Life at the end of the road

June 8, 2011

Bearing in mind :-(

Filed under: animals, daily doings, How I, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:58 pm

Well it’s been a pure peach of a day today and I was up with the larks ready for a full days wheel bearing work and more 🙂 First however I’d got pig business to deal with, so long before the rest of the house stirred I got on with that. Task number one being to lead Jamie Lea out thorough a gate in her field so that she could have a wee wander on the hill. She’s been charging about the croft of late but I was wanting to let Bramble’s piglets out exploring so turfed Jamie out. To be honest I don’t think it would have been an issue but I’d like to get the wee piglets used to passing through the gate I was about to upturn before mixing them.

I usually turn the gates upside down when the piglets are quite small then they can access smaller higher  protein feed without mum scoffing it all. However, having Jamie Lea on the other side of the gate would have kind of defeated the object.

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With Jamie Lea out of the way I turned the gate over then put a small trough of feed at the other side to tempt them through.

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They were soon through and exploring the big wide world, every day they’ll get a little bolder and before long they’ll be ‘helping’ me in the workshop 🙂

I spent a little time with them before going to clean out and change Rocky and Bracken’s bedding in the old dry stone ruin that is their home.


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Pigs don’t soil their bedding but they don’t wipe their feet either so when it’s muddy outside it needs more attention.

With that done I turned my attention to our 1971 Thomson Glenelg caravan and its wheel bearing oil seal. I did think the caravan was newer but today I found and cleaned up the chassis number and it clearly says 71, so it’s 40 this year 🙂

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There was actually nothing wrong with the bearings other than a leaky seal but I removed them anyway to get the numbers off them for future reference. is the inner and the outer, with being the seal.

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The picture on the left is fitting the outer bearing using a special aluminium drift but anything that presses evenly on the outer race will do. The right hand one is the inner bearing fitted, greased and ready for the seal.

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The picture on the left shows the old and new seals and the one on the right drifting the seal in with the same tool  though I’m sure mine was half that price. Mind you it was a long time ago 🙂

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Here’s the new seal fitted and it’s important not to drift it in too far, just flush with the edge of the drum is fine, any more and the seal will not mate with the bush that it runs on.

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Once that was assembled the hub and drum were slipped on to the stub axle, the castellated nut and split pin fitted and the brakes adjusted.

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The brakes are easy enough to adjust, you just tighten them up with a screwdriver then back them off till they stop binding. The wheel bearings sometimes require a little shaving off the base of the nut

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or the addition of some thin washers to get the play out of the taper roller bearing without over tightening it.

All this took me nicely up to second breakfast of French toast, the muesli and banana may be good for the bowels but it certainly doesn’t keep hunger at bay for long 🙂

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After breakfast I turned my attention to the door lock on our caravan, we only have one key and a spare was proving impossible to find. Fortunately I had a spare Land Rover barrel and key which I modified to fit into the caravan lock 🙂

With that sorted and a spare key so that our son could get into the caravan if we lost him at I moved onto another wheel bearing job.


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Wifey’s little Daihatsu YRV had developed a rumble from the front end, I was pretty sure that it was the off side front but jacked it up to check anyway, though being four wheel drive you do have to lift both front and rear wheels off the ground before running it 🙂


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Just like the alternator I’d changed yesterday it was a complete pain in the ar5e, the ABS sensor was seized in the hub and when I finally got it all stripped down,

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the bearing that I’d been supplied with was wrong 😦

I phoned the supplier but it was going to be Friday at the earliest before the correct one arrived so I mowed on to the lawn


and deposited it with Bramble and her piglets 🙂

I know, it’s been a pretty lame effort tonight but we’ve been rushing round manically preparing the house for the ‘pig sitters’ and I just had to sample some of that ‘Captain Morgan’ rum that wifey bought 🙂


  1. Human dynamo.Felt worn out just reading what you had done.Liked the approach to finding the problem with the Datsu.If I tried that with the Discovery it would be sods law that it would shake itself off an axle stand and launch itself into the house next door.

