Melb to Townsville in RS Clio 182 Cup F1
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Thread: Melb to Townsville in RS Clio 182 Cup F1

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    Default Melb to Townsville in RS Clio 182 Cup F1

    Ok here we go again from the very popular thread titled a little different, so it's not the Floride this time but my RS Clio 182 Cup F1.
    If you remember the Floride, it actually made it all the way to Townsville and back down into Victoria. All up in the sevens months while I was away working it done about 12,000km.
    And if you do remember I blew the engine up with only just over 200km to get home.

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    I was working in South Aust at the Olympic Dam mine near Roxby Downs and only got back home about the tenth of December where I'd driven the above mentioned vehicle close to 3000km there and back via a Adelaide stop over (I even snuck in a Floride viewing, which was a waste of time) and the car was faultless, and I even enjoyed pushing it a little harder than I should of been. So at that point I really didn't want to work again up to Christmas or even through January with a hope of getting a job again in early Febuary.
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    So just before Christmas I thought I better put the feelers out for a job and applied for a dozen jobs via Seek.
    A day latter I get a call asking if I'm interested in starting on the third of January on a new solar farm in Ayr qld.
    I wasn't really that interested, so I rang the Mrs to ask her thoughts and she basically said stuff it, perfect.
    The next night she says "you know, perhaps you should take that job, damn.
    The next day I email back saying I'm interested and bang bang it's done.
    Oh well there's always a positive in all things we do, so stuff it time for a road trip to Townsville again.
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    I spend New Years at home, have our traditional muznik for lunch for New Year's Day. In the morning I'd packed my tools and cloths and gave the car a good once over and topped up all the air, fuel, water and oils. I was hoping to leave about 3pm but I stuffed about a little and didn't finally leave to 5:48pm.
    Now the plan was Melb to Shep over the border and up the Newell to Gilgandra nsw for a about 900km or 9hr first run before a nap.
    I didn't want to hit that stretch between Gilgandra and St George at night again with all those roo's.
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    Melb to Townsville in RS Clio 182 Cup F1-image.jpgSo I've left just before 6pm and I take it easy on the Hume with all the fixed speed cameras and set the cruise on the limit. When you turn off for Shep it's still a 110 zone but you can push the limit a little on this stretch. Then this 4x4 ute came flying past, so I sat about a km back and followed him until just before Shep. It's getting a little darker now and I see in the distance the flashing blue and red lights, but no, it's not him, it's a 4x4 Audi.
    After Shep I keep pushing the little Clio and make it over the border into nsw in just under three hours. In 3:02hrs I stop in Finley for a smoke and a selfie outside the local pub.(I won't bore you with the photo)
    I stop for fuel in West Wyalong and ask which towns have all night servo's heading up through Gilgandra to St George.
    He replies, Gilgandra, Narrabri and Goondiwindi. Goondiwindi, I'm not going that way, I'm taking the Castlereagh past Lightning Ridge, I tell him. Oh, that's full of roo's, don't go that way, head up to Goondiwindi he tells me.
    I thought I'd better mention that the Clio Sport successfully departed out of Victoria without incident unlike my poor Floride whose extractors snapped in half and was dragging the muffler along the Hume, luckily for the Floride I'd brought spare extractors along with me, though the Clio being a so what modern vehicle, I've brought no spares at all with me.
    Last edited by 63-1092; 4th January 2018 at 04:36 PM.
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    This will be quite the adventure. Stay safe.

