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Old Bill

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Everything posted by Old Bill

  1. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    Thanks for that Hedd. I will think on that one. In the mean time, I have heard back from the Slosh people. Unfortunately, it is not possible to re-coat the inside of the tank as the new coat will react with the first and won't seal. They have suggested using an epoxy putty on the outside but that will leave an unsightly lump which I don't want. Can anyone offer any more thoughts please? Steve
  2. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    I don't think it really needs a patch on the inside as the surface is so much better. I only need to block the hole. I could nut it on the inside if it does work loose. Not come across 'Tigerseal' before. I shall Google it! Steve
  3. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    Well, that one has prompted some discussion! As it is non-structural and not pressurized, I think that four screws will be enough. I can always add more if necessary. With only four, however, I won't be able to get a good pressure on a gasket, rubber or otherwise so I think I will go for the liquid solution. Silicone seems pretty good but I will have to clean the surface fairly well. I shall use cellulose thinners to get a good clean ring around the hole. Oil in the hole won't matter too much as I am not trying to fill it. As long as I can get a continuous ring around the hole, I am sure it will be fine. Many thanks for all of your thoughts! Steve
  4. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    I have managed to do a bit today and have fitted the patch to the sump. It started out as a bit of 20swg copper from the drawer suitably annealed. Then a bit of tapping around using the bossing mallet and a panel beaters hammer, annealing between each go. I annealed it about twelve times altogether. I drilled and tapped the casting for 2BA. The casting is horrible in this area, full of porosity and only 1/8" thick. Then just screwed it down. I shall seal it with modern silicone instant gasket which I think is forgivable in this case but that will have to wait until I get down to Devon again. Wing mirrors next. It never had any but I have tried driving without and it is scary as hell! They will go on the cab frame under the wing nuts. Steve
  5. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    Well, we went to Beaulieu Autojumble last weekend but no great 'finds' unfortunately. We did see lots of friends though and a number from this forum which was wonderful although it is most disconcerting to be recognised! We also met an enthusiast for 'Radmill' lighting equipment. He has a significant collection of them but surprisingly, no gas generator so he was very interested in ours. It seems that ours is a lot rarer than we thought which is interesting to hear although somewhat unfortunate as we want another three! It looks like we will have to make them. Oh well. We are still making some progress. I started on the headboard in Father's car-port before bringing it back here to Leicester for completion. This is now done and it is ready for the paint shop. Adrian has very kindly given the sump a light sand blasting so that we can see what we have. It appears to be a casting fault as there are several cold-shuts in the area and possibly a crack along the inside. I made the fatal mistake of poking it with a small screwdriver and going right through! I have some repair paste but think that a patch might make an appropriate period fix instead. I shall try that solution tomorrow. On the subject of fuel tank sealant, I have written to the suppliers to see if a second coat would be an acceptable solution. We will have to see what they say. Steve
  6. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    Yes, a bigger garage would be a great asset but we will have to live with what we have. Actually, more floor area would be useful for the next project! In the meantime, we are trying to push the Thorny over the finishing line but it is not giving in without a fight. We took the sump off on Monday. We expected to undo the bolts and just drop it but famous last words. It stuck to the gasket and just would not shift. We had to strip down the oil pump and front of the engine in order to get at the joint. Lots of knocking and pulling from awkward angles went on but it eventually let go when Father held a jemmy inside against the underside of the crank case and I hammered a chisel into the end joint. It took us three hours! Dad wiped out the sludge which had accumulated in a surprisingly short time. I now have it with me ready to fix the leak. I think it will be a Dremel and filler job. We shall see. Steve :)
