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Zero-Five-Two

Mk1 Militant Tanker

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I think we should ignore all the fish comments and carry on having a whale of a time with the more serious restoration pictures.

 

First job this morning, fit the reconditioned unloader valve and get the air built up and see if we have some stopping power.

 

However, disappointing results at first. Initially the compressor wouldn't pump anything, I guess something had stuck inside, because a quick rev up and it began pumping nicely. Still no real air build though. Found trailer red line tap half open and letting any pressure straight out.

 

Even with the tap shut things weren't quite right. The feed pipe to the dashboard gauge and the window wipers must be blocked as no air gets through. Gauge on the tyre inflator does work and within a couple of minutes she was up to 120psi just on tickover. Stamp on the brake pedal and it makes the right noises, brake chamber rods can be seen moving underneath.

 

Acid test then, move out of yard and into entrance way to the washdown area. Rolling brake test on route. Oh Dear!! We have a bit of work to do. Yes the brakes work, just, the're not exactly quality. OK for trundling round the yard which will do for now.

 

Next up, Bath time

 

66 Bath Time 1.jpg

 

 

68 Bath Time 3.jpg

 

Start at the top and work your way down

 

70 Underside 2.jpg

 

Well, "His" way Down. Son Stuart on the damp end of the pressure washer

 

71 Better for a Wash.jpg

 

 

72 Better for a Wash 2.jpg

 

Have to say he did a good job. Looks like a different wagon now.

 

On the plus side, all the old peeling paint was blown away, but on the down side large bits of the cab were also blown away.

 

75 Cupole O-S Rot.jpg

 

No lid on the cupola is only half the problem. At least now we can have a better assessment of how much the tin worm has eaten.

 

87 N-S Step Panel-001.jpg

 

In some places quite a lot. The beams behind this are also shot away. Probably due to the well known Militant problem of blowing up the 6 volt batteries. The subsequent leaking acid then burns through the floor

 

79 N-S Battery Tray-001.jpg

 

Like this!! (Spot the tyre down the back of the passengers seat) and into the cab side.

 

Good news is the bulk of the tank, chassis and rear fittings are in really good condition. There are a couple of patches on the wheel arches that will need a repair, but in the main a second or third washing off is all that will be required prior to putting some fresh paint on.

 

Bought a Bedford Lid off Ebay. I know it's not original but it is far better than the old wheel that was there before

 

114 Bedford Lid 1.jpg

Edited by Zero-Five-Two
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It certainly looks better. I reckon the tank would probably have been galvanised or the like when new, which has prevented a pile of work.

 

There is certainly some cab work to do, but it doesn't look complicated.

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Rob, some more Googling reveals that Epinamel was (is?) an excellent coating for tanks holding potable water, could it be the tanker had multiple uses?

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Rob, some more Googling reveals that Epinamel was (is?) an excellent coating for tanks holding potable water, could it be the tanker had multiple uses?

 

Thanks for the research, mate. It's definitely got fuel in it now, and I wouldn't have thought "they" would change from water to fuel and back, especially if it was to be drinking water.

 

Might be that despite being fuel tanker spec, it started life as a water bowser, and got changed back to fuel later in it's life

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So what’s the next move? Well, once it had stopped dripping after its bath, this afternoon, we went right round it with camera and note pad and came up with a list of jobs to be done, and what parts were likely to be required.

 

Mechanically she will get a full service, and where required, for example the brakes, a good overhaul. New belts and Hoses, Oil and Filter change as well. Will also fit one of them Sedimenter pots in the fuel line too.

 

The electrics appear to be complete and in reasonable condition, so a full rewire would be unnecessary. That said, there is a couple of bits that aren’t behaving and will need looking at. Like I have to hot wire it to get it to start

 

Most of the lights will need replacing as they are either damaged or corroded, but as there are usually plenty of NOS stuff available on the trade stands, we will wait until the show season gets underway, then go shopping.

 

As mentioned earlier, much of the tank and chassis seems to be fairly tidy and rust free, so once the winter is done and the better weather turns up, a further going over with the washer, bit of minor tidying up, then on with some serious paint. Probably a Red Oxide base, undercoat and then top coat. Deep Bronze Green of course.

 

The Cab is going to be the serious bit of work, and I don’t mind admitting I am a bit concerned about my own repairing abilities for some of it. I don’t think there is a single panel without at least one rust hole in it. Much of it is flat sheet steel panel and easy to replicate. Welding in a patch here and there again not too bad, either.

 

Windows and doors are the easy fix, even new skins.

 

75 O-S Door 3.jpg

 

Been there, Done that.

 

The quite serious concern is the cupola frame, much of it is pressed shapes and one off pieces, not something you can knock up in the shed

 

73 Cupola.jpg

 

As you can see each leg of the gun mount has its share of rust, one rear leg has lifted over an inch off the roof, with the rust underneath it. The space in between the legs is just not there on some sides. The whole thing will have to come off initially to clear the rust from underneath, but after that…..Hmmmm!

