View Full Version : Vehicle prep for the Cape

13th May 2004, 07:29 PM
Greetings all

Heading north in another month or so for work/pleasure in FNQ.

Would greatly appreciate any suggestions re vehicle prep. The beast is not old and still enjoys roadside assist ... (?) ... but that aside, apart from spare air and fuel filters, heavy duty track rod and Donaldson pre-cleaner for the snorkel I would be most grateful for any suggested additions I've no considered.

Reasonable selection of tools/recovery gear/comms are included.

I know, I know ..... it's a mongrel of a job ... but someone's gotta do it.


13th May 2004, 08:07 PM
How about holding a raffle for a navigator???????? Unfortunately I dont think I can get over to the land of the big toad.Sounds like you are in for a great trip in a great landy.
Good Luck

13th May 2004, 08:14 PM
one thing most over look are diff guards. You will find that when you pull over to camp etc you may drive over long grass, esp later in the season. It is usual that national parks put foot high stumps around camp grounds - great and easy too see until the grass grows. your defender will have a steering guard but the crown of the diff is very vulnerable.

Also take general useful stuff - assortments of wire, hose clamps just simple things that can make field repares that much easier.

I need a new front diff. :-(

13th May 2004, 09:37 PM
I'm not sure if you can get WINDOW SOX for a Defender (which I'm guessing is what you're going in), you can get them for Rangie and Disco though. Worth checking out. They're the sun screens that fit over your back door windows. They allow the window to be opened and let air flow in, but at speed they eliminate the buffeting sound that comes from having a window open. They also provide shade and security. I got some for my Rangie when I drove Melb - Perth and they were very much worth the $40. Unlike other sunshades, they don't fall off.

13th May 2004, 09:54 PM
RADIATOR INSECT SCREEN you can just make one from shade cloth and cable tie it. On my Series III I have it over the bull bar, on the Rangie I have it from under the bonnet - behind the bullbar and onto the steering guard. Should cost less than $10, looks fine (in black) and if you extend it behind and below the bullbar you'll avoid things getting sucked in from lower down. The cleaner your radiator, the cooler it will run.

If you have a LAP TOP COMPUTER down load all your CDs onto the hard drive. Spend $40 at Jaycar and get an FM transmitter that plugs into the audio port. Now you can select your music for the whole day in advance, plug your Laptop into the 12V powersupply and tune your radio to the FM transmitter. No more packing and changing CDs or cassettes. The Laptop can just be closed up and packed securely. Also handy if you want to download maps +/- GPS integration.

If you have a lot of 12V appliances to plug in (phone GPS computer shaver ....) by the time you buy 12v adaptors for them you may be better of getting a 240V POWER INVERTER, as all these things come standard with mains power rechargers. Will also be handy for anything else you might need to plug in on your trip.

WELDER If you've got 2 batteries and can weld, grab some welding rods and face shield glass. You can use good quality jumper leads as cables, and use some cardboard to make a welding mask, just tape in the glass. The batteries will have to be in series for welding.

13th May 2004, 10:14 PM
2nd SPARE TYRE on rim +/- tyre repair kit. Depending on where you're going. But if you're venturing into terrain that is likely to stake a tyre, then the chances are it may stake more than one.

Higher wattage HEAD LIGHTs

Don't forget a can of OVEN CLEANER see the handy hints posting for further detail.

MOZZIE REPELLANT I camped at the Keep River National Park one night (NT / WA border Kimberley) and the air was a buzz with mozzies. A friend had given us some home made Mozzie repellant, one part vinegar, one part dettol and one part baby oil. Put it in a trigger spray bottle and shake to mix the contents before spraying on self and swag.
After we sprayed it we didn't hear another mozzie and three of us slept on the roof rack (due to crocs) without getting a mozzie bite. RID is popular in the tropics, but is banned in some countries because it's carcinogenic and is absorbed into the blood stream through the skin. The home made stuff works better, even if you do smell of salad dressing.

13th May 2004, 10:43 PM
depends on the tip really. I broke down in the NT passing through to QLD 25 years ago, if I eventually get there I intend to break down in FNQ and stay there for the next 25 years or so, but walking distance to a pub.

hope you have a great trip

cheers Blitz

14th May 2004, 08:24 PM
Sounds like you will be pretty right. You have a pretty new car.

definitely an additional spare tyre and tube, and tyre/tube repair gear (incl air pump), unless you are running tubeless.

Take tie wire, its handy when bolts and screws fall out from the corrigations on the road. I would locktite after market accessories unless held on by nylocs, eg spot lights and snorkel. Also handy if exhaust pipe or bracket breaks. Take some heavy duty tape as well.

take spare a fan belt and radiator hoses, and tools to change them.

Fencing pliers in case you get barbed wire wrapped around something.

Fly screen across the grill works well. I just used the grill screws to hold it in place. Sceen only costs a couple of bucks at a hardware. You might have some laying around the house. Shade cloth probably works just as well. Consider a small tarp for across the grill for when going through deep water (eg Pascoe river, my bonnet disappeared for a sec. I should have walked through but I think I would have drowned).

Take spare gear oil. You may have to drop the oil out of the front swivel housing. I had a bit of an oil leak and water got sucked in when I cross a few creeks. The housing cools and sucks the water in. If you have the time do the CREB track - beautiful daintree scenery (unless it is raining, its no fun sliding backwards down a big hill after almost getting to the top, and when getting to the top sliding all the way down the other side). It takes a lot longer than the coast road via bloomfield, but you get to see the roaring meg waterfall - quite a sight.

The Development road is reasonably good to Weipa (especially if the graders have just been through). It gets a little worse after that (from batavia/frenchmans track) but its not too bad if you take your time. Make sure your brake pads and rotors are in good nic, they get used a bit from that point on.

Finally, make sure your wheel bearings are well greased and in good nic. Particularly the rears as you will probably be carrying a much heavier load than normal.

Its a great trip. i hope to make back up there myself again one day. Pitty about the trawlers ripping the guts out of it day and night.

15th May 2004, 08:56 AM
Ta guys. Lots of tips and tricks there. Quite a few were already on my list, but also quite a few to add.

Thanks again for your input ...... I'll send a postcard .. ;-))))))