Life at the end of the road

August 9, 2016

Two extra camshafts :-(

So that’s it, home at last and surprised we made it. Saturday night at Belladrum was pretty wet, in fact it was pure pishing down for a while, not that that seemed to dampen anyone’s spirits. Even Madness’s lacklustre performance on the Garden stage didn’t disappoint too much, eventually they did play a few recognisable tunes. Shame really cos both wifey and I were really looking forward to them.

It was a bit like seeing Blondie a few years ago, everyone goes to see them to hear the old tunes that made them famous. Instead they play hunners of numbers you’ve never heard of then throw in a couple of old favourites at the end. Trouble is by then you’ve got fed up with them and moved on.

These Dudes on the other hand were brilliant, Gleadhraich were the band playing in the ‘Grass roots’ tent who’s set included Shang a Lang.



Highlights of Belladrum

For me at least it was these chaps

with their unique musical additions to newsreel, propaganda, public information and movie footage. This being ‘Go’ their latest 7” and final tune. The Orb too were amazing, as were Grousbeater  Sound System, Dreadzone, Alabama 3, toilets and


some of the ‘Mothers Ruin’ DJ’s.

Probably in that order if the truth be known, I was certainly more impressed with the cleanliness of the Portaloos than the performance of The Darkness and Madness. First time I’ve ever been to a festival and looked forward to going for a ‘dump’ Smile


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PSB, The Orb, Madness, and the fireworks

Though to be honest the pictures from my C2 Nokia are so bad their hardly worth clicking on.

Turned into an epic

We really did expect to spend the night in the caravan on Sconser car park it was so wild on Sunday afternoon. Luckily a lull around 16:30 saw the Hallaig coming over to collect a deck load of traffic. Sonas was a welcome sight when we finally got there around 18:30 and the batteries were full, despite my ‘mother in law’ and ‘sister in law’s’ best attempts to flatten them Smile Even the dog got a ‘blow dry’, the washing machine seemed to be permanently on and the showers everlasting Smile Still the house was spotless, the hens alive and the ‘wee dug’ only slightly fatter Smile

In all fairness we’d produced so much wind, solar and hydro energy over the period it would have been hard to use it all.


The 3 day gap is whilst I was away so 189kWh would be the total for 4 days (excluding solar HW, I don’t count these as it’s not an exact science) so over 47kWh per day. Sunday, the day we returned saw us producing 90kWh, 45kWh of which came from wind alone!!!

The ‘07 Forester’ cam belt

Still feeling a little ‘vague’ probably on account of not actually having a drink for almost two days I decided to to a long overdue timing belt change on Wifey’s Subaru.

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Now, this has been on the ‘to do’ list since I bought it last November Sad smile at 123K and with no record of a change it was long overdue.

So, I got a full kit including a quality belt, 4 idlers and the tensioner at almost £300. I even ‘watched the video on YouTube’. This encouraged me greatly as ‘Eric’ said it was ‘the easiest one he’d done’. Trouble was it was for the SOHC cam version and this one is a DOHC engine, which, cos it’s a ‘flat four’ means there are four camshafts and not two Sad smile Not only that but the inlet camshafts appear to be some kind of VVT (variable valve timing) so do not even have a nut on you can turn.

I did get the job done and she ran ‘sweet as’ but it was a bit of an epic and un the unlikely event that I ever do another I’d put a pair of mole grips between the inlet and outlet cams pulleys on the LH side of the car (RH on picture). This would prevent them moving and possibly bending the valves. Sadly you cannot do that on the other cylinder bank as the outlet camshaft pulley is plastic. Still it would make it 50% easier and a lot less stressful.

A good use for the old belt

Now, I do like our new caravan but, unlike the old Thomson everything feels like it’s about to break. The Lunar Chateau has these poxy plastic door handle, magazine rack type things which fall apart if you breath on them.

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One was broken when we got it and the other failed the first time we used the van Sad smile Well they are now made of Subaru timing belts so should be good for a few more years.

Why do we put up with this carp?

Much, much worse than the Darkness performance, Beardyman’s ‘doon yer arse troosers’ and ‘Black Friday’ is this pish below!!!

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Ho Ho feckin’ Ho Christmas mayonnaise in August!!!!! Never checked the ‘use by’ date but it was probably before Halloween, I despair.


So, I guess it’s back to normality today

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though these pictures of The Storr and Loch Arnish are from BB (before Belladrum).


