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Mk1 Militant Tanker

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For the impeller shaft - if you have a good local machine shop is it worth enquiring if they can restore the corroded section of the shaft back to OE dimensions.  Maybe a coat of spray weld then truned back to OE dims???

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Rob I do know of a very good machine shop on the Gaza Estate at Weald villiage.

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Thanks guys, but have found a place up north to do a rebuild they specialise in old AEC stuff, reckon they have parts on the shelf, so it's on it's way to them

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Good weekends work in the sunshine, bit sweaty with the coverals on, though.  Finally got to the bottom of my issues with the blast skirt.  There was a tiny bit in the centre that was catching on the engine sump plug, and causing the whole thing to distort.  Trimmed it off to give a bit more clearance and every thing lines up 


One final test fit of the top half and then set about joining the bottom on.

Finished article looks like this


Considerably better than what came off


New one actually works like it is supposed to as well.  Bottom half hinges up 90° for maintenance or extra ground clearance.


Hot weather is great for painting, dries almost instantly.  Sealed inside edge with Hammerite stonechip


Ten minutes later it is dry enough to turn over and primer the outside.


Nice thick coating of hi-build stuff ready to be flatted down for the top coat once it is fitted back on.

Finally, good news about the water pump.  Last week I sent it to SP Water pumps in Warrington, Cheshire.  Their website gave it all the spiel about doing vintage stuff, and when I phoned them they reckoned they would have parts on the shelf, even for a 60 odd year old item.

Got a call back on Friday,  pump all done, they did have replacement seals etc.  Only £195 and I should have it back on Monday.  Excellent service.  They say they can also do Bedford and Austin/Morris stuff too, and sixty years old is nothing to what they can do

So the old Tanker could be up and running again by the end of the week, and I can get on with the last bit at the back of the cab


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Ten out of ten for the water pump gang, arrived this morning, as promised.


Looks like a new.  Just got to wait til the weekend to get it fitted and try it out


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Well, what a days work!!  Had big plans for Saturday, early start, hit the ground running etc. Set myself a big target, and hit it square on with all guns blazing.  There was a small set back, but I suppose for every ying there has to be a yang, but we'll talk about that later.

First job, the blast skirt.  Measured it, made it, tested it, scrapped it, re-made it, finally got it to the final fitting.


One of those jobs that really requires three blokes, two to hold it and a third to fit the bolts.  However, when I went to the can of fresh blokes it was empty, so you have to invent.

Luckily I now have a good pile of blocks of wood, courtesy Tony Banner, (thanks Tony) lift one side and block up, lift the other side and block that, and so on until high enough to bolt in.  Line edges up and rivet into final location.

Stand back and take photo


First job done.  Well pleased, considering it is a completely new piece, with rolled wire edges and central hinge and all that..

Tony passed by, and enquired how it was going.  I felt the need to demonstrate the hinge and retaining brackets.

Looks like this



Idea is you can lift it up for maintenance purposes, over a pit or similar. Dead proud of it I was, and left it in this position while I got on with the next target.  Can't blame Tony, but I left it in the up position, which turned out to be a bit of an error.

Next up fix the air leak on the foot brake valve, then tighten the wheelnuts (having got a wheelnut socket with me, this time) and jack it back down to ground level. All done with out too much fuss, and on to  the next.

Fit the reconditioned water pump, refill the cooling system and test for leaks.  At the same time, re-connect the wiring loom and test that too.

Good news here, not so much as a damp patch around the pump, so thanks again to SP Water pumps for a quality repair.  As for the rest of the electrics, result here too.  Dashboard all lights up, and works as it should. Dynamo charges, lights, temperature gauge all function as well.  Oil pressure light still refuses to behave, so bad connection somewhere to sort, or sender unit is defunct.

She still wont build up any air pressure either, so I must've got a pipe on wrong somewhere that is allowing a leak.  You can hear the compressor pumping away like mad, but nothing appears in the air tanks. So two jobs here to look into.

Nevermind, I was on a roll with the day, so cracked on with the plan.  The main aim of the year so far has been to get to a point where the spare wheel could be moved to get to the back of the cab .  It's now July, so seven months in and we are finally here.  Start up and engage gears to move forward.


