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.

November 11, 2018

Off for a ‘Sunday run’ :-)

Filed under: daily doings — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:43 am

Well, that’ll be the ‘Bug’ running sweet enough, though she’s still on stands in front of me shed door blocking access. I was at it pretty much all day yesterday, finishing off assembling the engine and slotting it in. A couple of minor ‘cock ups’ on my behalf turning four hours work for an ‘old hand’ into four hours work and six hours cursing for a ‘half wit’ like me Smile

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Sure, I was in no great hurry and was working at a leisurely, precisely cos I knew haste would lead to silly mistakes but I made some anyway Sad smile As seems t be the case with these air cooled engines, the hardest part of the job is getting all the tin-ware back around the engine in the right order, especially when you have had to hack many of the old screws off to remove it in the first place. Still, I replaced all the broken and cut fastners with stainless steel ones and one or two roofing screws. The quality Sachs clutch kit was not only reasonably priced from Megabug but it came with its own plastic mandrel for cantering it on the flywheel !!! Usually I end up doing this with a round bar or socket set extension wrapped in insulation tape to make it fit the clutch centre plate. I started in the motor trade in 1971 and have been messing about with clutches ever since yet never seen one of these provided in a kit. Seriously, for a penny or two extra on the price of a kit this makes life so much easier.

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So with the clutch nicely centred I gave the engine a ‘once over’ especially in all the places that would be hard to access once it was in and set the timing using the marks on the crank pulley and a multimeter. Not as accurate as using a strobe light but the engine needs to be running for that, this would at least ensure it would start and run smooth enough. The engine was then lowered off the axle stands, slid under the rear then jacked up ready to slide in prior to me going for breakfast number two. Before I did leave though I made sure all was well underneath with nothing likely to get trapped between engine and gearbox. The heater cables were all in the correct position and I fed the throttle cable into the pipe that takes it through the large fan cowling. This is most important, cos it’s virtually impossible to do afterwards.

After last night’s Lancashire hot pot had been reheated, eaten then washed down with a Lidl cappuccino I returned to the ‘Bug’ and gingerly started to push the engine onto the gearbox with the aid of some blocks of wood and wedges under the sump to get the angle right and a wooden lever between the crankshaft pulley and rear cross member to provide a good push.

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What I forgot to do was keep feeding the throttle cable through the fan shroud as I pushed the engine onto the transaxle Sad smile Of course I never noticed this until after I’d bolted all the engine mountings on and refitted the bell housing nuts Sad smile 

I then spent a good hour struggling on my own trying to feed the cable through its guide, though it felt like longer. To be honest I’d have been quicker removing the engine again as it went in so smoothly, but no, I was determined to get that cable through. In the end I pulled the old cable completely out from the rear (front) of the vehicle where it passes through the gearbox cross member. I then fed a nylon 6mm (stiff) fuel pipe through the cowling and gearbox cross member from the carburettor end (no mean feat in itself). Once that pipe was right through I then forced the end of the inner throttle cable into the nylon pipe and got the wife. With darling wife gently pulling from behind and me pushing from underneath the cable was finally fed through all its various obstacles and attached to the carb.

After that it was connecting up all the wiring, fuel line, etc and spending ten minutes trying to start it before realising I still had a pair of Mole grips on the fuel line Smile So, that’s it, got her running sweet enough last night, just need to go out for a ‘Sunday run’ now it’s light,


couldnae do that last night cos she wasn’t charging for some reason. That will be today’s job, it’s daylight now, time to walk the dugs and let the Bug down on to the ground Smile

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