Heating Up in Hermannsburg – Part 2
We arrived back in Alice Springs after our amazing visit to Uluru and Kata Tjuta, and I got to work as soon as possible. The first few days were spent fiddling with the Troopy to try and figure out why the engine was overheating.
I flushed the cooling system and changed the bottom radiator hose before getting some advice from a local mechanic, who suggested lubing up the fan clutch. After doing that, I took the Troopy for a short test drive and it seemed successful, but the best way to check was to go on a long distance drive.
The next day, we drove the Troopy down to Rainbow Valley, about 100km south of Alice Springs. Unfortunately, once we were over 80kmph, the temp gauge moved towards the red. Back to the drawing board…
The next day, I called the mechanic and booked the Troopy in so that they could have a look. I dropped the Troopy off the following week, and got a phone call later that day from the mechanic, asking if I had time to come by the workshop. The Troopy was up on the hoist and the mechanic said that they hadn’t even taken it for a test drive because they didn’t want to risk driving it anywhere – the front wheel bearings were gone.
He went through a list of things that needed to be repaired urgently, before we had another long chat about the why cooling system might be playing up. He explained that the air in Alice Springs is really dry and therefore isn’t as effective at cooling the radiator, and he also recommended getting rid of the fly-screen mesh from the grill, as it can severely restrict air flow at 80-110kp/h.
Looking at the list of required repairs, there was no way I could do all that myself so I booked the Troopy in for a proper session. Unfortunately, they were so busy, the next available time was the week after, so I took the Troopy home, went through the list, and did what I could myself. I replaced the leaky brake proportioning valve, ripped off the fly-screen from the grill and picked up a few less urgent bits and pieces to swap later. A week later, I took the Troopy back to the mechanic so they could do the rest. For the next week, we were lucky enough to borrow a shitty Ford Falcon with a cracked windscreen, no windows and ripped up interior to get around town.
The main repairs the mechanics did for us were:
- Swivel hubs and bearings
- Three brake discs
- Handbrake shoes
- Uni joints
- Rear pinion seal
- Steering – drag link ends and tie rod ends
A week later, and over $4000 out of pocket, we were reunited with a new and improved Troopy, minus all the squeaks, grinds and clunks. The Troopy was feeling strong and we were filled with excitement when we finally left Alice Springs to continue our journey south. These days, the Troopy still heats up a little sometimes, but it’s only when it’s worked hard for a while.