Where have Tony & Annie Heat been?
Go and make a cuppa......it’s a long story!
Three weeks ago we were towed into Alice Springs.
We were traveling on The Plenty Hwy between Tobermory & Jervois Station when the truck started play up (as in transmission problems).
We were able to reach Jervois Station, and with the generous assistance of the property manager able to make contact with the NRMA/AANT. A tow was quickly and painlessly organised thanks to our Premium Roadside Assist Membership. Due to geographical distance the towie turned up the next morning at 8ish the truck was unceremoniously loaded onto the tilt tray truck and the van hitched up to the back of the tow truck.
We arrived in Alice on the Saturday of the Finke Race,it was bedlam there were cars, trucks, trailers & lots of people everywhere.
All the caravan parks were full and if you could get a spot in a CP the cheeky buggers were asking and getting $90pn, anyway it was suggeasted we try the Alice show ground (Blatherskite Park). On arrival we were greeted by an attentive attendant who was obliging and compassionate in our dilemma. She guided us to a ‘camping’ spot the van unhitched and the truck off loaded.
Contact was made with Performax’s suggested repairer here in Alice, it was agreed that I take our ‘sick’ truck to his workshop the following Tuesday as Monday was a public holiday.
I also found out that another repairer (Heath Lawson from Maroochydore) I knew was in Alice competing in the Finke Race, I was able to speak with Heath on the Sunday.
On the Tuesday, I was able to ‘limp’ the truck to the suggested repairer ‘Ben’, he hooked up his laptop carried out many tests on the vehicles electronics and came up with a failed TCM (transmission control module) and testing results also indicated that the transmission was in a ‘locked state’. Heath turned up at the workshop, with prior agreement from Ben which I appreciated, he also connected his diagnostics equipment and came up with the same diagnosis as Ben.
Heath indicated at that time he would be prepared to rebuild my transmission here in Alice before he went back to Maroochydore, I was excited at this prospect as I have full confidence in Heath’s work as he works pretty well exclusively on GM and Allison transmissions.
He said he had a new TCM in his workshop at Maroochydore, this was despatched to Alice. Heath in the mean time would continue his travels to Darwin and await fitment of the new TCM, potentially returning to Alice when the new TCM was fitted.
The new TCM arrived (after 10 days👎).......this was fitted and required programming to my vehicles unique VIN. (vehicle identification number).
Rarely in my life do things go to plan, after a period it was established that the tuning module supplied with the new TCM was not compatible with my vehicle model. So the TCM and tuning module were removed.
Since the fiasco with the TCM install both Darwin & Alice have gone into COVID lockdown and Heath is unable to return to Alice. (Shit happens)
The truck is still in the workshop, with no TCM and a buggered transmission STILL fitted to the truck.
The transmission was supposed to be removed last Tuesday, but because of Covid that didn’t eventuate. Heath’s return to Alice is definitely not going to happen......his office girl is desperate for his return to Maroochydore. That will be interesting with border closures and quarantining. And Ben is not answering his phone, again because of frigging Covid!
Thinking now.....the transmission will have to go Adelaide to be rebuilt, can really see us still being here in Alice Springs for at least another three weeks.
I have hired a little Mitsubishi Mirage to get around in, it has more rattles than a millionaires baby & 200k on the clock.....but it starts & runs. We have been able to do some touristy things around Alice, it really is a lovely area.
I’m sure we will do more exploring before the truck is finally finished.
Here were we are at the Showground, part of the Macdonnell Ranges is only a k away, with beaut views of the Pyndan (red soil & rocks) covered in spinifex constantly changing vistas as the sun moves throughout the day, it is special!
It is about 12 years since I was in Alice last, the town is cleaner/tidier than I remember & ‘the locals’ have also appear to have a better appearance and outlook.
We have not seen/witnessed any drinking seasons ‘in the Todd’ or other areas which is great for them and the community generally!
Hoping I haven’t bored you too much with this long screed, here are a few photos of the past few weeks
Stay safe there are idiots out there!