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WW1 Dennis truck find

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Its easy to fix just use that little button labeled "EDIT",and you can correct any part of your post's at any time .

ps you dont have to fill in the reason for correcting in the box that pops up unless you want to .

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Thanks for the update, looking forward to the next one, couldn't believe it when you told me it's coming to Gods back garden upon completion (ie Leicestershire)

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Thanks for the update, looking forward to the next one, couldn't believe it when you told me it's coming to Gods back garden upon completion (ie Leicestershire)

 

Well if Leicestershire is Gods back garden, the particular piece that it will be going to is the bit of waste ground behind the compost heap where only stinging nettles grow (sorry Steve). Anyway, it wont be happeneing for some years yet i am sure. Too many other distractions and the shed has not been built yet.

 

On the restoration front i have just spent a few days down in Devon and we have been working on dismantling the gearbox. Not very exciting, but quite satisfying as it comes apart. The problem is of course the very delicate case which you can see here:

 

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The aliminium has rotted away in some places and we are desperately trying not to make it fall apart.

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Of course getting the thing apart has involved using the big sockets with scaffolding pole to get extra leverage. Getting it all red hot. Belting necessary parts with a hammer. Shouting at it. All the usual stuff really. But of course doing it with utmost delicacy so as not to break anything. Here are some photos which are fairly self explanatory:

 

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It is interesting to note that the transmission drum on this gearbox is actually two of them bolted together (unlike our other example), probably to give it better braking. We will return it to this configuration as being able to stop in a hurry is always useful.

 

Everything has come apart using our tried and tested methods, however, the brakes are rusted solid and can not be taken off, despite the direst of threats. The shafts are stuck solid in the ali gear box caseing and we can not ease them off the end. We have stopped for now to reconsider our strategy.

 

Tim (too)

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Great work Tim. What is the citric acid used for ?Aluminium? Where do you find these vehicles from? Are they all War Dept or civilian?

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Yes thats right. The citric acid is used to clean up the ali and does a good job of it. I cant remember where it came from. Tony will know and I am sure he will post the answer soon.

 

It is very hard to find any info on these early trucks, however through friends, contacts and the internet we have established enough information to enable us to do our projects. Interestingly, info on the US built trucks is much more readily available than the british built trucks. No idea why this is, but we have everything we could need now for the Peerless, our next project. Another great source of information comes from photos of these trucks which i avidly purchase when ever i come across them.

 

Tim (too)

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Where do you find these vehicles from? Are they all War Dept or civilian?

 

These trucks are all (but the grey Autocar) from military service. It is a bit hard to tell with the Dennis restoration as when finished it will consist of parts from about 7 different Dennis trucks, but they are all of the war time subsidy model even if some parts are replacement post war bits.

 

Tim (too)

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Citric Acid - Steve bought it from a "Home wine makers" shop - it comes in powder form and you just dilute it with water! The shop does not sell it for our purpose but just really for the home wine makers. Difficult to find elsewhere - but if you will excuse the play on words - "Any Port in a storm"!

 

Tony

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Have just gone through this thread outstanding and words like that don't really do justice to the hours of dedication and the quality of the work just shines through.

If only half a dozen of this manificent wagons survive restored to your standards that will be a job done properly

 

All the very best

 

Jerry for once in awe and reasonably sensible

 

 

In TOTAL AGREEMENT...............Brilliant !!

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As you know we have been working on the gearbox dismantling. Father has been very busy and has been taking lots of photos which he has been sending on to me. There is a heck of a lot of photos, so instead of posting all of them i have posted a selection and you can see the sort of problems that he has been dealing with. Nothing that cant be resolved without a great deal of heat and pressure (and pullers too).

 

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Now we just have to put it all back together again.

 

Tim (too)

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As you know we have been working on the gearbox dismantling. Father has been very busy and has been taking lots of photos which he has been sending on to me. There is a heck of a lot of photos, so instead of posting all of them i have posted a selection and you can see the sort of problems that he has been dealing with. Nothing that cant be resolved without a great deal of heat and pressure (and pullers too).

 

DSCN7022.jpg

 

DSCN7044.jpg

 

DSCN7079.jpg

 

DSCN7129.jpg

 

DSCN7274.jpg

 

DSCN7275.jpg

 

DSCN7276.jpg

 

DSCN7203.jpg

 

Now we just have to put it all back together again.

 

Tim (too)

 

 

:sweat: Blimey............

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In photo seven above, you can see the gear change detent casting. The square rods slide back and forth with a plunger on a spring pushing into notches in them. The squares were completely corroded so we had to cut them off. I am pleased to be able to report that Father has managed to remove the remainder of the square shafts. One was successfully pressed through using a large vice and a lot of heat. The other had to be drilled out a bit at a time.

 

Another afternoons work!

 

Steve

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In our abscence, Father has been slaving away trying to get the gears off the shafts. This has involved some gentle manipulation (with a mallet), followed by the placing of a screwdriver in the gap to try and ease the gear forwards enough to get the arms of a puller in place. Here are some photos of his progress:

 

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The gears are not in as good a condition as we had hoped, so we will be taking a second box to pieces to retreive the gears within. So the whole episode will be repeated. The things we do for fun?

 

Tim (too)

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now that is dedication I hope the article in cmv this month will help keep you focused on the mammoth task you have undertaken and seeing all the pics of your trucks I take my hat off to you all

well done

Nigel

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I read this topic from first post till the last one, its a great story so far! I'm really looking forward to seeing the vehicle finished in such a high standard.

