Life at the end of the road

September 7, 2020

Brakes :-) well, almost :-)

Obviously, it ‘has been dark’ this summer, it’s just the first time I’ve really noticed it in three months, me being and ‘early to bed early to rise type and never actually drawing the blinds down. OK, perhaps ‘never’ is a bit strong, having paid a couple of grand for them, I do, when the sun makes seeing a screen difficult as the sun goes down. However, out of the twenty that adorn my house only three west facing ones are ever really used. Anyway, it’s boodly black, wet wild, windy and even early for me, having awoken at 2:20, probably as a result of the near gale and lashing rain beyond the triple glazing. Using one of my dear Mammy’s tricks of a cup of drinking chocolate and a banana to try and rekindle some kind of sleep. Well, it be almost 3:00am now and I’m on the verge of starting to nod Smile

Brakes at last

Anyway, it was a pure peach of a day yesterday and I spent a great deal of it under  the Land Rover. Whilst my vague plan had centred around actually getting it running, I figured that making it stop might be quite good too. So, Sunday I concentrated on the brakes, which at the very least needed flexible hoses fitting. Tayside Land Rover fit all new brake lines as part of their chassis replacement but my new stainless flexibles had only just turned up whilst I was actually collecting the vehicle so I took it without them being fitted. This was fine as the handbrake worked a treat and that was all I needed for trailering her home but I figured it would be a sensible attribute to the truck to be able to use the foot brake too.

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It was a pretty straight forward job made difficult by the new hoses not being supplied with the fine metric nots required to lock them onto the new chassis brackets. There being no sign of my old stainless hoses in the ‘box of bits’ left in the back when I collected her. Now, I have no shortage of fastners in my workshop, literally thousands of them, mainly in stainless and usually new, however, ‘fine metric’ threads are a bit of a rarity but I managed to find three out of the six required and making three more by chopping off the top of some brake pipe female unions.

Of course I managed to turn what is essentially a couple of hours work into an all day affair, getting distracted along the way by the Brochel lumb and finally getting driven indoors at 17:30 by the boodly midge!!! The sunshine and wee breeze having kept them at bay for the entire day up until then.

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I’ve still got to do some tidying up of the pipe routing but at least I now have the resemblance of working brakes having managed to bleed them adequately on my own. No doubt assisted by the special long stainless steel bleed nipples I had made up years ago by a chap in Perthshire called ‘Mr French’. He also made me up stainless steel wheel nuts which where a pure work of art. Sadly those seem to have  vanished along with my ARB compressor whilst the ‘Old Girl’ was in captivity. I really do need to track down the elusive ‘Mr French’ once more, not only did he make bleed screws and nuts he also made solid washers for the radius arms and M10 fine nipples, male and female. Sadly he resolutely refused to join the 21st century and go on line, all communication being done by letter and transactions by cheque! Methinks I need to trawl through my old invoices from 15 or so years ago, perhaps when I’m doing my VAT return later Smile Googling only throws up Wrington Engineering https://www.wrington.co.uk/land%20rover%20steel%20wheel%20nuts.html in Dorset who also make them but at £140 for polished ones like mine. I did actually have one of there’s too, having lost a ‘Mr French’ one in the past, perhaps I need to concentrate on the important things in life hey. I mean a wheel nut is a wheel nut after all Smile

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Work on the lumb

As well as Land Rover remedial work I also devoted quite a lot of time to ‘Plan B’ on the blocked chimney front. Having got to a point where the blockage could not be pulled upwards by the Tirfor. At least the small one,

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my Mate came up with the idea of trying to jack it ‘up the way’, or at least free it up so the Tirfor could handle it. Of course we could just use a bigger Tirfor, I have them up to 3.2tonnes but they’re heavy, not conducive with a broken rib and I don’t think the chimney pot is strong enough. So, as the blockage seems to be just a couple of meters up from the hearth I decided to make a sectioned pole out of scaffolding and use a 5tonne bottle jack.

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The physical side of this being a job for my Mate on another day but I did manage to try out the theory at least.

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Just needs a chap with strong arms and intact ribs to try it in practice,

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unfortunately he was busy Smile but Molly and I booked a slot for tomorrow.

Well that was it really, more mackerel for dinner, this time fried in olive oil and served with steamed veg, then an early night with a good (to me) book. That little distraction around 2:30am was cured by the the hot chocolate and banana and I awoke ‘as fresh as a daisy’ at 7:00. The near gale that awoke me has passed by leaving fully charged batteries courtesy of the 6kW wind turbine in it’s wake.

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The pigs dishes now with an inch or two of water in the bottom giving further evidence of a pretty wild night. It’s still grey damp and miserable, ideal VAT return weather, hmmmmmmmmmmmmm Smile

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