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    Melb to Townsville in RS Clio 182 Cup F1-image.jpgSo I'm heading north to Gilgandra and the Clio Sport is a joy to drive. I've set the cruise at ten above and give it a good punch each time I get a clear run of no lights coming towards me with not one car having past me since that 4x4 ute before Shep.
    I get to Gilgandra about 2:30am and I fill up with fuel again. Now the plan was to crash here and not drive any further into that roo zone at night. But I'm still feeling good, I've got two cold cans of coke in my cool bag and a bag of Chovolate Box chocolate from the Mrs and I haven't felt for or touch both yet.
    Well things didn't last long after this. I'm just getting out of Gilgandra from the 80 zone and stomp on it when I see the 100 in the distance and just as I look down to see how fast I'm already going I slam on the brakes as three roo's decide to hop across in front of me. Shite, they're already started. Concentration levels have just quadrupled. The next town is Coonamble and Walgett after it, by this stage the first can of coke and rocky-road chocolate have been smashed down.
    I set myself the target of Hebel qld though I've got enough fuel to St George if I can hack it. I finally go past the Lightning Ridge turn off and I'm still ok for Hebel and over the border into Queensland. Now, I wont give you the tally of roo's yet, but in this section I've also been looking out for unfenced sheep on the side of the road with one even deciding to dart across the road in front of me. Live animals so far are about at least 50 sheep, 3 owls, 1 fox, 3 rabbits and one dead bird that I hit as the sun is starting to rise.
    By the time I cross the border it's daylight and I've almost just hit four qld roo's as they are even harder to see at dawn so I decide to stuff St George and stop in Hebel for a kip.
    Total number of roo's is 168, and no hits or near misses but i'd slammed the brakes a few times, especially the first and the last two in qld. The Clio performed well again here, though speed wasn't a factor at all, with parts I was only doing 70 to 80 though there was the odd stretch where I gave it a bit.
    Its a about 6am or 5am local time when I pull over in Hebel at the tourist info, stop, toilet area and jump into the back seat and close my eyes.
    Last edited by 63-1092; 4th January 2018 at 04:40 PM.
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    I'm out asleep pretty quickly but I'm up awake quickly too. It was 20 degrees when I stopped but I didn't leave a window open a little and I awake at 7:50 or 6:50 local and it's already 28 and stuffy and hot in the car, so I light a smoke, open the windows and take off at 6:58am local. I usually stop in St George when I've done the night run through the bad roo section because after that there isn't many but I've got enough fuel until Roma and that's my next pit stop.
    I've forgotten to mention, I'd seen the forecast and radar images for qld and there's a few storms up north so I'd decided to apply rain off to the Clio windscreen. Now it's not only good for the rain also for the bugs, they don't stick on as much. But after doing twelve hours in the car where nine or so have been at night, well f me, luckily I had a rag with me. Water and wipers would just smudge the bugs all over the windscreen so what I was doing was at most towns when you have to slow down to 50 actually stop. Light a smoke, jump out, wipe the bug stain off and polish up the rain off again. Probably did about eight of those stops and perhaps three or four 100+ with the hand out around onto the screen.

    So I'm driving through St Geoge on my way to Roma and I don't know how I've never noticed or seen this before,(perhaps as it's always night time when I drive through)

    The Monster 4X4 R16!!!!!!

    I didn't stop to take a photo, so can someone post a pic for us, or some clever bugger who knows how to do the google maps thingy, it's in the tyre place in town, as you come in from the south before you hit the centre on your right side.
    So I get to Roma and fill up with my next fuel stop being Emerald which is only 400 odd K's away but it fits into my time frame and I'll get a chance to use my phone in town as only Roma and Emerald have Vodafone reception in outback qld along my route until I hit the coast.
    Now you all know the good bit is coming, but I'm in qld now and they're all a bit slow up here so even though my phone tells me it's 1:20am my body and mind are telling me it's 2:20am, so I'm off to bed and I'll let you guys hang until I awake to write the next chapter.
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    It's a little funny how we change when we get a little older. I'd brought a bag of CD's with me but I was helped to stay awake all night with talk back radio. Even now during the morning drive I'm pushing the search button on the Clio radio and it's working a treat finding a decent station with some interesting talb back.
    Ok, heading north out of Roma and I'm on the Carnarvon highway and I love this section especially after Injune. You're in the central highlands country of qld, some beautiful scenery here. The Clio is loving the twisty roads as I'm pushing it hard, then you get down into the flats towards Rolleston. Here you get some long straights and with not much traffic on the road you could see clear road ahead for miles and I may or may not have pushed the Clio close to the two mark a few times.
    Smell is a funny sense and being out in the country plus some of the farming works you're sensing things that you don't get in the big cities, but there was a point during this part that seemed a little different but I couldn't put my nose on it to what it was, that came later.
    Coming into Rolleston you slow to 60, straight ahead is the very, very small town and left is towards Springsure. There's been a bit of rain and there's a massive puddle along the curb so I hold the Clio a little to go past it and try to make a sharper turn, not.
    I heave and heave the steering wheel to make it around the corner. I go wide, this is concerning, I progress very slowly trying out the car to see if I can notice anything wrong and I get a small puff of smoke out the back and that strange smell from before has reappeared.
    The Clio seems fine, it's still going, the temps normal, I sit on the limit to see how it gets on. After a while I get a massive puff of smoke out the back so it's time to pull over. The outside of the car looks good, besides the front covered in bugs. I pop the hood and the left side is covered in crap, there's a noise coming from the steering fluid bottle so I open it and it's boiling fluid inside, or what's left of it is. It's 70km to Springsure so I take off again hoping to make it there doing about 80. After a while I get another big puff of smoke and it's time to pull over. Luckily the 4x4 behind stops with me and he gives me a lift the 40km to Springsure to get some steering fluid. He buys some thongs and I get a bottle of fluid from the mechanic whose efpos isn't working so we agree for me to come back and give him cash and he'll take a quick look at it. I get back to my Clio, top it up with steering fluid and it's good as gold and I drive into Springsure under its own steam.
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    I was expecting to be in Emerald about 1:00 to 1:30 depending on how fast I could travel but that's not going to happen as I pull up at the mechanics at 1:30 in Springsure. So it doesn't look like a late check at the hotel in Ayr but luckily I don't have to start work until 12:30pm the next day for inductions.
    The mechanic fills the Clio with steering fluid again and I start the engine, and it's pissing out of the steering pump all over the aux belt and alternator. He fills it again and refills the bottle I bought off him(or I think it's the same bottle). We discuss my options, I want to at least get to Emerald which is only 68km away which I think is do able as I've just driven the 40km into Springsure. It's a major town in outback qld and I'll have Vodafone reception again to ring RACV if need be. He tells me to ring RACQ now but only until I've left his work shop. It's hitting 38 now and I quickly stop into the local supermarket to get a couple of cold drinks, which is across the road from the central highlands Toyota dealer who is the RACQ guy in town. The mechanic told me about him and to go see him but I'd already meet him earlier when I walked in to buy a bottle of steering fluid which he didn't have. I had asked the mechanic what he thought my chances where of getting across to Mackay or even just to Emerald and we were both optimistic I'd get to Emerald, his only concern was if the steering pump seized.

