Life at the end of the road

July 3, 2014

No ratios at all now :-(

Filed under: daily doings, food, Land Rover — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:58 pm

Hmmm, not had the best of luck lately in the mechanical department, in fact, since I last posted I’ve not really achieved a great deal despite spending hours under my Landy covered in gear oil. My luck has been alternating between good and bad since I crawled under the ‘Old Girl’ and it’s been a case of ‘one step forward, two steps back’.

Removing an LT230 transfer box from a Land Rover

It all got off to a rather splendid start on Wednesday night when I phoned up a good friend in Carbost with a similar affliction to mine. This will be the malaria like malady that strikes down unwary Land Rover owners at their first purchase and leaves them with lifelong recurring bouts of sickness. An easily diagnosed condition, you can tell a sufferer by his black fingernails, pale complexion, stained garments and  oil soaked driveway.

Anyway, when I phoned up my similarly afflicted mate and enquired if he had a Defender transfer box of 1.166 :1 ratio he said he might just be able to sort me out. Even better he would be visiting the Hallaig on Thursday!!!! Talk about synchronicity, I even had to go down to the ferry to collect four pigs that morning. 


Well, it was actually ‘pigs in boxes’ so didn’t need the Land Rover and trailer, just as well Smile

It really is like malaria!!!

Well, it’ll be Thursday the 3rd of July now, almost three weeks since I started this lame effort, but I’ve been somewhat distracted by the other two ladies in my life. The MV Hallaig has been demanding all my daily attention and the LR Old Girl all my evenings and more. Years ago I swore I’d never have another Land Rover, and I’d certainly never recommend one to a friend, but just like the malaria and lime’s disease, once you’ve got it you’re never truly rid of it.

I thought that I’d finally exorcized the ‘Demon of Solihull’ a few months ago when I went to Inverness in Lachie’s Ranger . Sadly, a week underneath ‘the beast’ changing transfer gears just seemed to rekindle the old flame within. Sure it’s out dated,  oily, noisy, uneconomical, small and uncomfortable but it’s unsurpassed ‘off road’, cheap to repair, cheap to insure, and has never ever failed to get me to work or home, even when the snow plough couldn’t make it to Arnish for over a week!!!

Unfortunately this rekindled relationship has left me glued to the internet studying all things ‘Defender’, though I have to confess at hating that name bestowed upon the only true ‘Land Rover’ by Ford Motor Company. It’s not a frigging ‘Defender’ it’s a Land Rover, the other ‘pansy’ things are Discovery’s and Freelander’s Smile 

A tale of two ratios

Anyway, more for my benefit than anyone else’s I’ll fill you in with the saga, Land Rover fitted 3 different ratios to the LT230 transfer box, 1.222:1, for the early 90’s and 110’s, 1.410:1, for the later TDi onwards 90’s and 110’s and 1.667:1, for the Discovery. They’re all sort of interchangeable if you swap the input gear and I had the early one fitted. To cut a long story short I did much messing about with several old transfer boxes and gear sets and finally managed to get the ‘Old Girl’ ready for the road with one case of lager and several gallons of phosphoric acid to clean up the rusty gears. The lager being payment and the acid a great great remover of ferric oxide, and in the unlikely event of anyone actually reading this that does the job, ‘you can’t use the early 26 tooth input gear on the later 26 tooth input gear cluster’ Sad smile


007 010 011 012 013

So, if you ever need to remove an LT230 transfer box from a Landy then use three long M10 studs to stop you damaging the oil seal. Then when you come to rebuild it cut a length of 25mm alkythene pipe and then split it with a hacksaw.


014 015

Shove the split pipe into the cluster with the bearings as a ‘dummy shaft’ then lower it into place with a bit of green string, OK, any colour will do Smile

So, by the Tuesday prior to returning to work I’d got the ‘Old Girl’ mobile again and was suitably enthused with my Land Rover to admonish myself of all responsibility of the blog Sad smile The Land Rover wasn’t actually fixed proper for my acid and grinding with the 100mm sanding disc had left me with a substantial whine but I’d expected that anyway. At least I was mobile and could now concentrate on stuff around the croft and turn my attention to the 200Tdi Discovery I’d been given Smile

   016 018

Of course it wasn’t all ‘plain sailing’ for I’d the pishing rain to contend with, hens and pigs, the later of which managed to wander off with a steel bush and exhaust clamp!

040 043

That last image is my gears bubbling away in acid!



Oh, and that’ll be the bomb that I planted on MV Hallaig (drill of course) Smile

How to ‘cure’ a broody hen

Three weeks this hen’s been broody so we took her for a twenty mile drive in the Land Rover


seemed to do the trick Smile

Making a hen dust bath from an old oil tank


003   004  006

Where would we be without old Balmoral oil tanks Smile


Of course you do need sand and this we got from the shore.


And by ‘we’, I mean Molly and I Smile


And I thought I was bad for collecting rubbish Smile


Ben Tianavaig with a woolly hat, taken from Glam.



Relish on Wentworth St Portree, the place to buy ‘Arnish Eggs’ on Skye Smile


The community owned shop on Raasay being the other place.


