The Gero-to-The-Rock Adventure
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  1. #1
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    Default The Gero-to-The-Rock Adventure

    Hi All

    After taking the R12 across to the east coast to participate in the Mallee Rallee and the Googs Track adventures, I've decided to have a little adventure of my own. A quiet drive from Geraldton to Uluru via the Great Central Rd

    The planned route is from Geraldton to Mt Magnet, Leinester, Lennora, Laverton then on to the Great Central Rd and on to Yulgara via the various communities and roadhouses along the GCR. From Yulgara we make our way to Uluru.

    The GCR is some 1200kms of unsealed road. It is graded to a standard suitable for 2WD cars although some parts are rougher than others. Long sections of corrugated roads are what will test the cars' metal and the passenger's mettle. It would be a leisurely tour with time to take in some of the sights along the road.

    Some of my friends and family have expressed an interest in joining me. I plan to prepare both the R12 - shouldn't be too hard as it was brought "hardened" for the previous tours - and the R10 I bought as a parts car.

    My mate Jane is contemplating taking her Landcrusier ute as a support vehicle but is stretched between some heavy work committments and may not be able to make it. This means we'll carry all the gear and spares on board.

    Some of the obstacles include:

    • The R12 needs some new rings after it ingested some sand during the last tour.
    • A new gearbox for the R12 and the usual sources are proving unreliable.
    • If there are more than 2 people per car I'll need to get another car on the road - possibly the R8 - that could be the, umm, weak link...
    • Only Opal fuel is available on the GCR.
    • Oh, and Cathy and Bonnie needing to finish their PhDs...


    I've spoken to a couple of people who expressed an interest bringing their cars on the trip but are unable to commit at this stage. We're planning to head off some time between late July early September.

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    If you have an interest in tagging along feel free to PM me - however there would be some stringent stipulations. The car has to be in top nick and to minimise the spares and tools we need to carry it would need to be an R8/10 or R12 running a Sierra motor. The car will need underbody protection, in the case of the R12 that would be engine and fuel tank. From experience the standard sump guard on the R12 is too low and tends to trap a lot of sand and dust in the engine compartment. Ideally all vehicles will run on 14" wheels.

    At this stage some of the participants may only have the time to do the drive one way. There is a very real chance one, two or three cars could be dumped at the Alice Springs airport! So if there's anyone out there interested in driving an old Renault from the Centre to a Gero let me know. My wife - who's inexplicably shown little interest in joining the tour to date - has hinted that she would be willing to join me in Alice to drive north before meandering home via the Pilbara. One option is for any interested parties to join us on that section of the tour.

    Any suggestions re preparing the cars, especially the R10, would be greatly appreciated.

    All the best

    Peter

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exfrogger View Post
    Hi All

    After taking the R12 across to the east coast to participate in the Mallee Rallee and the Googs Track adventures, I've decided to have a little adventure of my own. A quiet drive from Geraldton to Uluru via the Great Central Rd

    The planned route is from Geraldton to Mt Magnet, Leinester, Lennora, Laverton then on to the Great Central Rd and on to Yulgara via the various communities and roadhouses along the GCR. From Yulgara we make our way to Uluru.
    Peter
    When we had our Virage wagon in Perth some years back I made exactly the same suggestion to my wife and she was inexplicably disinterested too. Puzzling as the R12 is a perfect car for such a trip.

    For the R8/R10 cars, the main advice I'd give is to drive them gently. They are very reliable but nothing like as strong as an R12. Good shockers, spare rubber bushes for them, spare wheel bearings and hoses, a spare distributor ready to bolt in, a spare water pump with belt, and of course assorted nuts and bolts is really all you need if you don't drive hard enough to break things. Just slow down and keep weight to a minimum. Keep the tyre pressures on the high side.

    I'd bring mine too but really haven't time this year.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1950 (R1062)
    Renault R8 1965 (R1130)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2006 (daughter's)
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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Default The Big Adventure

    Best of luck with your trip! You may not need any spares on your trip other than welding rods to put things like suspension arms back together.

    They were the only thing that fell off my new R16TS (apart from the front Monroe Wylies) on my trip from Melbourne through Sydney, Bourke, Mt Isa to Darwin and back through Ayers Rock, Coober Pedy, Port Augusta and back to Melbourne in 1970.

    We bought ice and fuel as required, only used the spare jerry can once on the whole trip of 7000 miles (11200 km) in the three weeks we took to do it. Not one puncture either, although the front tyres ended up a bit (?) scrubbed. Got the suspension rebuilt by Renault in Punt Road after the trip under warranty.

