Tuesday, 26 November 2019


For some time I’ve been thinking about the suspension on our Isuzu 4x4.  The fact is, most light vehicle suspension systems are a compromise based on cost and where the vehicle will travel.  The majority of light 4x4 vehicles don’t do much off road travel, so the factory suspension is usually soft and designed for smooth bitumen roads.  During my first outback trip last year the tens of thousands of heavy corrugations gave the factory suspension a thrashing.  It survived (unlike the trailer’s) but the ride wasn’t comfortable. 

After researching various manufacturers I decided on Outback Armour.  They are the only manufacturer to offer an “unlimited kilometres” warranty and also supply suspension to the Australian Army.  Obviously army vehicles spend a considerable amount of time off road.  It was then a case of waiting until I could purchase at a discounted price.  That occurred at the recent Perth 4WD Show where I was able to discuss the various suspension options with the Outback Armour representative.  He offered three categories of suspension for the Isuzu. 

  • Trail.  Designed for lightly loaded vehicles
  • Expedition.  Designed for heavily laden vehicles
  • Variable Valve.  A user adjustable system based on the vehicles load and the terrain.

The Trail and Expedition systems were the same price with the Variable Valve an additional $300.  My assumption is the only difference between the Trail and Expedition was the internal valve configuration with the Variable Valve giving the user the ability to adjust between the two.  As the vehicle will spend much of its time lightly loaded I opted for the Trail components.  The old suspension could be removed and replaced with the Outback Armour at a cost of $300.

The representative was offering a 10% discount and a ‘free’ recovery kit if I placed an order during the show.  I placed an order and have decided to do the fitting myself saving $300.  Today I collected the components.


The first thing I noticed was how heavy the components were.  Fortunately (for me) local blog reader and friend Ken has offered to fit everything.  He is younger and much stronger than me so it won’t be much of a challenge!  Well OK….. the last sentence might be a slight exaggeration…. Smile


From left to right - what our money purchased.  A nice heavy duty bag to hold the recovery kit consisting of a snatch strap, two HD bow shackles, damping flag and an insulated beer can holder (very important).  Two rear shock absorbers.  They are approximately twice the diameter of the factory shocks.  Two rear coil springs and a large number of decals which won’t be going on the Isuzu.  Perhaps one on the rear of the trailer?  Two front struts (combination of shocks and springs.

Oh….. I mustn’t forget the folding chair.


I’m now all set for Ken’s arrival.  I’ll be able to supervise him from the comfort of my new chair whilst drinking a cold beer from my new holder.   All we require is a cool day… or two!

Monday, 25 November 2019

Intermittent water heater

The house has a gas instant hot water system.  It’s an external unit mounted on the side of the house adjacent to the back door.

Recently the unit has started to operate intermittently, which isn’t much fun if you’re about to take a shower.  Of course there wasn’t a problem when it was only Jan experiencing cold water, but more recently both of us have been affected. 

Today I took the shroud off the unit to see what’s inside.


There isn’t much to it!

Instead of a match or mains electricity it uses a small hydro generator to ignite the system automatically every time a hot tap is turned on.  The hydro generator is just a small plastic turbine in the water inlet pipe.  When a hot tap is turned on cold water runs through the water heater spinning the turbine.  This generates 1.5 Volts which is fed to a small capacitor. 


The hydro generator


The capacitor powers the spark to ignite the gas.


The ‘spark plug’

I paused to reflect before I started pulling everything apart to look for a fault.   Look for the simple things first!

It looked very dusty inside the unit.  Probably because this is where I had the bench when I was making our bed in 2017.   The first simple task was to use the garden petrol blower to remove the dust and cobwebs.    This appears to have solved the problem <I hope>

Saturday, 23 November 2019


After some considerable effort on my part the last of the bath was removed allowing me to make a start on the wall and floor tiles.  Removing tiles is a first for me and I carefully considered what method to use before starting.  Ceramic tiles can chip quite easily and there was only a small grouted gap on the joins.  Eventually I decided it would be prudent to remove the grout around the perimeter of the tiles that were going to be removed.  The idea was this would create a clean break between the affected and non affected tiles. 

