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Zero-Five-Two

Mk1 Militant Tanker

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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.

 

From my experience with the UAZ allow 2 weeks between letters. And that was with a very helpful lady. As it was explained to me you write to DVLA, it goes to their central mail office and then has to be sorted out in to the mail bound for the relevant area. When it gets there it has to be further sorted into the individual case officers.

For e-mail allow 3 to 5 days between responses. I found it best to e-mail first - that gets you assigned to a case officer and a reference number. You then write to DVLA including the case reference as part of the address.

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Quick update on the registration progress. Got a very nice signed certification from the British Commercial Vehicle Museum at Leyland, last week, all on headed paper etc, confirming the original build date as somewhere between 22 Jan '54 and 22 March '54. They cannot be any more specific as there were 40 wagons forming one contract.

 

They also included copies of the original build sheets showing things like engine number, fuel pump serial number, tyre size and so on.

 

I am given to understand the 40 motors were turned out of Southall as chassis cab only went off to have the tanks fitted separately, explaining why mine didn't enter service until october'54.

 

Anyway all the relevant papers were collected together, along with covering letter and completed form V55, and of course, not forgetting the cheque for £55 admin fee and posted off to SA99 1BE.

 

We wait anxiously for the mighty wheels of the DVLA to grind into action and "hopefully" grant us a shiny new civilian number.

 

In the meantime, the restoration work has started/.

 

128 Front of Dash Panel.jpg

 

 

129 Rear of Dash Panel.jpg

 

Take one skanky dashboard!

 

Got to start somewhere, and it might as well be here, especially given the time of year, etc, cold and wet and so on, bits like this can be done in the shed, or better still the wifes kitchen in the warm :D

 

First off the air gauge, never did show any pressure, even when we solved all the other brake problems. Thorough test with the workshop compressor revealed it to be unserviceable. Fortunately I have a spare acquired from a Militant that we raided for spares at Andover a few years back. so problem solved.

 

Next the connections board. None of the electrics would switch on before, and I soon found out why, nearly every connector was well green and mouldy

 

130 Oak Connection Board.jpg

 

Board here stripped out and with a fresh coat of varnish. All the connections have now been cleaned with a .22 calibre air rifle barrel brush (fits perfectly) and a wiring diagram has been printed ready for the grand refitting day whenever that is

 

 

Dashboard Connections 1.jpg

 

The Switch Panel was the latest effort. Not only was there bad connections on the board, but much of the inside of the switch panel was rotten and broken, with loose terminals rolling about inside

 

 

Broken Screws.jpg

 

As with all good old English stuff, sourcing replacement parts was no real trouble. The broken screws are all 5 BA and easily purchased from that auction site we all love. Every thing else just wanted a good clean and repaint,

 

131 Switch Box in Primer.jpg

 

Primer coat on the casing.

 

Reconditioned Switch Panel.jpg

 

 

Reassembled unit.

 

All back together and working well. Couple of bits still to sort out though.

 

1. Need to get the instruction transfers for on/off etc. I think they are like the modellers water slide ones.

 

2. The Ignition switch, had to drill the old key barrel out, as it had been yanked round at some point without the benefit of having a key in it and was stuck in the on position. New locks are available though, no problem

 

3. Light lens' Both oil and generator lens fell apart when I tried to remove them so I need new ones. Anybody got a spare set kicking around that I could purchase? Would be most grateful.

 

Lastly the gauge panel. In hand at the moment, stripped out for cleaning but not finished yet pictures to follow

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Thats an amazing job already - I am very impressed!! :) The light lenses - I seem to recall having seen those on evilbay too - together with a B vehicle instrument panel.

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NOS-MILITARY-INSTRUMENT-PANEL-AUSTIN-CHAMP-HUMBER-FV1600-FERRET-LEYLAND-Martians-/251864285825?hash=item3aa4480281:g:BLUAAOSwNSxU9aCo

 

Not cheap though - £599 :shocked:

 

One thing I do remember from way back then - the fuel gauge in the cab was notoriously inaccurate on the Militant. The one on the tank itself was the only accurate reading. Do you plan to rectify this as part of the rebuild???

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I seem to remember dodgy fuel gauges were compulsory on all Militants.