    Go for it!
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

  4. #4
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    If you see a guy in gero that looks like a chick and has pink hair say hi from ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by compns8 View Post
    If you see a guy in gero that looks like a chick and has pink hair say hi from ken
    That would be Peter going out on a Saturday Night.

  6. #6
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    Ah, yes... I remember hair. Its been so long since I had any I've forgotten what colour it was. Coulda been pink...

    I guess news travels slow round these parts...

    P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    Best of luck with your trip! You may not need any spares on your trip other than welding rods to put things like suspension arms back together.

    They were the only thing that fell off my new R16TS (apart from the front Monroe Wylies) on my trip from Melbourne through Sydney, Bourke, Mt Isa to Darwin and back through Ayers Rock, Coober Pedy, Port Augusta and back to Melbourne in 1970.

    We bought ice and fuel as required, only used the spare jerry can once on the whole trip of 7000 miles (11200 km) in the three weeks we took to do it. Not one puncture either, although the front tyres ended up a bit (?) scrubbed. Got the suspension rebuilt by Renault in Punt Road after the trip under warranty.

    Go for it!
    Early 16TS, that would be right. Munro Wylie shockers were, well shocking. Front suspension before the strengthened lower wishbones. No other failures. Fabulous cars otherwise.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1950 (R1062)
    Renault R8 1965 (R1130)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2006 (daughter's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2007 (mine)

    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980 (moved on to new custodian)

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    Early 16TS, that would be right. Munro Wylie shockers were, well shocking. Front suspension before the strengthened lower wishbones. No other failures. Fabulous cars otherwise.
    As we went through Adelaide we presented a bag of four broken shock-absorbers to the receptionist at Monroe Wylie with a certain amount of rage attached. Their technical bloke had an explanation, he said there was nothing wrong with their shock-absorbers, it was the flimsy R16 lower wishbone flexing which eventually broke the weld between the eye and the shocker.

    If you have a look in the East African spec parts book for the 16's you'll note a completely different set of very strong lower wishbones, a cross-tie between the shocker tops and all sorts of other goodies.

    I still believe it was a Renault Australia's fault, not Monroe Wylie's. R.A said it would have cost too much for the Aussie market and anyway 99% of 16TS were driven on bitumen anyway. Pity about us one percenters!

    When Renault Australia said "Ready for Anything!" they meant anything on tar, obviously!
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    As we went through Adelaide we presented a bag of four broken shock-absorbers to the receptionist at Monroe Wylie with a certain amount of rage attached. Their technical bloke had an explanation, he said there was nothing wrong with their shock-absorbers, it was the flimsy R16 lower wishbone flexing which eventually broke the weld between the eye and the shocker.

    If you have a look in the East African spec parts book for the 16's you'll note a completely different set of very strong lower wishbones, a cross-tie between the shocker tops and all sorts of other goodies.

    I still believe it was a Renault Australia's fault, not Monroe Wylie's. R.A said it would have cost too much for the Aussie market and anyway 99% of 16TS were driven on bitumen anyway. Pity about us one percenters!

    When Renault Australia said "Ready for Anything!" they meant anything on tar, obviously!
    I agree re the lower wishbones - if I recall the later cars had the South African lower wishbones. My R8 has that cross tie between upper turrets, which was, I think, the "poor road" factory modification used for the Oz cars.

    The wishbones must have worked a lot to flex more than the rubber bush on the lower shocker mount, but maybe Wylie's comment is a correct interpretation. I certainly hadn't thought of it.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1950 (R1062)
    Renault R8 1965 (R1130)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2006 (daughter's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2007 (mine)

    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980 (moved on to new custodian)

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

  10. #10
    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    I agree re the lower wishbones - if I recall the later cars had the South African lower wishbones. My R8 has that cross tie between upper turrets, which was, I think, the "poor road" factory modification used for the Oz cars.

    The wishbones must have worked a lot to flex more than the rubber bush on the lower shocker mount, but maybe Wylie's comment is a correct interpretation. I certainly hadn't thought of it.
    If you'd like to think how the R16/TS wishbones are attached to the torsion bars, it's only at the rear end of a "real" wishbone. If a chook had as much force applied to one side of it's wishbone it would soon be your dinner! And so were the early Australian R16/TS equivalents!

    We didn't find out how good they were until 20km off the bitumen and just North of Burke! We drove from Burke to Darwin with no front shocks. By the way there are no chassis bump stops on an R16/TS, they are in the shockers! No shocks, no bump stops! There was an episodic story in the RCCD "Diamond Brief" which could be resurrected for those that are thinking of long trips on dirt in standard pre-1971 Renaults.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts geckoeng's Avatar
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    Default R16 TS and your trip !!!

