Road trip Melbourne to Brisbane
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Thread: Road trip Melbourne to Brisbane

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Road trip Melbourne to Brisbane

    With some trepidation, headed off in the D Special yesterday from Melbourne en route to Brisbane. Requisite supplies of LHM, other fluid, clutch cable etc on board.

    So far, so good. In fact, magnificent! The car has behaved impeccably, and the comfort of these machines is something else.

    And a tip for those who like to go off the beaten track a bit - I chose the walk option on google maps and have been meandering up country back roads as alternatives to the Hume or Newell since leaving Wangaratta this morning. Fantastic - now in Cowra enjoying lunch before the final segment to Wellington NSW this afternoon.

    Al

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    Fellow Frogger! k eeles's Avatar
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    Hi Al, I use that route on my Brisbane - Junee trips all the time. Great roads and scenery. I usually take the New England from Tamworth but have taken the Inverall / Texas / Stanthorpe option several times. Both great roads. Not many trucks on NE.

    Did you say previously that you were headed to Sunshine Coast? Cheers Kevin

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    Ah! Memories….I have had many similar trips in my old ID with kids on board to get my car serviced in Brisbane. Best wishes for a safe trip.

    Tim

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    I'm going to the Sunshine Coast. The car is stopping with Lance at DS motors for the week. My touring bicycle is in the back ...

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    Great! That's what I always did. Say hello for me. Lance also went over my '68 DS21 before I drove down to Melbourne via Coast, Newcastle and Canberra earlier this year.


    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxvte View Post
    I'm going to the Sunshine Coast. The car is stopping with Lance at DS motors for the week. My touring bicycle is in the back ...
    It is a long way from Lance to the Sunny Coast on a bike. Or are you just risking your neck in the Brisbane traffic on the bike? And then coming to Sunny Coast - what part?
    Cheers. Kevin

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    Car left with Lance at DS motors in Brisbane this morning. Train to Eumundi, cycle to Noosaville...

    The only incident on the trip from Melbourne was the loss of a rear hubcap, I suspect when going over a cattle grid outside of Warwick. Plus someone leaving a chip in the paintwork with their suitcase at a motel in Tenterfield. Very annoying.

    Another interesting "test" was the car's performance with different petrols. BP98 from Euroa to Canowindra - went really well. Shell95 from Canowindra to Tamworth - dreadful, the car really struggled up long hills. Caltex98 from Tamworth to Brisbane - better, but seemingly not as good as the first tank.

    I was really struck by the difference with normal so-called premium unleaded, much more so than I normally sense. Perhaps it was just a bad batch or a dirty bowser tank at Canowindra...

    Otherwise the car went really well. Now I just have to get it back again next week!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxvte View Post
    Car left with Lance at DS motors in Brisbane this morning. Train to Eumundi, cycle to Noosaville...

    The only incident on the trip from Melbourne was the loss of a rear hubcap, I suspect when going over a cattle grid outside of Warwick. Plus someone leaving a chip in the paintwork with their suitcase at a motel in Tenterfield. Very annoying.

    Another interesting "test" was the car's performance with different petrols. BP98 from Euroa to Canowindra - went really well. Shell95 from Canowindra to Tamworth - dreadful, the car really struggled up long hills. Caltex98 from Tamworth to Brisbane - better, but seemingly not as good as the first tank.

    I was really struck by the difference with normal so-called premium unleaded, much more so than I normally sense. Perhaps it was just a bad batch or a dirty bowser tank at Canowindra...

    Otherwise the car went really well. Now I just have to get it back again next week!
    Lost hub cap? If it's the small diameter version I might have one you are welcome to. No charge, just the postage.

    SF

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    Many thanks for the offer. Unfortunately it is the larger diameter cap.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScotFrog View Post
    Lost hub cap? If it's the small diameter version I might have one you are welcome to. No charge, just the postage.

    SF

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    That's a long way to come to get some work done on a motor vehicle

    Granted yours may not be just any motor vehicle..

    - I'm curious is there no one down south that can work on them?

  11. #11
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    Can't go wrong with DS Motors ---- but you probably know that. I questioned them about the '62 Safari "going down" in the back, in the time I fill the tank with petrol. "Probably the accumulator sphere needing a top- up", I said. Could be, but is the front "going down as well". I said, "well actually, no, it stays up. They advised me to check out the suspension cylinders at the back. On inspection, I found that they were both weeping brake fluid.
    Oh well, get new seals fitted. Not easy as they don't make new seals for the larger Safari rear suspension cylinders of that period.
    Now this was starting to get rather worrying!
    Next query from DS Motors,--- Can you get hold of some late LHM Safari cylinders. Yes was my answer as we'd just brought down the 1968 LHM Safari "wreck".
    This is the good bit-----. In America, the LHS fluid was used as late as the '70's so ofcourse the seals made over there were compatible to the larger Safari cylinders --- and the seals are still made over there.
    A boring little story for some, I imagine, but what I'm getting back to, is the wealth of knowledge they have for keeping our cars on the road.
    Brother John will take my parts up. so DS Motors will fit the new seals and my Safari won't look like a rocket "pointing into the sky.
    Michael Paas
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    Over 25 years lance totally rebuilt and continued to service my ID 'Harriet' and 're-commissioned' and serviced 3 other of my Ds. All with me living in Melbourne. Those cars are all in regular use as a result. So multiply that out and lance and John must be responsible for saving very large numbers of these great cars. In terms of professional service agents, poor work is just as expensive as great work, moreso actually, so it's always been a 'no brainer' for me. It is always a joy to collect your car from DS. Brisbane is also home for many great enthusiasts, so visits are also very social. Lance and John are fabulous people, and it's always a family affair. It's such an education also as these fellows are very generous with their massive knowledge base. Melbourne didn't work for me in the early days for citroen work. With help from club people I got to the point that I could do servicing but more involved jobs meant a trip north and a family holiday. This became an enjoyable part of life. It will be a sad day when they retire, but they certainly will have earned a rest!