  7. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    Well, we had a nice day at The Great Dorset on Friday and saw a lot of friends and old lorries. We have had a lot of opportunity to discuss the fuel tank as well. We have reached the conclusion that the lowest risk approach would simply be to Slosh it again as Barney has suggested. It is a bit pricey but offers the remotest chance of blowing ourselves up so we have, today, drained the tank down completely, removed it form the lorry and left it on end with the cap off to dry out. I'll order some more Slosh shortly. In the meantime, we have been back working on the lorry. We have put up the hood frames and trimmed the longitudinals to length before drilling the ends and fitting them. Next job is to make the wooden headboard up and then to remove the sump for investigation. Steve
  8. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    Yes, and only 36 hp to haul it about! They didn't seem to consider weight very much! Steve
  9. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    I had a nice weekend making up more bits. This time, the shovel and pick brackets. I am fortunate to have the original Dennis works drawing for these but it appears that they are a Govenment standard so the Thorny will have the same type. First challenge was to find some suitable timber. Fortunately, I had a pice of school woodwork bench in stock which is Beech and hard as hell! I manually planed this to shape. The second one was cut from a piece of Herbert Machine Tools workbench which I also had in stock as being too nice to scrap. I did have to dodge the bolt holes, however. I had nothing in stock for the last one so I laminated it and then cut it to size. I did the chamfers with Grandfather's spoke shave which he used to build frigates at Charles Hill's Shipyard during the second war. I do love using his tools. Then onto the steelwork which I bent using the press. It was bright steel strip so I had to anneal it frst to prevent it from cracking. The shovel handle bracket was a bit tricky. It is supposed to be riveted together but I couldn't see how I could get a snap in there or bend it afterwards so I bottled and used my favourite silver solder. The rivets are supposed to be countersunk so the bracket looks no different from the drawing Complete and ready for the paintshop. Headboard and rear lamp bracket next. Steve
  10. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    Thanks, Chaps for all of the advice. At least I have recognised the potential hazard before finding out the hard way! Current thinking is to fill to the brim completely with water to push all of the fumes out. Then I want to unsolder just the outer skin which, with a bit of care, I should be able to do without getting the inner one too hot. I shall drill a couple of holes in it so I can drain the petrol in that space and tap the plate so I can put a screw in it to start lifting it up. It is a real pain living 200 miles from the project as everything has to be planned in detail to make use of the short timescale. Oh well. Some things still going on slowly. When we were down last week, Tim spent an age touching up bolt heads. This is a very tedious job but has done wonders for the lorry's appearance. We have also carried on with the hood bows. I started off by bending them to shape using an anvil tool that I made up. Dad had cut the angles perfectly so the quadrants just dropped in and were ready to weld. In the mean time, I riveted the lap strip onto the centre flat bow. And then drilled the bottom edges where they bolt onto the extension pieces left by Father. The longitudinal bar brackets, I had already bent so these were riveted as well. Centre bow ready for paint! We riveted the joiner plates onto the end bows. Then a trial fit to get the bolt hole positions. Once welded by a pal (Thanks John), the longit brackets were riveted in as well. Dressed off ready for paint. Just the top-coats remain and then we can tick another job off. Steve
  11. Old Bill

