Life at the end of the road

January 4, 2020

Back under the ‘EGG chariot’

Filed under: daily doings, How I — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:49 am

Well, it be a black and uninspiring day today and Saturday looks like the best day before returning to work next week, at least as far as wind goes. Sure there’ll be brighter days but between now and Wednesday afternoon it looks like no respite from those ‘red’ winds, time to drag the boat back to the shed for the rest of the winter methinks, if not today, at least before Tuesday.



Methinks I left you on Thursday morning and went to clear some drains on what was a pure 5h1t of a day.

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With no prospect of improvement on the horizon I collected my neighbour and decided to head south and do some dog walking.

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That was of course once I’d got by the ‘guard pigs’ who wanted to come too, the black one on the right was on heat and very vocal Smile


That done, we all retired to Sonas for a feast of left overs Smile basically a fridge full of treats out of my wife’s fridge.

I also got what is probably my last Christmas present


Smile priceless, I mean, why do we do it Smile


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A very threatening start to the day had me heading over to Torran for some more ‘first footing’ though this time minus the 12YO which is still sitting unfinished in my kitchen along with the unopened wine bottles. Hopefully 2020 will be a year of less wine and more water Smile


For a good portion of today though, methinks I’ll be back under the Subaru replacing rear anti roll bar links and perhaps more brake pipes. The ARB links seem to be an annual item on most vehicles these days, no doubt an indicator of the perilous state of the roads. The brake pipes were raised as an advisory last year so Ross and I changed the offending one yesterday but I’ve not had time to inspect the rest fully yet. We got ‘called away’ yesterday afternoon to collect some IBC’s from the Raasay pier. Well, not exactly summoned but with the state of the forecast I thought it prudent to retrieve them before they got blown back to Skye. Many thanks to Charlie Gillies for arranging the ‘deposit’ and the rest of the ‘team’ for the carriage Smile

Subaru brake pipes

The MOT actually ran out months ago, something I only realized when I tried to tax the car afore I went to my aunties funeral. Fortunately you can still tax a vehicle on Raasay without an MOT so I’ve still been using it ‘on island’ in-between the various repairs. Work in progress as they say Smile A tyre replaced, a sidelight and fog light fixed and then yesterday, the job I’ve been putting off the longest, the rear brake pipe.

I dunno if the Subaru is unique amongst production cars (probably not) but it is the only make I have encountered that routes the brake and fuel pipes inside the vehicle. This I have seen and done myself on specially prepared rally cars and off road vehicles but Subaru make em like that. This is truly fantastic at keeping the majority of the lines out of harms way and away from salt and the elements but it does make them a PITA to replace. Unless of course you just cut out the offending section and splice in a new one, which is what we did.


To facilitate this I bought myself a new brake pipe flaring tool, sure I’ve had one (in the red box) for 30 plus years but it really needs to be held in a vice. The natty little tool I purchased off eBlag is designed to be hand held so you can use it on the vehicle


and I gotta say, it was £32 well spent.

We removed the lid off the master cylinder, took out the wee filter and then filled the reservoir right to the brim. I then stretched an old latex glove across the top of the reservoir and refitted the lid.


This removes any airspace above the fluid and blocks the vent thus preventing any brake fluid running out of the pipe once it is cut or removed. If it does not actually prevent it, it does at least slow it down dramatically. In this case no fluid came out at all once we’d removed the rear seat and cut the pipe inside the car.

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Not only do Subaru route the pipes inside the vehicle they make the connection blocks out of brass!!!! consequently the nipples are actually easy to remove even when corroded Smile 

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What could have been a total nightmare of a job being achieved without any pain or a sore back by having a decent flaring tool and a Chinese lift. Sure, I wouldn’t be using it in a commercial venture but for DIY work and treated with respect it sure has made my life easier when it comes to maintaining the fleet Smile


  1. Isn’t the car wobbly on that lift? do you feel safe hauling on rusty bolts when underneath?

    Comment by Kev — January 4, 2020 @ 9:15 am

    • Absolutely ‘wobbly’ if not used sensibly Kev, which is why it needs very careful positioning, treating with respect and why I’d not use it commercially. It even lifts the Disco quite easily, though that requires timber the full length of the sills rather than using the chassis. For DIY use when operated with common sense I love it. Having said that I have seen with my own eyes several vehicles fall off two and three post lifts. A good friend being trapped under a car and loosing the use of his legs as a result. An impact wrench and heat go a long way to mitigating ‘wobble’ and for any serious ‘thrutching’ I’d use long axle stands also.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 4, 2020 @ 10:45 am

  2. Genuinely my favourite brake flaring tool ever… Had mine for about 5 years and wouldn’t be without it.

    Good luck with the less wine more water. I’m desperate to cut down on the medicinal whisky but the other choice is opiates so we shall see.

    Comment by Matt — January 4, 2020 @ 1:28 pm

    • Aye Matt, it’s a beezer of a tool right enough and the ‘wine to water’ conversion going really well, especially considering the amount of drink I have in the house 🙂 Funnily enough my back pain has come back since I stopped, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 8, 2020 @ 10:38 am

      • I’m thinking If I drink at least twice as much water as I do Whisky I may be on to a winner. That should up my daily water intake by at least a litre. Probably the only pain I’ll feel is my bladder at around 2am each night!

        Comment by Matt — January 8, 2020 @ 12:11 pm

      • Aye Matey, the bladder thing is a real PITA 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 8, 2020 @ 12:30 pm

  3. OMG so many memories of weeks before a MOT underneath doing brake pipes and using a tool that said OP1 and OP2 the joys

    Comment by Duncan Boyle — January 4, 2020 @ 11:31 pm

    • Aye Duncan, me, I’m a recent convert to that tool and am well impressed.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 8, 2020 @ 10:36 am

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