 

The one on my timber tractor works when it feels like it, and drops to zero when it's had enough. I've checked it several times for loose connections, worn sender etc but never found any problem, it just drops out now and again. That said when it's "on" it is spot on accurate.

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I seem to remember dodgy fuel gauges were compulsory on all Militants.

 

The one on my timber tractor works when it feels like it, and drops to zero when it's had enough. I've checked it several times for loose connections, worn sender etc but never found any problem, it just drops out now and again. That said when it's "on" it is spot on accurate.

 

We had the 3-way tippers as my first Unit was an Engineer support unit - the cab gauges on all of them varied in how they read. So much so the works ticket folders for each vehicle were annotated with "gauge reads high", "gauge reads low" as applicable. The standing joke there was you could tell a knocker driver from an RL one - as soon as he got out of the cab he looked down for the tank fuel gauge. :D:D

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Many thanks for that link, they will do nicely. Off to that site that sells everything now, get some water slide paper

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Nice wagon and how lucky were you to find it while looking for another one! Like your youtube vids too. Good luck with research and restoration.

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Next round of the Tanker saga coming up, it’s been a busy, busy weekend with many photos and much to write up.

 

Dashboard is coming on nicely thanks to this forum, just to prove how small the world is becoming these days. A man in Australia put me onto a Ferret Website which took me to a company that is just down the road from me here in the South East of England. WJR Banister, Northiam East Sussex. Suppliers of all parts Ferret amongst other stuff. Can’t recommend them enough

 

Spoke to Richard Banister by Email wjrbanister@btconnect.com Pair of switch panel light lens, New Old Stock, off the shelf, no problem. Price was a fraction of what I have been quoted elsewhere.

 

I thought the postage charges were a bit high end, though, until the parcel arrived yesterday! Rapid 2 day delivery time, and none of this bung it in a jiffy bag and hope it doesn’t get damaged on the way stuff. Proper old school packaging, original Lucas CAV boxes secured in a real cardboard carton. Excellent service. :thanx:

 

20160315_173510.jpg

 

The aforementioned Ferret site also provided me with a download of the lettering needed for the front. On, Off, Lights, etc. I’ll post a photo of it when it’s done. Many thanks again to Forum Member Starfire for the link.

Careful consideration of the cab restoration came to the conclusion that it would be easier all round if the top half was removed. Not only for ease of reaching the top of the cupola, but also for getting to the floor and the engine cover etc.

 

Decision was taken to get on with the job, sooner rather than later, after the recent windy weather. Where we have removed the doors and windows, so far, the tarpaulin cover is being blown in through the subsequent gaps allowing the rain etc to get in where you don’t need it.

 

Best opportunity for this was Saturday, just gone, plan being to use timber tractor to lift top off then transport it back home to be worked on over the next few weeks in the shed. Would give the old girl a good run out, and our Stuart jumped at the chance for a bit of solo driving without his Dad in the passenger’s seat

 

Fortunately the weather was good to us and it all went quite well.

 

Before anything else, photo call! First time the two Militants have been together. Quick misty eyed moment, still can’t believe I own both of them.

 

134 Choice of Two.jpg

 

133 The Great Meeting.jpg

 

Then down to business. The Mk1 Militant cab is designed to be split top from bottom for air transportability. A couple of dozen 3/16” Whit bolts to remove round the base of the windows and away you go. Some are nut and bolt through, while others, in the less accessible corners are into captive nuts. Surprisingly enough several of the captive ones came undone easily, there was only a few that needed extra persuasion with a grinder or chisel.

 

Seemed most convenient to bring the Crane round at 90° jib over and two lengths of timber placed through the empty window holes to spread the load.

 

136 Lining up 1.jpg

 

138 Lining up 3.jpg

 

137 Lining up 2.jpg

 

Took a bit of shuffling to get it lined right up, bearing in mind a timber crane is a bit agricultural in its design, there is nothing fancy like side shift or slewing. Once in place and hooked up, it was time for a brave pill and go for it.

 

139 Ready to Lift-001.jpg

 

Bit nervous at first, I haven’t lifted anything with it before and wasn’t sure how it would go. Very gently took up the slack, expecting the cab top to separate nicely and just lift up.

 

However, cab top hadn’t received the instruction memo or something as it wasn’t quite so keen to let go. Suggestion by our Stuart, needs a pry bar or wedge in the joint to crack it off.

