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Old Bill

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Old Bill last won the day on October 27 2019

Old Bill had the most liked content!

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About Old Bill

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  • Birthday 01/18/1965

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    Military Vehicles, miniature steam locomotives, ships, aeroplanes, anything mechanical.
  • Occupation
    Refuse Collection Vehicle Designer

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  1. Thank you gentlemen. There is always something to be learned! Once the Peerless wheels are cleaned up, they will probably simply be painted. The wood is too old and has soaked up too much 'other' for the linseed to do much good at this stage. An interesting topic! Steve
  2. They are lovely! How will you treat them? When we had wheels made for the Autocar many years ago, the wheelwright recommended painting them with a few coats of linseed oil diluted with white spirit. Took forever to dry properly but they seem to be OK> Steve
  3. Fascinating! Every part has a story! Steve
  4. What a super find! How was it identified? Fiats are not common! Steve
  5. Good luck with that. We shall look forward to seeing the photos! Steve
  6. Hi Ian. As Tim says, we won't be taking these apart as they are not showing any signs of spreading. There will be a little bit of rust between the leaves so I expect we will see some dust come out the first time on the road but I am not concerned. The only damping in the suspension is the friction between the leaves so we won't grease them either. I had heard that they tried greasing the leaves on Jezebel, the 1916 Dennis N type fire engine, and that her handling was noticeably degraded but Mr Pugh will be better placed to comment on that. Her performance is also significantly quicker than a lorry so we probably wouldn't notice the difference either way. Good luck with the International! Steve
  7. Hi Ed. That's right. There are two steel bands involved. One is part of the wheel and is shrunk on as a plain band, holding the wheel together. On a horse drawn vehicle, this would also be the tyre and in contact with the road. Solid tyres were made by first attaching a layer of bakelite (or it may have been ebonite. Someone correct me here!) around 1/4" thick to a steel band and then vulcanizing the rubber to that under pressure and heat. The tyre is held on by an interference fit between the two steel bands. We cut the old tyre bands off because, as you say, we have some complete tyres in stock and these bands were very corroded and not good enough for re-use anyway. Steve
  8. Yes, they are classic wooden artillery wheel construction, brought up to date by pressing a solid tyre around the outside. The tyres can be quite tricky to fit as the press must act on the steel band and not the wooden wheel. We have the front tyres in stores so, just as soon as Dad has finished cleaning the wheels up and priming them, we will visit the tyre press and get them put on. Got to keep Dad busy now that he is retired and has all the time in the world! Steve
  9. We have been tidying up loose ends today and considering our next steps. Once the chassis frame is painted, the next steps will be to fit wheels and axles. To that end we have selected a pair of rear springs and I have spent some time removing the shackles and pins so that they can be blast cleaned. I spent some considerable time trying to shift rusted-in split pins but to no avail. In the end, I gave up and cut the nuts off with the disc cutter. The nuts are quite thin and lightweight so we can make some more if necessary. I don't like destroying otherwise sound components but my patience was wearing thin! The two rear springs are now ready for blasting. The final task before the chassis can be sent for cleaning was to remove the remaining worn-out spring shackle bush. Dad made a plug with a hole for some studding and with a tube on the other end, jacked it out. The bush is pretty tired! Father has found a piece of bronze in stock to make a new one so that will be his next task. Fitting it should be a reverse of the removal exercise. We are going to need some wheels. Tim has selected two fronts which look pretty good so I proceeded to cut the tyre bands in order to remove them. The tyre had already started to peel from the first so I didn't have to cut the rubber. A gentle application of the disc cutter and the band split. It split with quite a bang and made us both jump! The wheel looks very nice indeed. The second wheel had a band but no rubber at all so splitting this was quite painless and we have two good wheels awaiting a clean up and painting. Now, we have old tyres to get rid of. The steel is easy enough but the rubber is a pain. We stripped the rubber from the steel by heating the inside. Anyone want ten feet of rotten old rubber with lumps of Bakelite attached? Home tomorrow and back to reality on Thursday. Happy New Year everybody! Steve
  10. Yes. That cost me a gashed finger when it slipped! The trouble is that my selection of spanners over 3" AF is a bit limited and I have to resort to the stillson which I consider brutal. A cold chisel is, however, beyond the pale on good bits. Steve
