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Tamber

It's here! (Bedford RL)

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I know it's not very Military Vehicle; not any more, anyway, but...

 

A very happy dance was done, all the same; though there's a lot of work waiting for me. At least I have most of the bits that've fallen off (such as the mirror, which looks like people have been treating it like a grab-handle for years); and stuff like the engine cover.

 

Did have to commit a minor act of abuse to the door-lock on the driver's side in order to get that door to open, unfortunately :blush:; with no glass in the door, I think water got in and seized the latch... I took the handle off the outside (no damage to the handle, though. :angel:), then had to 'shim' the latch from inside the cab.

 

...then took the seized locking mechanism out of the door, so it won't get stuck again. I'll fix it later, need to get it running first.

 

IMG_20160211_123501.jpg

 

Vass strikes again. :)

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The aforementioned Harvey Frost gear on the back. A coupla little squirts with 3-in-1, and everything was turning beautifully; though I'd like to replace all the crusted up grease-nipples and force some fresh grease in there. Me and my brother wound it all the way down to the ground, and back up again, with almost no effort at all; probably a different matter entirely with 5 tons on the back of it, though. :D

IMG_20160211_124227.jpg

(Also, two spare wheels! Though they're 11.00-20s, and the fitted wheels have 9.00-20s. Not too keen on those locking-ring style wheels, either; call me paranoid... :pfrt:)

 

Chassis number plate(?) under a few layers of paint...

 

RLW3 27659.

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One day, those numbers will start rolling 'round again... :)

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First step is to get the engine freed up and rotating; so I need to put a bit of oil down the bores, and get a breaker bar on the crankshaft pully nut. Then, the list-making starts.

My father just shakes his head and thinks I'm crazy; my co-workers think I'm crazy, but they're excited about it all the same... I might be (okay, yeah, I am) crazy, but you only get one go around at life, so why not do something interesting with it? :D

Edited by Tamber
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now this looks very nice and I think I have seen this . did you get it from Clacton way by any chance . I think its the same one I went after a few years ago..

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I have just looked at my photos and yes this is the same one. it was saved from the scrap man by Patrick Cullum of Colchester who was a big Bedford fan. it was going for scrap because it had dropped a valve . so don't try and start it . pat had it under cover for many years . . about 4 years ago pat was told he had cancer so he had a sale and this and half a dozen other bedfords were sold . I knew what it made if you want to know. it was sold to whitings lorry breakers of Clacton way . . did you get it from them. please keep the photos coming as I would like to see it come together . best of luck .

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Yeah, I got it from John Whitings on Clacton road.

 

it was going for scrap because it had dropped a valve

 

Ooh, grief. Thanks for the warning on that one; though I wasn't planning on trying to crank it over without checking for stuff that's stuck or broken. But, forewarned is forearmed, and all that.

 

I'll get the little inspection camera into all the cylinders, see if I can't get some more info about how things are sat.

 

I knew what it made if you want to know

 

I'd be glad to hear, thanks. (And thanks for the luck; I have a feeling I'm going to need it. :D)

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Yeah, I got it from John Whitings on Clacton road.

 

 

 

Ooh, grief. Thanks for the warning on that one; though I wasn't planning on trying to crank it over without checking for stuff that's stuck or broken. But, forewarned is forearmed, and all that.

 

I'll get the little inspection camera into all the cylinders, see if I can't get some more info about how things are sat.

 

 

 

I'd be glad to hear, thanks. (And thanks for the luck; I have a feeling I'm going to need it. :D)

 

I offered him £500 for it when he told me it was going in the sale and it made £580 on the day . are you in Essex .

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What a smashing little project, and a good pedigree too, Harvey Frost Crane fitted by Vass etc. Looking forward to more photos and write up as you get into it.

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I offered him £500 for it when he told me it was going in the sale and it made £580 on the day . are you in Essex .

 

Ooh-err, now I'm scared to say what I paid for it. :) We'll chalk that one up to inexperience; and a little bit too much enthusiasm, I think. I'm not in Essex; a wee bit more north than that. Horwich, Greater Manchester.

 

Crouch Recovery did a wonderful job of bringing it up; a 500 mile round-trip for them. It was interesting to see they brought it up as a suspended tow, rather than on a flat-bed, though; but at least that means the back brakes aren't stuck... :D

 

I'll do my best to get pictures when I work on it; because otherwise I'll never remember how it goes back together. :blush:

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So,

 

if the conversion was done by Vass does that mean it is an ex MOD vehicle or Home office?

 

If so is there a new category we should have at shows "was a military vehicle now repurposed"?

 

Great stuff

 

Robin

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So,

 

if the conversion was done by Vass does that mean it is an ex MOD vehicle or Home office?

 

If so is there a new category we should have at shows "was a military vehicle now repurposed"?

 

Great stuff

 

Robin

 

You can always tell a military RL from a Home Office one at a quick glance. The large removable panel above the rad grille is for access to the FV air filter on military versions, also this one appears to have the mid mounted winch as well, do not think HO ever specified that.

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It's A Bedford, it's nice to see parts should be available, post what you require see who can help

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Ooh-err, now I'm scared to say what I paid for it. :) We'll chalk that one up to inexperience; and a little bit too much enthusiasm, I think. I'm not in Essex; a wee bit more north than that. Horwich, Greater Manchester.

