Life at the end of the road

October 27, 2020

So much for a simple task :-(

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:32 am

Taking advantage of the earlier daylight and the disappeared lake I got straight under the ‘Old Girl’ in an area that had been a couple of inches deep in water last night. That was of course after feeding the confused pigs, hens and checking all the drains around the croft. Being somewhat surprised to find them all clear and not blocked. Last night’s flood around the house must have just been a consequence of the sheer volume of water rather than any blockages. So after making a mental note to do some modifications to the local geography with Calum the Kubota I set about fitting my £25 turbo hose and pipe in place of Land Rover’s genuine £169 version or the £10 Britpart version one that sadly didn’t fit. Having said that I’m pretty sure two NTC2337 fastened together would do the trick


Then I turned my attention to what should have been a really, really simple task, that of fitting the stop light switch that had recently arrived.


Having already given up trying to fit the ‘Britpart shitpart’ one I’d ordered a genuine Lucas ‘Prince of Darkness’ one, though everyone of them actually came came from Taiwan Smile Lets hope the Taiwanese ones don’t have the usual ‘Magic smoke’ that used to accompany Lucas products hey Smile


The normal procedure for fitting this simple on off switch that’s actuated by the brake pedal would be to simply remove the bonnet stay and lift the bonnet right up (or even take it off). If you do lift it right up though, make sure you put some protection against the windscreen (specially if you have a spare wheel mount on the bonnet) and tie the bonnet back so it doesn’t decapitate you.

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To prevent up ward pressure from the brake pedal which may hinder fitting, press the pedal down or get someone to do it for you. Me, I have a suitable bit of wood.


You should then be able to replace the switch but I had given up on that with the Britpart one as I couldn’t seem to get the threads started.


Thinking the internal threads were damaged or full of paint I ran a bolt in and out a few times first (It’s M14 x 1.5 and the fuel tank drain plug fits). However, even after doing this it took me an inordinate amount of time to get the switch to start. This being mainly on account of the restricted access and angle you have to work at. I am certain that under normal circumstances it would be just simpler to remove the whole pedal box assembly but mine had had some of the captive nuts replaced by ordinary ones so it would have been a ‘two man job’. Anyway, I got it fitted eventually, then using my bit of wood set the switch with a multimeter so it closed just as light pressure was applied on the brake pedal.

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Making sure that it went ‘open circuit’ when released.


Spending a couple of hours after that ensuring that the current from the brake light circuit ended up at the correct terminals in my new junction box to the cables in the chassis.

Rushing to the village after that to post some letters and parcels.

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At this point, as you can see from the eastward view from Brochel and the northward one from Cnoch an Uan, it wasn’t a bad day.

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On the way back ‘wee dug’ and I had a look round the almost completed EE mast at Cnoch an Uan, which looks like it is just awaiting its power supply judging by the one empty concrete pad.

Even the brief trip to the Post Office had eaten into the afternoon light and by the time I got back home there was little daylight left but I did manage a little more work on the ‘spaghetti’ before lack of daylight drove me inside to my venison stew and an evening with the Calcutta Light Horse operation Creek and of course bed with Rodney Smile I know, I know, I ‘need to get out more’ like most people these days but I was like this before ‘Lockdown’ Smile

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Anyway, it’s far too nice to be indoors now, I’m off Smile

September 19, 2020

Swimming with seals, well almost :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, food, Land Rover — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:24 am

Looks like another topper of a day ahead once this boodly fog clears it promises to be a scorcher. That’ll be a ‘West Coast’ scorcher which will be about half the 30 degrees or so sometimes experienced in the sowf east, which is ‘damn fine splendid’ by me. The high teens is just plenty of heat for me Smile

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Sure, when Molly and I arose in daylight, which in itself is boodly unusual, I’m usually up long before the blackness of night has departed. Must have needed it hey, well, it had been a busy day yesterday, perhaps not physically as I really hadn’t much to show for it but it was certainly mentally challenging. Having spent much of the day working on the Land Rover’s spaghetti that passes for wiring Smile


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Unlike this morning, Friday was clear from the start and as I’d been having so much fun with the Land Rover recently I decided to ‘give it a rest’. In reality I was just putting off the inevitable mental strain of trying to sort out the ‘cats cradle’ of electrical cables I’d been left with after collecting the ‘Old Girl’ from Tayside Land Rover who had replaced the chassis. In all fairness to Matthew and his team the ‘Old Girl’s’ wiring had been a friggin nightmare afore it went in their and I did tell him to leave it.

