Life at the end of the road

August 30, 2014

Like sweaty socks :-(

Filed under: daily doings — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:47 pm

Almost 22:00 now and it’s most definitely the ‘torch season’, come 21:00 you’re needing one to do anything outside, as I’ve just discovered when I went a looking for my camera. This will be the one I left out in the rain a few days ago and now has no functioning ‘on off’ switch. Never fear I’ve managed to fool it into booting up by pressing the gallery button then the shutter, followed by opening the SD card door to switch it off. I’ve yet to find a camera that is totally ‘Camilli proof’ but the Panasonic’s come pretty close, this Fuji has been repaired 3 times and breaks at the drop of a hat. The Panasonics can be dropped in mud, rained on, sprayed with hydraulic oil and run over by the quad and still carry on functioning.

The subcontractors are here Smile

The old ‘bad back’ has had me working the Dude pretty hard at the weekends doing all the fetching and carrying for his ailing father. This weekend though I was going to have to get the subcontractor to help, as there was just too much to do.


First off, after feeding the hens was to reverse the Land Rover and large trailer into position between the open gateway of a fresh field. I’m going to be working away for a few weeks this winter and be it caravan or the Torran Schoolhouse it’s going to be tough on the wife. Consequently Rocky, Jamie Lee and Ellie are sold, we’ll still have five but they’ll all be gone by Christmas and we can think about a fresh herd in the spring. It’ll be really good to give the land a rest and we’ve bought some sheep that’ll take far less looking after.

The trailer is left hitched up ready to go on Monday and the herd can use it to sleep in until then.


This is far easier than messing about early in the morning trying get three reluctant pigs into an unfamiliar trailer.



By the time Monday comes around it will be their regular home,

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it’ll have to be cos Lightning and the Dude screwed a pallet to their current one Smile

Next to a lesson on how to refit a driveshaft to a Yamaha quad.

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This being kind of essential for the next ‘backbreaking’ task which was to take 600lts of heating oil to the Old Schoolhouse at Torran . This would mean three trips along the track 200lts at a time.


It’s no wonder my back is a mess, I’ve been moving barrels like this on my own for thirty years, well I’m paying for it now!



It was rather busy on the half mile path from the road end to Torran, the spritely nonagenarian Jessie Nicolson still walking the path regularly to her old family home.



Then a traffic jam! three quads, two towing trailers meeting at one of the narrowest sections!! That took a little sorting out I can tell you Smile


A work of art in the woodpile department courtesy of my son , almost as good as Willie Eyre’s at ‘The Cottages’

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but not quite.

There was more but it’s 22:30 now and I’m just going to drink my valerian tea and go to bed. I dunno why but you can’t seem  to get it in the UK anymore, well you can but it’s invariably been imported from the States or Europe. I’m going to try some to help me sleep, but this lot whiffs of sweaty socks despite tasting quite nice. You could even get it in the Raasay stores at one time but now none of the UK based outlets seem to have it. It’s where the val in Valium (now called Diazepam) comes from and when I’ve had it in the past I’ve had great sleeps and pleasant dreams. Well fingers crossed as we’ve a lot to do tomorrow.

August 29, 2014

Our first mackerel :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, Land Rover — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:07 pm

Well, the MOT was a bit of a disaster, arrived there early only to be told that there had been a snag with the jacking beam on the MOT ramp and I’d have to re book. Now under normal circumstances this would have exploding with rage and expletives but I was unusually calm, in fact I was actually not in the least bit bothered. Indeed a little part of me was glad to be able to have an excuse to drive on the mainland once more , the 200TDi having transformed the whole Land Rover experience.

I’d left home early depositing the ‘beetleman’ at Henderson’s bridge on the way to the ferry, having first deposited my trailer at the ferry terminal with six 200lt barrels in it. Then it was off to see Simon at Raasay Engineering to drop off a 47kg Propane cylinder for a friend. All the lifting being done by Simon and the Beetleman, my back is feeling quite good just now and I wasn’t wanting any recurrence of the pain I’d suffered three weeks ago.

As well as the MOT I’d planned to go and have a rant at my estate agent, but upon arrival at  the office I lost heart as the staff at the Portree branch were so nice. Instead I just got my listing removed and told them that in the extremely unlikely event that my house sale didn’t go through I would no longer require their services and mentioned nothing of the ‘ding dong’ I’d had with the Kyle branch on Wednesday. Two years my house as been on their books and all the serious enquires have come via people seeing the ‘For Sale’ ad at the end of the road or reading the £35 ad I placed on ‘Greenshifters’ yet the Kyle branch were trying to screw me for more commission on land that I may sell in ten years!!!! You couldn’t make it up, when they came to view the house two years ago the manager specifically said ‘we’d rather you removed the croft land as it’s too much hassle!! Now at the hint of a few quid extra I was being grilled by a member of staff, quizzed about my motives and asked how much I’d be charging in ten years time!! I couldn’t believe it, told the lady it was none of her business and could she please just sell my friggin’ house, OK, I didn’t swear but I was raging.