    1914 Dennis Lorry

    A hammer and pliers on the kitchen table? You'll be in the dog house! Steve
  12. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    Many thanks for all of your comments chaps. My experience of welding old aluminium has been of 100% failure. There is something in it which just won't weld no matter what kit you have so I feel more inclined towards the filler route at the moment. However, we had a brainstorm this afternoon and had a look in the spares collection and came up with this. It is an earlier pattern sump which doesn't have the holes drilled for the oil pump but the boss for it is there. Dad is going to clean it up and see if it looks promising. Fitting a good one might be the easiest way out of all! To use it, we will have to remove the old sump anyway so that will be an opportunity to have a good look at it. Steve
  13. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    Ah, but you know how much I love my silver solder! Seriously though, a good silver-soldered joint is as strong as a modest grade of steel so I am quite confident that this will survive. No doubt time will tell! Cheers! Steve
  14. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    We have had a nice day again and have fitted all of the rope hooks. Definitely a two-man job to avoid climbing in and out of the back all the time. Another job ticked off! I also took the opportunity to crawl underneath and have a look at the sump. Once I had wiped the oil away, it became obvious that some sort of filler had been used to fill some porosity in the casting. It looks like soft solder. The oil is leaking and steadily dripping from the joint line between the two metals. The question now is what to do about it. I am wondering if I could cut some of it out with the Dremel and fill the resulting groove with Plastic Padding or even a silicone gasket material. Any suggestions please chaps? Steve
  15. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    We had a nice day out yesterday at the Bovington Amiens Commemoration Day with all the lorries you can see above and some more. No doubt Tim will post a report shortly. In the meantime, we now have a horn! Thanks to Barry's photos above, I have made up some representative bits. These were done in Leicester and I have since cleaned them up with a file and broken all of the corners. Then it was on to the base which is bolted to the curved top edge of the dash plate. My usual favourite, silver-solder! Getting closer to being legal. We only need a rear lamp bracket to complete the requirements. Hood frames are in the plan for today. Steve
  16. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    Thanks Ed. You are very kind. I still maintain that anyone could do it, though. You just have to want to enough! Yes, Gordon. The leaking tank is a puzzle and I am very disappointed. I would have thought that the sealant should have held it all together, even if I did leave a pin-hole. The tank is strapped to the dash plate as per the original and whilst the plate can twist as the chassis wracks, it is only 1/8" flat steel so would have expected it to deform itself before putting much stress into the tank. Oh well. We will have to pull the tank off and unsolder the end plate outer skin to have a look. More excitement with a propane torch on a petrol tank! Chris. The one on the LH end of Tim's photo is John Marshall's Thorny J so no doubt we will be able to park up next to it one day. Of course, the Hampshire Museums Service have a military J and the the IWM has their AA gun lorry so between us, we form more than half a battery! Steve
  17. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    It is the Bovington WW1 Day tomorrow and we have promised to take something. We have therefore been working towards getting the Thorny ready so Saturday was the day for the next test run. It started very easily and I drove it out and parked up so that we could fit the canvas. This is the first time we have seen it with Canvas and wings together and we think it is looking rather nice. The moment of truth! All went well for half a mile, all downhill, and then we returned. It was looking good until disaster struck and the engine seized again, 50 yards from home. On opening the bonnet, we found it all to be incredibly hot. Two of the leads had begun to melt and the bonnet was too hot to touch. Once it had cooled down and freed