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cordenj

British WWII REME Lightweight Electrical Repair Trailer: Restoration Project

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Don't worry Mr Lawrence......Santa made sure it is full again now!

 

 

 

Thanks Richard: May not be as quick with this restoration ....so MuREX probably will not be done for the first Revival, so I'll have to just drag along the Electrical Repair trailer.

 

I think I'll bring along some parts I need welding ! :angel: I aspire to having a workshop as neat as yours someday in my life ! :D

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Started the restoration of the MUREX Welder.

No firm timescale for completion, but first job was to remove the agricultural ironwork from the tow hitch and see if it had been damaged by the welding:

 

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Easily cut away and the agric welding was poor quality as it had not really keyed into the steel eye.

The trailer had clearly been used and towed on a draw-bar as the pin had elongated the holes, given the quality of welding it is a good thing that the conversion had included a large bolt, as I suspect thais was really taking the weight of the trailer.

Towing eye cleaned up perfectly:

 

 

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Repainted and "good as new" with my spare tow hitch for comparison:

 

 

 

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Hi all

Just posting to keep this link on the first page of trailers ... which is where it should be:D

And to let you all know the progress on my one .. allsmall kit but started cleaning up and rewiring the big drill and started the search for a boxfor or harrison lathe to fit the back (most seem to be too big or too price exclusive)

Been working on raf oxygen kit over the winter and displaying at stoneleigh but back on wheeled kit now.

hopefully john will start back on his and start posting graet pic again!

 

happy grinding and painting neil

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Ok Neil.....Just taking a break from 10cwt trailers at moment...but not doing nothing!

Managed to recently get a small non-working Stuart Turner 80Watt Lighweight Charging Set and another ECC version (with parts missing).

Aim to make one complete unit, so am busy taking them apart, and cleaning and painting etc.

Thought the remains i.e. a small engine in pieces would make a good addition to the REME trailer display.

 

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Re: 10 cwt REME trailers at Arnhem: My research (including With Spanners Descending by Joe Roberts, Tugs and Gliders to Arnhem by Arie-Jan van Hees) has confirmed that REME Advanced Workshops at Arnhem included a MUREX welding trailer.

It left Down Ampney as part of a ten Horsa glider A/B block number 89 (chalk numbers 849-858) listed as Admin but consisted of REME, and was landed by glider in LZ "X" near Wolheze as part of the second lift on 18th Sept.

The workshop with any functioning equipment was moved up to the Hartenstein...where the welding trailer is recorded as being destroyed by mortar fire in subsequent days. There is no record as to whether it was ever used.

 

Gives me a further incentive to get my MUREX Welding trailer restored; as I can only find written references to the MUREX and the elusive "Type Z" Wireless repair trailer (from the other types REME equipment trailers), actually landing north of the Rhine.

Clearly significant numbers of standard 10cwt GS landed with the Division, as did a small number of 10cwt Lighweight Store ("Binned") with the RASC.

 

A 2 Para veteran has told be he remembered seeing a 100 Gallon Water Bowser at Wolfheze, but I cannot find any other confirmation. The detailed glider manifests refer to trailers but do not specify any special types.

 

The other types of REME equipment trailers, including the Electrical Repair and the Machinery versions, came up to Nijmegan on 21st Sept as part of the REME Workshop with the Seaborne Echelon. Where is is recorded they were very busy carrying out a range of vehicle repairs.

 

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hi john

nice to see more 80 watters being restored

have you got the end pannels (2nd pic ? left hand side) if you have some pics (with dims) would go down well on here and in the world as they are proper rare like rocking horse manure!

some if your lovely drawings would be the best .............and would get you in the warm

keep on grinding

neil

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hi john

 

have you got the end pannels (2nd pic ? left hand side) if you have some pics (with dims) would go down well on here and in the world as they are proper rare like rocking horse manure!

some if your lovely drawings would be the best neil

 

Hi Neil,

 

I really think this is a specialised niche in a fairly esoteric sub-genre....but as you ask!

Some photos below of the one end panel I have:

 

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Dimensions are: 167mm x 295mm (top radiussed to fit into standard frame). The edge of the panel is all rolled, can't see if it is wired as well. The circular sprung disc fits into the engine breather pipe.