It took most of the morning to remove the grout with the blade of a putty knife.  With that completed the tiles were removed using a cold chisel and hammer.


As you can see in the above photo, I also removed the brick and mortar base which formed the bed for the bath.  Initially I was using the cold chisel and hammer to do this.  However I quickly realised this method would take several weeks so I borrowed my brother-in-law’s small electric hammer completing the task in under an hour.

We now have another 10 wheelie bins of rubble to dispose before I can continue.  The next step will be to dig out the sand from base of the bath and install the sewer pipe for the toilet.  

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Best left unsaid

Potentially I put my foot in it with my last post.  Tomorrow’s bushfire status in the north of West Australia is rated catastrophic and this morning Jan asked me if I could smell the smoke.  Regrettably my sense of smell is going the same way as my sight and hearing!  However on looking out the front window it was immediately apparent visibility was very poor.  That’s when the brain cells kicked in and I started to smell wood smoke.

Our house is located less than 500 metres from the nearest tinder dry conservation park, although there is a dual carriageway road and four rows of houses between it and us.  We are unlikely to be the first to burn!

We both went outside to get a better understanding of the situation.  The wind was from the southwest bring the smoke with it.  We are located on the northeast side of Perth city fringe.  West is the Indian Ocean.  Smoke from the SW seemed very strange, however we weren’t overly worried as any fire would be on the opposite side of Perth. 

Eventually there was a media broadcast advising a controlled burn was taking place some 100 kilometres south of Perth and when the fire had been lit the wind was to the West taking the smoke out to sea.  The wind subsequently changed to the NE dragging the smoke back across the city.

It has also been a much cooler day with the temperature only reaching 25°C.  A much welcomed relief after almost a week of temperatures above 40°C.  The change in temperature enabled me to find the enthusiasm to continue removing the lawn for the swimming pool.  I’m now more than half way and pleased to report the rubbish truck hasn’t tipped over emptying the wheelie bin containing the latest batch of turf and rubble.


If it remains cool I should have all the lawn up within a fortnight.

After ratting around in the pile of plywood offcuts I found sufficient material to make the container for the camper shower.  It just requires a couple of latches (eBay) and some bathplug chain to secure the lid. 


Two coats of paint.  Have I previously mentioned I hate painting? Smile

A few even smaller scraps of plywood has allowed me to start making the box for the water pump.


The project is now on hold whilst I wait for the Flojet hose connectors.  Another eBay purchase which needs to be completed.

Monday, 18 November 2019

More thoughts

Yesterday I mentioned how hot it was here which led to some comments regarding climate change. Australia is the direst inhabited continent on earth (I've excluded Antarctica). It has one of the lowest carbon emissions footprints based on land mass. However it has one of the highest carbon emissions footprints per head of population. The reason for this is the majority of Australia's electrical energy is powered by coal. Australia is blessed with vast deposits of coal. One estimate is the coal reserves will last at least another 200 years.

Australia is a major exporter of coal. I recall counting the bulk coal ships waiting off the port of Newcastle during one flight. There were 56 ships waiting to enter the port. The coal trains run from the mines 24/7, loading and unloading on the move. They even refuel the locos and change the crews on the move. Much of the coal goes to China. More recently India has become interested in Australian coal and an Indian company is attempting to open a huge coal mine in Queensland. The environmentalists are protesting against that. However the State and Federal governments welcome the investment, jobs and royalties. The argument is; carbon emission in India is an Indian problem.

Many Australians would like to move away from coal and the energy companies are not investing in new coal fired power stations. Actually they are not investing at all whilst they wait for a coherent long term government energy strategy. Australian governments regularly change with each political party having its own agenda. One consequence of this is the national strategic energy strategy constantly changes or reverses. A power station has a life of 50+ years so the energy companies wait... and wait!

