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Old Bill

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Old Bill last won the day on October 4 2018

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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. Thanks Terry. I have read about doing it that way but have never tried it. Must make up a test one first to see how it goes! There will be a number of patterns for the Peerless but hopefully not too many so I will try then. New piston needed first. Cheers! Steve
  2. Still trying to finish the thing off! Dad has made a lovely job of cleaning up the hot air duct elbow. However, when we tried to fit it, it became obvious that the the HT lead tube was a bit on the short side and fouled the manifold before falling low enough to go into the casting. The solution to that was to cut the tube at the point where it is secured and extend it by 3/4". Once cut short, it fitted well. As is my wont, I planned to silver solder in an extension piece so I cut a slice of tube and skimmed the ends square in the lathe. Aligning the thing whilst soldering would be the big challenge so I rummaged in the oddments box and found some brass angle. Some careful wedging and a bit of heat and away we went. Then I just had to file the angles off. It didn't come out quite as neatly as I had hoped but it will do. I didn't want to sleeve it inside as that would provide an obstruction for the HT leads and it is already very tight in there. A bit of Brasso and it is ready for refitting the next time I go down south. We really will have to give it a test run soon. Steve
  3. Dad is keeping things moving and has been busy in the paint shop again. This is the pump drive spring with a coat of green. The water manifolds and the starting handle assembly have been to the sand blaster's and they have been painted as well. The starting handle will require some attention so that just has a single coat of primer to slow the rust down. These castings are very fine and I am very glad not to have to make patterns for them! The timing case cover looked a bit scruffy. A good clean soon brought it up and it is in very nice order. There are two sumps with twin, linked, test cocks. These have been dismantled to allow the bodies to be removed. Unfortunately both the tap bodies and various drain plugs were solid so we used the age-old heat treatment to good effect. Before cleaning: And after! Something else to be packed away ready for re-assembly. Steve
  4. Hi Doug. Both are under the seat so at least we have them with us. It is a simple flip-up so if everyone stands I can get straight in from the passenger side. Not perfect but better than nothing. Steve
  5. I have been fortunate to be able to visit Devon again, this time with the aim of finishing off some loose ends on the Thornycroft. Dad has been painting the toolbox components. We wangled the floor in where it hooked between the chassis rails. The end panels and the centre divider locked it into place and were then screwed in to secure. The door frame needed a piece behind to act as a rebate for the door. Unfortunately for me, Thornycrofts used some fancy hasps and staples so I had to reshape some commercial ones which Dad then painted. The door panel was then simply screwed to the face of the box. It is not a very secure arrangement as anyone could get in with just a screwdriver. It does give us some space for a tow rope though. I took the opportunity to fit the rear lamp bracket which Father has painted along with a nice lamp that he has put together from the remains of several. I have also fitted a fire blanket box underneath the seat. I may be paranoid but having 30 gallons of petrol over ones knees whilst sitting in a wooden lorry does feel like pushing one's luck and I have heard of several of this era vehicle catching fire. £10 well spent I think. Not much left to do now! Steve
  6. Now to start on the tear-down. Tim removed the nuts from the studs. Then it was just a case of lifting the block off. Looking good! Bores are nice and the rings are free. For an engine that was taken apart just before we got it, there is a remarkable amount of 'stuff' on top of the piston. Now the other end. Oh dear! That doesn't look very good! The chap we bought it from warned us that he had broken a piston whilst dismantling it but that he had put it back. I don't think it would survive long in use so we will have a to make some more. One bore has a scratch where the gudgeon pin has walked. They should have bronze plugs in each end but every one is missing one plug, hence the scratch. It will probably be OK but we will take a closer look in due course. On to the clutch. First job was to use the puller to remove the propshaft coupling. After removing a transverse parallel pin, it proved to be simply a firm fit over a pair of woodruff keys. The clutch release puller is a very fancy casting. Then time