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A circuit around the WA mid-west

JohnM

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Thanks for the info, family member just bought a 2nd hand one, also around 15000kms.
I had it for a couple weeks while I fitted a bullbar, spotties and serviced it etc.
Only got a drive on the bitumen, mine was the Titanium lots of toys to play with, think I fiddled with everything except the self park and the 4wd buttons. Works well now but I am not sure about in 10 years....

Have you gone to Ford to get the TCM reprogrammed if yours was in that batch?

I agree ad blue is a once a year thing to fill for most people but needs to be considered in the bush.
The dash warning will tell you waay before you run out but.

Only bad points I have heard so far is derating the power due to overheating on hot days if towing a 3 ton van etc...and the aforesaid gearbox issue on some earlier models...mine was a late 2019 model.

Good call on changing the tyres...you might have had more punctures if the OEM ones were still on it.
No TCM issue. Mine's a 2020 build.

I keep a 10L drum or two of Ad-Blue at home and just top up before heading bush, so never go near the low-level warning.

I'm not interested in towing anything, so no issues there.
 
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jastel

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Yes a box trailer to the dump a few times a year will be all mine tows and I dont think my family member intends any serious off roading either, maybe the odd dirt track and gravel road, they just wanted more space and ground clearance than the old Falcon had.
 
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JohnM

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BMW owners have no choice do they?
I don't know whether all BMWs have run-flats or only some models. I'd expect that if run-flats were not fitted, they would only have a temporary spare, like my previous Audi and Subaru Liberty GT before that. Making storage space for a wide, large diameter spare hoop without restricting load space is hard.

Either way, the same low speed, short distance limitation applies to both. Basically, both options are a real worry in Australia anywhere outside the city. Also, if a run-flat gets a sidewall puncture, I think it becomes undrivable.
 

Daver6

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Are run-flats as one of you use better or worse for this kind of travel?
Evidence from our tyres would suggest not :p

More seriously, run flats are useless. They're good for a few hundred kms on sealed roads up to 80km/h. You're not going to get far on an unsealed road. So find if you're in a city or Europe. Run flats work by having a stiff sidewall that can support the vehicle. So if you say need to drive 200kms you probably need a new tyre rather than just plug a small hole.

Having said that, if you ALSO carry a proper spare, then there could be advantages.

BMW owners have no choice do they?
BMWs these days come either with run flats are what they call a "mobility kit". That's essentially a compressor that runs off the car's electrics and that tyre goo to plug a hole. Even more useless than run flats really. It's again a temporary measure and only works with holes up to 5mm.

That's why prior to this trip we purchased a proper size spare. With just the two of us in the care, space wasn't an issue, but there is no proper dedicated space for a full size spare.
 

TheRealTMA

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Evidence from our tyres would suggest not :p

More seriously, run flats are useless. They're good for a few hundred kms on sealed roads up to 80km/h. You're not going to get far on an unsealed road. So find if you're in a city or Europe. Run flats work by having a stiff sidewall that can support the vehicle. So if you say need to drive 200kms you probably need a new tyre rather than just plug a small hole.

Having said that, if you ALSO carry a proper spare, then there could be advantages.



BMWs these days come either with run flats are what they call a "mobility kit". That's essentially a compressor that runs off the car's electrics and that tyre goo to plug a hole. Even more useless than run flats really. It's again a temporary measure and only works with holes up to 5mm.

That's why prior to this trip we purchased a proper size spare. With just the two of us in the care, space wasn't an issue, but there is no proper dedicated space for a full size spare.
Yes I understand run-flats. We're had them on last few cars and they have saved MrsTMA severe hassles when she got a flat on way to work - just drive back home.

(And I don't think I can change a tyre any more anyway. Last flat we had was on a Jag XF in the wilds of the Torredon in Scotland. Had to change to a mini-spare. Just about killed me.)

Just thought they may not be overly good for off-roading (which I never have any intention to do!)

Friend vowed never, ever, never never, to get run flats and argued forcefully that he would never use f****ng run flats! So when he bought his new BMW, what did it have? :p Took us 6 months to find out he'd capitulated.

ed: There's a Clarkson piece where he drilled several holes in the tyres of a BMW M3 then drove around race track at high speed without much issue.
 

