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Three Mitsubishis across the Simpson

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  • Three Mitsubishis across the Simpson

    I was fortunate enough to score an invite to accompany old Jack and Pajero 12 across the Simpson, returning to Adelaide via Walkers Crossing, the Strzelecki and Arkaroola.



    Thanks to some meticulous vehicle preparation, with massive input from OJ, all three vehicles ate it up. Fully loaded, but with the right tyres and suspension, we weren't troubled anywhere. Across the Simpson, we were able to climb (most of) the dunes using traction alone, and didn't need to charge up the chopped-out dunes to make it over the top. Obviously Big Red was one of the exceptions - with a little experimentation and refining, all three vehicles flew up one of the tracks that we were assured was "too hard".

    We did have some issues. Pajero12's homemade storage system required some TLC in Birdsville, and I lost a nut from my front sway bar - for the second time. First time, I just happened to have a spare nut (found a few years earlier in a pool on the Wongungarra River), but this time I wasn't so lucky - so OJ crawled underneath with a length of cord and lashed the link back into place, a repair that lasted another week before we found a suitable replacement in Arkaroola. Thanks OJ! M14 x 1.5mm flange nut, for those who might want to know.

    I've started wading through my photos, and have made it to the edge of the desert.

    The obligatory stop at the Prairie Hotel:




    The remains of an old rail bridge at Duff Creek:


    Algebuckina:






    Pedirka:


    Dalhousie Ruin:


    Dalhousie campsite:


    More to come...
    NT Platinum. DiD Auto with 265/70R17 Toyo MT, Lift, Lockers, Lockup Mate, Low range reduction, LRA Aux tank, bull bar, winch, lots of touring stuff. Flappy paddles. MMCS is gone!

    Project: NJ SWB. 285/75R16 ST Maxx, 2" OME suspension, 2" body lift, ARB 110, 120l tank, bullbar, scratches, no major dents. Fully engineered in SA. NW DiD & auto in place - a long way to go....

    Scorpro Explorer Box

  • #2
    looks like an awesome trip guys.....
    1994 NJ 3.0 now with a 2000NL 3.5 engine and driveline, 2.5 catback, 32" MT Deegan 38's, 1" body lift, front diff drop with front tension rods indexed and cranked an 3", 3" on the rear coils
    *** retired to the big wrecking yard in the sky***
    1998 NL 3.5 blisterside, 305.70.16's on -44 rims 3.5" suspension lift, Custom Bull bar, winch install, custom front control arms, NJ GLS flares and some camping gear in the back AND 8 PSI of BOOOOOST

    .... and 1990 Nissan Z32 300zx for on road shenanigans
    .

    Comment


    • #3
      Great pics, thanks for posting
      2015 NX GLS, Factory alloy bar, Kings HD Springs & Koni Shocks with 50mm lift, MM Auto Mate, Paddle shift kit, dual batteries with Redarc DC/DC, LRA 58L tank, Safari snorkel, Boo's bash plates (full set), 17" steels with BFG KO2's, Drifta drawers with slide, TPMS, Uniden UH8080S, Alpine iLX-702D head unit. Goldstream caravan and a TVan Firetail.

      Comment


      • #4
        Great stuff NJ. looking forward to the rest.
        Gone to a new home ...MY04 NP GLS Man Di-D, Look after her..


        MY16 NX GLX5, Dobinson's HD springs + MRR shocks + Firestone airbags, 17" Toyo Opats, XXX bar, Dominator winch + IB500 relay, Full Bushskinz kit, Rhino track mount, 7" led spots, 23" light bar, SPV block, Ultragauge, Donaldson secondary filter, LRA 81L aux, 105AGM in rear + Projecta IDC25, 2 tier rear shelf + slide, ARB on board compressor, 2.5 x 3.0 awning

        NX build


        My Journeys

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by stumagoo View Post
          looks like an awesome trip guys.....
          Certainly was.

          Originally posted by Ian H View Post
          Great pics, thanks for posting
          Originally posted by sharkcaver View Post
          Great stuff NJ. looking forward to the rest.
          I'm glad you like them.

