@£#$%&# rain!

We’ve had rain and low temperatures for weeks.

Yesterday was cool but dry. The temperature even made it into double figures—11ºC. The grass and hard standing dried off to some degree.

This morning, the sun broke through for a time and with the hard standing dry I decided to fit a new handbrake cable to our Land Rover Defender TD5.

I removed the prop shaft, the handbrake drum, the springs and brake shoes. I removed the old cable and cut away the rubber grommet when that remained in place.

A thin smear of dish detergent on the rubber grommet of the new cable helped it slide into place.

I crawled back under the truck to pass the other end of the cable through the back of the brake mounting.

I reached up and…


The rain returned.

A torrential downpour of it.

My tool boxes filled with water in seconds. My boilersuit was soaked. The boys bolted for the house. The Other Half jumped into the truck and shut the door.

I remained on my back and kept trying to pull the cable through.


Thirty to forty millimetres of water, run-off from the buildings and the hardstanding, swept under the truck. Lighter tools, nuts, bolts, springs and clips went everywhere.

Water shot down my neck. Up my armpits. Into my boots. And along my bum crack…


I smacked my head into the chassis.


With parts going everywhere, water lapping around my ears and the light gone, I gave it up as a bad joke, pulled myself out from the under the truck and stomped inside to get changed.

The boys are dry. The OH is still sitting in the truck. And rain is still coming down.

@£^$%&$^@$^ rain!

15 Responses to “@£#$%&# rain!”

  1. It’s like the Year Without a Summer. Lucky we can import food these days so will probably not go hungry. No better at this end of the country by the way, and about 5 degrees warmer.

  2. I changed into dry clothes, had lunch and went out to finish the job when the rain stopped. Clipping the brake cable into the retaining clip on one of the shoes was problematic as the spring wouldn’t retract enough.

    When I finally managed to force it home, I turned to the retaining pins and springs. One went in easily enough. The other pin fell out. And there’s a finger’s width clearance between the back of the drumbrake mounting and the transfer box.

    After a lot of trial and error, and not wanting to remove the entire drumbrake assembly, I worked out that if I wrapped a leg around a chassis member and an arm around another, I could pull myself high against the underside of the truck. In that position, I could reach above the drumbrake with my free hand and “walk” the angled pin down the back plate of the drumbrake until it popped through the hole. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

    Well, trying hanging from the underside of a truck, supporting yourself with an arm and a leg, for about 10 minutes while wriggling your free fingers in a small gap. Did I mention that the rain cascaded down again, too?

    The OH, who tried to help, fled after getting soaked through. I retired inside once the pin was in place and have just changed my clothes for the second time. I’m now debating whether to resume the job in the nude.

    Votes in favour? Votes against?

  3. There’s something freakish about the weather. We haven’t had a drop of rain in three and a half weeks and temps between 32 and 37 degrees every day. We are being baked and you’re swimming in it. Frustrating!

  4. and they’re talking about hosepipe bans in Stornoway…

  5. So..a professor instructed that the best way to overcome the fear of public speaking was to invision everyone in the room naked…..you’ll work hard at not laughing! Though that’s not working for me with your mechanical hardships!! giggle… However, you should receive an “A” for flexible problem solving!

  6. On no……. Stoney starkers…….. think of your fathers standing in the community first! On second thoughts go ahead, but make sure you work in the dark or you could scare all the stock and birds in the district………..

  7. indeed the rain came on suddenly with little warning… i was working on the landcruiser, but luckily in our garage.
    i thought you replaced a handbrake cable on the landrover not long ago?

    • I did. The replacement part was rubbish. The manufacturer hadn’t crimped enough wire into the eye on the end of the cable and it pulled out after a couple of months. Hopefully this one is better.

  8. Oh, dear. Send some of that rain over to Massachusetts – it’s unbelievably hot/dry here, we’d welcome it. I’ve been out every day with watering cans, and it’s supposed to be over 100ºF this week.

  9. Oh, dear. Send some of that rain over to Massachusetts – we’d welcome it. I’ve been out every day with watering cans, not a drop of rain for weeks, and it’s supposed to be over 100ºF today.

  10. “The replacement part was rubbish” – was it a Britpart?

  11. sometimes the Britpart’s are not the best quality, as you noted with the last cable. those hold-down springs and pins can be a right pain to fit. but you discovered a great techinique to fit them

  12. Andy in Germany Reply 17 July, 2012 at 08:56

    Stories like this make me glad I don’t have (need) a car of any kind. Of course the flip side is that you stay dry driving a Landrover in the rain, whereas a bike doesn’t give any protection to it’s user…

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