 

140 Persuasion to Let Go.jpg

 

Elf an’ Safety out the window, man under suspended load etc. He said he should be OK as he had his steel toe caps on, and would risk not wearing a Hi-Viz vest, just this once! Quick thump with the pry bar and up she came.

 

141 Man Under Suspended Load.jpg

 

Just a couple of inches, at first, check over nothing caught up, not likely to get hooked up on anything, and lift clear. Well pleased with the job so far, camera doing over time.

 

143 Right Off.jpg

 

146 Top of the Bottom Half.jpg

 

145 Good Lift.jpg

 

144 Not exactly a Load Test.jpg

 

We estimated that, once off, it should be lift able by 2 blokes for moving around. In practise, while it is “just” liftable you wouldn’t want to carry it too far. To further lighten the thing we removed the inner ceiling panels, they are going to come off soon enough, and so now is as good a time as any.

 

149 Ceiling Panel Layout.jpg

 

Did make it a fair bit lighter, but that isn’t really the problem it’s the size that makes it ungainly. Anyhow we lifted it into the back of a borrowed 7.5 tonner without too much of a fuss and set off home.

 

150 Transport Home.jpg

 

I know it’s going to fit through our back gate, I measured it earlier on!! But now we are standing in front of it I’m not so sure.

 

151 It Will Fit Through There-001.jpg

 

For once I got the tape measure right, couple of inches on each side to spare, made it through and got it parked on the patio. Not it’s intended resting place, but it was getting late in the day, and there was a good deal of clearing up to be finished, and the timber tractor to return back to the farm.

 

Got a better look at the corroded cupola, on Sunday, this is going to take a good deal of repairing, and may be some time.

 

155 Cupola Damage 1.jpg

 

156 Cupola Damage 2.jpg

 

Might be an idea to keep an eye out for someone breaking a better roof altogether (wishful thinking)

 

157 Temporary Home on Patio.jpg

 

For now it’s got this far, but I’ll be pushing my luck with her good self if it stays here too long!

 

 

 

Edited by Zero-Five-Two
spelling

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Nice work, your photos reminded me my cupola is missing one of the three pads - are they still able to be purchased or easy to make?

 

An interesting question!! The one I'm buying has all the pad covers there, but one is missing the filling. so will need either the pad or the filling replacing. At least the cupola cover is fairly recent :)

 

Rob - quick question for you - have you ever seen a Mk 1 roof that does not have the 4 ball shaped mounting points on it?? Again, the one I will be getting - a 1957 build 6x6, does not have them and appears to have taped seams around the roof edges.

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Mk1 roofs without balls? yes quite a few, found this picture

 

17ER85.jpg

 

Clearly this one is without. and I think the Julezee's Atlas Mk1 is without, can't see any on that

 

julezee[1].jpg

 

Anyway, what's all this "The one I'm getting" all about?

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On the subject of cupola balls, does anyone know exactly what was designed to fit to them as they seem to be fairly universal for softskins of this period?

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On the subject of cupola balls, does anyone know exactly what was designed to fit to them as they seem to be fairly universal for softskins of this period?

 

Machine gun mount.

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On the subject of cupola balls, does anyone know exactly what was designed to fit to them as they seem to be fairly universal for softskins of this period?

 

It was called Small Arms Air Defence. A GPMG mounted on a frame that could swivel and elevate. You had to do a 2 week specialist course to qualify to use one. Good fun course epic fire power.

 

I got involved in trials to mount similar on the Royal Engineers CET, but with twin guns! The destructive power of 2 fixed weapons had to be seen to be believed.

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Quick progress report. Much effort has gone on the Timber Tractor with its oil leak this week so not a lot has happened on the tanker side.

 

Have managed to go from this

 

 

128A Gauges.jpg

 

To this!

 

158 Refurb Gauges.jpg

 

I just love trying to recreate that "Just left the factory look"

 

 

The switch panel is proving a bit harder to achieve

 

 

159 Switch panel Transfers.jpg

 

Lettering has been downloaded from a Ferret owners site and printed onto water slide transfers. Looks quite good except for the "L O C K" which has double spaced for some reason. So I need to print another sheet.

 

 

I need to source a replacement lock barrel, if anyone has any ideas

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It was called Small Arms Air Defence. A GPMG mounted on a frame that could swivel and elevate. You had to do a 2 week specialist course to qualify to use one. Good fun course epic fire power.

