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Troopy Update : Saggy Springs & Other Things

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Yo, Dave here.

 

It’s been ages since the last Troopy update, but you know what they say, “No news is good news” … right?

 

A new spring in her step!

Ever since we bought the Troopy, her rear springs have been saggy and she’s been dragging her arse all around Australia.  I decided it was time to get her some fresh legs before we left Cairns, so I did the rounds and got some quotes.

 

Most places wanted almost $2000 to replace the springs and associated parts and they all said the shock absorbers would definitely need to be replaced too – for and an additional fee of about $1000 plus labour, of course.

 

I ended up going with Spring and Blacksmithing who quoted parts and installation for $1400.  A friend had recommended them, but I also really liked the guys there. The owner Stan is honest and funny – he’s a tell-it-like-it-is kinda guy.  When I asked about the shockers, he said “we’ll see how they look after we do the springs. But if they’re not leaking or stuffed, we don’t need to touch them”.

 

Seeing as the original quote was $1400, I was expecting to pay at least $1500, but the final price for the springs, shackles, bushes and u-bolts came to just over $1300.  And the shockers were fine!

 

With her new legs, the Troopy was instantly about 8cms taller than before.  It feels so much higher and the arse is certainly not dragging anymore!

 

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A little TLC…

Apart from spending a fair bit of money on new springs, there were a few cosmetic and basic maintenance issues that needed to be addressed.   We finally ordered a Troopcarriers Of Australia sticker for our windscreen, proudly displaying our Troopy legend status.  I also spent a day on the roof of the Troopy repainting the Our Naked Australia sign and deflector hood.   I had some paint left over, so I touched up the bull bar and the rear bumpers too.

 

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The windows were starting to get really stiff, so I sprayed the channels and mechanisms with silicone spray, and I had to replace the rocker cover gasket.  The Troopy was due for an oil and filter change too, so I went down to my favourite op shop to look for a cheap plastic tub that could catch 10 litres of used oil.  I couldn’t believe my luck when I actually found a proper oil drain pan for just two bucks!  With the oil, filter and gasket changed, I quickly replaced the heater hoses that were only just holding on.

 

On my travels around Cairns, I also found a Doug’s Tub.  If you own a Land Cruiser, you need to go buy one of these for your glove box right now.

 

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Leave a light on for me!

When we were in Caboolture, someone pointed out that our number plate light wasn’t working.  I had a look at it that afternoon, and found the wires had all come off inside the rear door.  Rejoining wires is usually a piss easy job, but because the break was inside the door, it was fiddly.  Anyway, I got them reattached, re-taped, and better than before.

 

Troopcarriers of Australia Winter Ramble

Imagine a place where there’s Troopcarriers as far as the eye can see… Such a place really exists.  At least for one weekend a year.  The 2015 ToA Winter Ramble was held at Coorongooba campground within the Capertee Valley in Wollemi National Park, NSW.  We got to meet so many legends who were friends we’d never met.  Stories were told, beer was swilled, and promises of future catch ups were sworn.  We had a great weekend, and can’t wait to do it again.  Troopy love!

 

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Melbourne here we come!

As we make our way back home, the Troopy is holding up nicely.  Apart from a leaking clutch slave cylinder, we haven’t had any other major issues.  Once we’re in Melbourne, I’ll have plenty of time to deal with all the little things.

 

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2015 Troopcarriers of Australia Winter Ramble

Cape York

 

We’re so proud that we decided to buy a Toyota Troopcarrier for our trip around Australia.  It’s taken us to some really amazing places around the country and it still amazes us with some of the things it’s capable of.  Anybody who’s ever owned a Troopy will understand this appreciation.  This Troopy love.

 

The Troopcarriers of Australia (ToA) facebook page is full of Troopy legends – some have just bought their first Troopy while others have been driving them for over 30 years.  Some are fully qualified diesel mechanics and others can barely use a spanner.

 

Each year, the administrators of the page organise a social get-together in winter, and 2015 Winter Ramble was held at Coorongooba within the Capertee Valley in Wollemi National Park, NSW.  Covering around 487,500 hectares, Wollemi National Park is the second largest conservation area in NSW and is part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.  Within the park is the largest remaining wilderness area in NSW and includes rugged terrain, rainforests, swamps and amazing cliffs.

 

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When we arrived at the campsite, there were Troopcarriers everywhere – it was overwhelming!  The weekend attracted over 150 people in over 70 Troopies.  The campsite was surrounded by huge sandstone escarpments.  We reckon the cliffs are better than the Blue Mountains.  As the site was so large, people with kids, party animals, and everyone in between could be accommodated comfortably.

 

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After finding a nice spot to set up, we started walking around the area to meet people and check out all the Troopies.  Quite a few people knew us because of Our Naked Australia or from the ToA facebook page.  It was great to meet so many people who were friends we’d never met.

 

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The event was really well organised, with raffles, event stickers and a huge campfire for everyone.  We all got to vote for the award winning Troopies in various categories like: favourite, best modification, furthest travelled, and more.  As the night progressed, beer cans piled higher and fires grew bigger as the smell of dinner cooking filled the air.  Great music was played all night and there were even fireworks!

 

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The morning after was a big difficult for some (Dave, haha!), but we all said goodbye to our new mates with promises made to catch up again soon.  We drove out of the valley smiling to ourselves and reflecting on how the love of the Troopcarrier had brought together so many different people.

 

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Troopy bits

Cooling Down in Alice Springs

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…

 

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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

 

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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.

 

Birdsville