 

I'm sure its a great asset for you that your whole family is part of the project. Having such an interesting vehicle, I suppose you don't have any problems with the motivation - but I suspect most of the people are working on their projects alone, and at times its hard to keep the motivation 100% all the time. It would be great to have a brother, sister or father who would kick my ass when I feel lazy!

 

My grand father (R.I.P.) was a Regional Chief and a war hero in the Finnish Civil War (1918) which was a part of the national and social turmoil caused by the WWI. He also earned a lot of medals in the WWII which was more historically important for the Finnish people, to be honest. The small Finnish Army was able to give fierce resistance to the Russian Army, and was never invaded by them. I think those events partly made me choose this hobby, and my military truck brand, Sisu. For this reason, I never have done too much research about the Great War and what comes to the vehicles that were used in the WWI - I have not much information (although I have purchased a book that is about early Finnish Army vehicles). Therefore, its been really valuable reading so far and perhaps it makes me better understand those times and the technological status when my grandfather took part in the Civil War.

 

Today the people have the wrong belief that the people living in the early times were stupid or simple, which is so wrong! Actually I think its the opposite! Of course we are nowdays more technologically advanced but I think many of the great inventions were made in the early times. My "remarkable discovery" is, that if you compare your truck and todays modern equivalent you notice they are almost the same! Of course today we have more electronics, fine details, comfortability and so on - but looking at your project photos made me realize that the gearbox looks like a gearbox, engine is an engine, the radiator is a radiator, frame is a frame and so on.. What we have today is only an evolution from these first vehicles.

 

People were not stupid at the yearly times... Thank God there are talented people like you who can bring these marvellous inventions back to life :tup::

 

Cedric

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Thank you for all of those kind and valid comments. We are very fortunate that we are a united family sharing the same interests and yes - every so often we do have to "gee" each other up. It is not much fun being outside when it is cold - and when something that you are working on proves to be doubly difficult!

 

I do not cease to admire the standard of the wonderful workmanship in our "stuff" - it was first put together about 90 years ago when there was not the sophisticated machinery that we have nowadays that make all of these things so comparitively easy to make. The Gear Box that we are just pulling to pieces will probably have not been pulled apart since it was made - and yet everything was made with such precision - presumably parts machined on lathes - and gears cut on early hobbing machines - all driven from a line shaft probably powered by a steam engine! How times change!

 

Tony

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If the gears in the second box are not all serviceable , what is your next option ? Do you get new ones custom machined ?

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At this stage, I am optimistic that it will not come to that. We have three gearboxes altogether - the one that we have picked on is the one with the soundest case and is the one that we plan to use. This one was left open to the elements so that is why it is so badly rusted inside. Gearbox number two has a very corroded case - but is still sealed and we hope that the gears inside will have been protected. Gearbox number three has a broken case with one of the "pins" for the Transmission Brake actually broken off - but that gearbox came back from Australia and is quite clean. The gears in that one have some surface rust on them but they look OK. I'll get Tim to post some pictures of those two gearboxes for you to see!

 

Tony

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I read this topic from first post till the last one, its a great story so far! I'm really looking forward to seeing the vehicle finished in such a high standard.

 

I'm sure its a great asset for you that your whole family is part of the project. Having such an interesting vehicle, I suppose you don't have any problems with the motivation - but I suspect most of the people are working on their projects alone, and at times its hard to keep the motivation 100% all the time. It would be great to have a brother, sister or father who would kick my ass when I feel lazy!

 

My grand father (R.I.P.) was a Regional Chief and a war hero in the Finnish Civil War (1918) which was a part of the national and social turmoil caused by the WWI. He also earned a lot of medals in the WWII which was more historically important for the Finnish people, to be honest. The small Finnish Army was able to give fierce resistance to the Russian Army, and was never invaded by them. I think those events partly made me choose this hobby, and my military truck brand, Sisu. For this reason, I never have done too much research about the Great War and what comes to the vehicles that were used in the WWI - I have not much information (although I have purchased a book that is about early Finnish Army vehicles). Therefore, its been really valuable reading so far and perhaps it makes me better understand those times and the technological status when my grandfather took part in the Civil War.

 

Today the people have the wrong belief that the people living in the early times were stupid or simple, which is so wrong! Actually I think its the opposite! Of course we are nowdays more technologically advanced but I think many of the great inventions were made in the early times. My "remarkable discovery" is, that if you compare your truck and todays modern equivalent you notice they are almost the same! Of course today we have more electronics, fine details, comfortability and so on - but looking at your project photos made me realize that the gearbox looks like a gearbox, engine is an engine, the radiator is a radiator, frame is a frame and so on.. What we have today is only an evolution from these first vehicles.

 

People were not stupid at the yearly times... Thank God there are talented people like you who can bring these marvellous inventions back to life :tup::

 

Cedric

 

 

Cedric

 

Thank you for your very interesting post. I agree with everything you say. We know about the Russo-Finnish war but i know nothing about the Finnish civil war. I understand that Finland acquired a number of surplus trucks from WW1 and i have pictures of some of these (all Packard). I dont speak the language unfortunatly, but perhaps you can confirm the langauge is Finnish, and you may recognise the location in the second photo, or the uniforms in the last one.

 

Thanks again

 

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Tim (too)

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Here are the gearbox photos that Tony mentioned.

Gearbox 2:

 

DSCN7357.jpg

 

DSCN7356.jpg

 

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Gearbox 3 with the damage marked:

 

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Plenty of opportunity to retrieve some gears, but lots of work involved.

 

Tim (too)

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Are those two speed plus reverse gear boxes or ? What was the max speed of those trucks on good smooth roads?

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In the meantime Father has been busy cleaning bits. Hard working fellow that he is:

 

Youve gotta keep these oldns out of mischive :-D

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