Works too!!  Only about ten foot, but under its own power.  Moved up just enough to be able to open the spare wheel in between the two containers.

Now comes the yang!!  Unroll the spare wheel.  Should be a brake on it to stop it rolling away on its own.  Brake doesn't work and wheel runs down at ever increasing speed.  There's no way I'm going to stand underneath the thing to try and stop it, just had to let it go.

Remember the blast skirt?? Note to operator, do not open spare wheel when skirt is in the up position, cos it does this


Talk about an O.F. moment.  After all the work making the new skirt, and getting it to look perfect, and I do this!  Peeved or what?  Hopefully it will straighten out without too much trouble.

Anyway spare wheel off and carrier lifted off



Just got to strip out the rest of the frame to get to the back of the cab.  As for the carrier....


Herself says it can't stay on the patio, so best get on with that too.


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I bet you are not the first to have mangled a blast skirt that way.  My sympathy though.  At least the bolts that hold it on will undo easily !  Nice new tyre too !


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13 hours ago, Zero-Five-Two said:

There was a small set back, but I suppose for every ying there has to be a yang, but we'll talk about that later.

I was waiting for the personal injury report and then pleased to read that it was "only" damaged metal work.

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Suspect that from now on it might be called the 'Damn and Blast it skirt'.

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Posted (edited)

Actually mike, from the scorched area around the vehicle this morninmg.. May have bit a more than Damm! 👹

Edited by Tony B

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7 hours ago, MIKES said:

Suspect that from now on it might be called the 'Damn and Blast it skirt'.

There was a lot of other words too, at the time, mostly unprintable short ones.

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On 7/22/2018 at 11:18 PM, David Herbert said:

  Nice new tyre too !


Might not have been on the tarmac yet, was new March '73


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Posted (edited)

Another good days progress while the sun shines, fortunately it has  cooled down a bit from earlier in the week, so much more pleasant working conditions.

Remains of the spare wheel carrier came off quite easily, couple of the bolts were a bit stubborn, due to rusting away, but the grinder soon sorted them out.


That's now back at home pending de-rust and repair.  I think a pair of new side panels will be in order, but the angle iron looks like it will clean up OK.

Now, I can finally get to the back panel and finish off the bottom half of the cab. Best do the front of the pump locker while I'm here too. There's no major rust damage on either part, so a couple of hours on the sander and wire brush and it was ready for fresh paint.



Good old Bondaprimer on first.  Only takes about 10 minutes to dry in this weather, just enough time for a fag and a coffee



Followed by a good thick layer of desert yellow primer. Question is now, do I top coat the bottom half, then fit the top, or should I fit the top and paint it all in one go?  Decisions.......  Got a couple of weeks to think about that,  as we're off to a couple of shows with the other truck first.


Edited by Zero-Five-Two

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Bit more on the 45 year old spare tyre.  Side wall is quite clearly marked with yellow chalk for 225 Sqn RCT


Confirmation that the information on the B veh record card is correct.  Most of her life was spent in Edinburgh with The Queens own Lowland Yeomanry.  Maybe this is why the cab was so badly rusted, too many wet Scottish winters 


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Here we go, then, the latest goings on in Tanker world.  Been fitting up the inside of the cab, prior to fitting the top half.

Started with the side panels


Near Side complete with screenwash bottle holder, Machete holder, Driver Handbook Pocket and fresh air vent.


Off Side with air vent and screws waiting for the indicator switch unit to go in.  Just got to go round with a small brush now painting the rivet tops, and touching up the scratches.

Flush with that success, moved onto the actual engine covers.


Back end first, went on easy enough.  Failed slightly with the repair of the rectangular panel, cut the slot in the bottom left a bit too long, should have a third bolt in it, but I can re-visit that later.

Front end was a different story


Starts well enough on the nearside, corner panel bolts through the front panel and the radiator shroud. Well pleased the holes lined up as the shroud had a major repair on that side.


But it quickly descended into rubbish with the top and the off side.

