What an exciting day!
What an exciting day!
We had been planning to do a big trip to Melbourne in the bus in October 2014 but with the bus not having a diff it looked like it wasn't going to happen at all. We talked about it a lot and prayed about and left it in Gods hands. At the final hour Ad was talking to his friend in Melbourne about what was happening and we that the trip was over for us. A couple of hours later his friend rang back, said he had spoken to his wife and they decided we should come and stay with them.
The next day we packed to car and sorted out what needed to be done. Here is my journal entries for each day, I will add photos and more details underneath.
Left home 6.50am
Stopped at rest area near Aratula for breakfast at 9.30am
Stopped at Warwick for ad to go to the Telstra shop.
Lunch at Omanama rest area. (You can free camp here) 12.30pm (just before Inglewood.)
Stopped at Goondiwindi for fuel. $80.
Narrabri for the night. Bellview motel, $120. Good. Kfc for tea.
We could not have fit more in the car if we tried! Concidering we were supposed to be doing this trip in a bus I think we did pretty well.
We are all ready for our big adventure. It was so last minute we didn't have time to worry about what we were doing, it just happened and it was probably a good thing that it was such a quick decision.
At the rest area at Omanama. The flys were terrible, just about carrying away our lunch! But the boys discovered an old fire truck which added some interest to the day.
Left narrabri 8.30am. Picked up water at Woolies.
Had a break at gilgandra. Nice gallery/museum at the info centre.
Had a coffee and boys had chocolate shakes at The Dish, had late lunch in car park.
Picked up fuel at Parkes, $100. 3.20pm.
Narrandera for the night. Gateway motel, $110. Basic. Pizza from Narrandera Pizzeria for tea, very good.
Gilgandra had a really nice Information Centre, Museum and Gallery all combined. The boys loved looking at the displays in the museum and I was very tempted to buy something in the gallery but the car was too full already.
Across the road was this piece of machinery that entertained the boys for a little while.
Disclaimer - the boys did plenty of "are we there yet?" And "he hit/touched/looked at me!" Along the way.
I'll be back with part 2 soon.
Since our last blog post in early October we have had so much drama!
We weren't able to get a diff in the bus for our trip to melbourne and we had given up hope of getting there but by some miracle we actually got down there, but the bus stayed home.
I will tell about the melbourne trip next time.
So what is the go with the bus now?
Well, Adrian is still working on the diff. Finally at the end of December Adrian located an old truck that had a eaton diff that would work for our bus. So we bought the truck and got it bought to us on the back of another truck!
The boys, especially Tyler has loved pulling the truck to bits. Everybody he talks to hears all about it!
Adrian has been able to pull the diff out and has been working on it in our carport, getting it ready to put in the bus.
Hopefully, one day soon we will be able to take her for a spin again.
Adrian has met so many people that have been willing to help us, it has been really unbelievable. We appreciate all the help we have been given.
Bye for now, Jess
It's been about 4weeks or so since my endeavour to find a diff for our bus.
Yesterday I drove to Gympie Queensland to pick up a good Eaton no4 with a ratio of 4.5 to 1, got home and was happy and slept well that night.
Next morning I pulled the right hand axle out and noticed a twist and other signs of things to come.
As you see from the photo this diff has a few teeth that have come loose.
So we are no closer to going down south or anywhere until we find a new diff.
One good thing to come out of this all is that I have found some genuine Aussie blokes that have gone out of their way to try and help us, I have learnt a lot from talking and know what I have to do but it still comes down to getting that diff!!
The last week has been full on, working on getting the diff out.
Surprisingly the biggest job was making the wood blocks to support the bus when I jacked it up.
I cut down a spotted gum tree (sorry tree huggers, it was me or the tree) to make the blocks, this took a whole day to do, now it was safe to get under the old girl.
Saturday morning I had to go to town and get a new impact socket set as I needed a 1' 1/4" socket to undo the U bolt nuts, of course other things catch my eye and I came home with a lot of other goodies to go with the socket set.
Eight nuts and two air lines later and it was sitting on the ground only now I had to get it out from under the bus. I used the bobcat to pull it out and all went well.
When I get the other diff (Eaton No 4) I will have to make a few changes so it will fit under and bolt up.
Well it's been two days since I have typed the above and a lot has happened and NOT happened.
This is the story.
The Leys diff is a very high ratio at 6.2 to 1 and on top of that it needs rebuilding.
So I decide to install a Eaton no 4 two speed diff and start to get a few prices, prices range from $1500 to $8000.
A $2,200 one was out at Dalby, Queensland about a 3 hour drive from our home, I was told that it's a very good one and to bring my diff out and exchange them for the $1,500, sounds good?
Well when we got there it was the worst diff I have seen in along time, it looked like someone with a 303 / 30'30 was trying to shoot there way out the back of the diff, the S cam brakes were cut off with a oxy and it just went on.
Very very cheesed off indeed seeing I was told it was all ok to go in the bus.
Over 7 hours driving later I was at a diff repair shop in Caboolture and dropped the original diff off to be rebuilt, looks as if it will be 85 Kmh all the way down to Melbourne.
So we are still planing on going just a bit slower than expected, I am still going to get a better diff when we come back home.
Is this ever going to end?
So the last couple of weeks has been full of working on the bathroom and trying to sort out the diff.
The bathroom has been lined with a waterproof material that has proven to be horrible to work with. It doesn't like being cut or having holes drilled in it. But it is looking pretty good so far, hopefully we can put up the shower curtain and some towel hooks without destroying a wall.
The floor looks great! We got a box of vinyl planks from Andersons and they have worked really well.
The toilet is also installed, so the only thing left is the hand basin, door and trim.
Now, the diff has caused more than a few headaches and panic attacks than should be allowed. But we hope it is close to being sorted out.
In the picture is the bus diff next to a ford falcon 9" diff for comparison....it is huge!
This is a carpet python that paid us a visit and stayed a few days...he was very sedate, probably because it was fairly cold and wet.
Bye for now, Adrian and Jess
I think we are running on schedule...not that we really have one but we do have a deadline for being ready to travel - October.
So this week Adrian has been working hard, getting more of the walls sheeted and building the bunk beds.
For the front of the bunks we used a sheet of 17mm plywood and drew the design on, then Adrian cut it out with the jigsaw and used the router to round the edges. I really love this part of the bus! Now I am trying to decide if I stain it or paint it.
He put the wall sheets in around the dinner table and it looks so neat and clean now!
This is one of the bedroom windows completely installed.
Starting to look like a home on wheels.
Please feel free to leave a comment, we would love to know if anyone is reading this.
Bye for now, Jess