 

I got involved in trials to mount similar on the Royal Engineers CET, but with twin guns! The destructive power of 2 fixed weapons had to be seen to be believed.

 

I'm not sure they were designed for a GPMG as they pre-date the introduction of the GPMG into service, appearing in the 1950s and, in fact disappearing in the following decade when the GPMG was entering service. Certainly they were fitted to early Bedford RLs but omitted from later ones.

 

I have no evidence and I may be wrong, but, I recall being told many years ago that they were intended to be a standard fit for all (or most) B vehicles being designed immediately after the war and built in the early 1950s for, as you say, local air defence at a time when there was a policy of standardisation across the fleet (as evidenced by shared engines, dashboards and many other details from Champs to Millies). But, I was told they were designed to fit a .5in Browning. The Brownings were procured, but remained in storage and appeared, out of the blue, having been taken out of store, exceptionally, for the Falklands campaign. They were used during that campaign and there are several pictures of them in use - but on ground mounts - they are identifiable by their rather short barrels. Certainly, their appearance then was a surprise - I had been serving since the middle 70's and had not come across them, nor heard anything of their presence in the British military inventory. But, as I say, this is hearsay and old hearsay at that. This may spark a memory for someone who can offer something more substantial than this

 

10 68

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The I/P is a fantastic job. Was all the crap just on the outer panel and glass or did you have to do work on the cluster itself too>>

 

Same goes for the switch panel - really is a wonderful job. Makes me feel inspired now to the ones on mine when I pick her up ! :) :)

 

For the missing lock - is this what you need: http://www.holden.co.uk/displayproduct.asp?pCode=54316731

Edited by ArtistsRifles
Lock details added

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10 FM 68

 

You are probably right with the age idea, the Militants at least would date the design to '51 or 52' well before the GPMG. I did the SAAD course in BAOR '84 or '85 using GPMG so that must have been an updated version.

 

 

Artistsrifles

 

Most of the gunge was on the outside, but I took it apart to clean both sides of the glass lens and the plastic gauge surround underneath. As for the lock barrel, I'll try your link after the holiday when they are back to work. The Military barrel has a round end, like this

 

 

barrel.jpg

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10 FM 68

 

You are probably right with the age idea, the Militants at least would date the design to '51 or 52' well before the GPMG. I did the SAAD course in BAOR '84 or '85 using GPMG so that must have been an updated version.

 

 

Thinking more about the subject, and re-reading what I wrote, I ought to have added that, of course, it wasn't the gun itself which was significant, but the mounting. The four balls, one at each corner, were designed to clip into four matching sockets on a quite large, heavy ring mount. I have seen a picture but can't remember where, but, I'm pretty sure it was not unlike the MG mount over the rear compartment of a Saracen - and, of course, that mounted a Bren/LMG and dates from the same period. Whether, mountings notwithstanding - as the Saracen's is fixed, they are interchangeable I don't know. Where's an expert when you want one?

10 68

 

More to the point, I should add that the work you have done on the instrument panel is superb and I wish you well with your restoration.

Edited by 10FM68

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By coincidence, I have just been reading an article on these gun mounts in an Australian MV club newsletter. There have been a number of NOS mounts for sale at the Corowa event in last few years, in fact a couple of weeks ago I helped load one on to a trailer while at the event.

 

Here is a link to the newsletter with article:

 

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxtaWxpdGFyeXNlY3Rpb258Z3g6M2FmYjA2NzM0MmE1ZWIzNQ

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By coincidence, I have just been reading an article on these gun mounts in an Australian MV club newsletter. There have been a number of NOS mounts for sale at the Corowa event in last few years, in fact a couple of weeks ago I helped load one on to a trailer while at the event.

 

Here is a link to the newsletter with article:

 

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxtaWxpdGFyeXNlY3Rpb258Z3g6M2FmYjA2NzM0MmE1ZWIzNQ

 

Thats an interesting article and could be used to construct a replica of the support frame at least.. The actual gun ring could be hard work.

Thinking a aloud a moment - 100 rounds is not a lot in an air defence role given how trigger happy squaddies can get :)

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Hi Rob, been rummaging in the shed and found one for you.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]113930[/ATTACH]

 

Many thanks for that, PM on its way to you

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