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Jessie The Jeep

1944 Flying Control Dodge WC51 - The Story So Far

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Barnard Castle 1940's weekend. Last year was their first event and it went very well and was very enjoyable, with vehicles and dioramas spread the length of the town.

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Barnard Castle 1940's Weekend - June 24/25th

 

This was the second year for the Barnard Castle event and the first 2017 event for the Dodge. We drove there on Friday, and by the time the tent was set up it started chucking it down! Fortunately, the rain passed by overnight, and while Saturday started out overcast and cold and windy, it was at least dry. The vehicles were parked up in the market place, while the various re-enactor displays were up near the castle. As the day progressed, the clouds cleared and by the time the BBMF Hurricane flew over, we had blue sky and white clouds.

 

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Late on Saturday night, there was an under-age drinking incident in town, resulting in a stabbing. This had nothing to do with the event, but on Sunday morning when we turned up to park, the road was closed and police forensics were searching the scene. All the vehicles were now to be parked up at the top of the high street with the re-enactor displays. We found our way around the back streets and parked up in the new location for day two. It was nice weather all day, and plenty of public around.

 

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It was a 97 mile round trip, including a couple of miles between the town and camp site. After getting home, I worked out I did around 8 miles per gallon up and down the hills on this trip.

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Posted (edited)

Bowes Railway/Springwell Village 1940's weekend - July 1/2nd

 

Day 1

After almost a week of solid rain, day and night, it finally stopped for the Springwell village 1940's event. The event involved much of the community, with dsplays and exhibitions throughout the village. The military vehicles and re-enactor displays were to be centred around Bowes Railway, a staging yard on the "Rope Haulage" coal lines from the County Durham pits to the river Tyne. Because of a number of steep hills in the area, static steam engines were built at the top of the hills, to winch wagons of coal up and down the inclines. Bowes rail yard lies on a flat area between two areas of hills, and is only 2 miles from my house.

 

I was on my own for the weekend, so just took the Dodge, which I'd kept at home following the Barnard Castle show. A number of people didn't show, so when I arrived, it was just my Dodge and a Kubelwagon. A friend's Dodge turned up later, and parked at the community centre.

 

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The saddle tank steam loco spent the day shunting coal wagons around the goods yard. Around mid morning, several re-enactors gave a firing demonstration, with the station platform making an excellent vantage point for the public. Several of the re-enactor displays were set up in a court yard amongst the railway buildings.

 

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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Early afternoon saw the battle re-enactment out amongst the railway yard. It made a fantastic setting fighting amongst the tracks, reminiscent of so many war films. The sizeable crowd were completely involved, groaning when the Allies were killed and cheering when the Axis forces were shot, and they ended with a huge cheer as the captured Nazi flag was brought down. At the end of the battle, the re-enactors lined up and held a minutes silence for all those who have fallen in combat.

 

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Day 2

 

Due to the low vehicle turnout, and my house being so close, I suggested late Saturday, that if they wanted more vehicles, I could provide them, if someone could drive me home after I arrived. So on Sunday morning, that's what happened. I drove the Dodge there, and got a lift home, Drove "Jessie" there, and got a lift home, then drove "Hope" there! All three vehicles together for only the fourth time. My display made up about 50% of the vehicle content on Sunday!! Two other Jeeps and a civilian breakdown truck also turned up on Sunday. The day ran as before with firing demonstrations and a battle, just with the timings a little earlier.

 

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After I'd packed away all the flags and aerials etc, and just before taking the first Jeep home, I parked the three vehicles together for a few photos. "Hope", "Faith" and "Jessie".

 

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July 29th - Brakes Service

 

I brought the Dodge home, late on Friday 28th, and not long after I got home, it rained hard, soaking the drive. That was going to be fun when crawling around under the Dodge! Fortunately by the following morning, the wind and occasional Sun had dried the drive, though the grass was still wet.

 

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I planned to just change the brake fluid and bleed the brakes, but as I stripped each corner down for inspection, I found the rear brake linings were at their limit. I replaced the front linings back in Spring 2011, soon after getting the Dodge, but the rear ones had plenty of life left in them at the time. Now the rears are virtually down to the rivets in places, so all four rear shoes have been removed for re-lining.

 

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The fronts are still good, and being glued rather than riveted on, have much more life in them. All the brake cylinders/pistons were cleaned, and one split outer rubber seal replaced. The Dodge is now wrapped up on the drive, brakeless, until I can get the shoes done, refitted and system bled.

 

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Not a cheap undertaking, doing the shoes. I'm looking for a reasonable price to get my spare set done, I've quoted in the region of £250 per shoe! Any ideas gratefully recieved.

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Could you pm me the address? At that price could well be worth couriering up.

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Posted (edited)

I used to get a lot of work done by Swift Brake and Clutch on the end of Scotswood Road in Newcastle, Phone no.0191-2734273. I also used to use Advanced Motor Supplies, on Gateshead Salt Meadows Road.

Edited by john1950
addition

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Thanks for that. Prices down my way are staggering. :D

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I dropped the four brake shoes off at Swift this morning, and they'll be about £17+VAT each to be relined, which isn't too painful!

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It's that time of year again where Faith clocks up another year. 73 years old today!

 

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Fortunately, I got the new brake shoes fitted and the brake system filled and bled a couple of days ago, followed by a 5 mile test drive. So Faith is back on the road again for her 73rd birthday, and will probably be out to the local aircraft museum for an event on Sunday.

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Posted (edited)

Back in June, in an attempt to stop water pooling on the roof, I added a steel tube support just behind the dome. This afternoon, I made a quick change to the support I put in for the roof. Since fitting, I've found it does get in the way of setting up the observers chair under the dome, and generally can get in the way moving around the truck. As it is only really necessary when it is raining. A removable support would be more suitable. While the original wasn't fixed, if removed and the roof sagged, it was impossible to refit without jacking up the roof.

 

So I cut off around 3/4 of an inch, and turned down a nut to fit inside the tube. This was welded in place. A bolt was made with a small spigot at the head end that fits into a hole in the steel plate on the roof cross member. The support tube can now be fitted in place, and the bolt screwed out until the roof is pushed up and the support is secure. So now the support can be fitted quickly when needed, but stored clipped to the inside of the truck when not needed.

 

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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NELSAM Trams & Transport - August 13th

 

I took the Dodge along to the Trams & Transport day at the North East Land, Sea and Air Museum today. A fair few vehicles in attendance, but I think my MV was the only one that doesn't live there. It gave the Dodge another test run, after which, the rear right shoes were adjusted as they were rubbing a bit once warmed up.

 

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