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BenHawkins

1914 Dennis Lorry

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I booked Friday afternoon off work and went for a drive to the nearest weigh bridge. It is only one and a half miles from home but gave us the opportunity to try another couple of short moderately steep hills (in the form of canal bridges). The bridges are not steep enough for gradient marker signs but we are gaining confidence to take it further afield.

If does go better in warm weather; I don't know if that is just the oil being thinner in the transmission and wheel bearings.

Anyway, the result was a total mass of 2580kg. 1100kg on the front axle and 1480kg on the hind axle. The petrol tank was half full and there was a supply of oil and tools. Technically it would just go on a car transporter trailer but a serious tow car would be needed.

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Why do british vehicles often have only one headlamp?

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5 minutes ago, Citroman said:

Why do british vehicles often have only one headlamp?

I don't think there was any requirement for headlamps to start with . This one left the factory with only sidelamp brackets but had a headlamp added by the original owner, I don't think my 1908 Dennis ever had any fitted. Period photos often show a single headlamp on early vehicles but most surviving vehicles have now been upgraded to two. Did the subsidy specification require two headlamps?

Thanks for all the positive comments!

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Purely as an anecdote:  An old time truck driver pointed out to me that if you see any photo's of commercial vehicles up to about 1970 they will have one huge spotlight at the front.

Dynamo charging dictated that when the wipers, heater fan and main beam were all in action at the same time the it didn't take long for the engine to start misfiring.

 

Apparently it was common practice just to use the one big spotlamp to save the battery.

 

After the 70's alternators became common and the charging problem didn't arise

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We have just spent a few days in the Cotswolds which included providing transport for the wedding of some good friends.

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Getting the bride to the church on time adds a little stress to the drive.

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But after that trip went so well it was much less concerning to make it to the village social club.

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The cab, doors and windscreen provided ample weather protection as described in the original sales catalogue (40mph winds and rain).

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Back to the venue where the sun came out for the photos.

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The hill performance is slowly improving (and probably my driving also), but there is probably some more tuning to be done. 

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Absolutely lovely

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Have enjoyed the process and the problem solving - the time has passed so quickly...    "...Quite a promising start to the project." ... January 2015.  

 

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On 8/13/2019 at 1:04 AM, Redherring said:

Have enjoyed the process and the problem solving - the time has passed so quickly...    "...Quite a promising start to the project." ... January 2015.  

 

It has been a pleasure to share the project with others. It was useful to see how other people had approached their projects and the help and advice has been invaluable.

We have been working through the finishing touches whilst working on other projects. Shortly before the wedding I managed to purchase a bar end of brass just big enough to machine two new king pin covers. I had previously fitted slightly larger (rusty) ones so I could get the lorry on the road.

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A conclusion from the wedding driving was that there was probably not enough height difference between the carburettor and the petrol tank. The petrol tank is under the seat so around four feet behind the carburettor; the Aster engine was originally fitted to a generator so does not have a heated inlet manifold (as would often be fitted to a lorry of this period) and therefore the carburettor sits quite high. The gradient between the top of the main jet and the bottom of the tank was only around 1:6 so I decided I needed to move the carburettor down.

In order to move the carburettor down it also has to move sideways to clear the crankcase flange. I chose to make it 2" long with an offset of 1/4" so I scribed the lines onto a billet of aluminium and roughed it out to size.

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I tilted the head on my milling machine and used a boring head to open the hole out to size.

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This has definitely improved hill performance but it will still not quite manage the 1:6 canal bridge on my test route (but the brakes have no problem holding it there)

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The manifold and carburettor get very cold when running. It was around 15C when I took it for the test drive but frost was forming on the new aluminium adaptor. On the above photo you can see a boss pointing away from the engine; this is to allow for connecting the carburettor to the cooling system. I need to plumb this in to keep the carburettor warm but I am not sure if I will get a performance boost.

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Very impressive, Ben. I would  be very wary of permanently plumbing in the inlet manifold, and suggest that if you decide to do so, incorporate a couple of taps so that you can regulate it. I appreciate that the carb is quite remote and well away from exhaust heat, but our modern petrol seems to be much lighter than they had back in the day, and vapourises very easily when hot... which also gives bad performance, at slower speeds anyway. You may find that it runs quite happily up to a point but then can't catch its breath or stalls at idle! I have had white spirit recommended to me as an additive but have never tried it. I will say that we ran the Dennis for a day last summer on a couple of jerry cans of petrol that had some slight diesel contamination, which it burned through quite happily, running a little cooler than it would otherwise have done making it easier to start when well warm. The only apparent downside was a fumier exhaust as you initially accelerated away.

An alternative may be to rig up some way of supplying the engine with warmer air under the bonnet rather than fresh air. Not best practice for efficiency, but in the winter we do jubilee clip a length of pipe, maybe 14", onto the Solex intake so that it doesn't draw cold air up, and this helps to even out the slow running.

 

Owen.

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Owen, thanks for your thoughts on the ways to prevent the inlet manifold frosting up. In addition to the frost on the outside of the inlet manifold I have had the pedal stick down under the same conditions. I think frost is forming on the inside of the throttle barrel as well.

As the carburettor has the passages for water heating it seems like the most sensible first step and of course needs taps to isolate and drain. I run with glycol coolant so hopefully should not risk frost damage to the carburettor body.