off, we started it again and brought it back into the drive. We decided that it must have been running lean or retarded, both of which would make it run hotter. The detent on the advance lever doesn't work very well and this had allowed it to retard on the trip without me noticing so that will need some attention. Our pal, John, went and got his timing light to check what I had set up with a Rizla paper and it all looked OK. Fully retarded, it fires just before TDC. We fitted the next jet size up as well and then decided to have another go. The lorry was now facing the wrong way so we backed it out into our neighbour's driveway where we learned something else. As you can see, the FL wheel is much lower twisting the chassis. We had been warned and now found out that under this condition, the clutch jams up and won't let go! I stalled the engine and could not get it out of reverse due to the tension on the driveline. We put a pinch bar under the back wheel and shook it until it released the gear and then pushed it back into Father's driveway where everything freed up. I managed a nine point turn (I was sweating after that!) and off we went again. All was well and we were very pleased with ourselves. Then we realised that there was oil trickling from the sump and petrol from the tank. There is a hole in both. The sump will probably fix by drilling and tapping a screw into it. The tank however will want re-soldering. This is severely irksome as I took a great deal of care with it and we lined it with Slosh tank sealant whilst it was new and clean as I realised how troublesome a leak would be to fix. That is not going to be a quick job so we have scratched Bovington for the Thornycroft this year. We are, however, in the very fortunate position of having another string to our bow so we have decided to take the Autocar instead. It hasn't run for two years but after pushing out and oiling up, started on the first swing and we went for a test run. This lorry really is a joy to drive and deserves an outing. Thorny is back in the shed. This one really isn't giving in without a fight but we will get there eventually. We just have to keep knocking them down. Steve
  18. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    This is the best info I have. The holes which would match this are in the scuttle so i will sketch it up and carve it out. More filing! Steve
  19. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    Well, we are getting ready for Bovington next week. One thing we don't have fitted is the horn. Dad found this super example on a well known auction site and fitted a new bulb as the original had perished. Unfortunately, the rubber is a bit thicker and the ferrule would no longer fit so I have had to spin up a new one. First job was to turn up the chuck. Then cut and anneal a disc of 20swg brass. After the first go, it looked like this. I annealed it three more times before it was right down. A quick polish with a bit of emery. Bore out a suitable hole. Looking promising. # And then fitted using washing up liquid as a lubricant. Now we need a bracket for it! Dad is keeping busy and has fitted the gas generator bracket down by the driver's right foot. That has filled up two more holes in the chassis. We have only ever found one original WD gas generator and that is on the Dennis so when I get a moment, I will make up a copy. The other thing we are aiming to complete before Bovington are the main hood frames. They won't be painted in time but should give us a refuge from the weather if needed. Dad has cut and fitted the centre bow bases to the body. The bows should be structural and permanent but as our shed is too low, we have to make them detachable, hence the stub piece. The full bow will overlap and be bolted through. The other bows are 2" x 3" angle and need to be bent. That is a bit beyond our capabilities so we have had some quadrants cut and these are to be welded in on completion of the bends. Once the bows are bent and welded, there are brackets to be rivetted in which carry the longitudinal bars and I have been making these up. They need to be 45mm wide but we couldn't get that size steel so first job was to cut along their length to width. Then a simple case of bending in the press using my jig which is never quite big enough. Corners filed to a radius and rivet and bolt holes drilled. Ready for fitting when the time comes. Steve
  20. Old Bill

