Life at the end of the road

June 7, 2011

Never say Dai :-)

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:08 pm

Daihatsu that is 🙂 When I bought my first Daihatsu 4×4 many years ago it was by default rather than design, a 1987 Fourtrak that had belonged to a mate for years. It was more than I wanted to pay, far too bouncy for ‘Calum’s road’ and, well it wasn’t a Land Rover. However this was long before eBay and the internet, he didn’t want all the money up front and it was handy so I took it.

I dunno how long I had it before I swore I’d never own another Land Rover, probably about 10 minutes, or as long as it took the heater to start working 🙂 I can’t remember how long I had Daisy before she failed the MOT terminally but it was a good few years before the tinkers took her away. In that time the only trouble I ever had was springs, but that’s been the same with every vehicle I’ve owned and is more a reflection on the state of the roads than any failing on their behalf.

Land Rovers, like malaria never really get out of your system so pretty soon I’d fallen by the wayside yet again and bought one. Old Daisy however had impressed me so much that when a wee YRV 4×4 Daihatsu came on the market locally I bought it for wifey, something that I’ve lived to regret these last three years. After only six months I had to put another engine in it and it took me twelve weeks and four different garages to get it running 😦

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Everything about the car is unique, hard to find, expensive or bizarre, £300 for an exhaust, £250 for a clutch and even the friggin battery and tyres are a barmy size that no one ever stocks, and those prices are trade 😦 Of course it’s not all bad, the wee car goes around corners like it’s on rails and can squeeze on the ferry when normal cars cannot 🙂 These however fail to make up for its abysmally small fuel tank (there’s no petrol on Raasay) it’s pathetic boot and extortionate spare parts.

Last week the alternator packed in and a new one was going to cost me £296 + VAT, even a recon was £183 with a £100 surcharge 😦 Unlike most people who will tell you that they cannot manage without two cars, we REALLY cannot manage without two, no taxi, bus or neighbour to rely on here, ten miles from anywhere. So for the last week wifey has been driving our son to school without any radio, heater, windscreen wipers or lights and charging the battery daily.

Luckily, thanks to eBay, I found a second hand one for £90 delivered and it arrived on Friday, of course on any other vehicle this would have been a half hour job that I could have done in my lunch break. Not a chance on this little ‘pocket rocket’ where it’s buried under the inlet manifold and driven by a 1755mm long serpentine belt 😦

Changing a YRV alternator

With this in mind I saved the job until after I’d finished work today and it took me around four hours 😦 OK, I stopped for dinner of macaroni and changed the oil and filter whilst I was at it but it was still a pig of job.

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That’s it buried under everything, driven by a belt that goes around crankshaft, power steering pump, air conditioning pump, water pump and idler.

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So the first thing was to draw a diagram of where the new 4PK 1755 belt would go, as you can see the old belt has a hole in it 😦

With that done, the vehicle jacked up on stands and the front off side plastic inner wheel arch cover removed you can almost gain access to the alternator 🙂 Though once you’ve struggled removing it from the engine you can’t actually extricate it without removing the power steering pipes from the rack 😦 Once that’s done and the new (well new to me) alternator is in place all you have to do is route the belt the right way and re fit it 😦

The rest of the day

I arose this fine Tuesday morning to be met with some fantastic news, well it wasn’t fine but it was Tuesday, my last working day 🙂 The rain may have been lashing down but the first email in my ‘in box’ that arrived all the way from Africa certainly lifted my spirits.

Friends and long time visitors to Raasay Frank and Saba had just (on the 2nd of June) produced a fine pair of twin girls  🙂





3.1 and 3.6kg these two beauties were delivered within an hour of each other after three and a half hours labour with no medical intervention.


I just wish I’d been there when my son was born, well done guys 🙂


Once at work it was the usual Tuesday rush of paperwork and tidying up, the clam divers were just starting their week, whilst I was just finishing mine 🙂

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The ‘Hydro’ were over doing something serious with two Land Rovers and a Unimog 🙂

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and the latest bench was in position.


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That’s it, I’m off to bed 🙂


1 Comment »

  1. What a beautiful photo of two beautiful baby girls! Wow…no medical intervention at all! That’s amazing…

    Comment by Dianne — June 8, 2011 @ 5:37 am

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