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Markheliops

The Final Restoration Project.

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Well now I’ve really gone and done it.

 

The deal has been done for the latest and last acquisition.

 

I’m happy (I think) to reveal I have finally managed to secure a Chieftain ARRV.

 

ChieftainARRV001.jpg

 

What in gods earth you may well probably be thinking and I must admit to being slightly apprehensive about the whole project.

 

I have been thinking about an ARRV for some time as most members will know but they tend to be very expensive and come with all the logistical problems associated with a 55 ton tank.

 

Hans and I nearly purchased a Chieftain MBT a couple of years ago but the deal didn’t happen for one reason or another.

 

My thing is obviously recovery vehicles and in my own mind these types of vehicles still get my overall vote when it comes to ownership. Yes a tank is a wonderful thing to own but MBT’s don’t really get my juices flowing like a recovery vehicle.

 

The Ward La France M1A1 is still my baby and will remain my show vehicle but in respect of tinkering, is basically maintenance and up-keep.

 

I really fancied a restoration project that I could get my teeth into and as it had to be a recovery vehicle of some type so very few vehicles fitted the bill.

 

This is how the Chieftain ARRV came into play.

 

ChieftainARRV002.jpg

 

The vehicle is a Mk 7 ARRV and I am led to believe is ex-Gulf War. It’s still painted green with no sign of desert paint but it doesn’t mean it didn’t go to the Gulf as many vehicles didn’t receive their desert paint before being shipped over there.

 

I believe the army registration is 06 FF 81 but I couldn’t locate the data plate so I am relying on a faded number on the rear right mudguard. Do any of you very knowledgeable chaps have any information on this vehicle, please?

 

The vehicle is not an ex-corporate play thing as I wouldn’t have touched it with a barge pole but in-fact has been owned by a well respected member of the Chieftain club who has worked with these vehicles all his military life.

 

The vehicle is complete, with all the associated recovery equipment including the jib which in itself is unusual as they are normally missing.

 

ChieftainARRV003.jpg

 

It had been standing in the open for nearly two years but after fitting new batteries, fired up first time and sounded sweet as a nut. There are a couple of issues to attend to but overall, mechanically the ARRV is good.

 

The paint work does need attending too but I’m really looking forward to getting filthy and sorting this one out. A rolling restoration, which I shall keep well documented with regular updates on the forum.

 

ChieftainARRV004.jpg

 

I’m really up for this one and some of the credit for this must go to fellow owners on here as I have watched their own projects taking shape and it has inspired me to get off my butt and do similar.

 

This will be my last project as something this size needs to be taken seriously. It’s going to be a long job and I intend to do it justice.

 

The first outing for the ARRV will be War and Peace 2012 so I intend to sort out the minor issues in respect of the running condition, then the outside exterior so I can at least display the vehicle next year.

 

Markheliops

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Mark,

 

Congratulations on the purchase by you and Hans.

 

I still say that the roar of the engine on those machines while non tactical by any standard is such a blast to hear.

 

So when it breaks down, what will you use to recover it?

 

R

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That is one impressive vehicle.... is it a crane on the left side, it looks like a nice bit of kit to have. good luck the restroration.

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Thanks for our comments gents.

 

Robin - good question, well presented.

 

Obviously with a 55 ton tank options in the event of a breakdown are limited.

 

Actually despite Chieftains history of mechanical failures, it is rare for that a mechanical failure will result in you not being able to move it at all. Many of the failures with Chieftain were a result of electrical issues and with a bit of know-how and using the correct manual over-rides it should be possible to move it. (Crossed fingers).

 

As the ARRV will only ever go to Beltring - unless a show organiser wants to pay the transport costs - I am confident any issues that arise - (and they will arise) can be dealt with.

 

Failing that - we shall have to see how big the balls of the Ward la France really are!

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Mark,

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

I guess, because of the experiences I have with the collection I am involved with I had to ask the recovery question as it is always in my mind and not having a plan for such an event can leave one in a bind.

 

I guess if the traction was good and considering the rolling resistance of a tracked vehicle in neutral I guess the Ward would do the job with relative ease on a flat surface. In fact I was surprised when first towing a CVRT on an A fame with a New Holland TS90 how smoothly it did roll.

 

Having all the kit on your ARV is very cool and also will be very useful.