 

Enjoy.

Cheers

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80W Generator back together (bar the fuel pipe), and the spare for the REME display:

 

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If anyone has a source for the canvas covers, please let me know.

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Hi guys, I was trawling ebay the other day and this might be nice for someone?

 

item number = 181120845583

 

looks very similar to mine but with a sankey tow hitch

 

Dave

image.jpg

Edited by Griffo
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Given a contact for very well made cover:

 

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Just need to get one of the correct handles.

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After the generator interlude....better weather last weekend made it seem a good time to start on the MUREX Welding trailer restoration.

 

I plan to do this over most of this year, so not likely to be finished for any 2013 shows, but we'll see if it makes Brooklands in November.

 

First task to open seized locker doors. Good to find one side locker was fitted out with sliding wooden trays (complete with a few large welding rods):

 

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One of the items I need for this restoration is the correct vice to fit the drilled steel reinforcing bars on the side locker.

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Closeup of vice on period photo:

 

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Its easy enough to find a metal vice, but what isn't so easy is to find the correct size. The predrilled holes determine the vice size but I can't find any information on Record Vice base dimensions.

 

The front pair of holes are 5 1/4" (133mm) apart, and the distance from front pair to third bolthole is 5 3/4" (146mm).

I know Record 24 is too large to fit.

 

So if any one knows what size this base pattern matches (a suspect they were a Record Vice), I can look out for one.

 

This is the part of the locker reinforced for the vice:

 

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Hi guys, I was trawling ebay the other day and this might be nice for someone?

 

item number = 181120845583

 

looks very similar to mine but with a sankey tow hitch

 

Dave

 

Dave, Yes see what you mean your trailer (post #107) has a similar flatbed and wings. Wonder if some of these lightweight trailers were converted once cast by the army?

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First job to move the trailer into the workshop and start planning the stripdown.

Side locker/mudguard removal means better view of Austin engine and large DC generator:

 

 

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Rubbed down multiple layers of paint on the engine cover looking for any sign of original markings. Nothing:

 

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I am looking for is a starting handle. It needs a long "reach" and I've tried a friend's Series Landrover handle which fits, so one of those is on the shopping list too......

 

 

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I want to restore this MUREX trailer to 1944 spec. One area that seems odd to me is the gas bottle clamps fitted to top of each side locker (look back in thread to see the wooden semicircular blocks fitted to the vertical steel rods). Here is one of the lockers removed and on its side still with rods in place:

 

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I have seen old photos of these trailers with and without the bottle clamps. It could be that they were tested and developed in WWII and then became part of the standard upgrades at the end/after the war:

 

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My feeling was that they had been added at a later stage to my trailer (possibly as part of the 1955 rebuild), so one way to check was to move the steel clamp brackets sideways to see whether the lockers had been painted, they had with original WWII British Olive drab:

 

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As they had added after the original painting, it seems to me that clamps were indeed a later addtition, this theory is supported by the fact that a couple of the footman loops under the side lockers had been moved from their original positions. Here you can see where they have been relocated from the original drilled holes and one side welded in a new place to allow space for the bottle clamp steelwork:

 

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As a final check on the clamps, I've checked the IDENTIFICATION LIST W.O. Code No. 5461 for the "Trailer. 2-wheeled, Lighweight. Electric Welding Mk. 2" first edition printed in 1949. It includes every nut and bolt used in the trailer but makes no reference to bottle clamps....so I have removed them from my trailer.

 

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One of the other MUREX trailers shown at start of this post has clamps fitted and I know the owner is planning to restore his one with them in place (I'm giving him all the spare clamps parts from my trailer to help him complete his restoration).

 

So, there should be 2 restored MUREX's in UK, with and without the gas bottle clamps fitted.

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AB Welder trailer 3a - from Louis.jpg

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Busy day over weekend:

Pulled out heavy radiator with its solid alloy housing and the very heavy engine/generator combination.

Took lots of photos to help put it back together, but here are just a few to show overall progress:

 

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We took the opportunity of the good weather to pressure wash the chassis.