Yesterday we went for a drive to the local Canal festival. We took a route with plenty of canal bridges which was a good chance to practice my gear changes.

We had some excellent company at the festival and plenty of people to chat to in some glorious weather.

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We loaded up some fruit crates and potato sacks for the trip but I still have to work out how they should be secured. There are no rope hooks visible in either the factory photos or the in service photo.

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One of the final outstanding items is the tarpaulin for the back. I have put this off as I cannot decide on the colour. Suggestions welcome.

There is a slight repair required to the horn after some over-enthusiastic honking by some younger members of the public.

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Separate problem to your frosting which you can address as Owen suggest by drawing the air intake from around the exhaust manifold. With my Daimler we have had problems on hot days with the fuel vaporising I know of others adding diesel to great effect but I personally found adding a good quality two stroke oil get the desired result with the added bonus of lubricating the sleeve valves  plus with very little if any smoke from the exhaust.

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Brilliant Post and fantastic work on the restoration ! - it would appear to be the same model as this one that my great grandfather was driving after his dray horses were sent to France in 1939, this is in Dover Kent, sometime before 1941 when he died (he had been gassed in WWI and was never well after then) - have you any overall dimensions (wheelbase, track, wheel diameters etc that I could use to make a CAD model (small hobby of mine, see attached all scaled from photos and basic dimensions) 

Regards Andy

leney lorry.jpg

basic wagon 27.jpg

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2 hours ago, rowehillmaster said:

 (small hobby of mine, see attached all scaled from photos and basic dimensions) 

Regards Andy

 

basic wagon 27.jpg

Andy,

A Roadrailer trailer? Think that was the name. I recall building a model kit of one about 50 years ago, with an AEC tractor unit.

Sorry to hijack the thread, I take great interest in this Dennis restoration, well done Ben.

regards, Richard

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45 minutes ago, Richard Farrant said:

Andy,

A Roadrailer trailer? Think that was the name. I recall building a model kit of one about 50 years ago, with an AEC tractor unit.

Sorry to hijack the thread, I take great interest in this Dennis restoration, well done Ben.

regards, Richard

Correct - my full scale model is to be used to make a 3D printed kit, like the old Scalecraft kit !

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Just now, rowehillmaster said:

Correct - my full scale model is to be used to make a 3D printed kit, like the old Scalecraft kit !

Good one, yes that was the kit. Think the system came to nothing in the end, the (real) trailers would have been expensive to build

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Thanks for the kind comments about this project.

Looking at your lovely photo of KT665 it is a very similar age of lorry and could either be identical to mine or possibly the 30cwt version. The three ton did not have the offset in the front axle (outboard of the springs) so the chassis was a few inches higher up.

Coincidentally I have been building a machine on this slightly lighter road rail trailer recently so the concept is not completely dead. 

Trailer.JPG.8cfe71526db79294c52dc276ae36cbec.JPG

 

The two ton lorry was fitted with 720mm wheels for 100mm wide tyres. I have include a PDF of the tyres to show the dimensions. Twin tyres were fitted to the rear.

The chassis is made from 4" channel for the main rails, parallel along their length; back at the start of this project you will be able to see photos; the outside faces of the channel are 37-3/4" apart. There is a channel front cross member and a tubular member at the rear. An additional 3" channel frame is suspended below the main chassis to carry the engine and gearbox; this is pivoted at the front.

It is 11'4" wheelbase and 5' track, the chassis overhang at the back was adjusted to suit the body style. Mine is shorter than typical at 15'6"; this does have certain advantages as far as garaging is concerned! I guess you don't need much space to get to two tons when you load with fruit and vegetables.

What software do you use for your 3D CAD? I might be able to provide STEP files for some of the components, for example it should have this type of White and Poppe cylinder block (rather than the pair cast Aster I have fitted as the nearest equivalent). I would love to see your finished model. 

1764185312_Renderedimage.thumb.jpg.998c34ded9f7793da9d1f8b050906e74.jpg

tyre.pdf

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Thanks Ben, I shall be using Autodesk inventor pro - I will keep you informed of progress and will probably have to make further contact to bring out some of the finer details that I cannot source from all the pictures I have been collecting - I think KT 665 in the picture does look very similar, but I have done no actual research at the record office about its past or details - it may not have always been a Leneys lorry ?, and I have no chassis number or any other details so it may be hard to trace.

Keep up the excellent work - regards Andy

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Just done a bit more, google research and found in the Commercial Motor Archive an article from the 3rd November 1910 which states -

" We illustrate a two-ton Dennis lorry, from a photograph taken at Guildford, prior to the dispatch of the vehicle to Messrs. Alfred Leney and Co., of the Pheonix Brewery, Dover." 

It could be the one !

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8 hours ago, rowehillmaster said:

It could be the one !

... or not !  - (that 'we illustrate' picture has 12 spoke front wheels and 16 spoke rears) - I think it just proves that Leneys were buying direct from Dennis around that time. -  I was too excited - it had been a long day, I had been up since 04:00 !

EDIT: - further research of the Commercial Motor Archive has found that on 4th April 1912, Page 10 it is stated that -:

"Messrs. Leney and Co. have recently taken delivery of their fourth Dennis lorry within a period of 12 months, the latest purchase being a two-ton vehicle with a 28 h.p. engine"

...... interesting.

Edited by rowehillmaster
further info found

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