The Sunday drill,

026 027

the new engine for the ‘Old Girl’, a 200TDi Discovery lump with a mere 153,000 on the clock, mine has 224,000 and is still ‘going strong’.



  1. I feel you pain with the landy. My kango van suffered clutch problems only to break down on the M60 in rush hour, however was rescued by the RAC with in half an hour deposited at a garage for repairs, new clutch within 7 hrs. Only downside the Bill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Alistair — July 3, 2014 @ 10:05 pm

  2. Good to have you back, Paul. I had a Land Rover once. -But I’m better now! More ‘Hallaig’ stuff, please!

    Comment by Alasdair H Macinnes — July 3, 2014 @ 11:06 pm

  3. Nice to see you back Paul, was starting to think you had fallen off the log!!!

    Comment by alastair — July 3, 2014 @ 11:08 pm

  4. Good to have you aboard Paul. i had a Land Rover once; but I’m better now! More Hallaig please.

    Comment by Alasdair H Macinnes — July 3, 2014 @ 11:33 pm

  5. Hi Paul

    Glad the LR is getting better. I’m proud to own a very effective ‘pansy’!

    Two weeks to the jourmey north!


    Comment by Sue — July 4, 2014 @ 7:40 am

  6. Great to have you back on line. I reckon that once you have owned a LR , you’ll never go back. I’ve had various 110’s etc and am now on a Discovery 3.

    Comment by Nigel Macleod — July 4, 2014 @ 8:50 am

  7. Good to hear from you again Paul I was getting withdrawal symptoms hope you are all well

    Comment by Stan — July 4, 2014 @ 10:48 am

  8. Great to have you back. Don’t think I’ll bother with a landy!

    Comment by Martin — July 4, 2014 @ 1:33 pm

    • Great to have you back. Don’t think I’ll bother with a landy!

      Very wise Martin 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 4, 2014 @ 3:01 pm

  9. Glad to see you didn’t fall overboard! I don’t know how you get so much done with all the little piggy helpers, they sure are cute! All your vehicle stories make me appreciate my mechanic, and Im happy not to have to do it myself! Thanks for sharing your life.

    Comment by Kate T — July 4, 2014 @ 6:36 pm

  10. Very relieved to see you, Paul! I was truly worried; was about to contact either the M.V. Hallaig or the Raasay Shop to inquire as to your health and survival! I am glad that you’re in better health than your vehicle. Looking forward to more news about your family and croft.
    Your reappearance is good news on our ‘birthday’ 4th of July. Take care!

    Comment by flora — July 4, 2014 @ 9:07 pm

  11. Paul,
    If you need anything landy related then drop me an e-mail
    Have a dedicated landrover defender/discovery breaker beside me, but I’m in Donegal in Ireland but could have any bit on way to you via the many lorries that leave here and head to Inverness and other parts of Scotland (the same Donegal that the stone came from for the ‘Donegal wall’ up your way 🙂 ).
    If you needed a full gear-bag then I’m sure that could be organised. Any help I can offer then drop me an email via the link on signature.

    Comment by Jon kilpatrick — July 5, 2014 @ 9:02 am

  12. Hay Paul, a Rover question for you, as if you didn’t have enough such puzzlers: How do you safely lift a Series IIa Land Rover with a normal automotive lift (two column, four arms). This is a Benwil lift, an older but standard model in the US, but it can’t reach around the wheels to the plates under the leaf springs that are supposed to be the “official” jacking points. Any advice welcome! Pictures at

    Comment by mick — July 5, 2014 @ 10:02 am

    • Hi Mick,

      just on the chassis, as far back and as far forward as you can get the legs.

      Good luck, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 5, 2014 @ 12:25 pm

      • That’s what I thought. Not too much of the mass of the truck centered over the arms, but just enough to balance. I’m thinking about making or finding some kind of metal beam adaptor, to go fore and aft, from plate to plate. I also expect if I lifted it first, removed the wheels, dropped it onto four jackstands, and then tried again, I might then get the pads right under the plates.

        Comment by mick — July 5, 2014 @ 12:38 pm

      • Wish I had one of those Mick, I’ve been meaning to make some kind of ramp for years.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 5, 2014 @ 12:42 pm

  13. Didn’t cost that much secondhand. About £1,000, including concrete, paint, etc.

    Comment by mick — July 5, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

  14. glad you are back I wondered if you were ill.

    Comment by eileen1929 — July 5, 2014 @ 5:11 pm

  15. Dag nabbit, with all your crawling under that greasy Rover, I’ve gone and missed the Dude’s birthday. Happy belated, Dude!

    Comment by drgeo — July 5, 2014 @ 9:15 pm

  16. If the Disco is going why don’t you just patch it up and keep it going?

    Comment by Simon King — July 6, 2014 @ 9:36 pm

  17. Good Evening Paul….just to let you know that BBC Radio 4 are repeating my drama Calum’s Road on the 18th July at 9pm 🙂 I spoke to Roger and told him yesterday. Hope you are fine and well and thriving.

    Comment by Colin MacDonald — July 8, 2014 @ 7:23 pm

    • Cheers Colin, I’ve made a note on my calender 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 8, 2014 @ 8:35 pm

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