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Thread: WW1 Thornycroft restoration

  1. #2411
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Leicestershire
    Posts
    932

    Default Re: WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    More work today prompted by the clutch installation. As you can see, there is a gap between the clutch flange and the gearbox input flange. This is filled with a flexible disc coupling of which the original was made of leather.

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    We are fortunate in that we have the remains of one to copy. Mind you, how they were made is outside of our knowledge. Fortunately another of our dear friends, Mark, a retired submariner, knows all about this sort of thing and very kindly offered to make it up for us. In fact, he made three as the main propshaft flexible joints operate on the same principle.

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    These are amazing pieces of work and must have taken him ages as well as the severe wear and tear on hands. Thank you Mark. The next challenge though was to put the holes in them in the right place. Now, how to you put a 5/8" hole in 1" of leather? An ordinary twist drill was suggested so I had a laser cut blank made to position the holes with extra screw-down holes in the edge to enable the leather to be trapped against a board.

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    Then another woodworking pal suggested using a 'Forstner bit' which is something I hadn't come across. It has the advantage of a sharp edge all round to neatly cut the hole without tearing it. I did a test piece and was pleased with the result.

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    Then I went for it!

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    The leather is sandwiched between two plates which spread the load from the bolts. These had also been laser cut some time ago. I cut and filed them for the Autocar couplings but I am certainly glad that technology has moved on and I didn't have to do that again!

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    These have a single securing rivet to each pair so I drilled through the leather, with a twist drill this time, and made up some rivets by softening some ordinary wire nails.

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    These went quite well.

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    Job done!

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    Now we need a clutch pedal and linkage but that will be a story for another day.

    Steve
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  3. #2412
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    299

    Default Re: WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    It's interesting that Dennis went through a number of iterations of steel+bronze universal joint variants (see Ben's threads for examples) before going on to use something a lot like those Thornycroft couplings.
    The odd thing is that they used Hooke's joints out of the gearbox, but bizarre and rubbish alternatives elsewhere.

  4. #2413
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Leeds
    Posts
    154

    Default Re: WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Farrant View Post
    shouldn't that be potable water?
    you know what I meant

  5. #2414
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Leicestershire
    Posts
    932

    Default Re: WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    It is amazing what you can do with a few consecutive days of effort! Mind you, these have all been simmering for a while. Anyway, I have been finishing off the drag link.

    As you can see, our original drag link was corroded beyond repair. In some areas, only the brazing material remained such was the depth of corrosion.

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    Some considerable time ago, Father made up a new set of parts including the ends for a new link.

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    As they were originally brazed, I have been sitting on them pondering on how to put them together. I have great confidence in the reliability of the silver soldering process so I decided that that would be the way to go. The strength would be there and I have the equipment and experience to do it. The only down side is the cost but for one-off, that is not an issue. The first challenge was how to get the solder into the joint. I could have put some down the hole and heated it until it ran out but that came with the danger that the steam produced whilst the flux was drying out would blow the joint apart. I therefore decided to drill a 1/4" hole at the end of the joint and feed the solder that way until it ran out of the other end.

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    This all went well and the solder ran through beautifully.

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    Then I had to do the other end. Much head scratching as to how to prop it up in the appropriate position but all went well and this one ran satisfactorily too.

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    It was at this point that I remembered that I had to cut a keyway on the inside before brazing! The plan had been to do it before it was too long for the lathe so I engaged in a certain amount of head scratching. In the end, I reversed my keyway cutting attachment so that it faced the tailstock. Then I made up a clamp to hold the link in a vee-block at the end of the lathe bed. The outer end of the link was propped up on a bit of wood and, fortunately, it proved secure enough to plane the slot. It is only an anti-rotation slot for the ball cup inside the casing. The cup needs to be free to move as the ball joint is trapped between two springs.

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    Another piece ready for painting and fitting. Hopefully, Father can find the tin with the springs and ball sockets in it. It hasn't been seen for a couple of years!

    Steve

  6. #2415
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Leicestershire
    Posts
    932

    Default Re: WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    After giving Father some grief about finding the ball sockets and springs, they eventually turned up on my bench! First job was to dress the locating peg in the ball cup back to 1/4" wide from the original 5/16" dia. in order to fit the slot. 1/4" is as wide as I can cut unfortunately but I don't think there will be any harm done. If anything, it will be an improvement as the contact area is significantly increased.

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    There are two cups bedded onto some very stiff springs. They are squeezed up by the end cap which is screwed down to secure them. However, the end cap could unscrew detaching the steering from the wheel to the great inconvenience of the driver so it is secured with a spring clip. This takes the form of a ring of spring steel with the end bent over and inserted through the cap into the drag link end to lock it. As you can see, our original has seen better days although there is enough of it there to copy. I used a piece of 1/8" silver steel which I curved in my bending rolls and then bent the end over in the vice. Finally, I heat treated it with the blowlamp on a fire brick, firstly to bright red before water quenching and then tempering to blue before quenching again. Despite the rather hit-and-miss approach it all went very well with a nice springy clip and none snapped off!

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    Now it is ready for the paint shop!

    Steve

  7. #2416
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    299

    Default Re: WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Bill View Post
    I used a piece of 1/8" silver steel which I curved in my bending rolls and then bent the end over in the vice. Finally, I heat treated it with the blowlamp on a fire brick,
    For making springs like that it is probably better (and easier) to use piano wire. You can bend it cold, and it will need no heat-treatment.

    Cheap on eBay, I keep various sizes in stock.

    I might as well mention that I have a lot of 1/4" spring wire left after making the saddle springs for the Ner-a-Car as I had to buy a 20-foot roll.

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