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robin craig

Canadian MK1 Ferret Call Sign 31

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Well,

 

I guess this is as good a time to start the trials and tribulations diary of this vehicle.

 

First of all, at the moment we do not know the Canadian Forces Registration number of the vehicle at this time. Contrary to what has so far been documented, this one does not have the numbers stamped onto the flat spot in front of the right hand antennae mounting point. What we do know is that the vehicle looks so far to have sent some time in Western Canada as there is a Road Runner marking on the right side of the hull. Over the drivers hatch is a mish mash of many names which just cant be made out clearly. It has the remains of call sign 31 on the right side and an armoured recce tac sign front left

 

From this we really believe that it was a Lord Stathconas vehicle at the end of its service life.

 

The vehicle was bought nearly two years ago from the US of A along with another and was supposedly a runner in a very rough definition of that phrase. I have spent the past two years shuttling it around at work keeping it under cover and dry. The other is going to be traded and that is a long process that is underway.

 

Last night we moved it one more time, into our main workshops. The we in this is myself and my friend Gerry Foster who is my mechanical brains and professional mechanic by day, whereas I am "Ferret specific" knowledge and owner. Between the two of us we make a good team. I am very much aware of my skills limitations and I am very much respectful of other peoples time and Gerry is a paid asset in the work that is going on. I don't want this to take forever to restore and two people make things go exponentially faster and I am happy to pay him to help because of the results we get.

 

The first task was to run the engine up and prove that indeed it does run. We have in the past weeks turned it over by hand and checked the fluids and had a damned good look around. The previous owner has performed a bodge to supply fuel and we used that set up with a 12 volt pump to supply fuel from a temporary can.

 

We had taken the carb off the other vehicle last week as we had some issues and after making a paper gasket for that last night and fitting the carb we then primed the fuel system after having fitted a pair of new batteries. I got into the hull and sat on the loose seat and turned the ignition on, gauges came to life and the lights glowed, brilliant!

 

With fire extinguishers at the ready, as anything could happen, I cranked it over. To our utter disbelief it fired up instantly on the first crank and ran quite nicely thank you very much! Runner confirmed! We let it run for a couple of minutes and then shut it down.

 

As the rest of the drive train is in a bit of a mess, we knew that was as far as we would be going before tear down.

 

And that is where we went afterwards. There isn't much interior tin work fitted inside the vehicle, just a matter of moving the electrics out of the way on the left side. The fuel tank came out and was drained of the raunchiest rank smelling old fuel you have ever seen or smelled. For giggles we pulled one of the banjo bolt off the bottom of the tank and sure enough it was plugged solid. We know that extensions need to be fitted before going back together. That is now ready to go out to be washed and cleaned.

 

There isn't much of an interior so we went at disconnecting as much as we could and are within about an hour of being able to hoist the pack out which will happen next week. Then it will go onto a stand I made a few years ago for tear down and splitting of the engine and mechanicals.

 

Regards

 

Robin

Ferret banjo bolt.jpg

Ferret CS31.jpg

Ferret rear.jpg

Ferret tac sign.jpg

Edited by robin craig

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Hello Robin

 

Looking at first glance the thing that strikes me is that the ferret has angular side hatches. I have been meaning to find out exactly when the transition came about when daimler went from square hatches to angular. I am under the assumption all the first batch of ferrets had square hatches (32BA81-38BA73), but I'm not saying this for definate at this point. Browsing through photos I can see ferrets in the 2nd batch (86BA20-88BA19) have angular hatches. The canadian ferrets as I understand all came from the first batch, therefore I think they all had square hatches. It certainly shows that in Colins book.

 

Regards

 

Matt

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Mate,

 

just because it is published in a book does not mean it is correct, you will really get me to kick off big style by repeating that rant that I have heard so many times!!!!!!

 

This is a Ferret used by Canada, no doubt about it. Wait until I pull the pack out and show you the alternator set up, that is more provenance than you need!

 

Yes there was a break in the production batch assigned to Canada, too many arm chair generals have quoted various b/s on why this is not a Canadian vehicle but frankly they do not know about what they speak.

 

Regards

 

Robin

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A book is only as good as the information that was available at the time that it was written and printed. At the moment you have a Ferret with all the Canadian bits but no reg. If you think its a Canadian Ferret you need to do some more research on the vehicle plain as. The visual clues stand out antenna mounting, lights, alternator and the not so visual the hubs.

 

Its all good fun as you know I like Ferrets (just a bit) so I for one would like to see more of you're restoration. Its a long cold winter in Canada at least you have covered accommodation.