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So, my first task after feeding everyone, tidying up my shed, washing the cars, hoovering them out, cleaning the caravan and having yet another breakfast

wiring 1 wiring 2 wiring 3

was to study the wiring diagram. Actually, I had to study several cos the Old Girl started life in 1986 as an asthmatic 2.5litre ‘Normally Aspirated’ diesel which I then converted to the rather lame 19J turbo diesel engine, probably the worst engine ever to come out of the Land Rover factory. For an increase in power from around 65BHP of the 2.5NA to around 85BHP of the 2.5TD you got the bonus of high oil consumption, overheating, melted pistons and general unreliability that surpassed even Land Rover’s usual standards. Fortunately my 19JTD had come from a nursed vehicle with a genuine 43K miles on the clock and had its oil changed every 3000 miles. I put another 80 or 90K on that engine before swapping it for the 200TDi engine from a Discovery which is probably the best engine Land Rover ever made putting out around 120BHP and regularly returning almost 30MPG. The net result of these engine swaps and associated wiring loom changes plus the addition of hunners of electrical accessories and another loom added by Tayside is a real brain teaser Sad smile So the first thing I did was wash the old wiring loom, hang it to dry and went for a long walk.

The Robbers Port

Choosing to venture over to the east side of Raasay and the ‘Robbers Port’ just north of Brochel.

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Passing this sleeping animal like rock along the way, and no, I have not been anywhere near those magic mushrooms I found in my garden Smile I guess the ‘Robbers Port’ which must have some unpronounceable Gaelic name was the traditional pace where the Brochel folk kept there boats. It’s only a few hundred meters to the north but quite difficult to find and despite its relative shelter from all directions of wind, very easy to miss from the sea.

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From the seaward side the easiest way to spot it would be to look for the large aspen trees.

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There are three, two of them being at the head of the port and in a distinctive V, aspen is uncommon on the east side and these are really, really old along with the handful of gnarled willows that must date back to when this wee haven was in regular use.

Almost swimming Smile

It really was warm and calm with the sea looking extremely tempting

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and I’ve been trying to pluck up the courage to start ‘wild swimming’ again. It’s some thing I did daily in my forties after clam diving but always found an excuse not too, either it was too cold, too wet. too midgy, too rough, too many jelly fish or the tide was out. My latest excuse being that I couldn’t do it cos my rib was healing and the ‘sharp intake of breath’ as I dived in would hurt and you really do need to dive in Smile Well, I got as far as stripping off and getting my feet wet and even Molly went in to catch the seals but I just couldn’t do it Sad smile So, ‘with my tail between my legs’ and two large polyform buoys I’d found on the shore we went home collecting a bucket full of plums on the way.

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A better mouse trap

Me, I really must be getting soft in my old age being reluctant to set mouse traps these days. Sure, if they started being a pest in my workshop again I would. I have enough wiring issues at the moment without the boodly mice, for they have caused me grief in the past by eating both Land Rover and Subaru wiring. They even made a boodly nest in my Landy!! and at my last house ate through the main wiring from the generator shed to the house Sad smile However, at the moment they seem to be confined to the hen shed and where I store the ‘ready use’ pig feed in sealed containers. Well, I left the lid open on one of them yesterday and cos it was only half full there were three mice trapped in it cos they couldn’t climb the smooth sides, by afternoon feeding there were six!!


So, I took the whole box to Tarbert and released them there Smile

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Definitely going soft Smile

That was it really, I didn’t get in until late, made an extremely simple meal of steamed asparagus, French beans and spuds covered in Olive oil and chopped garlic and watched a 1971 documentary about the German battleship Scharnhorst. How sad is that Smile 


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