Jump to content

Mk1 Militant Tanker

Recommended Posts

I'll have a look in my shed for a cap over the weekend, sure I've got one or two kicking around.


Thanks Simon, it's not an essenttial part but want it to look right

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick update and pics of the latest efforts on the old girl.


Started working on the indicator control unit.




I wanted to do a slight upgrade to include hazard lights. I know it's not original, but it is a sensible idea for todays motoring environment.




The original flasher unit still works, underneath the cobwebs and corroded terminals, but it cannot cope with all four indicator bulbs at once. Gets rather warm, rather quickly!


So fitted a modern flasher unit with hazard capacity, worked on hazards OK, but it cannot cope with just indicators, as there's only two bulbs each side. Solution was to use both units. Difficult bit was getting it all to fit inside the little box.




Took a bit of cramming, but I got it all in and working. Replaced all the cables and terminals as well, and gave it a fresh coat of paint.




Looks so much better.


Gave the control unit a once over too, so that's ready for the grand fitting up.



81A Indicator Box.jpg

Indicator Box Base.jpg

Recon Indicator Box Base.jpg

Recon Indicatror Box.jpg

Recon Control Box.jpg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Homework this week has mostly been refurbishing the wiring looms from the master switch through the main junction box, which itself has benefitted from a once over.




Just waiting for delivery of new steel conduit to run the cables through and we'll be done.


Saturday wasn't forecast as that good weather wise, but I thought I'll stick my neck out and risk a shower or two and do a bit more on the cab. Turned out to be a nice day and I got a fair bit done. However, none of it was what I intended to do.


Plan A. Repair the front scuttle panel, where it has rotted way behind the bridge plate.




As you can see it is in need of help. However, you cannot get to work on the back of it because the floor and wheel arch is in the way. So that has to come out first.


Plan B. What do I do with this lot?




To get the wheel arch out, this lot has to go first, starter cables, auxillary gear levers, rifle racks and so on.




And you get left with this




And floor plates that look like this. Bit flimsy to say the least!!




Finally you end up with this! A very rickety frame, loads of rust crumbs, and.. well, some more rust!!


By the time I got to this point it was late in the day and doing the bridge plate was a long way down the list, behind beer, shower, Dinner, more beer and so on


371 O-S-F 3.jpg





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Today saw sorting the home workshop to get yesterdays parts in.




Big bit is the wheel arch itself, rear end is not quite as bad as the passengers side was, but it will need the same level of repair. The front end is 3" shorter than it should be.




There should be a third bolt hole on these gear lever mountings, but it has simply rotted away. Mountings are aluminium, and TIG welding is out of my league, so they'll need to go to someone who can.




Big aluminium floor plate is in reasonable condition, a good scrub up and a new piece of rubber for the handbrake aperture will sort that, so much to be going on with.


That said, time over the next couple of weekends is at a premium. This coming Sunday is the Father in Laws 80th birthday.




This is himself at the wheel of a Militant. 1958-ish on Soltau West Germany during his National Service. So we are all up to Yorkshire to wish him all the best.


Weekend after is the AEC show at Newark, so out with the Timber Tractor, beer and bar-b-cue etc, etc. All rush, but lovin' every minute





01BP41 Eric Militant.jpg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Somewhere along the way, this month, in between everything else I have found time for a considerable amount of tanker repair, just haven't had time to write it up.


So here we go, brace yourselves for an onslaught of pictures etc.