to remove the tensioning spring nut. I don't like undoing big springs! Fortunately, it released without firing itself across the room. The thrust bearing is a plain bronze casting with white metal inserts. No sign of any wear so that will fight another day. Then time to pull the clutch cone. Surprisingly, it released from the flywheel quite easily but took some persistent tugging to get it off the shaft. The shaft is mounted in a rolling bearing in the middle of the flywheel and this is beautiful. Not shake or rattle at all so we will leave it alone. The clutch lining is a bit unusual as it appears to be a rubber material with cork inserts. I have never seen anything like this before. It will need to be replaced though. John removed the cam followers and they look nice. A good clean will allow us to confirm this. The engine has oil in it so we tried to remove the drain plugs but they would not shift so we decided to drop the sump instead to pour it out. To that end, the timing cover had to come off. After taking all of the nuts off, some persistent chiselling with a very sharp cold chisel and some levers saw it off. The gears look very nice. The sump was dropped and some lovely clean fresh oil was found. This went into the waste oil can, sadly. Dad has been cleaning the timing cover today. Generally, we seem to have a very nice engine with little wear showing. Only the broken pistons are a real disappointment and will require some serious work to bring them back. The rings are nice though so I shall make the pistons to suit them. Further tear-down and cleaning next. Steve
  7. Hi Chaps. As Dad has said we have had our first get together in Devon for the year with the express purpose of removing the engine from the chassis. This is a bit of a performance due to our limited ability to move stuff about and the need to push the chassis uphill underneath the chain block. This is what we have been up to. First task was to disconnect the prop shaft. You may remember that I made a puller for it but unfortunately, it didn't fit! We tried lashing up the legs from my puller to drag the cover off but to no avail. In the end, we tried heating it again and, for some reason, this worked. Using a drift whilst hot. Success! Big Mark then proceeded to pull it out of its resting place. It was OK once moving but had first to be extracted from the dents it has left in the tarmac. The strong point for the chain block is in the position where we keep the Autocar so this was extracted next. Whilst we had it out, it seemed sensible to use it to drag the Peerless up the driveway. Mark then let it slowly back until we could push it up into the garage. I steered! A lifting strop of the correct length was then needed so I spliced a couple of eyes in some rope. A rough job but better than my knotting ability! Pull the chassis back to clear. And onto the previously prepared stand. There was a days work there but nothing was broken and nobody hurt so it was a success. After clearing up, we started on the strip-down. Steve
  8. Dad has been doing some more, this time on the water pump. Wire brushing to start. The original factory fit was a large gear pump but centrifugal pumps were offered as aftermarket replacements. Ours has a bit of a clue cast on the side! It has a chipped mounting flange which is unfortunate. However, we will leave it alone and see how it fares. If there is a problem, we will get another piece of cast iron welded on. This is a very odd pump as there is no gland or sealing arrangement for the pump shaft. There is just a gap between the two bushings into which the greaser feeds. I guess that the driver just got into the habit of winding the greaser down at the end of each day to fill the space and keep the coolant inside. All very peculiar. dad managed to salvage all of the screws which is nice as we won't have to make replacements. Interestingly, they are BSF threads when the rest of the lorry is UNC and UNF. The pump was obviously made in the UK. The drive coupling is unusual in that it is two interwoven springs. After a fortnight in the molasses, this one will fight again. This is good news as I am not sure how I would have made a replacement. Dad continues to sort out bits from the parts stores and has been overhauling lamps too. Meanwhile, I am marooned in Leicestershire. Hopefully, we will be able to get together again soon and pull the engine. Then we can really get going! Steve
  9. Dad is still keeping going, trying to wrap the job up. He has picked up the last casting, the hot air duct elbow and dressed it up. No idea why the original was in gunmetal! A trial fit didn't look good but I pointed out that I had been unable to bend the tube tightly enough and the bend was sitting on top of the exhaust shield. The pipe is wrong, not the casting! He therefore bore the casting true and has left me to fix the pipe! The HT lead pipe is secured with a simple brass strap. Looks OK! Well, that is the last casting. Dad has also been painting the tool box bits ready for assembly the next time we can get to Devon. Steve
