Life at the end of the road

May 29, 2008


Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:21 pm

Really I am as I’ve nothing to report today other than I’ve been stuck in my workshop all day fiddling with my backlash and preload! Boffiny ( thanks for that word Kyla ) type stuff related to the ‘ARB locking differential’ that I’m fitting to the ‘Old girl’. Of course before I did any of this I had to go and feed my wee darlings and I’m still gobsmacked by the different temperaments of the three litters. Jamie lea’s 11 are rarely in their field  and keep popping up miles ( well several hundred yards ) from home.

This is 7 of them grubbing round the old genny shed at 7:00am, the other 4 were with mum. Last night I saw a bunch of them run past the kitchen window! so who knows where they’ll be in the morning. All three litters are still small enough to crawl under the gates but the other two seldom bother prefering mums company but not this lot they’re into everything!

Back down the coal mine

Well at least that what it felt like I’d been after I emerged from my workshop after 6 hours on my knees with a dial gauge, crow bar, hammer, micrometer  and pack of shims.

Though before I did any of that I had to drill and tap a 1/4 BSP hole in the axle casing for the air supply. The picture in the instructions about whereto do this is not very clear but this is a good spot, just make sure you can get a socket on the new fitting afterwards. I stuffed the casing with rags then hoovered it out to make sure no swarf got in he oil. With that done it was hours of messing about fitting and removing the carrier and it’s bearings with various combinations of shims to get the correct ‘preload’ (pressure on the bearings) and ‘backlash’  (movement in the gears). It’s not actually that difficult but my eyesight has got so bad that I was struggling to make sense of my Imperial micrometer, metric vernier, imperial shims, imperial dial gauge and metric manual!!!!! but somehow I managed

and emerged into the sunlight in time to get my boy from footie practice.  After which I had to make dinner light the fire and lots of other domestic stuff and once the household was sorted and quiet I went out to savor the evening.

May 28, 2008

More crows and an ARB air locker

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:20 pm

As I’ve said before crows aren’t daft. They are however thouroughly nasty creatures that will peck the eyes out of a sick sheep or lamb and dig up your spuds given half the chance. Despite this I do have a sneaking admiration for them and only really shoot them when they become a nuisance. Which is just what’s happening now they’re getting far too familiar and cheeky, hanging around at feeding times and who knows what they’d do to a wee sickly piglet so last week I shot one, OK it was in the foot but I did find it dead a few days later and yesterday I shot another, this time it was at 100yds and i got it square in the chest, OK that one flew off as well which just goes to show the resilience of these birds but I don’t suppose it’ll be digging up any more potatoes. My sneaking admiration for these scroungers was bolstered today when after doing the school run I called in on my mate Willy Eyre. Over a cup of coffee Willy thrust a copy of the ‘West Highland Free (what it’s free from I’ve never been able to fathom because it’s not cheap and it’s certainly not unbiased) Press’ under my nose and told me to read this article about a nesting crow on Lewis or was it Harris. Anyway it was somewhere with a shortage of trees. Being somewhat short of a tree to nest in this enterprising crow had chosen a 20,000v hydro electric pole, nothing unusual in that you might add. Well there wouldn’t have been had this particular crow not chosen to use steel fencing wire as well as twigs! The linesmen were duly called out and cut the power to 200 people as there was a risk of a ‘Kentucky fried crow’ They then proceeded to dismantle the nest only to find it rebuilt later! I’m not sure how long this went on for or how many times the consumers of Borve were cut off before the crow got the message but it does make you wonder why they just didn’t shoot it! Unlike a person on Raasay who I shall not name who showed initiative when confronted by a crow that kept nesting in the same tree. As he had no gun to shoot it he cut the tree down now that strikes me as a George Bush solution and whilst I don’t condone it it does have a certain lateral charm. A bit like the people of Argyle that used to ‘borrow’ the eggs out of the crows nests and hard boil them before placing them back on the nest, that way the crow just sat on the nest all summer and bothered no one!

Fitting the ARB air locking differential

Well I’m afraid it gets really boring now if your not into Land Rovers so just go and check out some of the blogs in my blog roll or or or all of which will be much less boring for the non technically minded though last time I sent anyone to Stoneheads blog he was fixing his Land Rover!

The fore cast had been dead right so it was a perfect day for inside work. This air locking diff and rear disc conversion has been on the go now for 2 and a half years, I’ve gradually been acquiring the bits off ebay when I’ve been able to siphon funds ( only joking ) and rather than have the old girl off the road for weeks I got a second hand rear axle and converted it to rear discs and now I’m finally fitting the ‘ARB air locking diff’ which I’ve had sat in my garage for almost a year.

The rear disc conversion is well covered here

and whilst I’d already completed that part of the job today I was replacing the caliper pistons with stainless ones, There was nowt wrong with the ones that were in the new calipers I’d fitted but stainless will last for years and I tend to take the long view. The best and easiest way of removing the old ones is compressed air, just hold one piston in and blow the other out. Do it in a clean environment and lubricate with plenty of brake fluid.

The blue thing is a tyre inflater and I’ve held the opposite piston in with mole grips. I bought the front ones from Zeuss engineering of Exeter and the rears from they were cheap well made and Paolo was very helpful. With the calipers sorted I put them to one side and set about the diff. Now there’s no point me going through everything because the instructions are precise and there’s a good link here

and whilst it’s on a Blazer the axle is identical apart from the threads which are imperial. However heres a few of my observations and bodges of necessity, firstly get genuine ‘Timken’ bearings at first I didn’t and could not believe the quality or should I say lack of it, they were shitpart, sorry ‘Britpart’ and looked like they’d been made from recycled Lada’s in China so I sent em back. This is a big and complex job so you don’t want it going pear shaped for the sake of a few quid. I got all my shims, crown wheel bolts, bearings and collapsible spacer from

L. R. Series: parts and spares in Defender 1985>: Axle: Bearings who were first class and had everything in stock. I’d stripped the axle down over a year ago but fortunately labeled everything so my first job was to press the new pinion bearing on, not having a hydraulic press I made one from a window lintel, 5 ton jack, block of wood and a small length of scaffolding pipe. This worked a treat but a careful eye was kept on the stone lintel as I did not want to destroy the gable end of my workshop! The next stage was to fit the pinion and tighten up the pinion nut to collapse the spacer, now this requires allot of effort the hardest part of which is stopping the axle from moving.

This I achieved by using 2 ratchet straps to secure the axle to the stands and a bent bit of steel with 2 bolts in to stop the pinion turning whilst I torqued it up. Once this was done there was allot of fiddling about with shims which I won’t go into but is well covered in the instructions. With the shims sorted the next step is to fit the old crown wheel to the new diff. Now ARB tell you to put it in the oven or boil it in water, DO NOT PUT IT IN THE OVEN unless you want your next few meals tasting of gear oil.

Trust me I speak from experience, far better to wrap it in tinfoil and place it on a stove or low electric ring not a gas one. With the crown wheel fitted I decided to call it a day, though I have to thank my little helpers that turned up just when I needed a hand.

I don’t know what it is about this litter but 5 of them just ran past the kitchen window! the other 2 litters just stay in their fields with mum but these 11 just rush about everywhere!

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