          After a night in Dalhousie, with dingos howling all around, we were the third group out of the camp site in the morning. The track was in good condition, and we made good time to Purnie Bore, where the only water to be found was a leak at the bore head, and another from the overhead tank at the showers. So we continued on, with next stop at the boundary of the Simpson Desert Regional Reserve.



          We followed the French Line for a while, and I think the best way to describe it is wearying. The track is horribly lumpy, from too many vehicles scalloping wombat holes in unfathomable places. For us, traction was never an issue, but we were typically restricted to 20 - 30km/h, because to attempt any faster would induce a "pogo" effect as our suspensions would hit a resonant frequency over the bumps, which would quickly proceed from uncomfortable to dangerous. The 40km/h speed limit was a distant dream as we slowly picked our way over the lumps and bumps in the interdunal swales, and cruised up & down the dunes.

          We stopped for lunch at the junction with the Colson Track, which we subsequently followed south to the WAA line. After the French Line, the Colson Track was a wonderful drive along the swales, much smoother, with a firmer surface. I suspect that, because the Colson Track isn't a part of any "standard" crossing, it doesn't receive anywhere as near as much traffic.

          Our relaxing cruise down track was over all too soon as we reached the WAA line, and we turned east once more. The WAA line was reminiscent of the French Line, with red sand and dunes, but the dunes were spaced further apart, and the track was in better condition - probably due to less wear and tear, as it's neither the most direct route (French Line) or the easiest route (Rig Road).

          I originally labelled the following photos as French Line, but based on the time stamps, I now believe they're actually from the WAA line. I don't appear to have taken any photos on our first stretch of the French Line.









          Late in the day, as we were exchanging calls with a vehicle heading towards us on the WAA line, we spotted a reasonable campsite and pulled in for the night - letting the oncoming vehicle know that the track was now clear. No photos of camp.

          Sunrise:


          Once up and rolling the next morning we quickly passed a single vehicle camped off the track, which we presume was the oncoming from the night before. A little later, we passed a group of four vehicles still packing up camp, and we continued to hear them, and chat to them, for the rest of the day.

          When we hit the Erabena Track, we turned south once again, to visit the Lone Gum Tree:



          We had been listening on the UHF to the group of four travelling along the WAA line, and they sounded like they were struggling a little. We decided that if we returned to the WAA line along the Erabena Track we would end up behind them, and probably be delayed. So we elected to continue east on the Rig Road, which also gave us a little more variety in our travelling.



          The Rig Road is definitely the easiest way to cross the desert, albeit the longest. In many places the original clay cap is still intact, but is also completely broken down in other places, and the current track has also had to create new diversions around some severely eroded spots. All in all, much easier driving, but I think we all agreed that the WAA line was the best compromise of interest and ease.

          At the end of the Rig Road we turned north along the Knolls Track back towards the French Line. Another north-south track following the swales, it wasn't in as good condition as Colson or Erabena Tracks, possibly because it carries most of the traffic that avoids the French Line. As we approached the end of the WAA line we could hear the group of four approaching, and it looked like it would become a race to the junction. The other group paused at a salt pan, and we passed through in front of them.

          We stopped at the Approdinna Attora Knolls for lunch, and a trek to the top of the Knolls to view the surrounding terrain - not that I took many photos.



          From the Knolls it was a short run north to rejoin the French Line, and turn east once more towards Poeppel Corner.

          The track was still lumpy & slow, but the dunes were further apart, and interspersed by more salt pans.



          A quick stop at the corner, then, as it was getting late in the day, we selected a camp site, and settled in for the evening.

          NT Platinum. DiD Auto with 265/70R17 Toyo MT, Lift, Lockers, Lockup Mate, Low range reduction, LRA Aux tank, bull bar, winch, lots of touring stuff. Flappy paddles. MMCS is gone!

          Project: NJ SWB. 285/75R16 ST Maxx, 2" OME suspension, 2" body lift, ARB 110, 120l tank, bullbar, scratches, no major dents. Fully engineered in SA. NW DiD & auto in place - a long way to go....

