Canol Road Expedition

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I recently read a great article in the Winter 2010 edition of The Overland Journal about a Land Rover group that attempted to complete the Canol Road / Trail last year. It was an exceptional article. They had to turn back because they simply ran out of time and the fuel reserves were getting low. It hasnt been completed by a motorized vehicle in like 50 years. The trail runs from Ross River to Norman Wells.

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I have off roaded with the Land Rover club here in Edmonton ( i am a member despite owning a Toyota ) and they are an extremely talented and experienced group of drivers, and when they say that something is challenging , its CHALLENGING .
So after reading this article I said to my girlfriend " you know... we should try and finish that trail .. " and the idea struck us. Why not ? And who would like to join us in attempting the impossible?
So I started to research the trials and tribulations of the Land Rover group and there is a ton of info , logistics , ideas, etc on the forum thread

The Rover-Landers of BC :: View topic - Canol Road 2009

Now ... just for the record, this is an extremely difficult venture. You really should see some of the photos from the Rover Thread. There are major hurdles to overcome, and it is a long way to drive just to get there. There are alot of logistics that have to be taken care of , and of course m this is the chance of a lifetime. this trail will not be around forever .
If I was to look into doing this , it would be in the summer of 2012. The reason being all my time that i took off for vacation time this year is already booked. Im leaving for the Barret Jackson Auction on wednesday in scottsdale , and we are eating up 3 weeks for Cruise Moab 2011.
Sooo... whos interested?:)
 
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I too have been looking into runnin' the canol road! I'm trying to source an expedition trailer for said trip. I planned on going up in 2011 for a "scouting" trip. Definitely interested! A guy has to at least try right?
 
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Ya I think that it would be pretty amazing.. there are 2 major issues..
1) you have one river crossing that is like 200 ft wide and 20 ft deep... so you would have to float is across
2) getting out of Norman Wells as there is no roads out of there unless you wait unti the winter and take the ice roads out. Or a barge can take the truck out..
The RoverLanders came up with a very effective and simple floating device that also doubled as a portable bridge. it is easily put together, and carried in pieces by several vehicles .. very cool
 
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The "barge" they made was impressive, I don't think it would be that hard to replicate, I have a tig welder and I'm buying a spool gun for my mig welder so aluminum fabrication is not out of the question. The roads out of Norman Wells is the bigger issue (If you make it that far!) I thought about trying it JUST before spring thaw, less muskeg to deal with and NO FLIES. Just wonder what kind of snowfall they get on average? Might have to buy some tracks! Planning on making a purchase at B Jackson?
 
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I dunno. We shall see how the pricing will be. I have my eye on a grand national GNX with 5600 miles. But I think it's gonna go for big bucks

Back on topic. ..... I would be weary of your off road mileage because of that positive displacement blower on your cruiser. I know that it can transfer to 1-2 psi from idle friggin quick and the boost tip in point is pig rich.
One the last day of the rover landers attempt ofthe canol road , they only made it 3 k
..... In one day. Because of the thick alders , muskeg , etc. That's slow progress!
I'm going to arrange to meet with a few of those chaps that attempted That when I go to the next landrover meeting in feb. Im sure they can provide some very invaluable info about the rate of forward progress ..... Although, on the other side of the coin, they have already carved a path .... As their return progress was alot swifter.
 
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I am quite aware of my mileage situation and I have to run premium, which hurts even more!! I was planning on fabbing/installing an aux fuel tank where my spare tire used to live. I have also been shopping around for a BJ4x for a reasonable price and in good kit. I have a '65 Impala SS that I would sell for the right truck (at least that's what I told my wife!)
....The only way to do any kind of muskeg wheeling is when there's frost on the ground, If you get buried in that crap in the summer heat, you're screwed! Those guys also ran skinny tires, not much in the way of floatation, and as you probably know, once you break through the surface and spin your tires, your done! I was looking into some traction aids like sand ladders and came across pillowtrack, I think they would work pretty good in muskeg. pillowtrack.com Some years back I won a "pullpal" and have had some sucsess using it as a land anchor (as long as you grab some roots). Anyway, long story short, the muskeg doesn't scare me so much as the river crossing.:D
 