    Chataignier & Cie Road Roller

    Fascinating! Thanks for sharing! Steve
  21. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    I like having a long weekend as I get into the swing of it! Sadly, I am back at work but we did have a good day yesterday where the next job was to fit the wings. Dad has painted the brackets so they were loosely fitted. Then a positioning trial for the wing itself. Once in the right place, we scribed through the hole from underneath and then took the wing off to drill it. The wing was refitted with one bolt, the remainding holes were marked and we drilled them all through. Then to the other side where it became apparent that something had gone wrong with our alignment. A bit of attention from the press soon sorted that out but the paint will need touching up. Fronts complete! Onto the rear where we played the same game. The full set. It doesn't look much but it took us all day to do it. Oh well. Another tick in the box. We are just about ready for the Bovington WW1 day on Wednesday 8th August followed by the road run to Great Dorset Steam Fair on Saturday 11th. We hope to have at least one trial trip before then! Steve
  22. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    Here is a clip of it running. Much better than it has been. Now we need to get brave enough to attempt a road run! Steve
  23. Old Bill

    WW1 Thornycroft restoration

    We are making some progress again now. I am having a long weekend in Devon and started off yesterday by trial fitting my tailboard catches. They were fine and Father will paint them shortly. Whilst I was playing with these, Father took the opportunity to replace some coach screws I had fitted to the back of the seat. I had used metric ones which have hex heads as I couldn't find any proper ones with square heads until our good friend Mick had a rummage in his garage and came up with some. That little detail has now been corrected.! Then it was on to the main project of the weekend which was to get the engine back together. Following some good avice, we took the block off again in order to wash it out with paraffin.. I really didn't want to do this but carborundum dust in the bore wouldn't have been good. I started by taking the valves out whilst it was held solidly down. We then put it in a steel drip tray and squirted it with new paraffin. This worked well and the debris shows that it was worth doing. After the performance with the broken piston ring, Dad went and bought a ring compressor. This worked well to start with. However, we met a snag in that as both ends of the tool were riveted to the tensioning mechanism, there was no way we could get it off! Then our pal, Dave who honed the bores originally, came up with this tool. His band wasn't long enough but I soon made up another and it did the job even better. After getting the rings in, I could remove the band as well! Both blocks on and reassembly has continued all day. The engine is now reassembled and we have changed the oil again. It was pretty black. We filled it with water and, interestingly, all of the flanged water joints were leaking all over the engine and these were joints we hadn't touched.. I put a spanner on the nuts and all of them moved by half a turn. This was a surprise but once tightened, the leaks stopped. Even the jubilee clipped hose joints remained tight so in the end, all was well. I had fitted my new petrol tap so Dad put a couple of gallons in and I gave it a swing. It fired on the second revolution, much to my surprise and ran on for a while. It sounded rough and smoked a lot but it was going. We stopped it after a few minutes and I tightened up a leaking oil pipe joint which had also relaxed like the flange joints. Very strange. I fitted the smallest of my new jets and swung it again and away it went. This time it accelerated a lot better and idles faster with the leaner mixture so a win all round and we are very pleased. The proof will be when we take it on the road but that is an adventure for another day. I am uploading a short and not very exciting film of it running at the moment and will post a link as soon as I can. Wings and rope hooks next! Steve
  24. Old Bill

    WW1 Dennis truck find

    It started on the fourth compression without priming after sitting for ten months. I was very pleased! It then started on the second the next time and the first the one after that. Now I have to wangle one into the Thornycroft! All the soot was a symptom, I think. It started popping and banging for longer and longer periods until it was really warmed up. I suspect that it sooted up then. Time will tell! Steve
  25. Old Bill

    WW1 Dennis truck find

    The last few times we took the Dennis out, it was running quite roughly and took an age to get warmed up. It has also been difficult to start and since I hurt my arm, I have been concerned about trying to swing it. I therefore thought that it was time I got a grip of it and sorted it out. First job was to try to work out why it was getting rougher. I suspected that it had been running lean so I took the carb off and this is what I found: It was much sootier than I would have expected so I wondered if the jet was getting choked. It wasn't solid with carbon but I gave it a good soaking with carburettor cleaner and also the ways and guts of the carb itself to clean it all out. I also checked the inlet joints whilst putting it back to make sure that they weren't letting air in. Hopefully, that would sort the rough running.# Starting these old engines is definitely a skill and hazardous at times as well. I absolutely don't want to go down the route of an electric start but thought I might compromise with an impulse starter. I had a rummage in the box to see what bits we have. An impulse starter is a rather clever device in the coupling between the drive dog and the magneto. It has a trigger arrangement which stops the magneto turning whilst it winds up a clock spring. Then, at just the right moment, it trips, releasing the spring and giving the magento a high-speed flick to give a really strong spark. The beauty is that I only have to slowly pull the engine over compression and not swing it at speed. Amongst all the bits, we had a complete anti-clockwise impulse starter which Father had obtained from a dealer in the US so I thought it worth trying to install this. First look at the magneto on the lorry and I could see that there were no holes to mount the trigger plate. However, our spare mag does have them and the taper and keyway in the starter matched the spindle. We were on! I pulled the mag off the lorry but not before recording the position of the distributor and contact breaker. Once it was off, I could make up an adaptor between the starter and the drive dog on the lorry. That was successful but I then found that the screw holes in the trigger plate didn't match the magneto so I had to make up a new one. That is the original on the left, a Simms pattern on the right which matched the holes but not the starter and the first part of my replacement. After machining it to shape, I case hardened the the actual trigger. It fitted! Final assembly and ready to refit on the lorry. I set the distributor position the same as the original and re-fitted the magneto. Then it was the moment of truth. The lorry hasn't run for nearly a year but it fired on the sixth compression with me just pulling it slowly round. Success number one! I then went for a test run around the village and it went like stink. Cleaning the carb out certainly made a difference and it was a real joy to drive. Now I need a free weekend and an excuse to take it out! Steve 😁
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