    Well here we go again, I get 50m down the road from the supermarket and I here a noise like the pump is seizing, I try and do a u-turn to get back to the RACQ mechanic and I can't even complete that when the engine seizes and stops.
    The Clio Cup F1 is officially Dead! It won't start at all and all I get when I turn the key is click, click.
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    *Gasps!* say it isn't so!
    Last edited by bowie; 4th January 2018 at 04:03 PM.

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    I walk up the 50m to the Toyota dealer RACQ mechanic, and he's busy, it's probably about 2pm now. The girl informs me to call RACQ first, I ask to use there phone as I have no mobile phone reception and she gives me some bull shit excuse how I can't.
    I walk 50m back to my car where there's a public phone box in front of it, luckily we still have some of these around. I call the number on the back of my membership card but it goes through to RACQ not RACV, the first thing I even ask her is if I should be speaking to the Vic office instead of the Qld office, no, no I'll look after you she says.
    Its bloody hot and humid, speak to her and another girl, then it starts to rain. I'm on hold again and again, then the sun comes out again and it's even more hotter and humid, then it's starts pissing down, I don't know what's worse, being rained on and wet or being hot and humid sweaty wet.
    Over an hour later speaking to four different people I was finally put through to the Vic girls to sort out. They couldn't do anything until the mechanic looked at it but he's busy and won't get the time until between 4 & 5pm.
    Bloody busy to walk down the 50m look at it for five minutes tell them it's F'ed and can't be fixed in three days, c'mon, I suppose this is qld and they are a little slower.
    So I wait and I wait, it's gone after 4, he should be here soon. Ok, now it's gone after 5, he should be here soon. At 5:30 I think f this and I ring RACV again, she puts me on hold and calls him, yeah he'll be there in five minutes. At 5:50 he walks down, four F'ing hours to walk done fifty metres to see me and my poor Clio Sport.
    I get f'ed around for four hours by him but now it's RACV's turn to F me around. The mechanic has his mobile on speaker so we both can speak to her the first time. She rang four or five times over the next God knows how long but I could hear and got involved in most conversations. So, I start a new job the next day and I want him to tow the Clio and me to Ayr, No, the $3000 he quoted her was to much and she wouldn't allow it. She asks him about accomodation in town, Springsure, for me, I butt in, sorry Miss can you at least get me to Emerald out of this hell hole, cost? $350, ok that looks a plan wait for a call for confirmation. We didn't even wait, both of us loaded the Clio onto the tilt tray and took off into the night towards Emerald.
    We get to the RACQ mechanics work shop in Emerald and dump the Clio outside his place. He calls them up to get his authorisation number so he can get paid. They finally call him back and me cause I finally have phone reception, he got paid and I got a hotel room booked for me.
    I made it to Emerald, considering I thought I'd get here between 1/1:30 to get here well after 10pm is some effort. Now I know it was after 10pm because I got to my hotel room had a quick shower, and it was 11:10pm when I turned the light off and fell asleep instantly after only getting just under two hours that morning.
    Oops, there was also at least three phone calls to and from my Mrs from when I got into Emerald and going to bed, but let's not get into what was discussed there, I don't think I even have to bother anyway.
    After seconds thoughts 11:10 may have been on my watch, so subtract an hour for local time.
    Last edited by 63-1092; 4th January 2018 at 04:27 PM.
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    Lovely Springsure
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Melb to Townsville in RS Clio 182 Cup F1-image.jpg  
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    Fully loaded
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Melb to Townsville in RS Clio 182 Cup F1-image.jpg  
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    Loaded after dark
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Melb to Townsville in RS Clio 182 Cup F1-image.jpg  
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    Thanks john its a great story. Perhaps you could write a book one day.
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    Bummer John!