The State of South Australia decided to invest heavily in renewable energy sources and decommissioned their coal fired power stations. The State relies internally on solar and wind power along with power from other States via a large cable. Unfortunately this has resulted in electrical shortages. No sun or wind equals no electricity. Meanwhile the other states are sweltering in a heat wave; meaning there's no "spare" electricity to send to South Australia.

As mentioned at the beginning; Australia is very dry. Water is a critical resource. The major river systems flow through various States and each takes the water it needs (wants) resulting in water shortages downstream. The issue is exacerbated because Australians have a serious reluctance to drinking recycled water. A Labor government in South Australia attempted to partially rectify the water problem by paying for a hugely expensive water desalination plant. It's actually so expensive to run that it's been mothballed most of its life. Here in Perth 48% of the city's drinking water comes from desalination. The rest is from dams (rainwater 7%) and groundwater. It's unlikely the city will run out of drinking water as more desalination plants could be built. However we would need to find the electricity to run the plants. The problem is the lower quality water required for other uses (industry & agriculture). Most of this water is drawn from a huge aquifer underneath greater Perth and it's being exhausted. We need to do more recycling.

Back to the current bushfires. I fail to see the logic in implementing a policy of capturing carbon by maintaining conservation forests only to have them burned during bushfires? Surely the carbon just goes back into the atmosphere?

The Australian Aborigines were a nomadic people who used fire to manage the land. By burning off the "fuel" lying on the ground it flushed out their food (lizards, kangaroos, etc). Moreover the seeds of numerous Australian plants will only germinate if exposed to fire. The newly burned land would then regenerate with fresh tasty plants that attracted animals... for the aborigines to hunt. This continual "light" burning of the ground was both sustainable and beneficial.

Roll the clock forward 200 years and the conservationist object to the controlled burning of the land because it destroys the habitat for the native fauna and creates carbon emissions resulting in climate change! As a consequence Australia has vast tracts of land where the ground is heavily laden with tinder dry fuel just waiting for a spark. Too much fuel results in enormous heat with temperatures that destroys the ground. In some instances it will be sterile and won't regenerate for a decade or more.

It's early spring and the bushfire season isn't supposed to start for another month. But we have major fires across a wide front. This is going to be a very long bushfire season and already there are two major issues. The first is managing the human resources required to fight fires for a prolonged period. The majority of rural fire fighters are volunteers. Can they be expected to continuously fight fires for months instead of days? The second is equipment. It used to be the case that there was a northern hemisphere fire season and a southern hemisphere season. These occurred at opposite times of the year. Water bombing aircraft just moved between seasons. This year the season has started early and the north-south seasons are overlapping. Aircraft usually don't extinguish bushfires.... they contain them allowing ground resources to extinguish them. Hard decisions are currently being made with many of the fires in isolated areas being left to burn whilst limited resources tackle those threatening human habitation. It's likely the more remote fires will burn until extinguished by autumn rains.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Hot Hot Hot

Here in Perth yesterday was the hottest day in November since records have been kept.  That’s more than 100 years!  It was 40.4°C.  The last three days have now exceeded 40 and tomorrow is the same.  Further north the bush fire forecast has gone from Extreme to Catastrophic.  The prevailing wind is driving this hot weather across Australia to the already burning east coast.  No doubt what little moisture that is left in the air will be sucked out as it goes through the deserts in the centre of the continent.  The latest strategic forecast is the bush fires will continue to burn until the country starts getting substantial rain in the autumn.  This is going to be mostly a fire containment battle.

We had our own nearby bushfire last week just five kilometres from the house.  A retirement village had to be evacuated with one of the units being destroyed.  The most dangerous part of the evacuation was the sole entrance/exit road from the enclosed village was on the fire side.