Starting with the Off Side Wheel Arch




As you can see the rear plate is badly corroded and holed, the off side edge is in bits and the front end is 3" shorter than it should be having rotted away




New panel into the rear section




Off Side Edge is a bit more complicated, but many clamps hold it straight while the new metal is welded in




New front section finishes the job




Quick grind off of the welds, and a skim of filler to cover the join




Quality coating of Hammerite Stonechip, and then you find out you've run out of DBG




That said, need to fit it to hold the side frame in the right place for it's own repair. DBG can wait 'til later




Cutting the corroded frame away to find good steel




External wheelarch was temporarily refitted to give an indication of the shape required

416 O-S Wheel Arch.jpg

417 Wheel Arch Repair 1.jpg

418 Wheel Arch Repair 2.jpg

419 Wheel Arch Repair 3.jpg

420 Wheel Arch Repair 4.jpg

421 Wheel Arch Repair 5.jpg

422 Wheel Arch Refitted.jpg

427 O-S Frame.jpg

428 O-S Repair.jpg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just found another picture I should have put in with the last post,




The finished corner. Just go to repeat the operation for the front half and we are all but ready to start hanging new panels.


Last Sunday was far too hot for welding and frame repairs, I was forced to sit in the shade on my patio making sure I was drinking plenty to keep me cool.


While doing that I managed to convert some more of this




Into this




Main Loom from Control Board up to the dash and indicator unit.


Out with the other woman this weekend to a show at Long Melford, Suffolk, so Tanker progress will be limited. Might find a few parts though :D

430 O-S Frame.jpg

366 Electrical Mess.jpg

425 New Front Loom.jpg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The latest goings on in Tanker world. Having started the off side framework at the back of the wheelarch, been working my way forward, finishing up with the front bulkhead panel.




The round shadow of the remains of the bridge class plate was hiding pure rust, and both edges are shot away too, so off it comes and back to the workshop.




First thought was to cut out the rusty bit and weld in new, but on closer inspection, making a new plate would be better. Biggest problem would be to get the shallow curve right, it is not a corner as such, so rolling would be too much. My local steel supplier had a solution. Use a sheet that had spent the last 6 months leaning against a wall and had sagged under it's own weight into a perfect curve. Top left hand corner of the picture shows it continuing to "lean and sag" against the wall of my workshop awaiting cutting out.




Off we go, mark out the outline and various rivet holes, cut out the shape and bend in the steering box shroud. Usual skim of filler over the grinder marks and generous coat of paint






Quick comparison of the old and new. The cut out on the old sheet is the main cab mounting for the off side, which is welded onto the back of the panel.




That fits on like this




And the whole thing looks like this. Well pleased with the result. Now that bit is on square, I can carry on with the resat of the frame and the front half of the wheel arch.

411a Off Side Frame 2.jpg

435 O-S-F Panel.jpg

437 O-S-F Panel New.jpg

440 O-S-F Painted 2.jpg

441 O-S-F Old and New.jpg

442 O-S-F Test Fit.jpg

443 O-S-F Test Fit 2.jpg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Busy, Busy just lately, piling in the Tanker work, making the most of the light summer evenings.


First off, continuing the off side frame repairs, with making the curved framework required for supporting the wheel arch




Used the arch itself to get the correct curve, and weld on sides to make a channel




Made one for the near side as well. Both are extra long, so just need to cut down to the right length and weld in.


Then attacked the arch itself. Basic structure is good, just has rusted through in a few places




Cut the rust out and weld in patches.




Strip off the old paint. Started with Nitromors, I've always used this but the whole tin (as shown) just got soaked in. Have the 'Elf an' Safety gang watered it down?




It did peel this bit off revealing an age old stencil of the tyre pressure, in case there was any doubt given the recent thread questioning Militant tyres




Anyhow, got some better stuff from my local motor factors. Called Synstryp. It doesn't look much, seems a bit watery, but oh! Does it do the job. 10 mins work and the green just slid off. Need to be careful with it, you don't want any of it on your skin




With a bit of filler to smooth off the welds and on goes the fresh paint. Hammerite on the underside




Red Oxide and grey primer on the top. Looks much better

447 Wheel Arch Frame Making 2.jpg

448 Wheel Arch Frame Making 3.jpg

451 O-S Wheel Arch Repair 2.jpg

452 O-S Wheel Arch 3.jpg

453 O-S Wheel Arch 4.jpg

454 O-S Wheel Arch Repair 5.jpg

455 O-S Wheel Arch Repair 6.jpg

457 O-S Wheel Arch Repair 8.jpg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ran out of time last night, waiting for the second lot of photos to load up, and had to break off. So, where were we.