    The reason your 16TSs in Australia were such rubbish was your rubbish laws about Australian content. The manufacturers bought the cheapest parts to put on there cars.

    You should have had all "rough terrain" and "tropical" parts on the cars, as they were built in South Africa. But they built them with all the European standard parts. I would never fit Munroe shocks to a Renault in SA as the would flog out within months.

    Both the 16 TSs are post '70 , rebuilt with all the Heavy Duty stuff. The Yellow one was my service vehicle for my off-road space frame. The only part of the suspension I broke, was at 7:45 am on the road outside my house, standing still. A front torsion bar broke. Within an hour it was back on the road with a replacement in it. It did 250K in my hands, and it was 95K old when I got it. And that was a lot of very rough roads at high speeds.

    Bring your Koleos any time !!!!!

    Ray geckoeng
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  12. #12
    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geckoeng View Post
    The reason your 16TSs in Australia were such rubbish was your rubbish laws about Australian content. The manufacturers bought the cheapest parts to put on there cars.

    You should have had all "rough terrain" and "tropical" parts on the cars, as they were built in South Africa. But they built them with all the European standard parts. I would never fit Munroe shocks to a Renault in SA as the would flog out within months.

    Both the 16 TSs are post '70 , rebuilt with all the Heavy Duty stuff. The Yellow one was my service vehicle for my off-road space frame. The only part of the suspension I broke, was at 7:45 am on the road outside my house, standing still. A front torsion bar broke. Within an hour it was back on the road with a replacement in it. It did 250K in my hands, and it was 95K old when I got it. And that was a lot of very rough roads at high speeds.

    Bring your Koleos any time !!!!!

    Ray geckoeng
    I agree entirely and you can imagine how excited the rest of Australia would have been if the 16's of the day had been built to the East African spec. I owned a "real" 16 in 1969 before my TS, 1470cc, rzeppa ball joints and all the rest. I rallied it and even took time out of Reg Mort's ex Zazada London to Sydney works Porsche on at least one rally stage, but I still managed to rip a wishbone off in a Western Districts trial. Must say the French gas shockers were fantastic otherwise!
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    I have two weeks holidays from the start of July til the 18th. Depending on when your time frame ends up, I would potetially be interested in making a similar journey from Victoria and meeting up aty the Rock.

    Maybe there are other vic or SA 12 enthusiasts that would be interested?

  14. #14
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    Oldnago,

    I still have to screw a time down with my fellow travellers. I suspect that the first half of July might be a little early for most. But, that said, you are the first to have proposed a date.

    Some of the early preparations are going a tad slow. The heat is stifling over here and the shed is like a sauna. The R10 1300 motor is now assembled all that needs doing is some of the perpherals, like painting the rocker cover and the like. The R10 gearbox leaks like a sieve and has no dust boots. Ken sent me a complete set of gaskets and seals for the box so that's on the to do list.

    I overhauled all the calipers and replaced the hoses, and renewed the steering rack eye bushes. The discs were well within specs, true and without any scoring.

    There's a set of R16 wheels with the rims reversed on the R10. I have two immediate problems: the first is that I can't get them balanced here and the tyre shop struggled to get the wheels aligned. So much so that the tread scrubbed off in no time after the last attempt. I'm wondering if the offset is all wrong and is the cause of all this. I should mention that the neither the steering arms nor the calipers required machining to fit them in the wheel.The car squirms about under heavy braking. After the first attempted alignment it veered to the left after the second it veered to the right. I think I'll replace the upper control arm bushes and do the next alignment myself.

    I replaced the rear springs a while back with a new stiffer set. I was hoping they'd settle in but I've still got a bit of positive camber. Not wanting to start chopping I'll fabricate spacers to go under the gearbox mounts and change the pick-up points for the engine mounts. Has anyone done this?

    While the generator seems fine I'll likely go to an alternator, dispense with the front bumper and mount a light bar.

    I've been experiencing a few nagging electical problems so I pulled the dash for a bit of a ganger - and there'll be a quiet day in the shed sorting the wiring as well. I'll take the opportunity to set up the relays for the headlights and driving lights.

    In a moment of utter, utter madness I bought a Dauphine this week. Its been undercoated and stored - in parts - for the last 10 years. On top of all the preps to be done, add making room for the this next little project...

    All the best

    Peter

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    Well we have a launch date! September 7th... The numbers have fallen so it'll be me in the R12 and Jane in the Landcruiser and my long suffering wife for the return journey. I toyed with taking the R10 but settled on the R12. It has recently had the Konis rebuilt the springs and anti-roll bars are off a rally car and give a lot of ground clearence, I gots some new high profile 175 X 14 tyres and a balance so that pretty much makes it the one I'll take

    The planned route is to go from here to Uluru, thence to Lake Ayer then to Alice and up North thru the Pilbara then home.

