My F117 RST Nullarbor Adventure - Part 1

I Finally purchased a '68 F Model Mack some 40 years after my first trip as an eager kid in a semi Adelaide - Darwin also in an F Model. Found her on the F Model Mack Facebook page over in Kalgoorlie and flew over two weeks ago to pick her up.

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My F117 RST Nullarbor Adventure - Part 2

With the tyre pressure/bladder stop and the road side repairs, I had lost about 3 hours from my lunchtime departure. Luckily I had a slab of water and some reasonably healthy snacks on board thanks to Gemma ( previous owner) not only picking me up from the airport, but also taking me to town to stock up on supplies as well as a sleeping bag etc for the bunk. I'd also like to thank Benny and his father Chris for helping clean the truck for me whilst I was out shopping, checking fluids etc.

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My F711 RST Nullarbor Adventure - Part 3

I wake up cold at 2am on Sunday, get out of the truck and go to the bathroom, wash my face and grab a bottle of water as I climb back into the bunk. The cab has now cold soaked the chilly Nullarbor clear night air and all the warmth of the day that heated up the earth the day before has radiated out to space.

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My F117 RST Nullarbor Adventure - Part 4

I'm really enjoying the drive at this stage, sitting on about 1950rpm, old Mack speedo showing 55mph, but not Being able to make sense of the odometer, until I realised it's been recalibrate to KPH, which I thought is an odd.

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My F117 RST Nullarbor Adventure - Part 5

Back on the road I am realising more and more that I'm not covering the distance I have expected per day by a long shot and I had told my by understanding boss that I'd be back on the job by Thursday morning as I'm doing a ten year rebuild inspection on a JLG Boom Lift whilst doing servicing breakdowns on a couple of food processing customers automated machinery that I seem to specialise in these days. A long way from maintaining, rebuilding semi trailers, dollies and later B Double trailers for some leading companies back in the '80s and '90s in Adelaide, but that's a story for another time perhaps...

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My F117 RST Nullarbor Adventure - Part 6

Back on the road I am realising more and more that I'm not covering the distance I have expected per day by a long shot and I had told my by understanding boss that I'd be back on the job by Thursday morning as I'm doing a ten year rebuild inspection on a JLG Boom Lift whilst doing servicing breakdowns on a couple of food processing customers automated machinery that I seem to specialise in these days. A long way from maintaining, rebuilding semi trailers, dollies and later B Double trailers for some leading companies back in the '80s and '90s in Adelaide, but that's a story for another time perhaps...

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My F117 RST Nullarbor Adventure - Part 7

It was time to get a move on, so I wandered back out to the truck. I wanted to give it a once over, check the fluids and tire pressures, then have a shower and get going.

First thing I noticed was the whole drivers side of the truck was covered in diesel, it was even pooled in the rib of the drivers side tubeless wheels and the red dirt under the front cross member showed that the patched fuel leak had become worse. Even the lower third of the cab on the drivers side had a film of diesel on it, so I knew it'd need more attention. The whole underside of the truck was covered in diesel too.
Up until then, I had wrongly assumed it was a low pressure return line from the pump, as I believed if it was leaking on the lift side of the pump, it'd suck air and not run properly, if at all.

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My F117 RST Nullarbor Adventure - Part 8

The old girl was humming along nicely this morning and I was enjoying listening to Englebert Humperdink and I started thinking about how most of his big hits were really quite sad stories. I had grown up with his music, along with Dean Martin, Tom Jones, Nana Mouskouri etc, so it was great to enjoy them again on such a nice drive. The roads weren't as wide as in WA and not quite as smooth, but still pretty good for what was basically a bobtail short wheelbase Mack prime mover with a 44,000lb camelback suspension.

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My F117 RST Nullarbor Adventure - Part 9

1pm Tuesday 2nd of May.
Approaching Ceduna, the sea was coming into my view on the right and I was eager to fuel up, ring Patricia and have some lunch, so I could continue on towards Pt Augusta as my destination for the day.

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My F117 RST Nullarbor Adventure - Part 10

Monday evening 2nd of May.

No time to go down through the gears, so I just knocked it into neutral and selected low range. I know the truck is usually stable when going off the shoulder and from my racing experience when it comes to steering wheel inputs, less is usually better in these situations.

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