 

R

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Good man Mark ! I can't tell you how pleased I am to see someone saving one of these beasts ! It broke my heart seeing so many on Slab Common sitting in holes ! Nothing like the sound of a Chieftain to warm the cockles of my heart ! Well done again ! :-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D

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Big project there, good luck with it.

Mind if I pop round and take a cutting off your money tree. :-D

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you will become a legend amongst reccy mechs !!! looks to be a real beast and a worthwhile restoration, if you've been looking for a while i'm surprised you didn't go for david smales arrv that was on milweb a while back, nobody took it on so it got cut up for spares i believe, which is bad news for arrv lovers but looking on the bright side he has plenty of spares still for sale so it could be a good source for you should the need arise. he still has some advertised on milweb

http://www.milweb.net/webverts/56407/

looking forward to seeing it at beltring next year

 

rick

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I didn't know Dave's ARRV was cut up. I'll have to give him a disapproving look when I see him next. What would it have been worth as scrap?

 

 

Looks like a great project Mark, I guess the Foden is for sale to go towards the fuel bill then:)

 

Cheers

 

Paul

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you will become a legend amongst reccy mechs !!! looks to be a real beast and a worthwhile restoration, if you've been looking for a while i'm surprised you didn't go for david smales arrv that was on milweb a while back, nobody took it on so it got cut up for spares i believe, which is bad news for arrv lovers but looking on the bright side he has plenty of spares still for sale so it could be a good source for you should the need arise. he still has some advertised on milweb

http://www.milweb.net/webverts/56407/

looking forward to seeing it at beltring next year

 

rick

 

Hi Rick.

 

Yes - I was most annoyed with myself when David cut his ARRV up.

 

Unfortunately at he time I wasn't in the position (money wise) to consider it and I think he only wanted scrap value for it - about £6k.

 

I have enquired in respect of the items he saved so when the ARRV is sitting at the farm, I shall look into my piggy bank and see what remains.

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hey man you can't save 'em all but at £6k that was a lot of tank for the money :shocked: at least you've saved one, the arrvs and other engineering variants aren't as sexy as gun tanks so they are normally the first to get the chop. it's a shame but that's just the way it is.

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:wow: nice bit of kit! My hats off to you.

 

Good luck with it

 

Mark

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Congrats on the new project, I wish you lots of luck, keep the kettle boiling and the brew's flowing! You'll need them.

 

Eddy, each to there own, but I think the recovery versions are better looking than the normal pointy one's! :D

 

Cheers

Shaun

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Well done Mark ,

 

Its good to hear that you have now got what you have wanted for a while , it will look a different beast with a fresh coat of paint on it , very much look forward to being given the full tour next year at Beltring , and if 1 Ward lafrance cant pull it then we can allways hook 2 together !!!

 

Very pleased for you

 

Adrian

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Good luck and well done for taking such a big leap of faith Mark :D I've promised myself one day I'll buy a Chieftain of some kind too, not the most practical thing ever but nothing beats owning your very own 55 ton battle machine!

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hi serched for info and pics could not find a lot, what is the rating of the jib ie reach and lifting kgs main winch rating single line? how is main winch driven ie shaft/hyd is there any wheel lock out? arvs are always intersting with all the corect equipment with them. you say the transfer box is the weak link on the ward towing the arv will soon find the weak link in the drive train:nut: just have a commical recovery firm on speed dial as i have raised towed a chieftain behind a rotator low speed and not far but i guess if you are driving you wont be far from a off road site:)

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Well done Mark - I too had looked at Dave's ARRV as it was only just up the road, but decided it was simply too big and the stories about mechanical reliability put me off. What other MV manual specifies the rpm at which various bits will self-destruct? :-(

 

Andy

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hi serched for info and pics could not find a lot, what is the rating of the jib ie reach and lifting kgs main winch rating single line? how is main winch driven ie shaft/hyd is there any wheel lock out? arvs are always intersting with all the corect equipment with them. you say the transfer box is the weak link on the ward towing the arv will soon find the weak link in the drive train:nut: just have a commical recovery firm on speed dial as i have raised towed a chieftain behind a rotator low speed and not far but i guess if you are driving you wont be far from a off road site:)

 

winch is rated at 30 tons on single line pull and crane is rated about 6.5 tons

 

forgot the aux winch rated at 3 tons

Edited by landyandy

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