The lower panel in the corner goes on last, I eventually discovered, after you fit the top.  Oh and by the way, the top bolts on behind the radiator shroud, so you should fit the off side before you do the near side, otherwise you can't get the bolts through.

After you've done all that you find that the dashboard frame you took off because you were sick of banging your head on it has to go on before any panels.

Finally after about 6 hours of doing the panel hokey cokey  it looks like this


Overal pleased with it.  Still got a couple of bits to finish, like the belata strips under the main cover, and this


There is a spring clip that hooks the top to the side inspection panel.  Now, I haven't moved either  mounting both are riveted on. Both panels are in the right place, but.....


The timber tractor ones line up so the spring is vertical, and I would've thought these would be the same.  I guess not.  Any one able to shed any light on it?  Second opinions welcome.

Lastly, the sharp eyed reader will have noticed there is a small triangular panel missing from near the left hand wheel arch.  So is the one on the right hand side too.  Don't know how but they slipped through the painting process.  Got as far as priming but never got top coat.  Mixing a job lot of paint just for 2 little triangles seemed a waste, so did the inside of the doors as well.


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Been busy, busy people since the last update, and finally found time to put a few pictures up.

Remember this?


Top half of the cab stowed behind the home workshop, much to the disgust of herself.


Looks like this now!  Cab top gone!  Herself very pleased, and I'm quite chuffed as well, 'cos it's back where it belongs. Back on the truck.


Getting it out of the gateway was a bit more difficult than getting it in.  More good metal this time, less rust and holes, this time made it a darn sight heavier.


All hands on deck for this one, and the timber crane for the lift




Went on quite well.  Did video the whole event, but editing down 3 hours of mainly standing around having a fag and discussing what's next, into 10 minutes of good watchable action is proving a bit of a challenge, so you;ll have to wait for that.


Anyway top is on and a few bolts in place holding it down.  Doors were hung, but would not close properly, leading to thoughts of issues with tape measure when rebuilding etc.

The sharp eyed may notice the off front corner doesn't seem to be sitting down quite flush, and this is a clue to the doors not shutting. But it was getting near the end of the day so we called that done for now, put the cover back on and adjourned for a lager.

Back the next weekend with a fresh pair of eyes to finish the job.  First thing,  sort the doors out.


There's two rubber locating blocks on each door which fit into cutouts on the corresponding pillar, and I didn't do the cut out  when I made the new panel. So trimmed them out and it was better but not right. there's no adjustment on the hinges, and I still couldn't see why they wouldn't shut properly.

So, stop farting about with that.  Will come back to it later.  Will bolt the top down first, and investigate why that corner is still up a bit.  In the end the answers quite simple, but took a while to notice.

Few weeks back I fitted the engine covers, so much easier without the top on.  The front cowling, bolts through the front frame, which is what I did.. Two bolts in temporarily, thinking at the time to remove them before putting the top on.  But I forgot about them.


Plonked the top on and of course it rocks on the bolts one side up and the other down.

Getting them out was another story


But managed to get a big enough gap to get a thin cutting disc in and chop the heads off.  Little bit of podging with a screwdriver to get the holes to line up and it all bolts down nicely.

Funnily enough, after that both doors shut quite sweetly, just as you would expect.  Next mission, get the windows in.

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Another issue reared it's ugly head again as we tried to move her for fitting the top. She really doesn't like building up air pressure.  I've cured several leaks, which improved things, but still not what you would call serviceable.

Must be a problem with the compressor, so off it comes for a strip down. I knew it needed an oil change at the very least, having seen the gunge that was coating the bottom of the dipstick. But having read the Bedford RL thread by Tamber and seen his compressor issues, I wasn't sure what I would find.


Drain the worst of the gunge out first


Pull the head off.  Much carbon on the top of the pistons, so much that it all but stops it going past TDC


Head itself is not much better, valves are well caked in the stuff. Outlet valves are the square shaped holes and the inlet are the ring of smaller holes in each cylinder



Bottom end appears OK, just full of slime.


Really need a bigger parts washer. 