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Ok Gents,

 

Let us get this straight, it is a very sore point, and no, I wont take any more flack about it.

 

IT IS A CANADIAN FERRET.

 

Is that clear now?

 

I dont want to fall out with any of you, but please be careful, I do kick off quite easily on this topic.

 

It is the reason why out of the two Ferrets we bought I wanted to keep this one as it is one of the "different" ones.

 

I know another collector who has purposefully bought a Ferret that has overseas service over any other issue such as condition.

 

No, at this time I do not have the CANADIAN forces registration, the name CHINA is one of many in the layers of point that have been revealed so far.

 

How about this, ever seen this alternator mount?

 

 

R

cdn alternator.jpg

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The markings shown in this picture are what are common to the square hatch Canadian Ferrets, it is the "regulation" style markings stamped into the flat surface just in front of the right antennae mount.

 

The hull number for this one is a bit confusing in itself. I really must sand it and reveal it better.

 

R

stamping3.jpg

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That's one of our Ferrets from C Sqn LdSH. All this crap from books that says what's right and what's wrong is usually wrong. The story fits. The ones from Calgary were sold in one batch to South Eastern for as I recall, $3200 each. They were not a big seller in the US, took them quite a while to sell them. Some went to a movie company in California. The peculiarities from car to car were no big deal. U.S. turn signals were readily available as spares. Antennae mounts adapted for the U.S. 524's and 125's. Painting was crude and done by brush, never sprayed. The Road Runner insignia was on some, but usually painted out by new crews. Purple K fire extinguishers as per general issue. No two cars were alike in regards to internal bins and boxes. Crew heaters retro fitted, US made. Two US Jerry Can holders were added to the rear hull plate. All cars carrier names starting with C, and I recall CHINA. That car was the Troop Leader 3 Troop.

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Dear Mr Lynx 22B,

 

The one shown in the stamping picture is the one that is being traded, cone over that for the minute except if you email me.

 

CHINA, well, that is great news on you recognise it, dont suppose you just happen to have any notes pictures or memory as to what the CFR is?

 

What era is your memory from?

 

I love the brush paint look, and makes it easier for me.

 

What are the heaters you talk about?

 

Thank you for the support on what one reads in books!

 

Regards and thank you

 

Robin

Edited by robin craig

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Tony, Tony, Tony . . . how terribly non PC of you . . .

 

The Lord Stathconas Regiment is an "anglo" unit the "francophone armour was 8RCH I understand.

 

Typical schoolboy jape there Tony. I will make sure you get voluntold for weekend callout duty for all of 2012, unpaid!

 

 

Robin

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You were asking about the heater used by the CF in the ferrets. The CFTO was to install the standard heater similar to that found in the M38A1Cdn2 or 3, or the old duece/newer MLVW. I have the CFTO around here somewhere. The heater ended up being mounted to the right rear of the driver if I recall. Only problem with installing a heater in a ferret is that the engine draws it's air from the crew compartment so as fast as the heat would be pumped into the ferret, even faster the radiator would draw the heat out. I guess it might have kept the crew commander's feet warm. More often you would see the ground sheets set up to send the radiator air back to the crew compartment.

 

I have driven the Canadian ferret out here in Shilo in mid December, and there is no substitue for a winter AFV suit.

 

Your generator modification is also detailed in a CFTO. I preferred the US made alternator myself, and did this mod to both my ferret and to my FV432. It sure was an improvement over the British setup, and freed up the areas where the regulators were.

Edited by cmpman

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Rob,

 

I tend to agree with you that the install of a heater would be result neutral in the end so Im not going to bother, I was just curious.

 

On the same subject, of heat, I notice that there is a curious bypass hose fitted on mine from just above the water pump to a position forward on the right side back into the head. What is that all about?

 

I am buying the full CF manuals from Brian Asbury, so maybe it will be revealed in there.

 

The CFTO options for the Ferrets seem to have been a pick and choose menu of what can be done rather than what was actually done. I say that based on looking at various CF Ferrets over the years and noting what modifications were or were not done.

 

Thanks for the help Rob.

 

 

R

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We attempted to incorporate all the mods as they came out, but it was really a hit or miss affair. No one really cared about minor quirky things. Changing gators was the most time consuming mandatory even.t. We routinely ripped them open during exercises because we did mostly off road tactics. The heater didn't warm up anything, and took up space.We made makeshift crew commander windscreens. There were no spare body parts such as bins and fenders. We repaired them ourselves. I once saw a new muffler installed, and we were amazed at how quiet a ferret really was. It was unfortunately the only spare muffler in the Brigade. There were some that still had the original turn signals, and we used the plastic lenses from the deuce and a half running lights for replacement lenses. Yes, there were a few with the different drivers side hatches. Ferrets were not exchanged from Regiment to Regiment. They were permanently assigned. Never ever saw one go to Montreal for rebuild. All names were assigned, not made up. All this was back in the 70's. I'll look in the museum photo archives for pictures.

