Life at the end of the road

November 23, 2008

Another one bites the dust

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:12 pm

Just like UKWind said it was going to be cold showery and windy and it was. Luckily the excitement of the new satellite broadband system had abated somewhat so I didn’t actually get up until 6:45, though it might as well have been 5:30 because it was still dark at 8:00am when I went out to feed! Despite it being way past breakfast time the pigs were all in bed and even Bramble our most frantic eater had to be summoned out of her warm ark. I’d deliberately left the feeding until late in the hope that the 9 Tamworths on the hill would come looking for grub. I usually feed all these away round the back of the croft near their housing, It’s a good few hundred yards away on the quad but if your late they usually trot around and line up at the gate squealing like ‘stuck pigs’. We’re putting 4 of them away to the abattoir tomorrow and I figured it would be easy to separate them at the gate.

Pig sorting

Pig sorting

And if your wondering what’s bitten the dust it’s yet another of my cameras, hence the fuzzy pictures, yesterday I just thought it was camera shake but today it’s every single picture 🙂 and whilst I’ve not had a drink for two days I’m pretty sure it’s not the DTs! Even though the wee darlings were still in their beds they soon followed the quad back, there was no science to our sorting it was just the first 4 through the gate that got the purple paint 😦 Once that was done and the pigs led round to their temporary home we went wood cutting for an hour and it was so windy that this poor grouse couldn’t even fly.

'No Flyer'

With the trailer filled with wood we headed home for second breakfast after which the trailer was unloaded and got ready for tomorrow. It was reversed up to the gate of the pigs ‘field for the night’ and fastened tightly to the fence with ratchet straps so they couldn’t wander off. The pigs are quite used to the trailer and will happily go in for a hand full of sow rolls so it was filled with bedding for the trip and the roof put on.

Repairing a Land Rover ignition switch

With the trailer hitched up and ready to go I turned my attention to the ‘Old Girl’ who had on occasions been refusing to start! or should I say the starter had been refusing to turn when the key was turned. Now it’s been doing this intermittently now for exactly a year but it’s one of those faults that’s so infrequent that it’s hard to trace. As I’d already removed the exhaust front pipe a couple of days ago and checked all the connections on the starter I’d ruled that out. In fact I’d ruled it out several months ago when I bought a second hand ignition switch off fleabay but I was just making sure. Whilst I had the switch I was reluctant to change it until I was sure that was the fault as it’s buried within the dash board. Today however it was doing it often enough to test it properly and in my experiance a large bulb is far better than a digital meter in situations like this on 12v electrics. These meters are so sensitive that they will give full voltage readings even with the most minute current available, in other words you can have a realy bad connection somewhere in the circuit but still get a full 12v reading at the end of it. Having soldered two wires onto a 50w headlamp bulb the other day to test Louis’s wind turbine I used that and by connecting it to the white and red wire on the starter solenoid and getting my wee helper to work the key I discovered that there was no juice there on occaisions. Now there is normally a connection on the wiring loom at the back of the engine that can be checked also but mines buried under loads of sound proofing and I figured it would be ok ( how many times have you heard that? ) So there was nothing for it but to remove the steering wheel, steering column shroud and dashboard instrument cluster.



Even then the switch is not easy to remove as it’s held on the back of the steering lock by two tiny phillips screws one of which is impossible to get at with any form of screwdriver. As soon as I saw the switch it was obvious that I’d got the wrong one off ebay as it was much smaller so now I was faced with a dilema, weather to rebuild it and soldier on until I got the right one or weather to have a go at repairing it and risk things going even more pear shaped! Completely out of character I chose the latter course and managed to remove the switch using a small cordless drill bit instead of a screwdriver.

Ignitio switch

Ignition switch

With the switch in view I took a photo of the wiring and by some miracle it was the only one that turned out, that’s the switch in the red. I then meticuously removed the back in a vice by knocking back the peaned tabs with a screwdriver. Once inside the switch it was pretty obvious that it was the problem as there was evidence of burning on the internal contacts so I cleaned everthing up with emery paper and rebuilt it with fresh silicon grease. All of which is recorded in glorious ‘Fuzzicolor’ so I wont bother posting the pictures that could have said a thousnd words. It took me all afternoon to do this and whilst I’m confident it’s going to work I’ve not actually road tested it yet as it’s still attached to the trailer which is fastened to the fence 😦 so here’s hoping the speedo works and the dash does not set on fire! and if you think that todays post has been a little dull then just read ‘Yorkshire Miners’ comments on Or if you have an interest in Raasay or just plain want a good story to tell the children then read and I’m sure that An Gobha Mòr is related to ‘Muckypuddle’ 🙂

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