Life at the end of the road

May 5, 2013

The complex puncture ‘part II’

Filed under: animals, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:19 pm

Sunday night now and the most bizarre dish I’ve ever had the pleasure to demolish has just passed my lips lubricated with some Wolf Blass yellow label ‘Cab Sav’, one of my Antipodean favourites. Darling wife decided to ease my passage towards sixty with lamb chops, anchovies, couscous, lemon, asparagus, caramelized garlic and lemon zest !!!! It was totally delicious. OK, I’m not quite sixty and it’s not my birthday until Tuesday but 57 somehow seems a lot nearer old age than 56 and I’m having a bit of a ‘melt down’ Smile Well perhaps that’s a little extreme but, precious little time on the croft, crap weather, slow progress on the house, impending senility  and living out of a friggin suitcase are starting to take their toll on my usual spring zest. I’ve not even heard the cuckoo, cut the lawn or had a barbecue yet and it’s almost my birthday Sad smile

Having got all that off my chest the weekend has been very fruitful despite a shaky start with the puncture from hell. Punctures, my life is plagued by them and I can’t even blame it on the council, for the ones that really cause me grief happen on the Torran path and not the road. This particular one that started off last weekend when I was driving to Aberdeen and the Dude was delivering coal, a good half ton of it to Torran for the pyromaniacs that rent it.

Just a few meters short with his last load the tyre came off the trailer wheel, a sure sign of a catastrophic puncture but the job was finished so I told him to leave the trailer at the side of track and I’d sort it once back home. No problem thinks I, these poxy 20x10x8 wheels are a nightmare to change but I’ve got a spare and I can deal with it once home.

So my first task on Saturday was to go and collect the trailer with the dud wheel, however my spare has a slow puncture so first stop was the workshop and foot pump. Now you may not be aware but it’s virtually impossible to buy a good one, but the Michelin one that I had was ‘as good as they get’, or at least until I came to use mine they were. I lifted my trusty foot pump off its shelf in the workshop only to discover it in bits Sad smile the wife had tried using it and somehow destroyed it Sad smile No worries, I used her electric one to blow up the spare and set off for Torran.



Sad smile Nae problem, off with the old and on with the spare Smile but wait a minute I’ve no way of blowing up tyres now if wifey is at work!!!! Not an issue thinks I, I’ll take my mates empty diving cylinders home and fill them, that way I can use one to blow up my tyres Smile

Servicing a Lister HR2

Now it takes some 30 minutes for my trusty Bauer 3.5cfm Utilus 10B to fill an average diving cylinder so by the time I’d filled three Harry was pretty hot. Harry being my faithful Lister HR2 generator who I have to run to fill diving cylinders, he being a full 12kW and well capable of running the compressors electric motor.


I know, I know, it’s a bit of a riot in there but that trusty little bit of German engineering has been filling my lungs since 1984 and much of it for dives of 30m plus.

Now Harry is in a kind of limbo at the moment, he’s out of commission until the new house is built but in need of a service. After running him up under load for an hour with his oil nice and thin it seemed daft not to service him prior to moving him up to the new house.


Trouble is that Harry has a huge 40lt sump designed for continuous operation and costs about £100 just for the oil Sad smile Still it’s almost three years and 1000h since he was last serviced so it seemed like the ideal opportunity. Well it was pishing with rain, he was hot and I had 50lts of 10w40 oil, normally I’d be changing the oil on a Lister at 250h even though 500h would be adequate but Harry’s long running special sump is designed to extend oil changes by increasing the sump capacity and keeping the oil cool. That pump in the centre of the picture being the ‘scavenge pump’ for circulating the oil from the huge tank underneath.

  025 026 027

So after he was stopped and still hot I pumped out his sumps, changed his oil filter and cleaned out his air filter prior to replacing the oil in that. Then I replaced both of his fuel filters and adjusted his valve clearances.



These should be around ‘three thou’ cold, Lister say .002” go and .004” no go but to my way of thinking that is three thousandths of an inch Smile




Anyway, several hours later with Harry running sweetly,


Smile Smile Smile  that’ll be all the ‘Jizer’ in the air filter.