    With only 68k to Emerald I would have been tempted to cut/remove the aux belt grab a spare battery (no power steering or charging) and drive on whilst still daylight.

    Good luck, sounds like a P/S pump and aux belt and you should be mobile.

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    I've been doing some research on that Monster 4X4 R16 in St George.
    Can't find any photo on line of it at all. But I did find out who's it is.
    Owen of auto-pro owns it and he got it when he bought the business off the last owner who had built it.
    All it needs to get going is a battery.
    Its been driven twice, once legally on a one day permit during I think was the 150 year celebrations for St George and the other was during a drunken evening when the last owner decided to drive it down to the pub.
    If you want to own it, it is for sale. A cool $200,000 will buy you this awesome monster 4x4 R16, mind you the auto-pro business comes with it.
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    It's not the pink thing below? Google maps photos aren't very sharp if I try to bring it any closer

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    It must be.
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    The next morning I wake early knowing the staff in Melbourne start an hour before Queenslanders and await their call. It does come but from Hansens automotive (Emeralds RACQ mechanic) asking where my keys are, so they can take a look at it as RACV have already called them asking what their assessment is. She happily jumps in a company car and comes pick me up from the Hotel.

    Now I have to give them a plug, Hansens tyre & mechanical 11 Hicks st in Emerald qld I cannot recommend high enough for their service, the girls, guys a great bunch of staff. Picked me up from the hotel, looked at the car, helped clean the steering fluid spill in my car from that so called new bottle from the Springsure mechanic, answered numerous calls from RACV, then had to push my car into their hard off the street. And do you know what they can charge RACV for all that, nothing, free for me and RACV. How sad.
    If you ever break down near Emerald give them a call.

    Now back to RACV and their poor service. The RACQ mechanic in Springsure deemed it a three day unfixable write off, but they wouldn't accept that and get things rolling with me and the car being shipped off to Ayr they wanted a second opinion from Hansens. We went had a look at it with their RACQ mechanic and it looks like a blown steering pump, torn aux belt and it's likely part of that may of torn a censors wiring which has led the cars computer to shut it down and not start again. We go inside in from the heat and I start searching ringing around looking for a mechanic in Ayr and also a steering pump in north Qld. Fat chance finding either of those. Speaking to the head mechanic he states that he doesn't even want to work on my car let alone someone up in Ayr or Townsville being suitably qualified to work on a Renault. When they finally call back the Hansens girls relays this info to RACV, and a short time later they ring me.

    So the agreed plan ended up being, my Clio Sport will sit in Hansens yard until next Monday when it will be picked up and shipped back to Melb and Alpine Affair, (Colin's closed until Monday so he doesn't even know yet) and should get there either Friday or Saturday.
    I got a cab to Emerald airport and was given seven days of car hire from Thrifty, but have to return it to Townsville airport Thrifty and a $100 cab charge to get back to Ayr.
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    The bloke that picked me up and drove me to Springsure and back to my car with the bottle of steering fluid deserves a mention.
    Thanks heaps to him and it's partly because of him that I'm scribbling all this down, but also Rob, who pushed for the first Floride road trip to happen.
    I'd just driven my Clio up S.A doing almost 3000km but I didn't have much to say about that trip, but this one I did.

    And it's because it's the misadventures that you remember the most, all the stuff ups and goings on.
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    What a bummer!!! Great report though! What cars are Queensland mechanics qualified to work on
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    Everything except "Nissans".

    Nice adventure.

    Lay off us Queenslanders, we just think it is a good idea to drive reliable vehicles in unknown areas of reliability. But hey we're the slow ones.
    Last edited by draftpunk; 4th January 2018 at 11:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoBo View Post
    What a bummer!!! Great report though! What cars are Queensland mechanics qualified to work on
    Queensland is a big state, by flight distance, Melbourne is closer to Brisbane than either Mt Isa or Cairns. Out West, the choices get limited in so many ways, but Toyota seems to be the brand ones sees most out West, so maybe they can fix them, if they have the parts, if not, could be long wait getting them in.
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