Jump to content
charley.loomis

AEC Matador Restoration Down Under

Recommended Posts

Hi everybody, my name is Charley, I'm currently restoring an AEC Matador for the company I work for. The business was started 60 years ago this coming November with an AEC Matador converted into a Timber Tractor and it is now one of the largest mining equipment repair facilities in Australia. To celebrate their 60th birthday they came to me last October and asked if I would be interested in building a replica of the machine that started it all. I couldn't say yes fast enough. They had an engine on the shelf that was rebuilt twenty years ago and never started, so the first step was to see if it would run, a bit of fuel and some oil and the engine fired right up, at that was that, the project was given the go ahead.

 

Here is a photo of the truck the day I started, yep, that's all of it, I just finished cutting off a massive chunk of steel used as some kind of hitch.

image.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a photo of the two trucks used for parts. The Frames were complete garbage, having been broken, welded, modified, broken and welded again, and the cabs are all but completely rusted away, but there is a gold mine of parts there, and I have utilised every single piece I could.

image.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After five weeks of sandblasting, cutting, sledgehammering, grinding, welding, a bit of paint and some used tyres it started to look like something. It took parts from all of the trucks to get to this stage. All the bushes and shackle pins are like new, I sorted though all the pins and bushes from the parts trucks and many parts were also found on the shelf at work, at this stage everything but the diffs have been disassemble, cleaned, repaired and reassembled.

image.jpg

Edited by charley.loomis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking good and I am looking forward to seeing more! :)

 

Since there doesn't seem to be a lot of useable cab left, you must have a lot of tinwork to do?

 

trevor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Installed the engine, even though it was fully rebuilt twenty years ago it took a bit of work to get it back together, about ten years ago it accidentally got hooked up and drug through the shop, breaking the water pump, a water pipe, and the exhaust manifold.

image.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went through the Winch, steering gearbox, shifter box, and started to install some linkages. The project kinda stalled at this point as I was pulled off to do other jobs at work for a few months. I am the only person working on this truck so nothing happens quickly, there are a lot of little bits and pieces and a million bolts,lol

image.jpg

Edited by charley.loomis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job! Looks to have the later type Miles steering box which is the easier (lighter if such a term can be used to steer and old non-power assisted truck!) steering box of the two.

 

For any Matador owners with the earlier type steering box, I managed to modify my early type box by dropping a needle roller bearing into the top of the steering shaft which improved it slightly.

 

Vince

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last post for the evening, this one is about the radiator. I took the top off of the radiator and corrosion had destroyed the top tank. After scratching my head for a few days I had the top tank milled out and I fabricated a steel tank to fit inside. I lost some capacity, but the truck will only run for short periods and it allowed me to keep the original look of the AEC radiator and I thought that was very important.

image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

Edited by charley.loomis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a great way of dealing with that common problem of disintegrating top tanks you have used, I would not have guessed what had been done if I were looking at the truck. :)

 

trevor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Charlie, Whereabouts are you? I have two complete Mats and some of another. The chassis of all of them have been heavily flitched and the winches strengthened. Like yours all have been run with with 10.00-20 tyres. One was fitted with a coach style cab and used as a house mover and then went on logging in very steep terrain. Breaking 1" steel cable with the winch was not uncommon! The other has a civilian style cab (with wd contract plate still on the dash) was used for general haulage Inverell to Brisbane (580km one way) and then had a crane added. I have also added a photo of a survivor nearby which was converted to a dumper for taking molybdenum ore to the railway siding.

Yours look like they have the Hastings Deering (Australian AEC import agent) style cabs. However they could also (more likely) have been imported by RW Brown of Newcstle who had cabs of a similar style built by a company across the road. RW Brown had a large fleet of these and many ran interstate Newcastle - Brisbane,. Newcastle City also ran a fleet of them. Look at the Joe Foggarty collection on the AEC web site.

matadordumper005.jpg

Matmotor003.jpg

003-1.jpg

 

I am hoping to rebuild one of mine with the army style cab so if you are doing the same maybe we could get together on that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the other parts truck, I found a lead engine plate on this truck dated 5-12-1944, I couldn't read the chassis number as it had rusted away after 0853, the yellow parts truck has chassis number 08535542, and the chassis of the truck I am building is 08535571. I used the king pins, secondary gearbox, steering calumn and gearbox, linkages and a few other bits and pieces from this truck. I rebuilt the secondary gearbox, but the box in this truck was the best of the lot and only required seals and one bearing and some studs and brackets from the other trucks.

image.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Charlie, Whereabouts are you? I have two complete Mats and some of another. The chassis of all of them have been heavily flitched and the winches strengthened. Like yours all have been run with with 10.00-20 tyres. One was fitted with a coach style cab and used as a house mover and then went on logging in very steep terrain. Breaking 1" steel cable with the winch was not uncommon! The other has a civilian style cab (with wd contract plate still on the dash) was used for general haulage Inverell to Brisbane (580km one way) and then had a crane added. I have also added a photo of a survivor nearby which was converted to a dumper for taking molybdenum ore to the railway siding.

Yours look like they have the Hastings Deering (Australian AEC import agent) style cabs. However they could also (more likely) have been imported by RW Brown of Newcstle who had cabs of a similar style built by a company across the road. RW Brown had a large fleet of these and many ran interstate Newcastle - Brisbane,. Newcastle City also ran a fleet of them. Look at the Joe Foggarty collection on the AEC web site.

matadordumper005.jpg

Matmotor003.jpg

003-1.jpg

 

I am hoping to rebuild one of mine with the army style cab so if you are doing the same maybe we could get together on that?

 

 

Im in Port Macquarie, thanks for the information, I knew the cabs were made in Australia, but didn't know by whom. I'm not actually building a cab, I am building a replica of the truck that the company founder used in 1954 to haul timber up and down the mountain. He purchased the truck as imported, meaning no cab, just the inner fenders, engine cover and front, and that's how he drove it, year around hauling timber. I'm only using the original Matador cab parts, here is a photo of one of the parts trucks today after I removed the Matador parts from it:)

image.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what a great job you are doing on the matador the chassis numbers you quote come from contract VM11373 for

1289 vehicles in my records neither of them do not appear but chassis numbers 5540 5543 5570 and 5573 do

l can only guess why they do not appear and that's all it would be the chassis were made but not completed and kept as replacements for damaged ones and made up after 150 for export

 

REGARDS WALLY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, that is interesting, so these could have been NOS running chasses that eventually were sold off and exported?

 

trevor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot more research needs to be done on the subject but the most likely scenario is that as RW Brown was a major wheeler dealer he bought Matadors at disposal sales in the UK and exported them to Australia. Removing the cabs would have made shipping easier and they were flimsy anyway. You will note the quarter light on the spares trucks which are like a signature of both the Hastings-Deering and Newcastle built cabs and no others. Matadors were not used in the Pacific theatre of WW ll although it is thought that some may have either been purloined by the Aussies when leaving the desert campaign or have snuck down from India through Burma in that campaign and ended up at Darwin disposals. Most mats have a cast iron radiator shell.

As mentioned, as Brown held an AEC dealer franchise so he could have drawn on stocks not yet issued to the British army, but surely there would be a record of civilian sales?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...