Anyway, once he was sorted and the diving cylinders full it was back to the puncture, some three or four hours later Sad smile



As it turned out the tyre was goosed with a huge gash in the sidewall, no problem as I had a new one spare, well it would be ‘no problem’ if these tiny diameter yet wide tyres weren’t such a pain to seal onto the rims. They wouldn’t be half as bad if the importers didn’t insist on squashing then up so much on the long journey from Indonesia (why the feck we can’t make them here is beyond me). I did have a spare tube but as the tyre was new and tubeless I thought that I’d try the ‘redneck way’ of fitting WIDE tyres.



The recommended ‘hillbilly’ way is using ‘Easystart’ but we had none, so tried butane


the boys deodorant


spray on glue and lacquer


but managed nothing more than a fire Sad smile

Eventually I gave up and used a tube, making a mental note to add ‘Easystart’ (ether) to my shopping list Smile




The Dude took this picture of my pal with the rapidly growing antlers in between ‘false starts’ with the tyre Smile Just look how much they’ve grown in a week.




Quite amazing really isn’t it.

Thirty eight years plus !!!

Well that was yesterday and today it was ‘hen hoose’ day, the whole family spent Sunday building a hen house, or should I say plagiarising one of ‘Donald the hens’ houses. That legend amongst men from Struan on Skye has retired after thirty eight and one half years ‘on the roads’  with HRC, but I’m going to have to tell you about that tomorrow. It’s well after 23:00 now and I’ve to be up early.



  1. No wonder you started a fire using the Dude’s deodorant– didn’t you know he was hot, hot, hot?

    Comment by drgeo — May 5, 2013 @ 10:47 pm

  2. Blowing a tyre onto a rim, I had not actually heard of that, despite all my years on the roads with various vehicles, but did see it done recently on an episode of Ice Road Truckers. Hugh, the Bear, had a puncture and it had come adrift from the rim, due to horrendous pits in the ice road that made the Raasey potholes look smooth. Anyway, Hugh got on with spraying and then setting fire to the tyre and on the second or third attempt pop it went back into place. It was certainly fascinating to watch and a little hilarious too as Hugh is no spring chicken and is also a very big guy. I hasten to add it is not something I would attempt myself but hope that the next time you do it is a success and we get to see you doing it on video!

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — May 6, 2013 @ 5:31 am

    • Morning Graham, is this you up very early or going to bed very late 🙂 Thanks for the info re the Citadel, must dash gotta catch a ferry and buy some ‘Easystart’ 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 6, 2013 @ 5:55 am

      • Got grandkids staying so up very early, not doing my body clock any good. Got Tyler for the week as his mum is in New York with her partners family. Her first flight and she seemed OK when we spoke last night although she was nervous about it.
        If your in Aberdeen again pop into the Citadel, they have a tea room open most days, always a warm welcome.

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — May 7, 2013 @ 7:47 am

    • glade you are back home doing all the jobs you love to do !

      Comment by mike smith — May 7, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

  3. Hi Paul
    As you’ve access to compressed air perhaps you could make yourself one of these,

    a lot of mobile truck tyre fitters carry them, most home made from truck air brake tanks and they seem to work very well.

    Comment by Green Van Man — May 6, 2013 @ 7:17 am

    • Well Ray, I do like the look of that and should be easy enough to make something up, thanks.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 7, 2013 @ 4:53 am

  4. That so-called “redneck” technique works well once you get the “knack.” The trick is just to use a little tiny spray of ether, less than two seconds’ worth, to get 95 % of it in the tyre, and to let a tiny trickle come out to make it easy to light. I use my gas torch to light the ether. I have it lit and ready, off to one side. Spray the the ether, count to two, “one-potato, two potato”, reach for the gas torch, and light the ether. If you get it right the (small) explosion is immediate and if the bead is in normal shape the tire seals to the rim and is even part inflated. In some cases, if you had no air pump at all, for instance, you’d be able to use it right away. Leave the Schrader valve in if you want to use it.

    Certain skills are signs of a mis-spent youth, and this may be one of them. Although I was probably 47 when I finally got it right.

    Comment by mick — May 6, 2013 @ 8:47 am

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