This whole house selling business has taken years off my life, first I’ve got to get a £400 survey done to put it on the market, then when it’s not selling and I approach the bank for more money I have to get another survey by the same surveyor and get fleeced for another £200, same survey, same surveyor, just the date and name altered to suit!!! It gets even better, thinking I’ll save a bob or two I gets the new house site surveyed whilst he’s doing ‘number 3’ for a snip at £200! That’ll be £800 lighter in the wallet for an hour or twos work, but ‘hey ho’ shit happens, however it gets even better. Roll on two years and we’re needing to get the new house valued again for a mere £190 so I grit my teeth and bare it. That’ll be £10 shy of a grand and my new house has 3 living rooms 4 bedrooms and mains electricity ‘Oh really’ Smile Smile Smile You really, really could not make this up!

Anyway, despite all this I’m still smiling and in a really good mood, I bumped into my solicitor in the estate agents got some stuff sorted out with her, met my proper surveyor and got the final draft of my ‘croft registration map’. Whether it was the cocktail of drugs I’d taken in the morning, the positive meeting I’d had with my solicitor or the new found go in my Land Rover I can’t say. Whatever it was, perhaps the planets lining up or a full moon, anyway, I was in a really good mood. So, when I turned up at the garage and was turned away I wasn’t in the least bit concerned. It would even give me chance to ‘tweak’ or more likely ‘un tweak’ my injector pump.

Once I’d gotten the ‘Old Girl’ on the ‘open road’ I’d noticed a little black smoke when accelerating and under load. The Bosch VE injector pump can very easily be adjusted to give more fuel, hence more power but less economy. As the previous owner had done a few suspension mods to the old Discovery it came out of, it led me to think he may well have adjusted the pump to increase the power of the engine.

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Thought it was about time I shut up, had a glass of scrumpy and posted a picture. OK, it’s from May 2012 but it could have been tonight.


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Unlike this one of the same mountain in February 2010, not only is it covered in snow but now all the trees have gone Smile I do like seeing coniferous plantations ‘clear felled’. Sure it looks a mess for a few years but the brash provides cover for native species and none native ones to regenerate naturally. Don’t get me wrong I like seeing conifers planted too, they’re a great ‘cash crop’ on land fit for little else, I’m just glad to see the back of them and love the heavy machinery they use. It never ceases to amaze me how a handful of guys can clear a forest so quickly.


I used to watch these dudes in awe on my way to and from work a few years ago, fortunately much of the area has now been replanted.

Back to the present

Anyway, where was I ? well, lost in paper and phone work for the most part, easy on the back but not very rewarding. I did however do plenty of research on the Bosch VE injector pump and found some invaluable info.

That being the most comprehensive by far but this being pretty good too.