    Comment by Andy — June 8, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

    • Morning Andy, had I just jacked up the front end, that’s exactly what it would have done 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 9, 2011 @ 6:44 am

  2. Glad your weather is better. We have had major plumps here, and there was much T&L around Perth on Tuesday accompanied by the usual downpours. Love the piggy with the white collar. Hope all your mechanicals will soon be sorted and SWMBO back on the road. Cheers

    Comment by sotw — June 9, 2011 @ 1:41 am

    • Glad you made it safely She, we had a bottle of that most excellent ‘fruit juice’ you left us on Tuesday night 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 9, 2011 @ 6:43 am

  3. The nearside rear wheel bearing on our Defender has failed. I thought it would be the usual straightforward job to do both sides but Land Rover decided to complicate things after 1999. Instead of a 52mm box spanner, I now need a torque wrench capable of 210Nm (mine only goes to 80Nm), a 52mm socket (a good quality deep one capable of taking 210Nm) and a TDI gauge with 0.001 increments to set the end float. I’m loathe to spend a tidy sum on those, when I wouldn’t need them very often. Just what I needed after spending a day-and-a-half wrestling with Exmoor’s distorted seat frames and poor instructions.

    I think I’ll go and build myself a new workbench instead. Either that or shoot pigeons for an hour or two…

    Comment by Stonehead — June 9, 2011 @ 8:19 am

    • You could work out how much weight on what length of lever will give you 210Nm, I used to do that before I bought one. Failing that they hire such things…

      Comment by Phil Cook — June 9, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

      • Morning Phil, in my experience 210Nm is the the manufactures way of politely saying f*****ng tight and no torque wrench is required 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 11, 2011 @ 8:14 am

  4. Terrible stuff that Captain Morgan, needs an awful lot of Quality control sampling!

    Comment by Mike — June 9, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

    • Morning Mike,

      Captain Morgan has all gone 😦 I’m still not sure about it, better get another bottle to try 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 11, 2011 @ 8:09 am

  5. Hi Paul

    Just wanted to congratulate you on your blog titles of late – very clever and witty 🙂

    Comment by Derek — June 9, 2011 @ 2:46 pm

    • Thanks for that Derek 🙂 titles may not be quite so inspirational for the next whiles as I’m in a bit of a mess, a Rockmess 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 11, 2011 @ 8:16 am

  6. Hi Paul, excellent write up off the seal job on the old Thomson, very handy for others to use as a guideline and as always I am in you’re debt for the excellence of your help keeping the old vans going!

    Glad you found the plate, proves its a 1971 Glenelg and at 40 years old its doing great, me being ten years older and nowhere near as in good condition LOL!

    I have started taken a look at the website on a daily basis and trying to read back through the years you have been at the End of the road with great interest, well done on all the hard work and for the effort in making us townies see just how interesting and varied a life on the island is.

    Keep up the great work.


    Comment by Graham T — June 9, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

    • Good morning Graham and welcome,

      the old Thomson followed us all the way to Dores, down ten miles of single track full of pot holes on Raasay and a further 100 or so on the mainland without a hitch, not bad for a forty year old caravan on the back of a twenty five year old Land Rover 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 11, 2011 @ 8:21 am

  7. i drop in to follow your exploits usually every week. i to live at the end of the road in northumberland and exist with wind & solar, sheep, pigs, hens, generators, etc. its nice to follow a like minded soul and his daily doings, something that was out of reach for me (net wise) untill recently,,,. i only got a decent connection to the web in january this year. keep up the blogs, you may see me on your ferry with the yellow duke at some point in the near future as a midsummer run is on the cards for the yellow perril. regards steve.

    Comment by Steve Batey — June 10, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

    • Morning Steve and welcome,

      never made it to Kasabian last night as I got stuck in a tent with Groove Armada 🙂 I see you like Mumford and son, have you ever heard Mount Desolation ???

      Cheers, Paul, and I’ll keep an eye out for the yellow ‘Duke’

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 11, 2011 @ 8:39 am

  8. Even Ferrari drivers can be bothered with the walk up Dun Caan i see.
    Enjoy yourself at Rockness, dont forget to make the toe nails look pretty 🙂

    Comment by simon — June 11, 2011 @ 8:34 am

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