I’ve been going out to the workshop in the morning working on small projects for a couple of hours.  The ceiling and walls are insulated but the roller door is not and it faces west.  Consequentially the afternoon sun turns the workshop into an oven.  Our afternoons are spent inside where we have two of the three air conditioners running.  At least we don’t have to worry about the cost of air conditioning as the solar panels are running at maximum capacity.

The house is double brick and the door frames are steel which means there is little movement in them from the heat.  The same can’t be said for the timber doors and the one to the study has been damaged with one corner of the plywood facing peeling away from the frame after it was caught in the door jamb.  This afternoon I glued and clamped it.


I’ve made a box for the camping gas hot water heater from scraps of timber.  I even found some old hinges and screws for the lid.  It’s great to once again have room to be a hoarder of anything that might be useful one day! Smile

Thursday, 14 November 2019

That was annoying & two deliveries

The electricity supply to our suburb failed at 11.00am today.  It’s going to be a ‘scorcher’ of a day and my guess is the electrical network can’t handle the load of all the air conditioning units.  The result is ‘brown outs’ where selected suburbs are disconnected from the network for a period of time to ensure the entire system doesn’t crash.  The annoying thing is we are actually producing more electricity from our solar panels than we are consuming.  However the system is configured by the utility company in such a way that when they cut the mains power it also disconnects our solar power.  as a consequence we sit in a hot house whilst our solar panels sit idle <grrrr>.

At 11.30am I realised I should check our garage electric roller door as I had a doctor’s appointment at 12 noon.  The emergency manual release mechanism didn’t work (another new project for the list) which meant I couldn’t get the vehicle out of the garage.  A frantic call to the surgery to notify them of the problem and an unsuccessful attempt to reschedule the appointment.  <more grrrr>   Then I remembered we had the Kipor generator from Waiouru.  The door was plugged directly into the generator and I was able to open it <phew>.  I made the appointment with 5 minutes to spare!

There were two deliveries during my absence. 

A small buck converter which is required for the rear view dash cam.  It will convert the vehicle 12V to the dash cam 5.2V.  I could have made a converter, however the area in which the converter will go is rather confined, hence the decision to buy something very small.


We’re waiting on the dash cam to complete the project

The other delivery was 600 biscuits.  These are for the timber wall cabinet.  It will be made from Jarrah planks which I intend to biscuit join together to make the required timber panels.


Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Moving Along

Yesterday the ‘wheelie’ bin was emptied.  This enabled me to place a layer of turf removed from the back lawn in the bottom to act as a cushion for the remainder of the brick and tile rubble in the bath.  With the bath now empty I was able to remove it.  My technique was to cut round holes in the wall  corners using a 90mm hole saw and then cut between the holes and the front edge of the bath using the reciprocating saw.  The bath was made of fibreglass so I used a wood blade.  The base of the bath was embedded in mortar forming a strong bond.  However by using a length of 4x2 timber I was able to break the bond and remove the bath.


I started to break up the mortar and brick base with a cold chisel and hammer before realising all I was going to do was create more rubble.  Better to pause until the wheelie bin is emptied next Sunday.  There is approximately another four wheelie bin loads of rubble to be removed before I start on the wall and floor tiles.

The Australia Post courier arrive with one of our recent orders.


The LPG hot water heater.  It’s labelled “Not to be used inside”.  That won’t concern us as it will be used with the camper trailer outdoor shower.

I purchased the cheapest heater I could find knowing it will only be used when camping.  The first thing I need to do is make a box to store and transport it.  I’m going to kept the polystyrene packaging which will hopefully minimise the potential for the heater to be damaged whilst travelling in the trailer.


The heater came with a flexible gas hose and regulator along with a shower rose and hose.  The shower rose has an On/Off switch and the heater only operates when water is running through it so I should be able to turn the heater on and off using the shower rose.  This should reduce water wastage.

We kept the spare 12V water pump from Waiouru.  I remember thinking “If you are going to live on a boat, make sure you have an easily accessible replacement pump, because something critical like the pump will fail at the most inconvenient time”  Well having a spare meant the main pump never failed. Smile 

I’m going to use the pump to provide water to the shower.  The water source will be a 20 plastic litre jerry can.  There’s another job waiting to be done… making a box for the pump!



