setup for logging trucks. Again we stopped for a break to discuss where we'd camp for the night, I grabbed a few snaps while we were there:

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And once again, more of this:

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It was a bit of fun, lots of dust and when the snatch strap dragged from being too slack it flicked up plenty of rocks - found them everywhere once in camp! Before we made it to camp we got this snap of us being towed, a bit more interesting that the last ones I reckon:

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We camped beside a river, don't know the name but apparently there were not fish in it, Bros and Richie reckon it was because of the chemicals used to protect bridges and other bits of infrastructure in the area.

We drained the oil again to see if we could get anymore bits out. We drained it straight after it happened but got nothing - it was a wasted exercise but I didn't know what else to do. This time around we could see more metals particles and got some shavings out as well. No teeth.

On the Monday we were towed up the hill out of camp and drove in 3rd for about 10km with some interesting noises occurring - these went quiet after a while. Where we came unstuck was when we stopped to wait for the others to catch up. We had managed all the inclines and at times had slipped effortlessly into high range and back again as needed.

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While waiting I wanted to know if I could get first gear if needed - got it stuck in gear, got it out. The others rocked up so we headed off with more noise than ever before. 1km later and I pulled up requesting a tow - then decided to see what it sounded like again in 1st gear where all 4 wheels locked up. Lucky we were at walking pace!

So we got a trailer for Orbost - 30km away. But at $125 for 4 hours there was no way we were towing back to Hotham, plus the Patrol was headed for Melbs anyway. We made some calls, got onto a place that had a yard and for $20 we were good for the week. But this left me with a 3 hour window on Saturday morning to pick up Ruby Scoo, starting at 8am!

We managed to jam our important luggage into the 60 and have a crammed ride up to Hotham where we crashed for the night. It was interesting to view a snowless Hotham area!

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It was great to hang out with my Brother (Chopsy!) for the weekend and crash at his place at Hotham. Even better was that he had stolen Mum's car since M&D were overseas. This allowed myself and Mrs El_Freddo to get off the mountain and back home without taking my brother and his SCAT out of their way.

But this isn't the end of the saga. I still had to get Ruby Scoo home and curiosity was killing the cat with what exactly was wrong with the gearbox. For the rest of the week it's basically all I could think of in my spare time. I booked a tandem trailer, picked it up at 4:30pm Friday, went home, ate, packed supplies and sleeping gear then headed off for Orbost via Melbourne rather than over the Mt.

I had a really good run without getting fatigued, arrived in Orbost at 1am and camped in the car in a park across from the place that looked after Ruby Scoo for me. I must admit I was nervous about Ruby being left with people I know nothing of for the week but all was good.

At 8am I rolled in picked up Ruby Scoo on the trailer, had a yarn with the owner of the place then rolled through town grabbing these snaps as I knew I couldn't get them again (and it would eat me from the inside!):

The Orbost tyre joint that looked after Ruby Scoo in their yard:

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The local pub - got this pic for a mate:

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After stopping off in Bairnsdale to meet a mate and grab some cheap fuel I headed off, had breakfast in Sale then pretty much had a straight run to Lancefield:

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Got Ruby home, wanted to pull the box but then found out my sister was stuck in Bendigo with Redback. Nothing I told her over the phone worked, so I legged it up there as well, just to add a few more k's on the VT.

Redback ended up being a dead ignition module issue. Time for a new one off the shelf rather than a parts car one...

We got the gearbox out of Ruby Scoo, then stripped it down and found this (as already mentioned in "what did you do to your subi today" and my build thread of Ruby Scoo):

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Overall this trip was still a good one. I've now got another area to explore, although it's quite a distance from home! I learnt a few things in terms of relying on a mate - when he says it's close it's because he knows the shortcuts, and if you miss the convoy meet time you miss the short cuts as well...

The gearbox thing was just waiting to happen. I remember saying to Mrs El_Freddo that the synchro on second was on the way out as I was needing to rev match just to select second with the clutch...

Now the repairs begin...

Oh, and being towed offroad for that sort of distance is NOT FUN! But thanks to Clevo for his efforts and same to Richie for his help too.

Cheers

Bennie
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Re: Cup weekend - McKillop's Bridge, Snowy River NP, VIC

Postby beaujest4 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:11 am

Bugger about the gearbox, at least you had mates able to help you out. Still looks like you made the most of the situation and still had as good a time as you could.
Cheers Al

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Re: Cup weekend - McKillop's Bridge, Snowy River NP, VIC

Postby griz » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:52 am

Too bad about the gearbox, but it's a nice area around there. We did it a few years ago, found a really good campsite on the Deddick Trail. If you ever get back there look for the Washington Winch. I have pics somewhere...
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Re: Cup weekend - McKillop's Bridge, Snowy River NP, VIC

Postby nig » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:34 pm

Beautiful part of the world that - last time I came back from Melbourne we did the run as a 2 day trip via Bairnsdale and then up through Bruthen and Suggan Buggan - need to make a 3+ day trip of it next time and expolre the side tracks
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Re: Cup weekend - McKillop's Bridge, Snowy River NP, VIC

Postby griz » Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:40 pm

I knew I had a pic somewhere..

The Washington Winch..

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Re: Cup weekend - McKillop's Bridge, Snowy River NP, VIC

Postby El_Freddo » Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:02 pm

Yeah wow, did not come across that in our travels out that way!

Will have to check it out next time we're out that way ;) Thanks for sharing the pics - foggy when you were there! What time of year was it?

The gearbox was a blow. Once I knew we had a plan to get out and it was achievable I eased up and focused on getting out and getting the subi home. I was super paranoid with leaving her in someone's yard - but all was good on that front. I don't know how someone manages to leave their pride and joy broken in the bush - or how they feel/deal with it when they come back to find some low life has ruined everything there is to ruin on it - and stolen the good stuff that could be taken.

Anyway, side tracked there. I should go and update the build thread - maybe once I've got the donor box secured and the new box build together...

Cheers

Bennie
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Re: Cup weekend - McKillop's Bridge, Snowy River NP, VIC

Postby griz » Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:11 pm

November 2010. We're always there Melbourne Cup week...somewhere...
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Re: Cup weekend - McKillop's Bridge, Snowy River NP, VIC

Postby Foo » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:41 pm

Bugger about the box but still looks like you had fun. :clap:

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