Reasons not to do any of the things listed in this post:
1.) You are unsure of the state of tune of your engine and someone may have already altered the fueling, boost or both.
2.) You are unhappy with the reliability of your engine – none of the following will improve a failing engine and can make it fail very quickly
3.) Your
exhaust puffs black sooty smoke at any stage of acceleration other than initial engine start up.
3.) You are not confident of your ability to perform any step detailed below.
4.) You are unsure what the word ‘clockwise’ means and you have a note from your Doctor excusing you from the use of sharp implements or tools due to an inability to tell your **** from your elbow
I’ll make this next bit plain I will take no responsibility for any damage you cause to your engine through modifying it using the steps here!
Ok, now that’s said on to the good stuff. If your
300Tdi still has the EGR system fitted and in use, I’d recommend blanking if off and seeing if you really need to adjust anything else – the perfomance gains are staggering for such a cheap and easy fix.
300tdi (and 200tdi) uses the same injection pump as the 12v Dodge Ram – the Bosch VE.
Both the 200 and 300tdi engines are intercooled, but the intercooler is a little on the inefficient side and not really suited to high power/high boost applications – changing it for a higher capacity one will give vastly better results if you decide to up the boost.
WARNING: Playing with either the fuel delivery or the boost pressure can (and in some circumstances will) destroy your engine!
200Tdi engines run between 0.74 BAR and 0.82BAR of boost pressure, 300Tdis run 1BAR of boost. 1BAR is plenty of boost to
supply air for some mild tinkering with the fuel delivery – in fact the stock 200 does very well with no modification of boost pressure, if you do increase it do it carefull and use a boost gauge to check you’re not overboosting it. Anything more than 1BAR of boost with a stock intercooler is a waste of time as the increased temperature of the induction charge pretty much negates the effect of the extra boost.
Adjusting the fueling isn’t difficult – but you need to be very methodical and careful to avoid mishaps.
There are 3 basic adjustments:
LMP (Low Manifold Pressure)
FLD (Full Load Delivery)
AFC (Automatic Fuel Control)
LMP is useful for building boost more quickly from tickover – it will make the car smoke more and might mean it will fail a smoke test for the MOT
FLD will dramatically increase the available power throughout the rev range – and if done incorrectly will cause a lot of smoke and some very high
exhaust gas temperatures (which stands a good chance of wrecking your engine – so take a LOT of care with this one)
AFC increases the fuel delivery in line with the boost pressure applied to the IP (
Injection Pump) by the turbo.
For your purposes I would adjust the AFC a little and see how you find it – leave the rest of the adjustments alone for now.
WARNING: Before you adjust ANYTHING mark it’s current postition so you can return to a known working good setup if things start happening that you don’t like.
Read ALL of the following paragraphs before undoing anything.
To get to the AFC control you will need to remove the flat plate on top of the IP, held in place with 4 large slot headed screws. Attached to this plate is a hose which goes to the wastegate actuator pipe from the turbo to the wastegate. Underneath the plate is a diaphragm on an eccentric spindle – this spindle is the FLD adjustment – if it is rotated while you remove the plate or once the plate is removed you will alter the FLD rate. On some cars, particularly, but not limited to, those with turbo problems oil mist is carried down the
pressure hose from the turbo and it collects above the diaphragm – this will cause the diaphragm to stick to the plate you’re about to remove – be aware of this and stop if the plate it stuck to the diaphragm. If the plate can be easily removed, allow it to hang on the pressure hose. Carefully mark the position of the diaphragm relative to the injection pump – there should be a mark (usually a full stop sized punch mark) built into the metal plate in the middle of it which you can use as a marker, you will need to place a mark on the injection pump (a magic marker is fine) so you can return the diaphragm to it’s original postion.
Once you’re marked up – you can lift the diaphragm, spindle, plastic washer and spring out of the pump – its a tight fit and you don’t want to damage this or your IP will be useless so go carefully and definitely don’t lever it. On the excentric spindle you will be able to see a scratch mark where the fuel delivery pin has been acting on it – if the diaphragm was moved before you managed to mark it’s position you can use this scratch to realign the spindle with the fuel delivery pin by shining a torch down the hole where the spindle sits.
Under the diaphragm is a notched ‘wheel or ****’ for want of a better description. This is the AFC adjuster – the spring under the diaphragm bears on this wheel, the higher up the wheel is in its chamber the more difficult it is for the diaphragm to bear down on the spring and move the spindle up and down agains the fuel delivery pin. Thus, tightening the wheel (turning it clockwise) makes it easier for the boost pressure to press the diaphragm and spindle down and the fuel delivery rate under boost goes up.
Mark the current position of the notched wheel and count the number of clicks clockwise that you turn it. You will need to adjust this by a small amount and test it after each adjustment. I would not recommend turning it more than 1/4 of a turn in either direction without testing it.
To test it is simple – bolt everything back together making certain the diaphragm is in it’s ‘standard’ position – adjust one of your
wing mirrors so you can see the exhaust smoke (if any) and take it for a drive. If there’s no black smoke from the exhaust you can increase the fueling further if you need to – if it’s smoking a lot you need to adjust the notched wheel back until it just stops smoking under full boost.
Provided you haven’t gone mad and massively over adjusted the wheel in one go all should be well.
If adjusting the AFC doesn’t give you the power increase you’re lookin for, let me know and I’ll put up some instructions for the the other IP tweaks

Basically what I was wanting to do was return mine to standard, the 200TDi has plenty of power for me as it left the factory, and I’m more interested in economy and reliability than racing away from the lights. Had I wanted to do that I’d have bought a sensible car.




However, for those interested here’s the ‘Full power adjustment screw’ talked about on the Dodge link, it did appear to have been tampered with. Screwing it in increases the fuel, figuring that had been done I wound it out a quarter of a turn and left it.

The next job was changing CV joint gaiters on my mates Yamaha quad, which I did until it was time to test the ‘Old Girl’. I was waiting until 14:50 so I could go and collect a trailer and my son from Sconser. The trailer being for the pigs and my son being my ‘back’ for the weekend Smile

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I managed to fit the new boots to shaft but had to abandon the job to catch the ferry.

The Land Rover definitely had slightly less ‘oomph’ on the way down but at least she wasn’t smoking, though the real test would be on the return leg towing the ‘Ifor Williams’.



Well, we made it and she barely felt the extra weight, the slight loss of power hopefully paying dividends in the economy department.

Acquiring ‘Lightning MacLennan’ on the way home to assist with hauling heavy loads over the weekend I treated everyone to a dinner of fresh mackerel I’d been given. The first I’d sampled this year and cooked in  the best way possible, wrapped in a damp  West Highland Free Press and microwaved for 45 seconds a side.

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OK, that’s the ‘Daily Record’ and four years old but you get the gist.

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