Monday, 11 November 2019


A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She reduced altitude and spotted a man below. She descended a bit more and shouted: "'Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago but I don't know where I am". The man below replied "You're in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You're between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude".

"You must be a technician." said the balloonist. "I am" replied the man "how did you know?" "Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you have told me is probably technically correct, but I've no idea what to make of your information and the fact is, I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help at all. If anything, you've delayed my trip with your talk."

The man below responded, "You must be in management". "I am" replied the balloonist, "but how did you know?" "Well," said the man "you don't know where you are or where you're going. You have risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you've no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it's my fault!

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Annual 4WD Show

My friend Ken and I visited the annual Perth 4WD Show which has been running this weekend.  I was interested in pricing a suspension upgrade and bull bar whilst Ken was happy to browse.  In the end I didn’t spend any money and Ken splashed out on an expensive collapsible hand basin.  OK it was a $10 hand basin!

We visited the Opposite Lock stand where we had a long conversation with Brad, the sales representative for Outback Armour suspension systems.  Brad spends much of the year travelling around the continent appearing at the various shows.  During our discussion he talked us through the various suspension options for our Isuzu MUX’s (both Ken and I have a MUX).  At the conclusion I decided their base model suspension system would meet my needs.  there was a 10% show discount along with a “free” recovery kit.  I don’t have a full recovery kit so that would be a bonus.  However I didn’t spend any money, opting to accept a quote valid for 7 days.  If I proceed with the purchase then I’ll probably replace the vehicle suspension system myself which would save some money.  Ken has offered to help.  But them he’s a sneaky Aussie and probably only wants to learn from my mistakes   I thought that was a very generous offer and so typical of all genuine Aussies!


We visited the show on the cool day.  It seems everyone in Perth had the same idea! 

There were plenty of campers and caravans on display.  Everything from the cheap Chinese (like mine) to Australian made Camprite Campers which I think cost a small fortune.


Camprite camper trailer with swing out kitchens and batwing awnings.  Something I’ve done with our trailer for a fraction of the price.

The Australian designed and made outback caravans look different to your average European model.  Higher off the ground with a strong chassis.  Their problem is WEIGHT.  you need a large and powerful 4x4 to tow one of these.


Isuzu were well represented with their display team.  One of the Isuzu utes as demonstrating driving up on two wheels (just like James Bond) whilst the MUX was taking spectators over their seesaw.


Into 4WD low range and climb the platform


Nudge forward until the vehicle weigh balances the platform.  Note the Isuzu DMax to the left up on two wheels.


And then down the other side.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Another Project Completed

The patio was completed this morning when the boxing was removed and the faux lines cut into the surface of the limestone.  the last task was to apply a water based surface sealer.  This will need to be reapplied every 2-3 years to keep the surface in good condition (ie, no discolouration or stains).

From this


To this



Replacement of the pavers should mean no more weeds or ants!

We are going to wait three days for the surface to harden before returning all the furniture.

I’m still digging out the lawn one row each day.  The limiting factor is starting to be the amount of turf I can fit into the weekly ‘wheelie bin’ collection. Smile

The temperature is starting to rise with the possibility today will be the hottest day in November since records were kept.  On the other side of the country bush fires are raging on a 1000km front.  That’s the length of the UK.

Jan already has all the blinds drawn and exterior doors closed, with one air conditioner working.  With 6.4kW of solar panels on the roof we don’t have to worry about the cost of running the air conditions on a sunny day.  One problem with an ‘open-plan’ house is you must either heat or cool all of it.  We’re going to partially solve that problem with my next project which is to install a door to the lounge room.  Today’s inside job will be to measure and estimate the project materials.

Friday, 8 November 2019

How to pay too much

There’s nothing better than having a hot shower after a sweaty day in the Australian Outback.  I’ve decided to purchase the components to make a portable shower.

