Life at the end of the road

November 1, 2018

Back to Bonzo :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, Trucks and plant — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:30 am

It seems that 5:30 is my new arising time as deemed by my internal alarm clock Smile It could be worse, at least I’m getting a good night’s sleep before something inside me goes ping and has me wide awake. I’m really struggling staying awake until Darling Wife gets home from the Raasay Distillery though. I used to go to bed around 21:00 but it’s pointless when Wifey is on ‘late shift’ cos Leah starts whining and barking like a loon when she arrives home around 22:30! Actually, it’s much worse than that, she starts pacing up and down and checking out the windows around half an hour earlier Sad smile Consequently I just try and stay awake till she gets home cos the dugs will wake me up anyway, I say dugs cos Leah’s carry on sets Molly off and it’s like Bedlam for a while.

Not so nice

So, after my wee spell of blogging yesterday I went to put on a clean pair of overalls from out in the Bunker, our name for the shed out the back of the house. Working on the camper takes me back to the pre single post lift days of dirty overalls. I guess I could have put the camper on my Chinese lift if I’d really tried but I felt that a clear floor was more important than being to stand under the vehicle for this job. When I poked my head outside it was pishing down!!! This caught me by complete surprise after the Indian Summer of the previous trio of sunshine days and when it finally did get light the was no sign of the Storr or Skye.

By the time I’d fed everyone and taken four wheelie bins down the drive I was soaked despite the waterproof jacket so had to put on some dry clothes before heading south to the weekly surgery. Still at least I’d a nice dry shed to work in when I returned, I’ve lost count of the times I’ve spent lying under cars in the pishing rain with water entering my every pore.

After my brief consultation with a doctor that reckoned I was far healthier than I thought, considered my alcohol intake wasn’t excessive, but was mortified by my intake of fat I went to see Bonzo and Peter. What with the dry docking, welding and slipway construction I’d not seen them for a month.

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Peter, never being one to sit about was out in his garage wrestling with a sheet of 8 x 4 marine ply, not bad for a 90 year old. Bonzo was ecstatic to see the three of of us and after a cup of tea we went walkies on the beach.

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There was a boat load of divers at the clams in Suisnish bay but my interests were focused on all the old limpet shells that had been washed up. Sad I know but I like to collect them to mix in with the stone chips around the house, unfortunately I only had my pockets to put them in. As they were now full we walked back along the road to Peter’s then said goodbye with a promise to return today.


Into the ‘bug’

Once by the morning rush hour in Inverarish,


I set course northwards for home and the ‘bug’ in my shed. Bug being what you have to type into the Amerciacentric Google to find anything about an air cooled VW flat four. The 1600 engine was now sat firmly on my shed floor awaiting investigation.


It may have only taken me a little over an hour to remove the engine but it took me four times that to remove all the tin ware and ancillaries. Many of the securing screws for the air cooling ducting and shielding needed heat and or a grinder to extricate them.

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Once that lot was out of the way I started to get to the root of the problem, the heads and valve train.


Now this issue above really has got me perplexed, the rocker gear is all barmy and the adjustment screws had to be ‘backed off’ inside the rocker arms to get any valve clearance at all. I had noticed this in the summer whilst trying to set the tappets after doing a compression test and find none. I managed to back the adjustment off and guess the clearance because it’s impossible to get a feeler gauge in there. This got it running which is when I noticed the gas leak from the heads. It would appear that the pushrods are too long or the rocker posts need shims under them. However this VW has been running for ages like this apparently, which says a lot for the durability and reliability of these engines.

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The head nuts were so loose that I managed to remove half of them with that small knurled ratchet by hand!! Once the left hand head was off the signs of blow by were obvious, as was the pitting and wear on the alloy and cast iron mating surfaces, which, on this side at least looked salvageable.

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The right hand bank was a whole different story, indeed it proved impossible to remove the heads from the engine and I had to take the barrels off as well.

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On the bench the blow by looked far more serious and the head had almost been welded to the barrel. The centre image shows sign of melted aluminium attached to the barrel. The last image shows where it had come from, a deep hole melted by prolonged passage of hot combustion gasses, this bank is scrap Sad smile

Anyway, that’s it really, just been out to feed the animals,


it says 5 degrees on the outside thermometer but it feels and looks much colder. Stomach is rumbling, time for breakfast then a spot of dug walking, limpet collecting and finding ‘bug’ parts Smile

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