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Ya. I hear you there . I know they had skinnier tires, but they also had one great advantage. Weight. When loaded up Im up near 7000 lbs. That's why by the time I do this I will have made significant upgrades to handle it. I completely agree with you on the river ... Water crossings that involve moving water scares the hell out of me.
I am going to buy a larger main tank, and a small aux tank, as I will need room in the rear for a 8000lbs winch that will be installed with a new bumper.
But I like the idea of going when the ground is firmer. I will have to look at what the snowfall has been in that area historically.
 
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I'm also VERY heavy... I need to upgrade to OME heavies. I was thinking of going as far as taking the carpet/seats out for the trip.
I just looked through the Roverlander's photo album again... cause' now I can't stop thinking about this. I didn't notice anyone carrying alot of extra fuel!?! Do you have any idea on the distance they travelled from their last fuel stop? At most I saw a few Jerries on the one guys roof!
 
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I know it was ALOT of fuel. I think it was ross river that they got fuel at , and belive it or not they found a drum of aviation fuel on the trail That was unopened and they dipped into that. I will let you borrow my overland journal when I get back.
There was a Unimog that was with the group ( expedition camper 1500 ) but they turned around early on. Absolutly beautiful rig. I know they filled a trailer full of Jerry cans. The diesels that were in the group used about 50% of the fuel the petrol ones did.
Last year on the White Rim trail in Utah, we did a 120 mile loop and used about 1/4 tank .
 
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I just spent the majority of my day (at work) looking at Google maps trying to find the route of the trail and scaling it off, pretty crude but I think I can make it from Ross River with 14 Gerry cans... that's right I said 14!!! I have a pilot buddy at work that said he knows a guy with a bush plane in Camrose that may be into doing a fuel dump, but that'll probably cost me $500-1000 just for the plane. Looking like I might have to upgrade to a diesel!! Found some cheap ones in the Philippines, all left hand drives too. Ever heard of anyone exporting one from there?
 
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I am totaly in to this!!!!

how far did the land Rover guy's make it. I read all of there thread, but once they turned around, it kind of tails off. From the pics they took, nothing looked to hard, I don't understand why they turned around, except for time and gas.
 
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45chris .... I will let you read the overland journal article. It better tells the tail of just how difficulty it was and slow slow slow.
 
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Potlatch, when I get back from Arizona, we can get-together and chit chat. I have a google map I got from the rover forum that I can send you .... Ut maps out the entire route and gives a great idea of what's ahead of the canol road.... As it is difficult to route it when the road ends and the trail starts.
 
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I think that's the ONLY reason they turned around. I would agree that it didn't "look" challenging. They were for the most part traveling on an old road bed. I'm sure they had challenges though! If you try to find the hi-way on google you'll see that sections are quite grown over. Be prepared for some serious bush bashing! We are going to have to start getting serious about this!
We
 
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I'm back late Sunday ... So when I get work all sorted out on Monday, then I'll be able to spent some more time sorting out maps, etc. But first and formost.... Time of year to depart, costs , and fuel consumption ... Because it's 2000km from my house to Ross river. .. And that is the last fuel stop right ?
 
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Hey guys, I just ordered maps: 96D "Carcajou Canyon", 96E "Norman Wells", 106A "Mount Eduni" and 105P " Sekwi Mountain. I think we are looking at 355km between fuel stops, which means we need enough fuel for 700km per truck. I picked an average of 5 MPG for my pig, (god I hope it's not less!!) and with a full 80 Liter Aux tank, I'll need 14 gerry cans full of dinosaur juice. That's a $530 fill up (premium) at Ross River with a trip total nearing $2000. Needless to say I've been looking at buying a half cut for a 1HD-T conversion. If I sell my Supercharger for ~$3000 and save ~$1000 in fuel on this trip, I may only be into it for ~$2000. At least then I'd have the truck I should have bought!