The 12V pump was easy.  We have the spare pump from the boat which I’ll install in some type of container.  We have an old 20 litre water jerry can which will be the water reservoir.  The hot water will be produced by an LPG instant hot water heater.  If you’re solo driving in the outback a shower screen isn’t particularly necessary.  It’s unlikely there will be human for 100’s of kilometres and I’m quite happy to scare off the local kangaroos snakes and dingos by exposing my taunt and terrific body.  However there may be times when you’re not on your own where privacy becomes an issue.

There are various designs for shower enclosures and I rather like the design of a folding en-suite.  Quick Pitch in Australia sell one for $555.  That seemed rather excessive and after some online searching  I found a website selling the same folding shower tent for $295.  The retailer was Ironman.  Further searching on eBay identified another supplier (KickAss) selling the same tent for $299.  By now I was getting suspicious, thinking these retailers are all getting their tents from the same manufacturer and re-badging them.  Going to the KickAss website I found the same tent they were selling on eBay for $299 at a price of $199.  Effectively the price range for the same item varied from $555 to $199.

More detailed internet searching revealed the location of the manufacturer.  China of course!  The manufacturer sells the tent at US$30 – 50 depending upon the size of the order.  Minimum order is 10.  The manufacturer will include a customized logo (eg, Ironman, KickAss, etc) with the minimum order.  Therefore for Australian $72 (plus postage) I could purchase a shower tent.  I just need to find another nine private buyers to achieve the minimum order size of 10.

This is what I’ve been considering.  It would be mounted on the trailer roof rack.


It rolls down and folds out to form an open topped box


For me, two things stand out with this research.  The price of the same item can wildly vary; and eBay isn’t necessarily the cheapest option.

However just to show there can be an advantage shopping on eBay consider our latest purchase.  The online 4WD Supa Centre shop was advertising a campfire folding grill and plate at a special price of $44 plus $15 postage.  The same item could be found on eBay for $45 with free postage.  The seller was the 4WD Supa Centre!!  Same seller, but cheaper on eBay.


Obviously it’s not that difficult to pay too much!

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Second Dash Camera

We’ve purchased a second dash camera for the 4x4.  The first camera was fitted in late 2017 shortly after we purchased the vehicle.  At that time I selected a Viofo A119 camera with the gps option.  Not the most expensive camera and certainly not the cheapest.  Good value for money. 

Why buy a second camera?  We’ve decided to fit one in the rear window.  Too many people are getting hit from behind.  I blame driver inattention… damned mobile phones!  It’s also easy for the vehicle to get hit whilst parked unattended in shopping malls.  A camera with the ability to record “incidents” will assist in solving “who dun it”.  We’ve purchase another Viofo A119, but this is the latest model (version 3) which has ‘buffered parking mode’.  What does that mean? The camera records continuously, and saves the video footage to internal memory. When an impact or motion is detected, a couple of seconds (typically 10 or 20) before and after the event will be saved to the camera’s SD card, in a special write protected folder so it doesn’t get overwritten. An alert will also be shown when you get back to your car, so you will be aware something happened.

In order to have the parking mode always active the camera requires continuous 12V power, even if the ignition is off.  However this presents it’s own potential hazard as the camera could flatten the starter battery if the vehicle was operated infrequently.  Fortunately I’ve already solved that problem by fitting a voltage sensitive relay (VSR) between the starter battery and the existing electrical accessories I’ve fitted since purchasing the vehicle (eg, front dash cam, TPMS, 2 way radio, etc).  Moreover I’ve already run wiring from the VSR to the rear of the vehicle for the fridge and camper trailer.

Today I installed the wiring for the camera.  The only complicated part of the process was not knowing how the plastic trim was secured to the metal body of the vehicle.  I had to do some investigating to find an accessible route for the wires which needed to run from the rear floor of the vehicle up the passenger side pillar and through the flexible rubber hose into the hinged rear door.  I won’t go into detail on how I managed to install the wires because no reader (apart from Ken) has this model vehicle. 