    In between now and then I need to:


    1. Either re-ring the motor or replace the pistons and liners as it ingested some sand on our last off-road excursion.
    2. Replace all the seals and gaskets on the 4-speed gearbox. Unfortunately the R18 5 speed box I'd been waiting on for ages arrived with the linkages damaged and there'll be some serious sorting needed for that!
    3. Rewire the headlights and driving lights through relays;
    4. Fix the driver's side door latch so I can open it from the oputside;
    5. Source some shock absorber rubbers for the top of the front shocks. The ones supplied with the Konis allow the shaft to contact with the body;
    6. Find and fit a new ignition switch and barrel (the return spring on the starter circuit died - is this a fixable proposition?);
    7. I'm pretty sure the windscreen is safety glass so I might need to make up a mesh windscreen protector;

    The good news is that I've collected all the bits I need for the motor and gearbox overhaull.

    The dash that's in it now is seriously rooted. I have a Virage dash in great shape, a virage wiring loom and some heater controls and if time permits I might have a crack at that.

    So...

    If anyone has:

    • A supplier for R12 front top shock mount rubbers, preferably in neophrene;
    • An ignition barrel and key;
    • Some key blanks for the ignition and door locks;
    • Driverside door latch and the button with the nylon push rod;
    • An old windscreen protector (a long shot).
    • A front wheel bearing.

    Please let me know

    All the best

    Peter

    PS any solutions for upgrading the 55 amp alternator would be greatly appreciated.
    Daily Drivers: R10, R12, R17T(?) Decouvrable

    In the Shed(s):
    R8 (1.4 motor, 4 shock rear end), Dauphine, Pugeot 404

    In the Past:
    Dauphine X2, R10 X lots, R12 X2, R16TS, R17TS

  16. #16
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    Well the trip preparations are proceeding with the usual degree of chaos.

    The engine is in pieces and parts scattered between the living room, study kitchen, and the increasingly crowded workbench out in the back shed. shed as I await parts.

    One of the legs on the engine crane tucked under (long story, started with the trolley jack failing and spraying me with hydraulic fluid) and dropped the motor and gearbox - gearbox end first - onto the driveway. I anxiously await the post mortem whenI give it a quick treatment to try and stop the persistent leaks.


    The Syncro springs arrived today.

    Some late nights ahead. Hopefully the motor and gearbox will be in soon so I can bed the the rings in. Hate to be doing that on the first 1000kms of the trip...

    P
    Daily Drivers: R10, R12, R17T(?) Decouvrable

    In the Shed(s):
    R8 (1.4 motor, 4 shock rear end), Dauphine, Pugeot 404

    In the Past:
    Dauphine X2, R10 X lots, R12 X2, R16TS, R17TS

  17. #17
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    What a bitch!

    I pulled the gearbox down and realised that I need a slim 32 mm spanner, preferably a crows foot, to get the worm drive nut off. Such things don't exist here and there's no gearbox specialist between here and perth. The work around is to manufacture something to do the trick but then there's the tool needed to remove the 3-4 synchro hub. Been a very long time since I did one of these I thought they were more straight forward.

    I'm really pressed for time now and I'll need to put some 500kms on the newish enginge before I hit the road. Looks like the gearbox will just get washed, new seals and gaskets and slapped back together. There is some evidence the bearings may have spun in the carriers, I'll use a bearing retaining compound for the reassembly. Fingers crossed.

    Still haven't found a solution for the passenger side shock absorber shaft knocking on the body. Nobody seems too have bushes that are shaped anywhere near what I need. May need to start thinking creatively for that one.

    Jane came over this evening and we started planning the route in greater detail. The great Central road seems like it'll be a cake walk compared to the Tanami with its hundred of kilometers of corrugations.

    More later

    Peter
    Daily Drivers: R10, R12, R17T(?) Decouvrable

    In the Shed(s):
    R8 (1.4 motor, 4 shock rear end), Dauphine, Pugeot 404

    In the Past:
    Dauphine X2, R10 X lots, R12 X2, R16TS, R17TS

  18. #18
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    Let's see: Rebuilt the motor, stripped the gearbox, replaced the clutch, cleaned and blew out the carby, installed an electronic ignition, filled to the top with PULP...

    And now, there's a dreadful misfire in the motor, I cant get my gears and either the alternator and/or the battery is stuffed.

    A saturday morning start is looking like a pipe dream.