Sloshed out as much gunge as I could, then refitted the sump and filled it with clean diesel.  Invented a socket holder for the hand drill to fit on the pulley and gave it a good ten minutes spinning over to circulate the diesel round the inside, which cleared out a load more.

Repeated this a couple of times to flush out the rest, then ran through some clean oil to finish off.  Sump off again to check all cleaned out, then refit with new gasket. 

On to the head, now. 


Outlet valves screw into the top of the head, and are just a simple flat plate under a small spring.  Again caked with carbon, but in fairly good condition under the crap.  Cleaned of and polished, and with the seats done too and they seal nicely.

Took a bit of thinking on how to get to the inlet valves.  I tested them and both were not sealing at all, so something had to be done. 

Worked it out in the end, the middle hole is a 1/4" BSF thread. Screw a bolt in and pull the whole thing out with this little invention


Underneath is the same sort of flat plate and spring set up as on the outlet side.  Clean, polish and refit. 

Pulling them out was a bit nerve wracking. They weren't keen on moving and I was concerned about damaging them.  Having cleaned them up, they refitted a bit too easily, and I could see one dropping out onto a piston one day with results you don't want to think about.

Glued them in with a good smear of locktight, so hopefully they will stay in place.

Reassemble the whole thing and give it a test.  Just spinning it over by hand, you cannot hold your finger over the outlet pipe, there's too much pressure building up.  Put your hand on the inlet, and once it has got hold the vacuum won't let go, so I think I've got a result here.

Finished off with some bondaprimer all over, ready for some of that green colour everybody loves


A fresh pair of belts are on order for it, and with a bit of luck she'll be up and running next weekend




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Reconditioned compressor refitted with it's shiny new belts


And it works very nicely too.  Takes about a minute and a half to build from nothing to full air (110psi) on tick over.  So very pleased with that result.

The nice red panel in the picture deserves a mention too.


The original one had a few too many holes in it, and it was easier to make a new one than try and patch up the old.

Rest of the cab is coming on


Side windows are all in on both sides


Front screens have been sorted and a plywood template made, for cutting new glass. So they'll be on in the next couple of weeks.  It's all coming together nicely.

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Bit of an 'elf an' safety issue this weekend, but made some good progress none the less.

Tanker has obviously had an oil cooler leak at some point in it's life, because it has been disconnected and bypassed.  So, one of the jobs on the to do list at some point is remove the thing and have a look.

Started on Saturday with plan A to finish off the "in Cab" electrics, but failure the bring test lamp and other kit to site meant a move to the back up plan. Bumper off and attack oil cooler.

Bumper came off quite well. big bolts needed a big crack bar, but plenty of penetrating fluid and a large hammer soon got a result.


Bumper on the deck.  You can see the bypass hose at the bottom of the radiator.  Bumper had to go to get to the rad grill for cleaning anyway, and it could do with a quick go with the needle gun itself. So 2 results in one

Quick inspection reveals the leak


It's had a whack at some time, pushing the pipes back and cracking the weld. On the plus side,  cooler is made of steel so shouldn't present too many dramas to straighten and repair.

Thought I would get rid of the bypass hose first, but it was on well tight. Big spanner and a pair of Stilesons should do the honours.

Not quite. It was actually a big spanner and a pair of cheap Chinese looky likey stilesons.  And they went like this!!


 Needless to say I went backwards, tripping over the bumper that was still just where I'd left it.

Showing a clear presence of mind in a time of crisis, I remembered that the cargo truck is parked quite close, and I tried to twist away to avoid cracking my head on it on the way down. Got that bit right, but my right shoulder and upper arm took the full impact with the concrete floor.  A funny scrunching noise and instant pain told me it wasn't a good landing, but there was no claret leaking from anywhere so perhaps not too bad.

Carried on like you do and got the grille and cooler off, packed up and went home, didn't feel too bad.

This morning was a different story. Can't lift right arm at all, so obviously pulled something.  Plenty of pills and deep heat is helping, but looks like I'm off to the vet first thing tomorrow if it's no better.

Lessons learnt, then.

1.  Don't leave big lumps of truck lying around where you can fall over them, and

2. more importantly, stop buying cheap Chinese tools off the boot fair. 


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