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Finally we have safely at home here parts for another Thornycroft.While Thornycroft steam wagons were used in the Boer War,and in turn became a favoured supplier to the British Army I have yet to find any reference to the forces using light petrol engine Thornycroft trucks in the period before the Great War. Reference is made of Thornycroft participating in Aldershot transport trials but it appears not as routine transport. As a result this type may not be a military vehicle,however I will include it here as a topic of related interest. A few years ago my son Karl came across an old farm trailer in the SouthernHawkes Bay region with solid rubber tyres and cast wheels,then last weekend while in the areahe was able to collect the trailer. Although there may not be much of the original truck,it still represents a significant addition to the range of Thornycroft models we have located here in New Zealand. Aside from the odd historic photo of such chain drive trucks this is the only chain drive Thornycroft parts located in NZ to date. This trailer was built around the rear axle,complete with springs and spring hangers from a Thornycroft type R or S., built about 1908 to 1913. With cast spokes it would appear to have been built latter in the production run with the earlier models having wooden spokes to the wheels. I say Thornycroft as there is no I.D. tag or casting name sayingThornycroft as a maker. The casting of the spoke wheel pattern and thespring hanger mounts match that of a chain drive Thornycroft of 1912 atMelbourne, Australia. Cast on the hub are the letters JAC, indicating the Catton Foundry who castmany parts for Thornycroft, especially on the latter J models. All up my research would indicate it is Thornycroft. A photo has been located showing a similar chain drive Thornycroft at workin the region from where these parts were located, but to date no otherparts to fit this vehicle are known of.In this period of time these models covered the range up to a two ton capacity, with their lighter structure and size becoming so evident as we moved this trailer into storage and passed by a Thornycroft J chassis and wheels.The J wheels simply towered over the chain drive set. The centre illustration of the type shows a wheel pattern the same as what has beenrecovered. Doug farm trailer  trip alt eml  March 2012 329.jpg

Thornycroft chain drive page1 alt eml.jpg

Thornycroft chain drive March 2013 019 alt eml.jpg

farm trailer trip alt eml  March 2012 338.jpg

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I agree with Robert. Wow,what a great find. It's always great to see these old parts rescued and preserved.

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The owner of the Melbourne truck, Brian has sent me a series of photos taken about the underside of his truck, showing the mounting brackets for the springs ands chain drive attachments.This was during a telephone conversation with Brian was on his back under the vehicle and each of us trying to describe the features we were looking at.

The unusual point with this drive is the lack of any bolts through the spokes for the drive cog. Instead this is mounted to a plate which then extends over the back of the spokes and becomes bolted to the wheel up from the rim.The axle has quite a gap between the wheel and the spring to accommodate the chain cog.

I have this poor quality photo of a similar Thornycroft taken in the overall region were these parts were. The question is, is it the same one?

Doug

Thornycroft Rimutakas alt eml.jpg

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Nice find, Doug!

 

Does the Melbourne lorry have an M2 engine? That would be the two cylinder version of our M4 in the J-type. What is the history of this one and how old is it? It is nice to see another veteran out and about.

 

Cheers!

 

Steve

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Brian's truck has a full known history since purchase as new, for the MacRobert's Sweets Company,working around the Melbourne area. It has always been complete, the restoration was straight forward as all parts were there. Unlike the major rebuilds occurring on this section of the HMVforum. The engine is a M2.

 

Built in 1912, it had a centenary party last year.

Considered to be the oldest Thornycroft petrol engined lorry in operational condition.

Doug

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Looks like some kind of updraught carburettor on the M2.

 

The trouble I found with updraught carbs is that the vibration one naturally finds with an engine at idle has a tendency to wick fuel out of the main fuel system of any carb - but in side draught and down draught this excess fuel will find its way unobtrusively into the engine. For the updraught, the fuel heads the other way out of the carb, either pooling somewhere, soaking the filter or even dripping on the ground. If it pools or soaks the filter then you have a sudden wallop of fuel drawn into the engine when you accelerate, and always the potential for a fire.

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Another photograph of a similar chain drive Thornycroft. From the collection of the Australian War Museum showing the loading of an ambulance in 1914 at Melbourne and bound for Egypt. One of a series of vehicles purchased by the Army in Australia, or donated by Australians, these vehicles saw service in Egypt before later being shipped on to Britain.