          Scorpro Explorer Box

          Comment


          • #6
            wonderful photos again Scott and I love the thread.

            Hope to catch up with the gang again soon, just had new sneakers put on the pajero yesterday and I would like to get them dirty.

            Steve
            2009 NT VRX, Rear Battery Pack, 18" Bridgestone D-697, SPVi EGR mod, BushSkinz Intercooler & Sump Plates. BOO's Transmission & Transfer Case Plates. GME 3550, HID HB's and 22"LED Bar, Pioneer Avic F80DAB Audio/Coms/Nav system MM4x4 TC Lockup Mate. & 1/2 tank of Diesel

            Pretty Stock but very Capable

            Wish List: ARB Deluxe Bar & Winch, Snorkel, Diff Breathers, & 1/2 tank of Diesel

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            • #7
              Looks like a great trip. Thanks for sharing it with us. How did everyone's differing brands of tyres fair?

              Benny.
              2011 NT Pajero Platinum, Fullriver DC105 & Odyssey 35PC1400 batteries, MM alloy bar, Stedi 8.5" LED driving lights, Bushskinz side steps & bash plates, Provent 200, Auto-mate TC lockup, Derale fan forced transcooler, 2 micron secondary fuel filter, custom 3inch exhaust, JT intercooler, Bilstein + Lovells 2 inch lift, Airbag Man bags, DBA slotted rotors & DBA XP pads, braided brake lines, diff+gearbox+transfer breathers, Redarc boost & EGT gauge, Tuned by TME 141rwkw 598nm.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by NTBenny View Post
                Looks like a great trip. Thanks for sharing it with us. How did everyone's differing brands of tyres fair?

                Benny.
                Tyres fitted are;
                NT Kumho MT 51 LT265/70R-17 about 1/3 worn.
                NW Cooper ST Maxx LT265/70R-17 almost new.
                PB Cooper ST Maxx LT245/75R-16 about 2/3 worn.

                All cars were at Max axle limits so GVM+130-150kg, all tyre were run at very similar pressures on and off road with pressures as low as 12psi up to 38psi cold.

                No tyre problems or failures, we did just over 4,000kms in 13 days and 3,000kms was off the bitumen so we were not ambling along. A combination of the correct tyres, correct pressures and correct suspension setups and sensible driving gave us a trouble free trip in regards to tyres.

                OJ.
                Last edited by old Jack; 03-06-18, 09:04 PM. Reason: Spelling correction.
                2011 PB Base White Auto, Smartbar, Cooper STMaxx LT235/85R-16,TPMS, HR TB, 3 x Bushskinz, front +40mm Dobinson , rear +50mm EHDVR Lovells, Dobinson MT struts and shockers, Peddars 5899 cone springs, Windcheater rack, GME UHF, Custom alloy drawer system inc. 30lt Engel & 2 x 30 AH LiFePo batteries + elec controls, Tailgate hi-lift/long struts, Phillips +100 LB & HB, Lightforce 20" single row driving beam LED lightbar, Scanguage II.
                MM4x4 Auto Mate, Serial No 1 .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks OJ.

                  Benny.
                  2011 NT Pajero Platinum, Fullriver DC105 & Odyssey 35PC1400 batteries, MM alloy bar, Stedi 8.5" LED driving lights, Bushskinz side steps & bash plates, Provent 200, Auto-mate TC lockup, Derale fan forced transcooler, 2 micron secondary fuel filter, custom 3inch exhaust, JT intercooler, Bilstein + Lovells 2 inch lift, Airbag Man bags, DBA slotted rotors & DBA XP pads, braided brake lines, diff+gearbox+transfer breathers, Redarc boost & EGT gauge, Tuned by TME 141rwkw 598nm.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Next morning we continued north along the French Line, angling towards the west, further into the NT. After a few kms the track hit a salt pan, which we followed all the way to the junction with the QAA line, where we turned eastwards once more, on the final run towards Birdsville.