  10. We are in a funny odds-and-ends phase at the moment. We really need to get together again to take the engine out and pull it down. In the mean time, apart from catching up with other things, I have made up a puller toget the propshaft joint apart which is the last thing holding the engine in place. A rummage in the drawer found a ring that I made up for something else which I have been able to bore out. Goodness knows what I made it for but I suspect that it will become obvious when I need to do that job again! Now ready to clamp to the prop and pull the cover off. Hitting it didn't work! We have rescued the greaser, drain tap and priming cocks from the engine so I thought I would sort them out. Some paraffin and a gentle wire brushing soon brought these up. The priming cocks are unusual in that the cup on top is filled with fuel and then unscrewed to open the needle valve at the bottom and allow the fuel to run in. As you can see, we only have two and a half of them. First job, after cleaning up was to identify the threads. After a lot of head scratching, I reached the conclusion that they were NPT (National Pipe Straight) which is a form I don't have so I ordered up some taps and a die. I suspect that stock turnover may be slow in this size. The printing on the box looks like it is from the 1960's and the taps were beautifully wrapped in greaseproof paper and placed in a tinplate tray. The die is dated 1950. That is 68 years on the shelf! Anyway, they did the job alright. You can't see it but there is a hole right through the centre and a cross hole just above the point. Full set ready to go! Dad is working on the rest of the pump so we will have something to show there shortly. Steve :)
  11. The engine is nearly ready to come out now and only needs the driveshaft disconnecting. I had a go at it yesterday but it would not let go and then we lost the light so it has been left for another day. Once that is disconnected, we will have to get the gang out to manhandle the chassis from its current position to a point underneath the chain block. Then we will be away. In the mean time, both Father and I have some homework to be getting on with. Happy New Year everone! Steve
  12. As you can see above, Dad now has a kit of parts for the toolbox to paint, along with the rear lamp bracket. I fitted some hooks under the body this morning before leaving so now it is only a paint and assemble job and we can call it 'finished'. Then it is onto the next one in earnest. We haven't taken it out this break. The weather is OK but the lack of light is offputting and this time of year also results in a constant stream of visitors which is very nice but distracting. Back to reality shortly but at least it will be a short week! Happy New Year everyone! Steve
  13. Now that's a proper Christmas present! Steve
  14. Thanks Ed! It is a real pain living 200 miles from the project as I can't nip out and do some little job. They all have to be planned in for the occasional visits. Oh well. I have now completed the last pattern, number 32. The is for the hot air duct elbow which mounts on top of the exhaust maniflod and directs hot air into the carburettor. It is not needed with volatile modern fuels but we will fit it for completion sake. Firstly , the elbow. I have tried Terry Harper's recommended procedure of turning up a doughnut shape and then cutting it into chunks before gluing the bits together into an elbow. Glued up and on the flange, previously cut from MDF. Then a quick rummage for a chunk of hardwood for the main part of it. MDF again for the flange on which the HT lead tube is mounted. Glue up and some filler for the corners. Twenty minutes with the Dremel and some sanding drums to dress. Drill through the core prints for some location pegs. And saw it in half. I don't like this bit! I attached some thin ply to both surfaces to allow for the material lost to the saw cut. Dress off with the Dremel again. More MDF glued up to make the core box. Marked out. Drill the straight bits in the lathe. The green tape is my depth stop. One hole began to tear a bit as it went over the joint line. It is not as serious as it looks. Work the curve out with a small gouge and a cardboard template. A bit of glass paper to finish. Two coats of Bondaprime and that is the last pattern, thank goodness. I am a metal worker really.... Well, my Thornycroft 'To-Do' list here in Leicester is now empty. We plan to put the fuel tank back over Christmas and make up the toolbox ready for the painting department. Father can also take this pattern to the foundry in the new year so we are all but there. The Peerless beckons! Steve
  15. Looking good. It is out of the way now as well! Steve
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