 

There is, of course, the option of removing it altogether and just sheeting the roof over, but obviously I would prefer to keep it as original, which means repair or replace. Watch this space for a Wanted Advert.

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Epinamel was a two pack epoxy finish applied to the inside of tanks ,pipes, valves and filter vessels that would come into contact with fuel to prevent stary water corroding the steel and hence contaminating the fuel. might the last tank contents be avaition kerosene.

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Earlier on in this blog I mentioned being unable to locate the chassis plate, and the stamped into the chassis VIN being difficult to read due to the rust etc. Various people had a look at it and all came up with the same answer 0859 862. So I sent off a crisp tenner to the RLC Archive to do a chassis search and come up with the Army reg.

Got an Email back from them on Friday to say that 0859 862 did not show up on their records. It doesn’t exist! :wow: Big disappointment and wondering where to go next.

Still, bit of lateral thinking over a beer or two, outside the envelope and all that, and we got the answer. :idea: Did cost a bit though.

Here’s how it worked. Forum member Paulbrook has posted pictures on other threads of the tanker he was involved with in the RCT back in the seventies. Those pictures look exactly like my one, cab is the same, indicator modification is the same and so on.

(Calm Down those that are already getting over excited, they aren’t the same motor)

The hope was they would be of the same contract or similar enough to help in the search. The digital archive at the RLC Museum is excellent for Vehicle Record Cards, so long as you have the Army registration number you get instant access to a downloadable page of info. There is just the small matter of paying £35 a pop for the privilege. Certainly don’t need to be having too many goes on just guess work.

So armed with the number 65BN51 Deep breath, cross fingers etc and hit the buy it now button. £35out of the Paypal account and up it came. Fortunately I got the result I was hoping for. Both tankers share the same contract number,meaning they are most likely from a batch of consecutively numbered vehicles.Good start! Pity it didn't work with getting the right lottery ticket for Saturday night!

VIN for 65BN51 is 0859 656. The 0859 bit is the AEC number for a Mk1 Militant, 656 is the trucks actual identification number. Given the consecutive number theory mine cannot be 862, there wouldn’t be over 200 tankers in one lot, surely? Most likely we got the number wrong and it is really 662. Good theory, at least.

Went to bed Friday night thinking I’d best have better look at my number in the morning. Either that or buy a set of big number punches from that well known auction site and stamp in a fresh one, 656 ain’t a bad number, after all, and who would know??.:whistle:

Thinking back, when I first looked at the number through the dirt and rust, it looked very delicate, and I didn’t try and clean it off in case the whole lot came off with the mess of old paint and surplus rust. That may have caused a real issue.

But trying to get a better view on Saturday, it still looked like 862. I decided there was nothing to lose, and everything to gain, so out with the wire brush and give it a good scrub, then wash off with brake and clutch cleaner.

 

20160214_145005.jpg

 

Cleaned off, Then a coat of Primer Paint to keep it that way

 

20160214_145052.jpg

 

Should have done that in the first place, really. :red: Number is now easy to see and in quite good condition compared with the surrounding metal. Positive ID at last.

Back at the RLC website on Saturday night. Ask the question, Do you feel lucky, Punk? Another £35 coming up here. Theory is 662 is 6 numbers further on than 656. Therefore registration should be 65BN57.

 

That’ll be £70 spent here, plus a tenner to find out I got the number wrong in the first place, getting a bit pricey this MV owning lark.

Still, I suppose it all goes to a good cause, we would all be struggling without places like the RLC archive, it’ll help pay their electric bill or something.

Fortunately, for the second time this weekend we were on the money, 662 is indeed 65BN57, and I’ve now got its record card as well.

And what a record it is too! Talk about long service and good conduct. :bow::bow::bow:

 

Date into Service, 29 Oct 54. Started as a driver trainer with the Army School of Mechanical Transport (Which I presume would have Leconfield). Went on to various RCT and Ordnance Units. Last entry is to the Army Air Corps in 1985. There is no cast date shown as such but there is a long reference number, in red, at the end of all the entries, which I assume would be the authority for disposal, sometime after 1985.

An outstanding length of service, at least 31, maybe 32 years! Can’t be many to top that. I think she deserved to be saved if only for that. Certainly backs up my sellers claim that he got her straight from the auctions and parked it in the barn nearly thirty years ago. That would be about right

As for her last posting being with the Air Corps, this would explain the funny “Not Quite” diesel stuff in the bottom of the tanks, it would be helicopter fuel, I guess.

Paperwork is now in with the British Commercial Vehicle Museum in Leyland, Lancashire, to find out the original build date, and then I can apply to DVLA for a V5C, and a proper age related number plate. The build date is probably a few months before the in service date, so she should be early ’54.

That said, part of the rest of the weekends labours included removal of the dashboard. There is a date stamped on the back of the switch panel showing an assembly date of 03 Nov 53, which is earlier still. So I’ll let you all know as soon as I find out from Leyland, which they reckon could be as early as next Tuesday, so not long to wait.