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In the CF, modifications and installation instructions were a hodge-podge of need to have,nice to have, and not in a million years. There were actually modification sections within the units/base maintenances trying to keep up with them. About a decade or so back, Ottawa finally came to the realization that so many of the modifications were never performed so they turned many of them into unreportable "information only" bulletins and only tracked the A priority ones. Many of the installation CFTOs required approval from command or NDHQ to perform, so as a result they never did get done. An example of this is the heater installation for the old 3/4 ton trucks. A decade after they were gone, and the drivers had gone all those years in the cold, it was discovered there were hundreds of the heater kits in supply. So a modification/installation instruction was sent out on how to modify them into the old duece and a half. Of course, this was about 2 years before we got rid of those trucks too.

 

One would be hard pressed to find any two vehicles from that era with the same modifications.

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You would find that British army Ferret modifications were not all done across the board. Some were routine and were only done as and when, the immediate ones were usually actioned quickly, then some were only done at discretion of local commander or were dependant of role and theatre of use. I recollect one mod involved drilling the hull and fitting a breather valve for the fuel tank, I did several, but a lot were not done and other located in a different postion to the mod instructions.

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similar i suppose to ferrets with alternators and some with generators mind u that would have been done i guess at base overhaul

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similar i suppose to ferrets with alternators and some with generators mind u that would have been done i guess at base overhaul

 

We undertook some of the initial alternator mods on Ferrets for unit's, but they were only fitted to certain ones, not got the info to hand but dependant on their particular designation I think.

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my mk1/2 ferret has a alternator fitted plus front hatch modified to accept night vision scope far as i know last base over haul done in 83, last regiment if served with life guards ,who took it out to the gulf for a while!

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Well,

 

At the beginning of last week I was tasked to work out of Province and would be away for the whole week. I did manage to have the fuel tank stripped down and taken out for professional cleaning. I hate spending after tax dollars but some things are best done by others.

 

I have also been spending a few dollars on a new socket set in various sizes that came in its own box. Not bad for $150 on sale.

 

Some other items that have appeared are some oil for the fluid flywheel that came as a gift from former Ferret owner Dan Sicotte. Al Duffy has loaned me a carb kit that I have to replace pending arrival of one from the UK.

 

All useful

 

R

ferret carb kit.jpg

ferret fuel tank.jpg

tool set.jpg

ferret oil.jpg

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Dear Lynx,

 

Thanks for that, you do know that a picture of our Ferret named "CHINA" with a CFR on it will be the best Christmas present you know.

 

R

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Believe me, I'm looking. Found this today in the Regimental Photo Archive. It's on a wall display recently put up, and I was stunned when I looked at it closer and saw CHINA.

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I was unexpectedly sent away from home base to Quebec earlier this week. I had planned for pulling the pack last week when the same fate beset me. So you can understand how determined I was to get the work executed and get back for my Wednesday night appointment with my friend and mechanic Gerry Foster who I work with regularly.

 

I arrived back this afternoon after spending an unexpected overnight stay in the boonies. I had about 4 hours to spare before our scheduled time so I scoffed some tea down and cleaned up and grabbed a few hours on the sofa to try and rejuvenate.

 

Rejuvenation did not happen but I kept going regardless!

 

So, we only had a few bits and pieces to undo before we were hooking the pack lifting frame on and raising the pack. We used a chain block and tackle under the loader on the tractor as the finesse possible is infinite and the loader has too much power if anything was to get caught. It was only after getting the pack well clear that we used the loader to raise the pack.

 

As I have done this exercise before for one of the Mk2/3 Ferrets in the collection I manage we had made the lifting frame and the stand that the pack rests on once out.

 

The stand will be modified as we go forward to suit our needs. All will become clear in due time.

 

Talking of time, as Tony Robinson and Phil are busy digging up some part of the UK we will be conducting our own archaeological dig of the debris that is in the hull from under the engine.

 

Sorry about the quality but I just cant seem to remember to use a real camera instead of my cell phone.

 

Robin

ferret pack prep.jpg

ferret pack prep 2.jpg

ferret pack in air.jpg

ferret pack on stand.jpg

ferret dirty hull.jpg

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