    P
    Daily Drivers: R10, R12, R17T(?) Decouvrable

    In the Shed(s):
    R8 (1.4 motor, 4 shock rear end), Dauphine, Pugeot 404

    In the Past:
    Dauphine X2, R10 X lots, R12 X2, R16TS, R17TS

  19. #19
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Ex, for the g'box speedo worm drive you can use a Bahco shifter with narrow jaws. That's what I found works. You can get it at Bunnings if you're lucky, but can order it if it's not on the shelf. The blasted nut is done up to about 120N*m and most things break before they get there (I've tried for instance special bicycle tools, they're very narrow, but too weak). I had success with the Bahco and an extender (piece of suitable pipe flattened a bit to go over the handle which is too short). When I get home tonight I might post a picture if think it can help.

    If you find yourself down perth way any time before departure, you can try a number of shops around where they have various nolathane bushings that might fit. Veale in Melville is one of these, but there's more.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

  20. #20
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    Thamks Shiltz

    I put the box back together without separating the cluster for those reasons.

    The current issue is with the clutch and I'll have a root around with that first.

    The engine misfire is what will potentially ground the mission. I bought a 123 electronic ignition system and the car ran like a dog. I put the old dizzy back in and it runs better. New leads, plugs, carby clean and blow out, just bought a new coil hoping that's the issue...

    Running out of options and time.

    P
    Daily Drivers: R10, R12, R17T(?) Decouvrable

    In the Shed(s):
    R8 (1.4 motor, 4 shock rear end), Dauphine, Pugeot 404

    In the Past:
    Dauphine X2, R10 X lots, R12 X2, R16TS, R17TS

  21. #21
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    Progress!

    With new leads in place and a new coil on hand I tackled the misfire. It was breaking down horribly under load with the 123 ignition so I reverted to the old dizzy. An improvement but...

    Then I did something really, really smart. I typed "tuning a Weber carby" into Google...

    With the misfire eventually cured I decided to reinstall the the 123 dizzy. No good, cranky as, again. I'll check the curves and if that fails I'll go back to the original. Very disappointed!

    Of course Jane's preparation was taking her landcruiser down to the local 4X4 shop and getting them to give it the once over. We sat done this evening and started planning our menu - the most important part. And, the permits came thru today. We hope to leave on Saturday morn and get to Laverton before day's end.

    Some sad news, the father of the bloke Jane was going to do the trip with died today.

    More later

    Peter
    Daily Drivers: R10, R12, R17T(?) Decouvrable

    In the Shed(s):
    R8 (1.4 motor, 4 shock rear end), Dauphine, Pugeot 404

    In the Past:
    Dauphine X2, R10 X lots, R12 X2, R16TS, R17TS

  22. #22
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    Default Windscreen problem

    Hi All
    Peter contacted me today to say that his car is going well, they are well on their way to the other side. One little problem he has had is a broken windscreen, he is having a new one shipped to Alice Springs however there is a high chance that it can be broken in transit due to being shipped on its own. Is there anyone in Alice Springs who would have a spare screen as a plan B?

    Cheers
    Wayne

  23. #23
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    Default All good

    Christopher at Trusty Glass an agent of O'Briens Went above and beyond the call by locating the glass express freighting it to Alice and fitting me in when we rolled in last Friday. Shannons picked up the tab including freight. I paid nothing. Car had some niggles that I sorted over the last day. Covered about 2000kms al fresco - more than half on un sealed roads. Glad it's done. Now I need to find some way of turning the bloody heater off...

    Light out for the Tanami track tomorrow. This might be the real test.

    P
    Daily Drivers: R10, R12, R17T(?) Decouvrable

    In the Shed(s):
    R8 (1.4 motor, 4 shock rear end), Dauphine, Pugeot 404

    In the Past:
    Dauphine X2, R10 X lots, R12 X2, R16TS, R17TS

  24. #24
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    Excuse typos - my IT capacity is limited to a newly acquired - so called - smart phone...
    Daily Drivers: R10, R12, R17T(?) Decouvrable

    In the Shed(s):
    R8 (1.4 motor, 4 shock rear end), Dauphine, Pugeot 404

    In the Past:
    Dauphine X2, R10 X lots, R12 X2, R16TS, R17TS

  25. #25
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    loneliness capital of the world
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    The heater tap is on the LHS under the dash and can be accessed if you stick your hand under there. It should have a pulley with two strings attached. You can turn it on/off by hand. This is the solution in case the strings are broken (RHD cars have the knob relocated all the way to the other end of the dash with a pulley on the back and two strings which turn the tap).

    If something else is the problem you need to be more explicit.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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