 

 

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Sometimes in the past I've found this to be an effective way of lifting off coats of paint, and so it prooved this time with parts of some old white stencilling appearing as top layers where washed away. Rear chassis crossmember has "AXLE" and the alloy disc that has been painted yellow. This had been fitted later in the trailer's history... post-war?

 

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The front off the offside chassis rail has a mix of stencilling, the larger numbers where on the penultimate paint layer but could not make out more than a couple of fugures, whereas the original paint topcoat had "PRES" (pressure?):

 

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Also on the offside main chassis rail original topcoat is:

 

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It says: AB R/I 65836 then missing numbers?

Not sure what this means, but was on the lowest paint layer, could it refer to Airborne Reserve?

 

Any ideas?

 

The cleaning also uncovered an old dataplate for the Austin engine screwed to the engine mount:

 

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Cleaned up it looks like this:

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All fairly clear, but the RECONDITIONED line has a very small "249-", which could refer to Feb 1949? Also don't know what "SOM" refers to.

Any ideas from you ex_REME guys very welcome.

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More dismantling. This time it is the very heavy duty generator (just the cenral rotor weighs around 200lbs).

 

A few of the dozens of photos I've taken of this whole stripdown...hoping I can put it all back together:

 

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Ok enough rusty old metal.

Here is a couple of nice shiny things which might be of more interest.

 

1. Essential T-plate, via Ebay. Perfect lenses but rusty. Stripped and repainted looks like this:

 

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2. The original rubber mounts for the generator body to chassis were completely shot. No markings on the old mounts, so started the search for pictures of engine mounts for late 1940/early 50's vehicles via Goggle to try to find something similar.

Surprisingly easily I found the MUREX mounts to be same as those used on the Jaguar XK120! Replacement pattern parts £15 a pair via Ebay:

 

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Back to the piles of rusty old parts, still have days of wirebrushing/BondaRpimer/2 x topcoats.........

 

Edited by cordenj

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More dismantling....this is the Austin 10Hp sidevalve engine.

Some obvious differences from the standard vehicle version is the combined Magneto/Distributor and what I am guessing is a form of engine governor driven by the fan belt:

 

 

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Engine has clearly had some use, but cylinder bores are excellent and there is very little coking. Two exhaust valves are stuck but should free up easily. Am hoping to just clean it up, fit new gaskets, replace the broken exhaust manifold stud and re-assemble:

 

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Not sure whether these block numbers gove a clue to date of casting, but am hoping to meet up with an Austion 10 expert later in week who may be able to advise:

 

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Took the REME Electrical Repair trailer to Amberley Industrial Museum 1940's event last Sunday that appears to have replaced their long established Military Vehicle day. Not so many people, but as I now have the 80W Genny as part of the display, that seemed to attract as much interest as anything else on the trailer.

 

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Had the chassis and other major parts blasted and primered:

 

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Bank Holiday weekend and its fine and dry, so time for a leafy road in Reigate to echo to sound of the cheap Clarke air compressor pounding away for a couple of hours!

Sprayed the MUREX chassis and major components. Usual format for my restorations and the trailer is up-ended using the tree in the front garden and a rope via a pulley to back of the Jeep:

 

IMG_2257 (Medium).jpg[/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/color]

 

I took this photo to show the welding construction quality (or lack of it). I could have easily rewelded this to a far neater standard, but it seemed wrong to "over restore" as this was how it was built. Rough, ready and serviceable:

 

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Now its all sprayed time to start build up of chassis and then next major task is the Austin 10 Engine:

 

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Thanks for posting John, another great project. :-D

 

Thanks Gerry. My wife says the "trailer tree" is getting too big for the garden and wants it taken out.....I think the real reason is to make this the last restoration!

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It's more than a little ironic that a welding trailer is so badly welded ...... :blush:

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Thanks Gerry. My wife says the "trailer tree" is getting too big for the garden and wants it taken out.....I think the real reason is to make this the last restoration!

 

John, if the trailer tree is getting too big, consider a 30% reduction (on the tree not the collection:D ), if it comes out well... i spy another trailer tree in the making :clap:.

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