    Tim
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    ^ yes, agreed and understood.. But my question is is there no one down south that can fix/advise/troubleshoot like that anymore?

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    Any pics from the trip SF? They are always great to see.

    Tim

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    I recall a trip in a CX many years ago out around Sofala and Hill End way.

    Decided on taking a dirt road/track somewhere in that area, maybe heading back to Mudgee or some the such.
    We passed the 4WDs like they were standing still .... the CX was far more adept.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham66 View Post
    ^ yes, agreed and understood.. But my question is is there no one down south that can fix/advise/troubleshoot like that anymore?
    There are fewer places in Melbourne for those of us who can only do basic repairs on DS ourselves. I used to use Citro Motors but Mel Carey retired and shut up shop a couple of years ago. Nic at Cars of France has similarly finished up, although the business remains. Paris Motors are still in operation. And there are one or two "freelancers" in the likes of Elliot Beniada.

    So whilst there are still a couple of options, I'll be diplomatic and say that it seemed worthwhile combining a service and troubleshooting diagnosis of the state of the hydraulics etc at somewhere like DS motors, with their very solid reputation, with a road trip and holiday. An alternative would have been Jason Hantos in Sydney, who I used when I lived in Canberra. He was excellent, in my opinion.

    So yes, Brisbane is a a very long way, admittedly, but the trip has been thoroughly enjoyable.

    AM
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  17. #17
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    Yes I agree AM. When I got my first ID in the mid-eighties, I was generally disappointed with a range of service agents to hand in Melbourne. Even at that time, some preferred to work on later cars and it was hard to find that genuine personal enthusiasm and depth of knowledge and ability on early citroens. One very prominent Citroen agency actually advised me not to go on with ID 19s ' a magic car but nothing is available for them'. Truer then than now, perhaps, but what I needed always turned up. On a few occasions - being young and impetuous - I got 'taken for a ride'. When I first got my D at 22 or so, I didnt even know what to do when the system lost pressure, or what the matter was! One expensive invoice read 'attend to car not rising'(only needed the 8mm open-ender and LHS top up). So glad that I managed to get through those first few experiences. In time you build your own wisdom and ability as well - so you can dismantle and send bits away for refurbishment. There are some seriously talented people in the crevices in Melbourne....some in evidence on this forum. I have been blessed also with some very fine mates who are incredibly capable - able to make me things / rebuild units etc. So it's a matter of using one's networks I suppose, and learning as much as you can. I've always worked long hours in my day job, so this hasn't been easy. DS Motors is a very unique business and, to this day, works on citroens only. It is a cottage industry that has been built on it's reputation for outstanding work and ability to build relationships and a loyal following. An inspiration really.

    Tim
    Last edited by Middlemoon.1; 29th June 2015 at 09:58 PM.
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    Interesting, thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garyk View Post
    I recall a trip in a CX many years ago out around Sofala and Hill End way.

    Decided on taking a dirt road/track somewhere in that area, maybe heading back to Mudgee or some the such.
    We passed the 4WDs like they were standing still .... the CX was far more adept.
    My father had a 1978 CX2400, with many trips to country Victoria and NSW. In the early 1980s I jackeroo-ed near Winton in western Queensland. You can imagine my surprise, that far away from anywhere, that the station owner had a CX. It performed magnificently in some pretty rough country, and he swore by it as by far the most comfortable choice for long trips to Brisbane or Rockhampton.

    Those were the days, of course, when air-con was still something of a luxury. The car was hot, and the plastics on a then only two or three year old car were already getting hammered. If only Citroen had made the cars to a better build quality and supported sales through a decent network. They might be in a better situation now...

  20. #20
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    In terms of Citroen know-how, I've been driving them for some 40 years, and there has never been more than a handful of skilled mechanics at any time. The expertise from the authorised dealers varied, and even in Sydney, there were only ever a small number of talented mechanics. I think Melbourne and Briz possibly had a few more from time to time.

    Right now I can make Sydney recommendations, but equally it would appear that there are less than there were "back in the day" and as Citroens become more conventional (and homologated?), they will probably be seen by more mainstream mechanics.

    However, there is an imperative that older Citroens are attended to by those skilled chappies.
    I'm not great at it, but many times I've known more than the average (even if well meaning) mechanic.

    The not-so-well-meaning ones can rip you off double .... no expertise, and do more harm than good.
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