Red arrows for Pip on Oleanna


Remove the plastic cap and the screw underneath to pull away the top of the pillar trim

IMG_4167   Remove both ends of the flexible rubber hose between the body of the vehicle and the rear door.


Remove the top of the 3rd row armrest to gain access up and down the pillar


Remove the plastic cap off the back of the high brake light


Run the wires from the brake light to the floor and reinstall the trim.  I’ve run two sets of wires which I’ll connect together as I think using one set might result it too high a voltage drop.  One thing I noticed when completing this task was the amount of Central Australian desert dust had permeated into what might thought to be inaccessible areas.

When finished go into the bathroom and apply band aids to torn hand. Smile

Now we wait on the delivery of the camera.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Slow progress

We were hoping the last of the spring rain had passed but we’ve had the wettest 31st October since records were kept.  There have been showers every day since which has played havoc with the plans for the patio.  The boxing has been installed and you can see I’ve been removing more turf one row at a time.  Well actually one row each day. <because I’m old>


No, I’m not going to hand mix it or even hire a mixer.  I last mixed large quantities of concrete 30 years ago and my old body wouldn’t cope with the task these days.

Whilst we wait for the rain to pass I decided to make some progress with the 4WD breather kit.  The first task was to run the vehicle up onto the steel ramps and then jack up the rear in order to get the rear axle on stands.


I’m quite safety conscious (mindful of my own mortality and you can see I’ve place a piece of hardwood timber behind each wheel to ensure the vehicle can’t roll back off the ramps.

The 3mm black tubing has been coiled for so long it was like a spring full of loops.  My plan was to soften the tubing in the warm sunlight and strung it between the trailer and frame of the swing.


Nice idea…. but it didn’t work!  Trying to feed the coiled tubing through the chassis was like wrestling with an octopus Sad smile

It was going to be almost impossible to feed the tubing so I attached a length of blue ethernet cable to the end of the tube.  It was stiffer and easier to feed.


Red arrows for Pip on Oleanna!

The next step was to wriggle under the vehicle and start feeding the tubing through the chassis.  I don’t like being under the vehicle.  My close-up eyesight isn’t good and my podgy (stout) frame struggles in the confined space.   I need a more appropriately sized assistant.  Where are you Paul Balmer?

Eventually the tube was at the rear axle and I could see the original diff breather.  But only after I’d removed the spare wheel.  The original hose fitting into the diff came out rather easily and I was also able to remove the short breather hose without difficulty.


Old fitting with new fitting from the kit with the blue securing ring.


The original breather hose wasn’t very long.

Connecting and securing the new breather tube too some time.  It’s important to leave some slack in the tube as the axle will move up and down when the vehicle is travelling.


Axle connection (bottom arrow) and the tube was also connected to the original mounting bracket at the top.  I then had to remove all the slack in the tubing back to the engine bay.

This completed the rear axle breather.

Next step was to extend the gearbox breather.  Back under the vehicle <squeeze> and the first step was to remove the bash plate that protects the gearbox.  It is made from a type of plastic/fibre material rather than steel or aluminium.


Held in place by six bolts.  Some outback dust there!

Well I couldn’t find the gearbox breather <grrrr>.  i’m going to need to do more research.  The bash plate went back on and I made a start on the front diff and actuator box breathers,

I found them in the engine bay in front of the air filter box.


They are two breather hoses twisted double and secured with a cable tie.  The end is then wrapped in foam and plastic.  It seemed rather basic!  What I did was remove the plastic and foam before cutting the cable tie.  Next I spread some silicon glue on the end of the 3mm tubing and forced it inside the original breather tube before securing it with a plastic cable tie.

The tubing was then routed to the firewall and across the engine bay to my new breather mounting block.


I now need to find out about the location of the gearbox breather to complete the task.