  11. With the success of the crossmember change, we are now pushing on to get the frame ready for blasting and painting. The jackshaft carriers each have a gland to prevent water from getting into the bearings. The gland itself is bronze with a steel lock-nut behind to prevent it from unscrewing. Unfortunately, the steel nut corrodes and expands until the bronze hex is sheared off as has happened here on the left hand side. Usual trick. Get it hot and then unscrew. The surprise was that it had a left hand thread and it took us quite a while to figure that out! Heat again on the other side. Dig into the face with a cold chisel remembering that this side would have a right hand thread. Fortunately it moved quite easily so that was good. Now we need a replacement. Tim had a dig in the stores and came up with a replacement which still had the hex attached. Heat again. Get it moving with the stillson wrench. And then unscrew. Tim fitted the replacement shackle casting. I punched out a few more rivets. There was a bend in a crossmember so a bit of heat and an adjustable spanner resolved that. Finally, our pal, John, came over with his welding set, repaired a crack and then built up an area where the engine mount had fretted half way through the top flange. This dressed back nicely with no notches or inclusions to set off any more cracks. The frame is all but ready to go now so it is just a case of arranging transport. The next step will be to get wheels axles and springs fitted so we are going out to identify the components we want to use and start preparing them. Last day today and back to work on Thursday. It's a tough life! Steve
  12. Many thanks for all of your thoughts and comments. We seem to be reaching a concensus that 1" of deformity is probably OK but that we should still try a bit harder if we can. We decided, to quote a dear friend, to give it another 'good dose of looking at'. We decided to check the engine bay for squareness and found it lozenged by about an inch. I put in a bottle jack and a piece of wood and found that we could square it up but it wouldn't stay. This could give us problems with the engine mounts. Whilst playing this game, we realised that the front shackel pin casting was showings signs of extreme wear as the pin had gone right through the bush and into the casting. That couldn't be fixed in situ so we removed it by first cutting the heads from the rivets with the disc cutter. Tim punched them out at great risk to his knuckles. Tim then ventured into 'stores' and came back with a better one! Dad gave it a good brushing and clean up and it is ready to fit! This forced us to have a closer look at the first crossmember and we realised that it had a bend towards one end. Also, one end was out of line with a missing rivet and a sheared rivet. The direction of the bend was such that it forced the lozenge shape into the front section so we decided to remove the crossmember. More cutting and punching rivets! As soon as the rivets were out, it sprung by 1/2" and the chassis relaxed slightly. After removing the rivets the other end, Tim lifted it out. Well, what do we do now? we could have tried to straighten it but Tim again looked in the stores and came out with another crossmember! After some cleaning up and removal of loose rivets, it was fitted into the chassis. The lozenge shape meant that the bolt holes didn't line up properly so we bolted one end and then pulled it around with a ratchet strap. Amazingly, we dropped bolts into all of the holes. Once tightened up, the effect looked promising. Very promising in fact. We are about 1/4" away from perfect which we are very pleased with. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and suggestions. Smaller bits tomorrow! Steve
  13. Hello Chaps. Many thanks for your thoughts and observations which are all much appreciated. As we haven't done anything quite like this before, we thought we would just have a go and see what happens as a learning exercise! First job was to make up a a Jim Crow. I had a rummage in the undergrowth behind the shed and found the remains of the Dennis skid-pack on which the engine had originally been mounted. A brush off and removal of the bolts left me with two two solid pieces of C-section. I spaced these two apart with blocks of wood and mounted the ram from our 10 tonne hydraulic press in the middle. This is the challenge. The chassis is lovely and crisp and unworn but was kinked when they pulled it out from under the house in Salisbury. We want to try to reduce this a bit. We rigged up the beam with a couple of bits of wood to make sure it stayed where we wanted it and then looped some chains around the ends. Install the ram and give it a push. Stand back. This could get exciting! At about 7 tonnes, it sprung noticeably the other way. It didn't look too bad and we moved the beam up and down and had a couple more pushes in other places. The net result is that we have removed the kink but the rails now have a slow curve from end to end giving us an offset in the middle of about an inch. The question now is does this matter? Experience is telling me that the only way for us to get it perfect is to strip the rails from the assembly and bend them individually as has been suggested above. To be quite honest, this would be a real pain and I don't want to do it! There is a long propshaft between the engine and gearbox so the alignment is not an issue so what do you think? I would value some opinions! Steve
  14. It was a truly filthy day and everything was soaked. The lorry started OK though and driving it the last mile was quite exciting! It is now safely stored and we are onto the next project. Steve
  15. Good show! An exciting day! Just in time to go out in the snow! Steve
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