Life at the end of the road

November 12, 2018

Back in the groove :-)

Gosh, it’s 6:45 and that’s me just up, almost feeling ‘normal’ again after the clock moving nonsense. Truth be known, I could have happily stayed in bed until daylight but ‘one more sleep’ and I’ll be back at work after my month off and I’ve far too much to do to be lying in bed Smile First task being Lachie’s tracked barrow which has taken a back seat of late on account of the ‘Bug’ mainly but also cos the parts have only just arrived.


Well, it was a lovely day yesterday for sure and as has become the custom of late, I have been ‘taking it easy’ on the Sabbath, well easy for me that is. So, after dropping the ‘Bug’ off it’s stands and moving it out the way,

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to reveal the scene of carnage that was left behind, I went indoors to make breakfast for darling wife, another recent task on the Sunday timetable I’ve been cultivating.


The 45 year old VW camper started a treat and ran like a clock, I was well chuffed Smile

After the ‘heart attack on a plate’ of home grown sausages eggs and Co op British bacon and shrooms had settled down we went to ‘walk it off’ with the dugs.

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Taking the track to Torran and resting at Jessie Nicolson’s memorial bench on the way, methinks a discreet chainsaw is called for on a couple of birch trees to improve the view Smile

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With a few calories burnt off and after yet another cup of tea we went out for a Sunday drive, which is something I’ve yet to re- embrace in my preparations for ‘taking it easy’ and preparing for retirement Smile

We are sailing

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The Wee Bug ran like a dream up and down Calum’s road which is as hardy a test for a campervan as anything I know, with exception of ‘The Bealach’ to Applecross . I gotta say, we thoroughly enjoyed our little ‘sail’ cos that’s what driving one of these is like, it’s soft suspension making it comfortable but very ‘roly poly’. I can see why people fall in love with these things and the ‘air cooled donkey’ in the boot.


That done and I turned my efforts onto another Sunday task, washing the car, or fleet as in my case Smile

Engine Management Lights

Next wee job was to check out the engine management warning light that had appeared on Wifey’s Subaru last week on the way to Girvan.


This would cost you at least £40 in a garage but a few years ago I bought an OBD II code reader off Amazon for less than a tenner and it’s saved me hunners. Having said that, it does ‘have its moments’ and yesterday was one such day. The Chinese piece of carp brought up the fault and it’s code P0420 in what may as well have been Mandarin Smile 


Catalytic System Efficiency Below Threshold Bank 1

I dunno why it does this but every now and then it reads ‘backwards’ well almost but you ‘get the gist’ and it was only a tenner. Anyway, I cleared the code and ignored it, the exhaust is new, the car averaged just over 40MPG on the recent trip to Girvan and back so there is sweet ‘foxtrot alpha’ wrong with the catalytic converter. Which after all is just an American con to try and keep foreign cars out of their markets. The ‘cat’ cleans up dirty exhausts rather than encouraging manufactures to develop ‘lean burn’ technology. An engine fitted with a cat will always produce lower CO readings at the exhaust so it penalizes smaller engines which produce slightly higher readings but much less of them. Hence the cat is much more suited to larger thirsty V8’s that the American’s love. They’re expensive to make being full of precious metals, sap energy from the engine and cost a fortune to replace.

Back to the dumper

After a light lunch of soup Callum and his dug arrived with the roofing for the car/boat shelter.

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The dug was a great help unloading the roofing sheets Smile

Then, with a nice tidy shed to work in I set about the unenvious task of replacing the spool valve micro switches on the HIT500 tracked dumper.

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A task which has more in common with watch making then engineering. These tiny switches being very awkward to get at are held in position with small Allen screws and a steel backing plate.

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The plate is almost impossible to hold in place so I stuck it with silicon whilst I fitted the first screw using the Allen key through the holes in the outer switch. So, it’s not possible to fit the inner switch without removing the out one first and it’s not possible to fit the inner switch using slotted screw or bolts. Anyway, it’s about time I fed the pigs and got back on with it.


  1. I’ve got the same ODB…..whatsit reader and it’s saved me a fortune like you, plus my Merc Sprinter van likes to go into limp home mode at the slightest excuse and the ‘reader fixes that on a get you home to sort it’ basis.

    Comment by David Brodie — November 12, 2018 @ 8:21 am

    • Aye David, can’t think of a more wisely spent tenner, though I see they are now £12.99 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 12, 2018 @ 8:38 am

  2. ah the bealach we used to see many a vehicle to big try and get up it from the view from loch kishorn, including a 40 footer which had missed the turning to the kishorn yard when they were building the caissons for the sky bridge, he had to reverse back quite a way. But the best had to be a little fiat that gout ‘buzzed’ on a corner by one of the RAFs finest. What a great road and splendid food on the otherside.

    Comment by Alistair Gray — November 12, 2018 @ 9:06 am

    • I heard someone once took an artic over there Alistair!!!!!! Didnae believe until I had a couple up here right enough, still a bit dubious though.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 12, 2018 @ 10:05 am

      • Needless to say it didn’t make it far and had to reverse back, if I remember it took him a fair while to get it back down and into the yard.

        Comment by Alistair Gray — November 12, 2018 @ 12:26 pm

  3. Great to see the bug back and running …

    Good luck with the Dumper it looks like your going to have a fun time!

    Comment by Matt — November 12, 2018 @ 9:22 am

  4. Not the best design those dumper switches aren’t really made for outside, wind, weather, cement being chucked at them.

    Comment by Kev — November 12, 2018 @ 9:28 am

    • Aye Kev, I’ll second that.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 12, 2018 @ 10:05 am

  5. if you fancy going mad with the bug, there’s always “Busses with Attitude” – gotta be able to do a 1/4 mile drag race in under 18s. – but I don’t think that’s a splittie.

    Comment by Andrew Elwell — November 13, 2018 @ 7:15 am

    • Sadly I don’t meet all the other criteria either 😦
      1. Your Engine must be an Air Cooled VW Flat 4

      2. Your Bus has to be a VW Split Screen (1950-67)

      3. You must be a member of the Split Screen Van Club

      4. You must be able to run quicker than 18 seconds on the ¼ mile

      5. And finally, the six founder members have to agree that the bus can join

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 13, 2018 @ 8:12 pm

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