In between all the frame and panel repairs, loads of smaller bits have been stripped, cleaned and noted ready for a fresh coat of paint.




Workshop resembling a Chinese laundry again, we've got handbrake, gear levers, various mounting brackets, floor plates, fuel and air pipes, battery box and a whole load of small clips, brackets and clamps. Even got the inner ring from the cupola which has been hanging around waiting to get finished for over a year. Red Oxide on first




Then shiney DBG on top. Now all safely labelled and stored in the attic awaiting the grand refitting day.



Till then, more frame to repair. Back up to the old girl on Sunday, but I managed Neils (Artistrifles) usual trick of leaving a vital piece at home.





Plan A was to replace this piece of channel, but having left the new bit behind, had to move on to plan B




Which was to fit this lot on properly and check that it is all straight. Was using nuts and bolts instead of rivits, as it was going on and off several times for adjustment, and trimming. I'm left with one little kink in the middle of the corner piece which needs a bit of effort, but otherwise it all fits brilliantly.


Same cannot be said of the nice curved bit of wheel arch frame I made. Good shape, trimmed down to the right length, etc, etc. But couldn't weld it in properly 'cos I left the other bit at home.


I had to do a bit of inventing with the available material to hold it in place!!




Honest, it's only temporary :-D:-D

459 Paint Shop.jpg

460 All Green.jpg

462 Unrepaired.jpg

461 O-S Corner Fitting.jpg

464 Bodge 2-001.jpg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Case of two steps forward and one back this week with the Tanker.


Backward step first. Be wary of buying cheap paint from fleebay. Thought I'd got a bargain the other week, 5 lts of Deep Bronze Green complete with hardener and thinners for less than £100. Sprayed all those small bits lovely. Goes on well, good finish, nice shine, etc.


Only one problem, Green? yes, Deep colour? yes. Deep Bronze Green? not really, it's just a dark green. Looked good at the time, but when placed next to previously painted stuff it's nothing like the right colour! :mad:


Friend of mine looked at it and suggested it looked more like the green used on original Land Rovers. Not best pleased, I've still got 4 lts of the stuff. Might do as an under coat, so probably wont get wasted, but it's £100 I could have used elsewhere.


Anyway, think positive and move forward.


Loading the car for Saturdays efforts, first thing on was the channel needed for the off side frame repair




Hour or so effort with the welder and the front corner is ready for panel fitting. Mixed feelings here, looking forward to fitting the first new bits, but a little nervous that all will line up and go on right.




Little tweek here and there, cut and trimmed the small kink from the centre of the corner fold and it went on well. Rivit holes lined up, edges all straight and so on. Healthy bead of Tiger seal in the joins to stick it in place, but as usual most of it got on my hands, then on the panel, on the rivet gun, down me coveralls, mess everywhere.




With the corner in place, moved on to the wheel arch, same again Tiger seal stuck to everything, but arch went on and bolted up nicely. Whole side is now rock solid and awaiting the rear corner. Side and corner panels are already made, last bit of frame, right at the bottom to weld in and it's done.


Running along with the frame repair has been the engine, it will get a full service in due course, but for now it has been treated to a good flush through of the cooling system ready for new hoses, and a good scrub down and de-grease ready for repaint.


Learned forum members provided the correct paint code, Sky Blue BS381C101, and paint supplied by my local paint factors, OK it's £45 a litre, but at least you can guarantee it is the right shade




Weather forecast for today was sunny all day. So, no sunday lie in, Up at the crack and get it sprayed. By ten o'clock all done and left to bake hard.




Well pleased with the finish, next up new belts and hoses and a fresh drop of anti freeze and she'll be ready to roll, once we have refitted the electrics, the fuel pipes, the dashboard and,,,,, so much to do!!

