Saturday, 20 October 2012

esCarpade 2012 - Driving Home

Morning arrived far too quickly after the gala dinner the night before...  Booger Mobile looked resplendant (albeit very dusty) in the morning light - it had been a great esCarpade, with no major mechanical issues to speak of...

The boys got up, and headed through Canberra to have a quick breakfast before saying their good-byes and hitting the road back towards Brisbane.

The sun was starting to make it's presence felt - it was going to be a warm day driving home.

Heading out of Canberra, Damian broke his own rule and instead of filling up with BP Ultimate (1st choice) or Caltex Vortex Premium (2nd choice), he filled up Booger Mobile at a lesser known independent brand, fuelling up with what they referred to as their Premium 100 E10 fuel...

Damian was dubious, but they started heading for Brisbane and Booger Mobile was going strong.

Making good progress...

Seeing one of the esCarpade cars on the side of the road, Damian stopped, jumped on the radio and found that they had run out of fuel and the NRMA were on their way, so he kept going... and that's when the trouble began.

Attempting to take off up the hill, Damian found Booger Mobile struggling to find power...  Once over the other side, it seemed all fine again, so they kept going, past some nice looking restored cars.

There were quite a number of these old Hudsons around - there must have been a car show on.

Booger Mobile continued to go great downhill, and struggle on the uphill runs...

Jason would be driving later in the day, so he took the opportunity to have some sleep.

By the time Booger Mobile had gotten through the tank of horrid fuel, it was barely running, and starting to experience sudden and rapid loss of power (symptomatic of fuel/carby issues).

The boys took a detour to find a BP, fuelling up with BP Ultimate, and throwing in a container of fuel/carby cleaner for good measure.  They also checked the air cleaner, to find that it was pretty damn dirty.  This was also cleaned.

Back on the road, and the boys thought their problems were over...

They thought wrong.  Booger Mobile experienced such a loss of power that they were barely able to get it over to the emergency stopping lane/hard shoulder without being plowed by other vehicles...

They took the next exit from the highway, only to find themselves face to face with the only shop there - Mt White Mechanical Repairs!!

The boys were in luck...  There was someone there waiting for the manager of the repair shop, and when the manager arrived, he offered some expert guidance on what to check for.  In fairness, it was exactly what Jason had already suggested checking.

They removed the fuel filter and drained the fuel from it into a container, to find a significant amount of water in the fuel!!

After draining the carby bowl and cleaning the fuel filter, it was all reassembled.  The manager had to leave but was going to return later to give the boys a hand.  After waiting 1/2 hour for him to return (and a successful test drive of Booger Mobile), the boys decided that it was best just to hit the road and see how it goes.  If it was you who helped the boys out - they offer a huge thank you, and apologise for not being able to wait any longer for your return!!

Booger Mobile seemed to be going a little better...  However as the boys got to the end of that tank of fuel (the first one since the bad fuel), the problems returned, bigger and better than ever.

Crawling into Newcastle, the boys located a BP servo, fuelled up with another tank full of Ultimate, threw in another container of mystery substance to help out, and set about rebuilding the carby in the carpark out the back.

The top of the carby was removed, as was the float.  The needle and seat was removed and cleaned, the various holes blown out (highly technical description that), the fuel bowl drained and rinsed, and the carby reassembled.

Damian also grabbed his spare (new) fuel filter from the boot, and installed that.  After having some lunch, and with a large amount of trepidation, it was time to hit the road again.

Booger Mobile played leapfrog with this car for a while...

Then cruised like there was no tomorrow.

Booger Mobile was going better than it had all week - freshly cleaned air cleaner and a new fuel filter seemed like just what the doctor ordered...  By the time the second full tank of BP Ultimate had been consumed (since the dodgy fuel), all problems were ironed out.

Happy days on the way home from then on!!

The boys dipped their hats in a mark of respect to the late, great Shark Mobile.  RIP Shark Mobile.

The boys kept driving, and the sun began to set.

Making good time...

Passing a lot of the same things they saw on the way down, only they saw them from the opposite direction!!

Twilight...  Keeping an eye out for vampires.

Much later, the boys passed through the tunnel that would take them back into the sunny state of Queensland!!

So, the adventure concluded with the boys arriving home shortly after midnight Queensland time.  Funnily enough the most trouble they had with Booger Mobile all week was on the way home, and the cause was squarely at the feet of the dodgy fuel they purchased...  Moral to the story - if you have a plan, stick to it!!
Time for Booger Mobile to have a rest for a while, then Damian will be back into it, getting ready for the 2013 Camp Quality esCarpade!!  There are a few minor things on the todo list from this trip, a couple left over from 2011, and some surprises in store!!
The blog will be a bit quieter for the next little while, with only sporadic posts.  Stay tuned though, because Booger Mobile will be back in 2013, and a little birdie told Damian that the esCarpade might actually start in...


  1. Good to hear you made it home safe.
    Jim A

    1. Thanks Jim!! It was quite amusing (once we got over the annoyance of it all) that Booger Mobile went flawlessly on esCarpade, only to cop a gutful of watery fuel on the way home!!

      See you next year!

      -- D.

  2. It was a long long journey home from Canberra to Booger Mobile HQ,and even with a tank full of nasty fuel the Booger still tried to keep on going,till all the nasty fuel had been passed, then the Booger showed her class,now she had a tank of best BP ultimate,and a nice new filter. The Booger Mobile roared into action into Queensland,and safely arrived home with Damian and Jason.
    Wonderful pictures of the very long trip home after a successful 2012 Camp Quality esCaparde.
    Well done Damian and Jason as always doing it for the kids. Thank you for all that you do