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Minty's Maiden Vovage

Discussion in 'Members Rides' started by Graham Hoyle, Nov 1, 2017.

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  1. Graham Hoyle

    Graham Hoyle Active Member

    It seems to be a natural progression on this forum.
    First the new members section, then move onto the restoration section with visits to the technical help section, and then, if you survive all that, a post to the the members ride section is your reward.

    After the set back caused by Cyclone Debbie, I needed some incentive to finish Minty. We decided to aim for Old Bar so I got stuck into it. My final touch before heading off from Bowen, on Friday 22nd. September, was to complete the art work on a rather bland white spare wheel cover.
    View attachment 35733

    Our first overnight stop was at the Marlborough Caravan Park. The ground was so hard from drought that it was impossible to drive in tent pegs for the awning. As it turns out, it was a stroke of genius on my part to stay at one of the driest of parks because after that experience., my wife considered every other stop over a luxurious oasis.
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    We then went on to Burrum Heads where we stayed with friends for the weekend before setting off for Nimbin on Monday arriving late afternoon. The camp site at the caravan park was much more comfortable and the owner, Christine, an old Bowen resident, refused to let us pay for the site.

    We did a tour of the town early the next day only to find that the local merchants have some very unusual opening hours.
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    We headed off for Coffs Harbour on Tuesday where we were going to stay with our daughter for the next two weeks. The road from Nimbin to Lismore was very up and down, lots of gear changes and use of brakes.
    Heading out of Lismore, Minty lost her gears. I climbed underneath and saw that the clutch cable was only connected to the clutch lever by a single thread. So, out with the mobile phone to RACQ/NRMA.
    View attachment 35737
    We had an enjoyable overnight stay in a motel at Alstonville where a replacement cable was sourced and fitted the next day. On our way to Coffs at last, we decided to turn off at Yamba to have a quick look at the place as we were considering staying there for a couple of days on our return journey. On the second roundabout, a terrible metal on metal noise issued from the front passengers wheel.
    Turns out the disk brake caliper had seized and damaged the rotor.

    On the third try, I was fortunate to find a mechanic who was prepared to have a crack at the repairs. So overnight at a motel in Yamba. Two days later, after parts were sourced from Grafton, and new brakes, pads, calipers and hoses were fitted to both sides, we were on our way to Coffs again arriving early Friday afternoon.

    It had been our intention to arrive at Old Bar on the Friday but those plans were scuttled and we traveled to
    Old Bar on Saturday morning.
    It was fantastic to see so many Kombis, I was in heaven. The procession through town and back was so memorable and a wonderful experience. View attachment 35738
    Unfortunately, after an overnight at Taree, we had to return to Coffs on Sunday to prepare for the NRL Grand Final featuring the mighty North Queensland Cowboys so we missed the Sunday festivities. Next year, we will make a weekend of it. Most enjoyable and met some nice people.

    We left Coffs. on Monday 9th. heading home via a two night stay at Evens Head (great place) then on to Tenterfield, Stanthorpe, into Gympie, then back out to Biloela. Nebo, Middlemount. Collinsville and home to Bowen on Sunday 15th.

    Our two night stay at Evens Head was a great experience, the park facilities were excellent and we had a good opportunity to try out our new Oztrail awning that we purchased at Coffs.. This awning is so easy to set up, I'm sue it's going to be worth every cent on future camps.
    View attachment 35745

    Along the way, we had photo opportunities at the usual places.
    View attachment 35740
    Trying to steal the big prawn at Ballina.
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    Not the first to have a photo taken here.
    View attachment 35742
    The big orange at Gayndah.

    In the three weeks that we were away, we covered 4616 klms, with a week of that time spent at our daughters home in Coffs Harbour. Not bad for a maiden voyage. After the clutch and brake repairs, Minty ran faultlessly and was a pleasure to drive.

    Tips we took on board for the next trip?
    1. Don't over pack with food & clothing.
    2. Carry a spare clutch and accelerator cable.
    3. Stop to smell the roses, don't travel any more than 300 k's in a day.
    4. Don't stress out about cars & trucks up your butt. They will overtake at some stage.

    They are probably many more but they will have to wait until the next trip which can't come soon enough.
    oldman, cbus, chuck85 and 1 other person like this.
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