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This ‘lake’ at the bottom of a hill near Tarbert needed emptying, and I do it regularly. In ‘days gone by’ HRC managed to look after the roads on Raasay, now it’s left up to who ever can be bothered Sad smile

A ‘Tri Star’ issue

Whilst our totally ‘off grid’ electric hoose as performing better than envisaged I do seem to have developed a problem with one of my ‘Morningstar’ diversion load controllers. I have four of these in my system that can divert up to 10kW of excess power into various ‘dump loads’. However ‘Number 3’ seems to be reading .8V higher than the others so is diverting power early. Not that that is a major issue but I’d like to get to the bottom of it.


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Very much ‘work in progress’ at the moment, after spending several hours looking into it I’m still no wiser. However, what I did as a temporary measure was reduce the voltage threshold on the other controllers by the same amount.


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That should keep things ‘peachy’ until I get chance to check it out properly.

Overrun by ‘wimmin’

Being in a house full of women, with my only allies being two Jack Russell dogs I’ve been keeping out of the way.

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Far better to get into the Range Rover than an argument Smile

August 2, 2016

August already!

Filed under: daily doings, Range Rover — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:08 am

Six fifteen in the morning, the sun is out the solar panels already generating and the traps are empty Smile I severely doubt we’ve removed all the local mink now but they certainly have not visited now for a couple of days.

Yesterday was not the sunny day promised by XC weather, in fact it was pretty typical for August in this part of the world, damp, calm, midge infested with the odd shower to boot. Sure enough, as is also quite typical, the evening was lovely, by the time 21:00 came around the sky was at last clear blue. By that time however it was time to head indoors for a couple of glasses of red wine.

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First though, I had to re bait the traps and this time I added a little ‘Mink Gland’ round and about them for good measure. The ‘cage traps’ being set in ditches and covered with bracken and the ‘Fenn traps’ in either boxes like above or screwed to the floor of the now empty section of the hen house. We don’t want any stray cats or ‘wee dugs’ poking their noses in a Fenn trap.

The ‘Rangie’

I have to admit to a rather lacklustre start to the 1st of August, I’ve never been a fan of it. During my years in the motor trade it was always ‘mental’ as people obsessed with ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ or better still overtaking them bought their cars then. Never really understood it myself, the only people that ever seemed to notice the new suffix or prefix were children going on holiday as far as I could gather. Anyway, I once got married on that date in 1980 just so I wouldn’t forget my anniversary, not to mention ensuring I was away from work on the busiest day of the year. It was a W reg as I recall Smile

So after doing the usual rounds in the mist and damp I figured it was time to spend some time on the new ‘love of my life’ B200 VHU, my 1984 Range Rover.

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Nothing too serious, just removing the plastic sill trims and all the mud flap mounting hardware to start with.

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Then cleaning and refurbishing some of the rubber window seals and door waist seals I’d collected off eBay over the past few months. Older Range Rover parts are becoming harder and harder to find as these vehicles rocket in value. The rear quarter window seals above now rare as ‘rocking horse pooh’ second hand and over £300 new!!! I got these good used ones for £88 including delivery so was well chuffed. A good clean with war soapy water then several coats of

Nextzett Gummi Pflege / Rubber Care Stick – 100ml
Gummi Pflege provides long lasting protection against freezing for rubber seals in car doors, windows and boots. It also conditions, providing real, deep down protection, helping to prolong the life of rubber seals, gaskets and trims, providing protection against cold, heat and UV radiation from the sun.
Rubber seals around windows and doors often go untreated and deteriorate over the course of time. Usually this is the result of changing temperatures and high UV sunlight exposure. A classic indication of rubber deterioration is when the rubber starts to dry out, crack, or shrink. When this happens the integrity of the seal can become ineffective and fail which can often lead to further problems such as squeaks, whistles, draughts and leaks. Cosmetically, the original luster is lost and the rubber continues to perish.
Unlike many treatments for rubber, Gummi Pflege doesn’t simply buff rubber to look new. Gummi Pflege provides real, deep down protection, helping to prolong the life of rubber seals, gaskets and trims, providing protection against cold, heat and UV radiation from the sun.

Seems to be what all the classic car enthusiasts use and brought up the door waist seals like new.

Off Roading

As the day improved my son and I went down to the beach at Scrapeadale to collect pebbles from the shore to place between the paving stones and house.

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I figured it was about time he learned some ‘off road’ driving techniques now he has his provisional. What I had not realized is just how overgrown it has all gotten down there this last couple of years.


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Indeed, at times we couldn’t actually see the track to the shore and had to get out on more than on occasion to find it.

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That’s it really, it’s after 7:00am now and time to head off.

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