Rwayout, what kind of mileage do you get on average? How about offroad?
 
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Have you looked into just buying a 1hdt cruiser instead of a conversion? If you are interested in a conversion, just PM me, and ill put you in touch with the right guy to swap it , or get you the parts .
When fully loaded, I can get about 20 MPG, as long as I keep the speed around 100kph. I dont have a figure for off road mileage, but the last long trail I did was White Rim, and I used less than half a tank for 110 miles, at about 10 mph.
When we go off roading in Rocky Mountain House, We fill up at our meeting point ( grand stage resort ) and drive 35 km to the trail head, wheel all day, and the needle doesnt budge off full. So, I guess its pretty good.
Just remember ... I highly doubt that they carry premium fuel in Ross River.. You would be wise to pick up a few pails of Toluene and make your own 93+ oct fuel on site. I do it all the time at home for my car, so I have all the proper calculations for mixing.
I was going to go to maptown this weekend and get a few paper maps of that area, and also upgrade the map software in my Garmin 400t...SOmething better suited for a trip like this.
I thought about trying this before the ground thaws as well, but I had 2 concerns. The amount of snowfall, and if the water crossings would be frozen or partially frozen. Also the flow speed of the Ekwi, the Twitya, and the Godlin. ..
The article I have is a gold mine of info.... I will give it to you on Saturday. Also, I am going to be at the next Land Rover meeting next week and will inquire more about meeting up with one of the guys that was in the last attempt. They made it further on that trail than anyone since 1948... .


I do have a few ideas for you if you want to keep your rig and get better mileage.
1) disengage the supercharger by keeping the bypass valve open.
2) Buy a fuel / timing piggyback that is tunable and get your fuel and timing tables remapped . A good unit that is easy to install and tune is a Split Second FTC.. very good results with the Toyota Supercharger.
 
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Ya I thought about buying HDJ, problem is I've probably put $10000 into my truck, that I'll never get back if I sell it. I also have a son that will be learning to drive next year, and I'm not sure RHD would be the way to go.

You are getting almost twice the mileage loaded as I do empty (my mileage doesn't change much when loaded) I also drive 100km round trip to work so doing the math I'd save $2000 a year in fuel. The only downside is my truck will be out for at least 2 weeks, and that's if I GIVER! I found a complete donor truck in Vernon, still working on price... Need any parts?

As for the Toluene, I have done this before... Just so happens there is a very large tank of it at work, we have some benzene too if ya want some more punch!

Agreed on snowfall, looks like late Aug. is the time to go; rivers are low and the bugs are ALMOST gone.

...I don't think keeping the wastegate open will gain me anything, I still have to drive the screws, which would be a parasitic loss and the bypass port isn't designed for higher airflows.
The fuel /timing re-mapping sounds more complicated than the diesel swap to me!! Might need a hand with that one! I bought an O2 sensor simulator the other day, I'm gonna cut my cat's off and see if that doesn't free her up a bit. I also need to slow the hell down!

Good campfire discussion!:beer:

Is your diesel guy local? Can he get his hands on an engine and all the goodies?
 
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the re-mapping is easy.. there are like 11 wires and a boost reference line. Then just some street tuning with a wideband O2 , and then fine tune the timing on a 4wd dyno. Easy !!
The later in the year the better IMO.. I dont mind camping in the cold , And if this makes the ground stiffer, all the better. The Twitya will be the bitch of the trip, as it is deep and wide. I have a few ideas about crossing with a saftey line, but I wil have to think more about it to see iff it will work out.
If you end up buying that donor truck, Ya there are parts I would want.. I figure that it would not be much of an issue to sell just about whatever you dont use...
The things that I want to upgrade by next year is my axles ( LongField ) , rebuilt tranny ( with upgraded shift kit ) new 6' Slee lift , rear bumper , sliders, aux tank , more lighting, New seats ( Corbeau ) , drawers, Engel, etc... Most of this will be completed by fall 2011 though..
 
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