Life at the end of the road

August 4, 2011

I should have done it yesterday :-(

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:55 pm

Pure miserable just about sums up today, the only good thing being that the incessant rain actually set off the hydro turbine for the first time in a week 🙂 Just as well because the wind turbine has done precious little work this month 😦

After yesterdays blazing sunshine at was a bit of a surprise, so much so that when I was wakened this morning at 4:14 by pishing rain I leapt out of bed. The windows on the Landy were wide open and I did not fancy a wet bum on the way to Belladrum tomorrow.

Unusually for me I did not stay up, and after rescuing my tools from the deluge, putting the soggy wine box and beer cases under cover I went back to bed. Where I remained until 8:15!!! This is not like me, I really must be unwell 🙂 To say that I was miffed would have been a bit of an understatement, what I’d done yesterday could have been just as easily achieved in the rain, what I’d planned for today could not. Well it could and it did but I’d get soaked in the process, oil skins are fine if your standing up but they’re not designed for lying under Land Rovers.

Replacing Land Rover ‘panhard rod’ bushes

There were a few jobs that needed doing on the ‘old girl’ prior to the trip to ‘Bella’ and all of them required lying underneath it. The first one being the left hand ‘track rod end’ which had been picked up on the MOT as having slight wear, not enough to fail but enough to make an ‘anorak’ like me change it.

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This is it with all the ‘Densotape’ removed from the heavy duty track rod and locknut, I really am a little obsessive when it comes to my Land Rover 🙂 Painting the joints red for left hand thread and green for right hand thread, which along with the tape may seem a little fanatical. However all I have to do is stick my head under the truck to identify which joint I need as they can be fitted on either side and the tape means that all the nuts come undone easily without the need for WD40 or heat.

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By rights the tracking should be set afterwards but I find that accurate measurement negates this, so after a smear of ‘Coppaslip’ I replaced the joint.

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Wrapping all in ‘Densotape’ and checking the suspension bolts in the process. I don’t know how long it took me but it was a good deal less time than if I’d have had to free everything off and resort to the ‘big hammer’ or blow lamp 🙂

Next job, with the water dripping into my hood and running down my back was to tackle the ‘panhard rod’ this being the thick metal tube that locates the axle laterally.

It’s easy enough to remove, held on by the only 14mm bolts on a Land Rover, but when I got it off I realized that it was more a case of worn bolts and inserts than the bushes themselves.

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Fortunately I did have spare stainless bolts but one was too long,

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or at least it was until I threaded it a little further down the shank and chopped 25mm off it 🙂

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The old ‘Poybushes’ that I removed were of the ‘easyfit’ two part type and I had to put the hacksaw down one of them to remove it.

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The new ones were ‘Bearmach’ one piece ones and whilst slightly harder to fit should be more durable, notice the galvanized panhard rod, I really am sad 🙂

The ‘power of dreams’

I did have more work to do on the ‘Old girl’ but was wet enough for now so turned my attention to a 2” Honda water pump that hadn’t been used in ten years. I’ve had this WD20X pump for about 25 years, and apart from pulling me out of the 5h1t on more than one occasion salvaging boats and pumping drinking water it’s also emptied the flooded Raasay house cellars 🙂

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Since it was last used in anger the thing has languished in a shed somewhere and it took me quite a while to actually find it. The construction of an adequate water supply for the house, my boat salvaging days over and much bigger pumps available for the Raasay house cellars via the fire brigade making it redundant. I do however need something to prime my present hydro project and this little baby would fit the bill nicely, or at least it would if I could get it working 😦

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When I eventually found it, under a camouflage net, 100m of wire rope, two 1970s Volvo wing mirrors, 20m of air hose, two storage heaters and a 5.20 by 13 cross ply tyre it was seized solid 😦 Much to my surprise, after removing the aluminium casing, cast iron impeller housing and giving it all a good clean it freed off nicely. Even more to my surprise, after tipping out the old petrol and filling with new the frigging thing started second pull!!

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The Japanese really do build quality stuff 🙂

Bella bound

The rest of the day was spent back under the Land Rover and on the old Thompson Glenelg 1971 caravan getting ready for tomorrows festival. The hand brake needed adjusting, the lights testing, the stores loading and the toilet fixing.

Once you’ve suffered the indignation of a festival toilet you’ll appreciate the importance of having a fully functioning ‘Portapotti’ 165 🙂 The one that I’d purchased off eBay recently required new seals, and whilst it’s not a hard job it does involve some dried up and smelly jobbies 😦 Seriously though, it is not a major operation to change the seals and full instructions are provided, I just didn’t want to get pooh on my camera 🙂

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Eventually I got the 1971 Thompson hitched up to the 1986 Landy and called it a day.

Fingers crossed

Saving up for the new house and old age has made us cut down on our festival trips throughout the summer, but Belladrum is one that we’d never miss. The family friendly festival on our own doorstep is now firmly entrenched in our yearly calendar 🙂 It’s rarely without the odd mishap or fire but we’ve always made it 🙂 . Belladrum always provides great acts for all the family and my ‘must sees’ for this year are and their accompaniment to the 1929 silent film ‘Fall of the house of usher’ in the Venus fly trap palais  tent. The indomitable Dangleberries with their unique bagpipe rock on the main stage and the one and only Grousebeater soundsystem in ‘Fat Sam’s’ Jock the Reaper tent.

I’m even looking forward to Deacon Blue and Texas (though why a Glasgow band should name themselves after a ‘redneck’ state in the US escapes me 🙂 ). I might even give Echo and the Bunnymen a fourth try 🙂 though it is unlikely, I’ve already seen three mediocre performances by some dude crooning into a mike with a cigarette. It may have looked cool when my Land Rover was new and Margret Thatcher was at the helm but they really need to move on 🙂



  1. The “Old Girl” and van do make up one good looking rig Paul, it definitely does pay to be a wee bit fussy!

    Comment by Mike Cunningham — August 5, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    • Thanks for the compliment Mike, are you still ‘Landyless’ 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 8, 2011 @ 7:57 am

  2. Might be wise to wrap the portapotti in denso tape also 🙂 Am I right in thinking that has only done one festival?

    Comment by Andy — August 5, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    • Portapotti well tested Andy and no leaks 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 8, 2011 @ 8:00 am

  3. The ground floor layout looks brilliant, Paul!

    Comment by Lloyd — August 5, 2011 @ 6:01 pm

    • Glad you like it Lloyd, perhaps you could come up for the house warming, though it may be a while off 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 8, 2011 @ 8:04 am

  4. What is the plan for the current house? I cant see any workshop or anything on the new plans, so I presume you will be keeping the current set up.

    Comment by Simon — August 5, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

  5. Hope you escaped the floods Paul. There’s not any here and the temp is 36.5.

    David in Spain.

    Comment by David Hardisty — August 7, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

  6. How the hell did i miss that shed.

    Comment by simon — August 9, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

    • because it was craftily on a separate planning application, Simon … if I remember rightly the first link Paul posted was the house application, and the shed was a separate agricultural application

      Comment by carina — August 10, 2011 @ 1:34 am

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