465 Arch Fitted Properly.jpg

466 Front Corner Fully Fitted.jpg

467 O-S Wheel Arch.jpg

469 Painted Engine 2.jpg

470 Painted Engine 3.jpg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Set about replacing the fuel filter last week, original one looked a bit past it's best.




Quite simply it is a piece of linen cloth about the size of a large hankerchief wrapped around a brass frame.




Top is secured by a couple of turns of string




Bottom is held in place by a wide head nut




New filter, big hankerchief. Needs a small hole cut in the centre to locate onto the bottom nut




Used copper wire to secure filter this time, wont rot or corrode and contaminate fuel




New filter slides into housing ready for fitting.


Near side wheel arch has been getting it this weekend. Has a lot less rot than the drivers side, but I reckon some of the tankers drivers, over the years, should have been a little more attentive of the steering wheel than they appear to have been.


Awful lot of dents needed knocking out and a fair bit of straightening was also required. But despite best efforts with the panel beating hammers, much filler was required.




First off strip off all the old green.




Two repair patches can be seen on the under side




But an awful lot of filler needed sanding down and flatting




Doesn't look too bad in its first coat of red oxide. Couple of bits need a little more smoothing but overall a pleasing result











Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Doug, I keep chipping away but, like you, summer means showtime and quite a few weekends are spent out and about with the timber tractor. Hectic life isn't it?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Couple of pics of the weekends efforts on the old Tanker. Decided to stay in the home workshop due to unpredictable weather conditions.


Started with the radiator cowling




Apart from the peeling paint, there are quite a few frilly bits and the near side lower corner just isn't there anymore




Paint stripper first, get rid of all the old green, then much welding and grinding replacing the rusty bits




Finished up like this, looks much better. Did find a layer of yellow in between the many coats of green, just as I found on the top half of the cab. Still don't know why it was coloured like this, and would love to find out.


Went on to cut out two new lower panels for the back of the cab.





Had to take measurements from the Timber Tractor to get the wheel arch curve right, as there wasn't much to copy from





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rob, the most likely explanation for the yellow paint scheme is that it was used on an airfield at some time. My RAF Explorer was originally RAF blue, then yellow and finally IRR when transferred to the R.E.M.E.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

She did spend most of her time with the Army Air Corps so you are probably right. Finding an "in service" photo would be priceless.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Not much help.


I recall doing the casting inspection and testing for 11 of these old girls about 1979/81. Shame though they were in fine condition and needed only minor repairs and servicing. The bulk loading testes for all of them showed no leaks or seized valves.

Buggers to drive.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, been a while since we had an update, what with the new forum (still haven’t got used to it) and life in general, just haven’t had chance to sit down and get something written. Last entry was September, and now Christmas has been and gone and it’s 2018. 

Tons achieved with the restoration work, and we are finally looking like we are getting somewhere. 

Will keep the write up a bit brief, but plenty of pictures. Starting with this piece of video I’d forgotten about taking.  Do excuse the fingers getting in shot part way through.  It does show how rickety things got on the drivers side.  Still, all better now.


Lower half of the cab is all but finished.  Framework repaired or replaced as required and new panels all round. Most went on without too much stress, but the curved rear corners were a bit of a challenge.


Putting a curve in a 4 foot long sheet was beyond me rolling it round a gas bottle, it also appeared to be beyond most of the engineering firms round here, whose rollers can only do up to one metre.  Finally found a place with a large enough set of rollers to put a reasonable curve on it, but they couldn’t get it quite tight enough.

Not a problem I thought, anchor one end and pull it round until it lines up.  Easy.  Wrong! didn’t work quite like that, pull one end and it twists and the other springs out and so on.  

Solution was to winch it round with a rope in the middle as far as possible, then hammer in a block of wood to force it round the last bit. Fortunately I had an extra panel rolled, in case of issues, and it was just as well because the first one got creased quite badly trying to lever it round with a screwdriver in a rivet hole.