 

Edited by Zero-Five-Two
correct spelling

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Other activity in the cold on Saturday included stripping the cab ready to remove the top half for cupola repair back home in the shed. So Mirror Arms off, Doors off, Windows out and so on

 

20160213_112741.jpg

 

Me taking his picture, taking this picture

 

20160213_112604.jpg

 

 

20160213_125657.jpg

 

Progressing Well.

 

Also gave Henry the Hoover a run out on the cab floor to try and suck up 30 years worth of dirt and dust. However large bits of the passengers side floor came up as well.

 

20160213_115856.jpg

 

Yes, you can see straight through to the concrete floor!!

 

Got another picture from the just washed collection the other week, which I thought you ought to see. She looks in quite good nick here, as though a fresh coat of paint is all that is needed.

 

20160123_123549.jpg

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Lovely wagon and great research

Just a word about registration, I would be tempted to use the MVT verification service. The DVLA can be difficult if the correct paperwork is not in order. Do they accept dating letters from the BCVM?

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Rob I am so very happy for you now that you have the correct number for the vehicle.

 

I see the day that it is not driveable coming soon as you strip things down.

 

Robin

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Wally. Thanks for the correction, I assumed Leconfield as I did my Class 1 there in '86.

 

Brooky. Thanks for the advice, The AEC Society pointed me in the direction of the Museum at Leyland, but beyond that I'm sort of on my own. Does MVT stand for "Military Vehicle Trust" or similar? Do you have any more details, I'm open to all the help I can get.

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Lovely wagon and great research

Just a word about registration, I would be tempted to use the MVT verification service. The DVLA can be difficult if the correct paperwork is not in order. Do they accept dating letters from the BCVM?

 

I was able to register my Matador on the strength of a letter from the BCVM.

I did not come with a V5, the reg no was already on the DLVLA system but the replacement V5 had it registered as a recovery vehicle first registered in 1960

Turning up at the DVLA office with the letter resulted in a V5 with:

"Was registered and/or used declared manufactured 1943" in the Notes

Date of first Reg: 1960

Body Type: Breakdown Truck

Taxation Class: Historic Vehicle

 

Which all seems OK to me

Edited by pc1959

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I was able to register my Matador on the strength of a letter from the BCVM.

I did not come with a V5, the reg no was already on the DLVLA system but the replacement V5 had it registered as a recovery vehicle first registered in 1960

Turning up at the DVLA office with the letter resulted in a V5 with:

"Was registered and/or used declared manufactured 1943" in the Notes

Date of first Reg: 1960

Body Type: Breakdown Truck

Taxation Class: Historic Vehicle

 

Which all seems OK to me

 

Thereby hangs the tale.

Your vehicle was already on the DVLA system.

This one isn't and the owner will have to follow the V55/5 scheme for an age related number

The DVLA have quite a strict requirement for the evidence required to prove date of manufacture. If the system is followed no problems, any anomalies then expect issues (I do speak from experience as I was MVT verification officer for over 3 years.)

My comment was whether a letter from BCVM was sufficient for the DVLA. They will only accept dating letters from "Approved Clubs" I have just looked at the updated list and BCVM are on the list

So good luck with the registration!

Edited by Brooky

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Yes the V55/5 scheme. I've seen several old posts on various forums all suggesting the whole process is a minefield, and DVLA will deliberately be as difficult as possible, putting up allsorts of obstacles etc, etc.

 

That said, I have much contact with the DVLA /DVSA through my work and I have always found them to be reasonable, if a bit long winded sometimes. They do like you to use the correct forms, and have them filled in using best scribble and good English.

 

I have been given to understand that they are OK with build date confirmation from the BCVM. The guy I spoke to at there was very familiar with the system and what I need to do to be able to register the Tanker. So at the moment I am proceeding with a bit of confidence

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Yes the V55/5 scheme. I've seen several old posts on various forums all suggesting the whole process is a minefield, and DVLA will deliberately be as difficult as possible, putting up allsorts of obstacles etc, etc.

 

That said, I have much contact with the DVLA /DVSA through my work and I have always found them to be reasonable, if a bit long winded sometimes. They do like you to use the correct forms, and have them filled in using best scribble and good English.

 

I have been given to understand that they are OK with build date confirmation from the BCVM. The guy I spoke to at there was very familiar with the system and what I need to do to be able to register the Tanker. So at the moment I am proceeding with a bit of confidence

 

If you need any help drop me a pm

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Your vehicle was already on the DVLA system.

This one isn't and the owner will have to follow the V55/5 scheme for an age related number

The DVLA have quite a strict requirement for the evidence required to prove date of manufacture. If the system is followed no problems, any anomalies then expect issues (I do speak from experience as I was MVT verification officer for over 3 years.)

 

 

With hindsight I think I was lucky with the DVLA, the whole process from walking in the door to walking out with the new tax disc took 20 min. It was in the last days of local offices so I could explain what I wanted and fix any mistakes on the forms instantly, I'm sure it's a bit more involved now.

 

Good luck with the tanker.

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