The same photo is on the cover of the book by Rod Dux on the history of Australian Military transport 1901-19.

Doug

 

Thornycroft ambulance Aus .jpg

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A substantial wheel for a Thornycroft ??? that i bought off ebay. Any ideas as to what size truck it may have been from? Were these early Thornycrofts available in different carrying capacities or just the one model? The wheel does not belong to the differential that it is attached to.

 

577e253badec154ce836e8558f83b75c_zpscad35c4e.jpg

Edited by Chaindrive

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Over the years Thornycroft produced a series of different wheel patterns for the rear wheels. Between different models and years there are differences in size and slight variation to the size and shape of the holes about the edge of the rim. This is in reference to the spoked J model and I'm excluding the military disc type which in itself has a few variations.

Can you measure the rime size in mm, inside of the tyre band. Also have a scratch about on the spokes at the centre hub for any casting marks. Some carry the lettering JAC and a number, referring to Catton's Foundry as suppling parts for Thornycroft and other vehicle manufactures. I have yet to locate any solid listing of casting marks to years of manufacture. That looks like a longer term project of accumulating data on the bits found. There could also be JAC marks on the brake bands.

Doug

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more thornycroft wheels .just wanted to add i know of wheels and front brake less axle thought to be from a late 20s JJ these will be cut up in the near future if not saved located in somerset England. chindit

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more thornycroft wheels .just wanted to add i know of wheels and front brake less axle thought to be from a late 20s JJ these will be cut up in the near future if not saved located in somerset England. chindit

Do you have any photographs of them please? Thanks

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While dragging the wife round a heritage truck tour of the South Island last year I came across a set of Thorny chain drive wheels. Doug is now onto them and sounds like he is organising a milk run over the south island to bring a batch of finds home. Obviously there were quite a few chain drives exported to NZ.

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My son Karl has been out collecting up more bits. We have been fortunate that a scrap dealer has put aside sets of wheels for us, and it was at one location he was able to purchase a number of sets of wheels. One set stood out as being particularly useful to use as the bearing caps were marked Thornycroft. So now we have a front axle to match the rear chain drive axle located last year.

Now to continue looking for all those parts that fit in between.

The cast spokes would date this 1912-15. A number (47) were imported into New Zealand prior to WW1. I am uncertain if of this model any came in ( imported) after the war as rebuilt vehicles.

Doug

Thornycroft  brass cap alt eml Jan; 2014 008.jpg

Thornycroft chain front 4  wheels  alt eml Jan; 2014 051.jpg

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in the few years i am in to this forum,

i learned to say.... never say never.

who knows what is still out there lurking in the dark.

i do hope it can be restored, i love the old chain drives.

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I am sure bits are out there Tony even in the UK.

If one was to get into statistics and probabilities, then considering the greater number of these early vehicles that worked about Britain there should be bits remaining. Scrap collections over time have seen this material go,however other items tend to remain hidden. As has been shown on this Forum, complete chassis have been recovered from under buildings, where they have survived for all those years.

Those vehicles that went to the Colonies were in comparison few in number and like those in the U.K. most disappeared in scrap drives over the years. It has been the change of use from trucks to be rebuilt as trailers all those years ago that has saved so many of the parts we have located. In saying that ,it's fine for the chassis and wheels, however locating the correct engines and transmissions is a totally different story. They disappeared. However we will keep looking.

These findings are not a short term event!

Doug

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As you say there were many conversions to alternate uses in the colonies. Many of our restorations sat under grain bins in relatively dry locations and well away from ocean salt. These chassis' are most often conserved in great condition as compared to the Goslings well-eaten Thornycroft. However, on the down-side, it seems to me our chassis' are, more often than not, found rather battered, their rubber worn thin or missing entirely, and with bearings completely worn-out from hard use.

Robert

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Hi Doug

I am with you. Bits and pieces still remain undiscovered by restorers in sheds and barns everywhere. Its just a matter of finding that elusive bit that you are looking for...thats the challenge.

Regarding the picture of the front axle and wheels. Is there wood spacing between the rim and the steel tyre band? I have found a few wheels for the Fiat where wood 'shims' have been used to make a larger diameter tyre band fit a smaller rim.

Dale

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leylandwoodww.jpg

 

I'd like to know the method they used to do this. You would think the wood would have been pushed out when pressing. Could they have shrunk the wood by heating? Glued it to one surface? How??

Robert

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