JohnM

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We reached Leonora late morning, stopped to fuel-up and grab some lunch. As I was munching my pie, I looked down. Hmmm… - that tyre looks a bit flat. Sure enough, it’s down and I see a nail embedded in the tread.

Dang! This could delay us, as we were going to check out Gwalia, just on the outskirts of Leonora before beelining to Lake Ballard.

Gwalia (Gwalia, Western Australia - Wikipedia, Leonora and Gwalia Ghost Town along Golden Quest Discovery Trail | Australia's Golden Outback) is very interesting, but I have been before. So I suggested to my brother and SIL, who hadn’t, to go out there while I had the tyre repaired and I’d catch up with them.

“OK mate, just run that thing in here and I’ll jack ‘er up and get that wheel off…”

Out comes the forklift, and he pokes one fork under the towbar; the other fork perilously close to the body. Up she goes - quickly. o_O

“Errr, err…, OK mate.” And he jams a lump of wood in to hold the forklift’s footbrake… :oops:

I surreptitiously jam a brick under a front wheel of my vehicle... 😟

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He gets the tyre off the rim. Hmmm… that nail hasn’t penetrated the tyre. :oops:

“B-b-but it was definitely down.” - as he looks at me suspiciously as though I’m a city slicker like @Daver6 :mad: or some geo that’s gone as soft as Philly cheese like @RooFlyer. :rolleyes:

“Ah-ha, mate – see, I told you never to assume anything out here.”

“Err, err, but I didn’t – really, truly.” 😟

A small hard stick had gone through on the other side. Patched and on my way after quite a lot of Goldfields philosophising with a mountain of stuffed tyres forming the backdrop. Another tyre experience to add to my list from, particularly, Argentina.:mad:

Phew, ignominy in Leonora narrowly averted. I think. 😖

I meet up with the others at the Gwalia museum.

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Through the first museum building and past the mine lookout to the winder house, headframe, mine manager’s residence, and offices. Gwalia is famous for Herbert Hoover being the mine manager (for a brief, but eventful, period) late in the 19th century.

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JohnM

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We walked out of the museum precinct thinking that we were running nicely for time to get to Lake Ballard before sunset.

Uh-oh, a tyre on my brother and SIL’s camper is noticeably down. We change the tyre and it seems to be a small stone puncture in the middle of the tread. They high-tail it into Leonora to get it patched, while I check out some of the old Gwalia town – which they had done while I had my tyre repaired…

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JohnM

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We finally get going, but it’s now obvious we won’t get to Lake Ballard until about 45 mins after sunset. And as we turn west from Menzies on the road to Lake Ballard the sunset is a stunner. Pics taken by my SIL while moving.

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We drive into the Lake Ballard camping area in pitch black and grab the first decent-looking spot we can discern. Up at sparrow’s, but to a very cloudy morning, unfortunately.

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It gradually improves, but not the stunning dawn we had been hoping for.

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JohnM

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It was then pretty much a beeline home, briefly calling in to my elder son’s sandalwood harvesting operation to show my brother and SIL and stopping for a few wildflower pics.

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And that was it for a great trip!

Coming up on Wednesday, a few days in Kalbarri. :cool:
 

OZDUCK

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Thanks a lot for the photos. I had thought that there might have been a bit of water in Lake Ballard after some of our late season rains.
 

JohnM

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Thanks a lot for the photos. I had thought that there might have been a bit of water in Lake Ballard after some of our late season rains.
It was sticky when I was there in July (same the previous time when I was also there in July), but dry this time. That late rain petered out that far inland.
 

Black Duck

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Looks nice and dry (ish) at Lake Ballard. I was there a couple of years ago and intended camping but the weather turned really wet and the roads were shut. Ended up at Hoover House in Gwalia for 2 nights instead on one so no hardship. Went on to a very wet Lake Ballard the next day then camped a bit down the road to Coolgardie at Rowles Lagoon as Ballard was pretty busy. Just us and some camels at the Lagoon.

Its such an interesting area. Thanks for the great photos of the whole trip.
 

RossM

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Yes, it was a great trip, a bit over 3700 kms with at least half on the dirt. First major outback camper trailer trip for wife & me. It was good to have brother as a "tour guide".
 

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