Anyway finally got it secured with many rivets and copious quantities of tiger seal, and it looks OK too. Near side corner went on much better, with a lot less swearing and blood letting, having had a practise run with the drivers side.


That said, the spare wheel did hinder progress.  Tried unrolling the thing but it didn’t help much due to the yards owners parking a container as close as they dare. Can’t move the tanker either just now no fuel lines, no air lines and no electrics.




On the positive side, the (Brand New Never Touched Tarmac, still got the little moulding bobbles on it) Tyre is clearly marked for 225 Squadron RCT.  Bit of history coming to light here, who are they I hear you ask.

The record card I got from the RLC Museum showed a date of 17 Oct 69, for issue to 251 Sqn RCT, and it stayed there until 1977.  251 Sqn was a TA unit and HQ Squadron to 225.  Both became part of 154 Lowland Transport Regiment RLC during options for change etc in the nineties.

Sounds pretty routine until you get the full title of 225 Squadron.  You might need to sit down for this one! 

225 (The Queens Own Lowland Yeomanry) Fuel Tanker Squadron Royal Corps of Transport!   

Did you get all that? They used to hang out in Edinburgh and like a lot of Scottish units they have a long history that goes back to some really interesting names like The Borders and Lothian Horse, The Duke of Carrick’s Yeomanry and so on.

Apparently they wear the McDuff tartan, but I’ve no plans to rush out and buy a kilt!!  I will be writing to 154 Regt to see if they have any old Squadron photos. They might even know of an old Squadron member or two. We’ll see

Sorry got side tracked by the history bit there, back to the restoration now.  Front corner of the near side needed a bit of effort before the new panel went on, but nowhere near as much as the off side.

Time to chuck some more paint at it.  The new panels have all been coated with Bondaprimer, but I thought the inner surfaces and the framework would also benefit from a layer of Hammerite Underseal before I fit the interior panels and fittings. So good thick layer of that all round and finally DBG over the top for a water tight surface and to finish it off.





Just starting the slow task of putting it all back together.  All the internal fittings are stoered in my loft just now, cleaned, repaired and painted and waiting their turn in the grand re-assembly.  Started with an easy bit, the fuel Filter and pipes. Watch this space as more shiney bits appear over the next few weeks.

 Did get a chance of a half decent photo the other day, yard was empty of buses, so I could stand back and get a decent shot


In other work, Remember seeing this tool bin?  Mounts on the off side front of the tank unit, just behind the cab.  Like the air filters, it had to come off to get to the back corner of the cab.


As you can see it is in a bit of a bad way, not only is the door hanging off, there should be an internal shelf that has all but disintergrated, and there are various rust holes around the sides.



Several days work later and we have a new door hinge, new shelf inside, and much new metal all round.  Bands and mounting brackets fitted and the usual layers of paint.



The air filters, which have been living on top of the tank for the past year, are also now going through the clean and repaint process,



The lids have been cleaned off and are now in primer


The two filter boxes have just spent the last 2 days in the hot tub parts washer at work.  They needed it, too! I don’t think they have had a good clean and service since the old king was alive, as they say round here.  Given they are both date stamped 1952 that might well be a true statement, they were absolutely choked   



494 N-S-F Corner Repair.jpg

495 N-S Panels Fitted.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Needed a rest after all that lot, trying to work the new posting page and everything.  I’ve been using the same standard BT/yahoo browser for years, but it wont work on new forum, I have to use Google, which is a new game too, so hope it‘s working.

 Anyway managed to miss a picture in that lot. The first bit of the grand re-assembly.  Fuel filter and associated pipes fitted on the Nearside bulkhead.


More to follow over the next few weeks, and hopefully running by the end of the month

  • Like 5

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice work Rob, the pictures of the work you're doing on the cab are going to be invaluable when we get round to doing ours.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now