Even later tonight, it was almost ‘not daylight’ when I came in just after 22:00, there was still a thrush trying to coax something out of the lawn, but light was definitely failing. It’s only this last few nights that I’ve actually seen darkness (if that’s possible) being as I’m usually in bed whilst it’s still light. At this latitude there isn’t much in the way of ‘night time’ for a good few weeks either side of midsummer and I love it, not so keen on the ‘flip side’ in December right enough, but you can’t have everything hey.
We’re down to just two now, me and the ‘wee dug’, my son having vanished several hours ago with his mate from the mainland. A bit like ‘old times’ really, with me and a wee Jack Russell working on some project in the garage with no wife or partner to call me in for dinner.
This morning I managed to arise before 8:00am and felt considerably better than the previous morning when I had the ‘hangover from Hell’ which is one of the worst. A ‘hangover from hell’ is one of those you get without actually drinking anything, in other words, one you don’t deserve, I don’t mind feeling like carp if I’ve earned it
Anyway, much to the pigs and hens relief I was out there ‘bright as a button’ shortly afterwards, though this time I took no risks with the pigs. I may have felt great but I was pretty certain a bout of pig chasing would cure that. So, instead of leading out Ellie to feed her separately I opted for three piles of food several meters apart. Ellie still won’t get quite as much as Rocky or Jamie Lea but they’re all in great condition and it’ll not do her any harm.
Then it was up to the ‘house hens’ and their superior shed, and I have to say it’s working great, that decking in front stops the ground turning to mush and prevents them kicking muck into their drinkers. I did offer to make an automatic drinker for wifey’s hens but she prefers the refillable type. Her reasoning being that they’re much cleaner and better for the birds, she also likes to put a drop of cider vinegar in now and then but I can’t remember why, worms maybe?
I blame it on this book,
which cites vinegar as a cure for all ills and good for everything from removing verdigris on brass to cleaning windows. In all seriousness vinegar is indeed a great antiseptic, cleaner of diving demand valves and cure for all manner of maladies. I even tried drinking a mouthful every morning for months and felt great for it, though I never knew if it was the vinegar or the fact that I didn’t have to drink anymore for a full 24 hours
Whatever, the hens were indeed looking great on it, and in there luxury housing, and what a difference it makes feeding them inside. Three scoops a feed does seventy odd hens adequately, unlike the ‘caravan hens’ who are fed outside. There are only twenty of those but they need well over one scoop and the pigeons seem to get most of that.
I’m dead chuffed with my new gate and the fact that we are now regularly using this old path once more. In days gone by this was the way to ‘the peats’, a short cut to Tarbert and of course the route to ‘Donald’s garden’. Though I guess ‘Donald’ would be pretty miffed at me digging it up and building a house on it.
That’ll be ‘Donald’s garden, the walled area of the map,
and this is it a year or two later, though still not with the house on it.
Discovery flywheel housing modification
After doing the ‘crofty stuff’ and demolishing three Arnish sausages I set about modifying the Discovery flywheel housing to fit the Defender bell housing. Now it is possible just to swap the flywheel housings over and thus eliminate the need for this ‘mod’ but in doing so you will loose the facility for locking the flywheel at TDC to set the pump timing. Not that that is a major issue as there are other ways of doing it, you may well even be able to fit the TD/NA flywheel and thus use the marks and tool for that. However, it’s a fairly straight forward modification requiring four holes to be tapped M10 x 1.5 and four bolt holes recessed to take socket caps.
The holes you need to tap already have pilot holes in the correct place so you just drill them out to 8.5mm to accept the M10 x 1.5 tap.
Then you need to countersink or recess the four original Discovery bell housing bolts so you can bolt the housing firmly to the engine. Most people I guess just countersink them and use countersunk Allen bolts but I had M10 x 100 ‘socket caps’ handy so I recessed the holes to take those instead.
The advantage over the ‘socket caps’ is that the Allen key size is generally one size bigger than a countersunk one so you can torque them up more.
That done, and having spent an hour or so cleaning the windows on the house I headed south to collect some parts and give the ‘Old Girl’ a good run to test the newly fitted steering box.
I dunno what the name or purpose of this strange ship in Portree bay was, but it certainly looked different!
It’s not really obvious from the picture but the sea is a very disconcerting shade of blue, the kind of blue that would indicate the presence of an ‘algal bloom’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algal_bloom . There are as many reasons for this as there are different types but it’s generally caused by too many nutrients in the water and can be caused by all manner of things. However, whatever type they are generally bad news for something, even if it’s only the clam diver who can’t see very well
The parts that had arrived from http://www.paddockspares.com/ included a timing belt kit and oil seals so after feeding the boy and getting him to help me, we moved the engine into my workshop.
Then I set about changing the timing belt, using a 3/8th inch drill shank to hold the injector pump in place.
I can’t set the timing properly until I refit the flywheel and cannot do than until the gasket arrives. I could have got a £1.50 Sh*tpart one from Paddocks but opted for an £18 genuine one and £12 genuine rear main oil seal from another supplier. If any of these gaskets or seals leak it’s major surgery to replace them so I’m not taking any chances.
It’s always sensible to change the front crankshaft oil seal whilst doing the belt as any oil contamination will seriously shorten the belts life. A special tool is required to remove the belt drive but I ‘improvised with and M5 machine screw and crowbar.
I did do lots more, like moving the Disco, cleaning up the debris around the croft, shooting pigeons and feeding animals
but it’s way after midnight now and I’ve not even showered