Author Topic: One way to get acquainted with the Moke  (Read 210 times)

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Drakman

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One way to get acquainted with the Moke
« on: November 15, 2019, 05:50:53 PM »
I decided early this year that i wanted to drive my Moke down home to Melbourne from the Sunshine Coast, just for the hell of it. I wanted to go to a MOA meeting anyway and what better mode of transport than the Moke

My wife doesn't share my confidence in the Moke so she insisted that our son accompany me down, her thinking was that "if" it makes it down it will probably make it back.  My son and i are both over 6 foot tall and with 2 swags and the gear we needed space was at a premium but it all added to the fun. 

It would appear that Mokes must be an unusual sight on the highways these days,  so much so that we had quite a few people taking pictures and videoing us as we drove along.

Our first overnight stop was at Taree, the little Moke was running well. On the second day we heard that there might be storms south of Wodonga.  They must have moved Wodonga because we got them about 200 klm north of Wodonga and boy did it rain.  (note to self, get rid of the Chinese top).  I was going to say that we had our first stoppage at Wodonga but it was only the battery and we didn't really stop, it was just a minor inconvenience to replace it.

I was worried before we left that the Moke would run hot at highway speeds because i only run a a thermatic fan, no engine driven fan, so i installed a Ford heater matrix as an additional radiator.  It ran so cold i had to put an old ice cream container lid in front of the heater core to get it to run over 70 degrees.  After the storms we had an uneventful run into Melbourne and over to Seville where it just rained constantly.

I dropped my son at MAP on the Wednesday and had a couple of days at home in Cherokee in the Macedon ranges to catch up with some friends. The following Monday saw me depart for the Sunny Coast about 11.00 am.

I heard that there may be some road closures due to the fires up around Taree.  The smell of smoke was ever present, made more obvious i think because of the open car.  I really wanted to get through Sydney after hours if possible so i drove a bit longer than i would normally and stopped for the night at Gosford.  The next morning i woke to a very smoky sky with ash falling on the Moke and  news that the Pacific Hwy was closed.  Oh well another day in  Gosford at least i got a chance to do some sight seeing.  The sight seeing would have been much better if the tax Dept were a little more generous, the Classic Car museum was closed!  Wednesday dawned with the realisation that i had better find another way back to the Sunny Coast, the fires were getting worse.  The New England Hwy look the best and only option, it was open at least and a detour wouldn't hurt. 

As i drove into Tamworth i got that old sinking feeling when i saw a large electronic road sign that told me the New England Hwy was now closed at Bendemeer due to fire.  At the servo where i filled up i was greeted with the news that the Hwy would most likely be closed for a couple of days depending on the wind conditions and direction.

As luck would have it i struck up a conversation with a woman at the servo who told me that there was a back road up over the mountain to Bendemeer, just head up to Manilla and turn right at Attunga, easy.  I don't usually mind dirt roads, i race off road buggies so mud and dust are normal, almost.    The dust wasn't so bad but the crazies coming the other way were something else.  The sight of smoke on the other side of the hill was a little off putting but looking around there wasn't anything to burn, no grass and just a few scattered trees so i wasn't too concerned until i was almost at Bendemeer were the road turned me toward the direction of the fire.  As i drove along the last 5 klm i could see the fire on the other side of the valley and as luck would have it i came out on the New England Hwy right at the road block to stop people from going down into Tamworth.  At last, back on bitumen and on my way back to Qld.

As i drove into Warwick about 8.00 pm another electronic road sign greets me with the news that the Cunningham Hwy is closed at Cunningham Gap, due to fire, with a detour via Toowoomba.  An overnight stop in Warwick sees me leaving the next morning for Maroochydore at 8.00 am via Cliford/ Gaton.  I finally got home at lunch time.

Now to access the Moke for injuries, straight into the garage and drain the oil and change the filter.  Bugger all on the magnetic sump plug and the drain tray was impressively clean, no chunks of gears in the oil.  Other than a few stone chips and marks on the paint from the Chinese top and sides the Moke  fared pretty well.

Now that i am back i can reflect on the trip, when i think back i get a smile on my face, the Moke just purred, who needs a radio when you have that exhaust note to listen to.  3675 klms under it's wheels and it didn't miss a beat, i think i am very well acquainted with my Moke now!

Halfpint

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Re: One way to get acquainted with the Moke
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2019, 10:34:23 PM »
Well done Dave,
All that work you did checking and re checking before you left definitely paid off.
I know how long trips can bring issues to the fore, and we all know good Moking folk who also do everything they possibly can to get their Mokes to great standard, only to have one thing out of the blue fail and stop them in their tracks. It can happen to any of us, but when you make it there and back again with no major issues, it’s so rewarding.

Those fires are terrible, glad you found ways around though.

Hope to catch up again.
HP
The happiest of people don't always have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have.

Bigmorgs

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Re: One way to get acquainted with the Moke
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2019, 10:47:45 PM »
Loved reading about your journey mate!

Inspirational stuff.....
Why me!!

Drakman

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Re: One way to get acquainted with the Moke
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2019, 08:55:29 AM »
Thanks Big and Tony,

Tony it was great to  finally meet you, Christine and all the other Moke people, it's always nice to meet people that i only read about,face to face.  I have to admit it was a bit of an eye opener to see how well organised the MOA actually are.

The only real let down on the trip was the canopy and sides, it looked ok new but the wind and constant flapping have taken a toll.  The stitching has come undone in places and some sections are now a bit ragged.  Not to worry though, i was told of a good trimmer in Greensborough that will custom make a top on my Moke and he's just down the road in Melbourne!

Cheers
Dave