Well Tuff Truck is over for another year. What a freakin adventurous weekend!!
This is a basic rundown on how the weekend went for us.... sorry if it's a little illogical!!
11:15pm Wed - leave Brisbane
5am Thurs - trailer bearing seized and threw the wheel and hub off into the bush which was never found. Axle is destroyed from the heat and we're 60km south of Glen Innes with another 50km to Armidale. We unload the Hilux and park it on the side of the road and I take the trailer into Armidale to try and get a new axle leaving Greg babysitting the Hilux in what felt like the coldest place on earth.
8:30am Thus - having found a trailer "specialist" he finally decides to turn up to work. Thankfully, he understands my position and promises to help me out. He chases all around Armidale to find some stub axles, bearings, brake backing plates, u bolts, u bolt plates etc to make up a new axle. Axle goes together ok but one of the threads is damaged and an hour is lost trying to chase down a 3/4" UNF die nut. In the mean time, I replace the bearings in the other axle. By 12:30pm the trailer is "fixed" and I'm heading back to a starving Greg and the Hilux.
1:30pm Thurs - I stop at a roadhouse 30kms down the road on the way back to the Hilux to pick up some food for Greg and find the two rear trailer bearings hot and smoking. Deciding that it was probably incorrectly adjusted brakes, I remove the brakes and backing plates all together relying on just the brakes on the front axle and cross my fingers.
2:30pm Thurs - Finally get back to Greg and the Hilux to find the two rear trailer wheels are again hot and now have about 3" of float - not good!Decide that the "specialist" trailer guy may have been falsely advertising and decide to drive back to Glen Innes (100km round trip) to get the only available hire trailer in town.
5:00om Thurs - back on the road with the Hilux loaded on the hire trailer 12hrs after the initial breakdown. We stop every 10 minutes to check on wheel bearing temp. Adjusted brakes a few times on the way and it was all good.
11:10pm Thursday - arrive at Tuff Truck - 23hrs 55mins
after leaving home with no sleep!
Friday night - Mud Run - brake the weld holding my hydraulic steering ram to the differential housing, ram swings free, takes out air locker fitting and wedges itself in turn bending the shaft. Can't get past the 70 point mark without a front locker (although at that stage, nobody was getting through)
Saturday morning - strip down the font differential to clean the mud from the front diff. Straighten the bent ram and reweld the mounting. Good to go again.
Frame twister - after taking it easy to try and limit breakages, we get hung up on the jump ups after the wombat holes (should have punched it but didn't want to damage the steering)
Devil's marbles - 5m into the track, my power steering box strips the threads on the nuts and removes itself from the chassis rendering us without steering. This was obviously something that was fatigued when the hydro steering ram broke.
Remainder of event - went really well. No exceptional courses but reasonable scores.
Result - after Greg and I betting that we would be somewhere around the 20+ position, we managed to come away with 9th position
. The cars in front of us were Team Pirate, Mal (Bushranger), Rhett, Anabolic, OPW, Avanti, Mad Fab and Run-a-muck. Considering the calibre of the vehicles in front of us (and those placed behind us) and the poor start, we were extremely happy with the result.
All that was left was to get our trailer back on the road (still parked in a farmer's paddock between Armidale and Glen Innes) and take the long drive home. We stocked up on trailer bearings and planned to throw some new bearings at our trailer and return the hire trailer before continuing on our way. We finally got to the bottom of the problem when we went to put on the new bearings only to find out that the stub axles were Holden and the trailer "specialist" had installed Ford bearings. That explains the overheating and loose hubs! Luckily we were able to locate some Holden bearings that fit our hubs in the next town (only place in town was a servo) and get things going again. After this small hiccup, it ended up being a 14hr drive home
. After a weekend like that - trust me, you're really glad to get home!!
Thanks Tigrez11 for sponsoring us for this event. It was kind of unfortunate we didn't get a change to show the crowd how quick our new twin motor Tigerz11 winch is. We'll see how it goes in the upcoming Xtreme Winch Challenge! Also thanks to our regular sponsors - Superior Engineering and Locktup 4x4 for their ongoing support.
Sorry - no action pics. Just some pics of the stickers n stuff with the truck in the pits.