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  #1  
Unread 28th December 2018, 07:10 PM
Beachworm Beachworm is offline
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Default Swan Gully 4X4 Park

I have been invited to spend a day at Swan Gully 4X4 Park south west of Brisbane, west of the Gold Coast on New Year's Day to test the Forester to see what its limits are in the bush. I've never been there and I can't find any video of Subaru activity at the park and I'm wondering if anyone has visited there and could give me a bit of intel.

From what I can find, it has lots of different bush tracks, graded from easy to expert and it would appear that there are very few unmodified 4X4s taking it on. Some of the tracks are super extreme and the terrain seems to be really rocky.

Seeing we haven't had any significant rainfall for the last couple of weeks I doubt there'll be much mud and certainly no sand so it's likely to be a tough day for a Subaru. I'm going along with a "real 4 wheel drive" and the owner has invited me to get "this Subaru thing" out of my system and get a decent vehicle. He has even offered to pay the $40 entry fee so I have no excuse.

Any advice???
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  #2  
Unread 28th December 2018, 07:48 PM
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Rally Rally is offline
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If you go, just do as you always would. Drive within your and the cars limits. No shame in not going somewhere where you feel uncomfortable.
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  #3  
Unread 28th December 2018, 08:35 PM
Beachworm Beachworm is offline
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Yep. I fully intend doing that and I wouldn't be surprised if the car's limit is my courage.
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  #4  
Unread 30th December 2018, 07:39 AM
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Ben Up North Ben Up North is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachworm View Post

Seeing we haven't had any significant rainfall for the last couple of weeks I doubt there'll be much mud and certainly no sand so it's likely to be a tough day for a Subaru.
You can have some of ours if you like, we've had over 1/2m the last week and a bit (probably over 750mm by now, bit hard to tell because my gauge only goes up to 150mm accurately and it keeps going over that before 24 hours is up)
.
Quote:
I'm going along with a "real 4 wheel drive" and the owner has invited me to get "this Subaru thing" out of my system and get a decent vehicle. He has even offered to pay the $40 entry fee so I have no excuse.

Any advice???
Yeah, show the blighter up.
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  #5  
Unread 30th December 2018, 08:03 AM
Beachworm Beachworm is offline
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I've watched the rainfall pattern on the news and wondered how you were getting on. I figured a snorkel might come in handy in your neck of the woods. It looks like you've got another dose on the way too. Stay safe and I hope things dry out soon.

I've got one advantage over the "real 4X4" and that is VDC. He has open diffs so I'll wait for my opportunity.

The tracks look to have a lot of rocks on them so ground clearance will be important. Some of the video I've watched shows vehicles putting their wheels over big rocks rather than straddling them. The 4X4 I'm going with is lifted and has bigger wheels so his breakover angle is significantly better than mine. I won't be able to use the same lines that he does.

I'll take it one rock at a time.
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  #6  
Unread 2nd January 2019, 12:14 AM
Beachworm Beachworm is offline
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Well, this is no longer a planned trip but a completed one.

I arrived at Swan Gully at 9.30am yesterday accompanied by my wife in my car and my daughter and her husband in an Isuzu DMax (lifted, front bar, rock sliders and 50mm bigger diameter Cooper AT3 tyres) My son-in-law, with whom I get along very well is the one who challenged me to put the Forester to the test.

We drove along a valley, past sewage treatment works, through a herd of beef cattle and into a narrow, steep-sided valley on a well-maintained gravel road. It has been dry for a few weeks and the dust hung in the still morning air.

We booked in at the office, amazed that there were only a few campers around and no obvious 4X4 activity. The owner took $40 from each of us, gave us a map of the park, and explained the significance of the colour coding of the tracks, advised us to reduce tyre pressure to 18psi, said they could be contacted on UHF 30 if need be and disappeared.


We decided to use the toilets before heading off into the bush and discovered a reason (perhaps) why there were so few people around, It looks like the cleaner has been on strike for quite a while.

Tracks marked in green are classed as easy with moderately difficult sections, orange is moderately difficult with difficult sections and black is for vehicles with lockers and winches only. It seemed a bit strange to me that an easy track would have difficult sections when they were all one-way so you couldn't turn around and go back if it was too tough but off we went anyway.

We attempted several green tracks and a couple of orange ones then decided to call it quits as the rocks and roughness of the track was giving the suspension on both vehicles more of a workout than we liked.

I have quite a lot of dash cam video but it is disappointing that it flattens the landscape so much and does not give a true impression of how steep the tracks really were. I am editing the footage into a small clip that I will upload asap.

My daughter took some phone video from the DMax behind me and it's a little better but I don't have access to that until tomorrow so there is some vision to come.

We eventually came across some 4X4 activity but it was 5 or 6 competition vehicles with hoon drivers chopping up the tracks. It seems, because this is private property, the people with highly modified rigs bring them in on trailers and nobody else much bothers as the ruts and wheel tracks have become so deep that most of the area has become unusable for the average family vehicle.

I will not be going back and would not recommend it unless you have an old Suzuki with 36 inch wheels and a V6 turbo engine or a Hilux chopped off at front and rear with tyres wide enough to ignore the ruts and fitted with a very loud petrol V8. This is what you need to fit in.

Having said that, the Forester impressed all of us and never looked like getting stuck though my sump guard and tow bar got a workout. It handled the rough stuff better than the truck and felt like it wold climb a brick wall if one got in the way.

More tomorrow.
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  #7  
Unread 2nd January 2019, 12:24 AM
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Rally Rally is offline
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We need someone to invent a video camera that can accurately depict the gradient of a track. I know when I did videos of my car it looked quite flat even though it was an effort to walk up
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  #8  
Unread 2nd January 2019, 03:51 AM
Beachworm Beachworm is offline
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I was thinking of having a gimbal so the camera remains horizontal regardless of the angle of the vehicle. The problem with that is it would film the bonnet going uphill and the sky going down.

The tracks were so steep we couldn't easily stop and get out to film from the side and the climbs were long. At one point I took their advice and climbed, with great difficulty up one of the slopes to check it out but found it was so steep I began to slip walking back down. I should have sat down and slid down on the soles of my shoes but instead I took a larger step, nearly fell and began an involuntary run down the slope. Every step I had to dodge the large rocks. My ankles were paining and I expected any minute to fall on my face but eventually made it to the bottom with arms flailing only to find my wife laughing hysterically at me. She did say, however that I didn't do too badly for a bloke who's close to 70.
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  #9  
Unread 2nd January 2019, 04:30 AM
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Well not sure it will make you feel any better, but the way you described it i started smiling myself.

Your wife is probably right, too.
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  #10  
Unread 2nd January 2019, 07:11 AM
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Ditto
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