                    Not too far into the QAA line I crested a dune to see what I considered a rather awesome site:



                    Yes, I know they're a feral pest, and I would readily shoot them all if I could. But I couldn't shoot them, so I just enjoyed the sight, and thought about the contribution that camels made to the opening of this region of the country.

                    We entered Queensland again without ceremony, and continued to the boundary of Queensland's version of the Simpson Desert national park.



                    Not far out of the park, while I was bringing up the rear of the group, I crested a dune to spot a dingo trotting along the track in front of me. As I got closer it darted into the scrub, but not too far. As a certified (certifiable?) dog lover, I stopped to take some photos







                    For anybody who wonders about the inclusion of dingo blood in the Kelpie:



                    We soon detected on the radio an oncoming "group of nine" vehicles, who also sounded to be making slow progress. Fortunately we encountered them at their lunch stop, so we lost no time for the two groups to pass each other. The lead vehicle of that group was a VW Touareg - I'd love to know how it fared on the full crossing.

                    Next POI was Big Red, which we conquered with relative ease. This is Pajero 12 on a charge:



                    After the obligatory photos ...





                    ... we aired up at the bottom of Big Red, and continued into Birdsville. After hitting the roadhouse to fuel up, we cruised around to the Bakery - too late for lunch. So we showered & changed, shopped, did some laundry, drank at the pub (and had dinner, too), and turned in for the night.

                    The next morning was breakfast at the Bakery, and taking the opportunity to buy some fresh fruit and veggies from the fridge truck - we were quite fortunate that it was in town while we were. We went back out to Big Red for another play (because we could ) and some more photos:





                    After the play, it was back into Birdsville to finish packing up, finalise some shopping, then head down the Birdsville Track towards Walkers Crossing.
                    NT Platinum. DiD Auto with 265/70R17 Toyo MT, Lift, Lockers, Lockup Mate, Low range reduction, LRA Aux tank, bull bar, winch, lots of touring stuff. Flappy paddles. MMCS is gone!

                    Project: NJ SWB. 285/75R16 ST Maxx, 2" OME suspension, 2" body lift, ARB 110, 120l tank, bullbar, scratches, no major dents. Fully engineered in SA. NW DiD & auto in place - a long way to go....

                    Scorpro Explorer Box

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well.... all I can say is that you needed some colour to break up the white!
                      Glad you had a a great trip

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Looks like another great trip Love the shot with the camels.
                        Dave
                        NX Pampas Cat GLS MY16
                        Member 1228 Pajero Club

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Some fantastic photos there. Brings back lots of good memories...and bad ones like the French line.
                          Only one problem...there wasn't a grey Paj there to break up all the white cars
                          2016 NX Exceed 3.2 DiD, ARB BBar | OME 2" lift | Airbags | Safari snorkel | GME UHF | Towbar | Tow pro elite ECB | Full Bushskinz UBP and side steps | TPMS | HID highbeam upgrade | 9" LED spots | 100Ahr Aux. Battery | Oil catch can | Flappy Paddles | auto-mate
                          2016 LC200 Sahara V8 Diesel,Lots of Mods too

                          Checkout our products at MM4x4 http://www.mm4x4.com.au auto-mate or lockup-mate now available for Pajero NS+, Triton MN,MQ, Challenger PB,PC, Prado 150

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Awesome photos, looks like a great trip.

                            Could have added in my white Escape to add some more white mitsi to it haha
                            '99 NL Escape, Manual - Bullbar, roofrack, cargo barrier, D697LT, Tough Dogs, dual batts, rear draws, Narva 225 HID, UHF, led bar etc
                            Towing: 4.8m Savage Centurion half-cab w/75hp Mariner

                            '99 NL GLS SWB, Auto - Bullbar, D697LT, spotties, UHF, Koni adjustables & King springs.

                            Wanted: Adventure.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by m_and_m View Post
                              Only one problem...there wasn't a grey Paj there to break up all the white cars
                              That's what I was thinking.... white grey white brown white.
                              Would have made for much more spectacular pictures

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