Life at the end of the road

October 31, 2018

The engine is oot :-)

Filed under: daily doings, stonework, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:48 am

Managed to stay in bed until 5:30 this morning and slept right through the night, so that’s a result, still pretty tired right enough. It was another magnificent day yesterday and boy, did I make the most of it.

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The Storr and his Old Man didn’t have Monday’s fiery red glow, just a fluffy white hat, but was magnificent as usual and once it was fully light we went out for a walk.

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The tide was just about right for us to survey our handiwork so that’s where we went, disturbing this fine young stag on the way.

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That would be the end of the slip at around 3.0m of height and still I’d be able to get the Searider in or out, which is all I was ever aiming for. This means that I’ll always be able to get my boat at every day at high water, even on the smallest of neaps Smile


Even Leah was impressed,


unlike a few hours later when I switched on the heating at 18:00, she went into an instant sulk, wouldn’t eat a treat then went and hid for four hours.

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My task before the hot smoked salmon and scrambled egg promised me by Wifey was to do some tidying up on the slip access. For that I had to go and collect the dumper a mile away past the old sheep fank at Tarbert. Using the natural stream that runs through it and making abundant use of the readily available rock this is where sheep would be sheared, dipped and marked back in Calum’s day. As with most dry stone construction hereabouts it carries the signature of several masons in its stonework.

The brief visit home for the most excellent brunch was somewhat tempered by a blocked sewage pipe Sad smile


Still, it cleared easily with a length of alkythene water pipe as a rod and at least the sun was out, the last time I had to do this it was dark with a covering of snow Smile

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After doing that and washing Wifey’s car as a thankyou for the salmon I returned to levelling my turning and parking area.


How did it happen

I pottered happily away at this and some dumping of rock up on the croft until around 16:00,

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when my next job was delivered to me on a trailer Sad smile I dunno how I got suckered into this right enough, probably nostalgia but what started off as “can you have a look at the Distillery camper, it’s not running very well” has grown ‘arms and legs’ as the repairer of my Land Rover would say. The badly misfiring and spluttering bus has no compression and all the cylinder head bolts are loose Sad smile Had it been a modern vehicle that was spluttering or not starting I’d have said no but seventies vintage petrol engines are what what I cut my first teeth on and these old flat four Vee Dubs are bombproof. Well most of them Smile

I’d already been tinkering with it out the back of the distillery in my lunch breaks and discovered the lack of compression. As the cylinder head nuts were loose and further investigation would require the engine removal I’d said to Norman the distillery manager that if he could get it to Arnish I’d investigate further. This I can honestly say is the only time I have been glad not to have the ‘Old Girl’ Smile I was kinda hoping he’d be too busy and get someone else to take it to a proper garage Smile

Ah well, that didn’t work so I changed tack, I figured if I reversed it into my shed, then I’d have to fix it!!!!!

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The camper is in amazing condition for a 45 year old vehicle and probably came off the production line around the time I left school and started work as an apprentice mechanic. Having a decent workshop with all the tools turned a relatively easy job into a breeze and I had the engine out in not much more than an hour (about 45 minutes longer than an expert Smile ) Truth be know, where it not for the seized heater cables it would have been half that but hey, it is almost half a century old.


  1. lovely old vehicle, but why does a distillery need a camper?

    Comment by cazinatutu — October 31, 2018 @ 9:33 am

  2. Paul I’m sure you’ll be in your element fixing the engine.
    You must be the furthest off road mechanic in Scotland.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — October 31, 2018 @ 9:58 am

  3. Old Vdub Buses are probably the only thing on a nightmarish level with old land rovers. Good luck!

    Comment by Matt — October 31, 2018 @ 11:32 am

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