 

Crouch Recovery did a wonderful job of bringing it up; a 500 mile round-trip for them. It was interesting to see they brought it up as a suspended tow, rather than on a flat-bed, though; but at least that means the back brakes aren't stuck... :D

 

I'll do my best to get pictures when I work on it; because otherwise I'll never remember how it goes back together. :blush:

I know what they were asking for it and I still think it was a good price and me and the wife it. but iam restoreing an armoured matador so I get that finished before another lorry.. I have delt with crouch recovery and they are a good bunch ..

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Was it a wrecker before the civvy recovery gear was put on as far as I remember an RLW was just a GS Bedford RL with a winch, we usually had one in RA regiments to pull guns out of holes without calling for REME.

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From what I can gather from the manual (Yup, I'm R-ing TFM :D), the RLW is 'just' a GS with a 5-ton winch; the recovery gear is entirely from its commercial life.

 

And now, for a coupla itsy-bitsy questions... :)

 

Is there a diagram of the shift pattern, and something that says what lever at the back of the cab is what (And which way to wiggle it to make things happen; like engaging 4x4, and the PTO.)? Doesn't have to be very pretty, I can make a nice pretty one to paint onto the engine cover in the future. (...I'm in and out of so many different trucks, because of work, it's hard to remember which way to go... I really embarrassed myself moving a truck out of the 'shop today, by pulling off in high-range, wondering why it took off like a rocket-ship, then stalled. :blush:)

 

And, what'd be recommended -- valves and seats, in particular -- for running on modern unleaded fuel? (Not particularly keen on the idea of slinging lead-additive around, honestly.) Since I'll apparently be taking the head off to sort out a dropped valve anyway...

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Aha, thank-you for that!

 

(I've also gone and got the DVD of the manuals from the bay of E, which helpfully confirms it. Also saves a lot more confusion; still digging through all the stuff in 'em.)

snap-1455750074.jpg

 

I'll have to make up some replacement knobs for them; and maybe a little sticker on the engine-cover. But now I know! (And knowing is half the battle...)

 

And in other news, I took the rocker cover off and had a look for any signs of a dropped valve; no signs whatsoever, so over the past few days I've been putting petrol/oil mix down into the cylinders to try and unstick anything that might be stuck...

 

Then, today, me and my brother pulled the front panels off, dug the radiator out, and put a Big Kittening Spanner on the nut at the end of the crankshaft...

 

Bit stiff at first, but turns freely now; with no sounds of interfering bits. Also spins happily on the starter. Next step is to actually get it a battery rather than borrowing the jump pack; and see if it has spark... then probably burn my beard off, or something.

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Aha, thank-you for that!

 

(I've also gone and got the DVD of the manuals from the bay of E, which helpfully confirms it. Also saves a lot more confusion; still digging through all the stuff in 'em.)

 

My memory of RLs is smashing your elbow on the back of the cab when changing from 1st to 2nd.....

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Didn't mean to post the photo three times! Doing this on my phone as too lazy to get the laptop out! My RL arrives next week, having been messed around by a haulier for two months... The fun starts then!

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Right, then; an update, methinks.

 

Got a battery for it, and it cranks over quite nicely; though there's no spark, but I've narrowed that down to coil and condenser being (understandably) rather poorly. So I have one of each on order, along with all the bits to make up some new spark-plug leads; all of which is arriving Tuesday...

 

I have to fix that cab floor under the battery box pretty sharp-ish, though; because I nearly dropped the battery right through it and into the gravel. :blush:

 

Also managed to get some more linkages freed off and moving reasonably happily (Hydraulic oil works wonders, particularly with a little diesel or petrol to help it creep in and budge the grime.), so I can now get the 2/4WD lever to move with reasonable ease and I've confirmed that the rear propshaft (which is disconnected) spins when in gear, 2WD, and cranking the engine (...and not when in either neutral, other than slight parasitic drag.)

 

Not tried 4WD yet, since the front 'shaft is still connected to the axle; and I don't really want to strain the starter that much. :-D

 

Other than continuing to free off linkages, and plan the upcoming Grand Rewiring; my current aim is to get the engine to fire... then I can very slowly putter it back and forth to the workshop under its own power so I can get within welding lead (and grinder :rotfl:) reach.

 

And I'll start gathering bits and pieces for the engine internal work; which is going to be one of the slowest parts of the project, I suspect. (New valves made out of a more appropriate steel to handle the higher temps of modern fuel, and so forth. Not entirely fleshed this part of the plan out yet.)

 

The Grand Rewiring is a requirement, however, because yuck! Cloth & rubber insulated wiring that's just great big lumps of bare aluminium, because the insulation disintegrates if you look at it funny; plus the stuff that was added in its commercial life that is typical of commercial vehicle aftermarket wiring... :shocked:

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[/center]My memory of RLs is smashing your elbow on the back of the cab when changing from 1st to 2nd.....

 

Yes, I found this too, the key is to change how you're holding the lever (hand in front pushing back rather than on top!).

 

Good luck with the rebuild. RL's have always been my favourite truck ever since seeing the chassis twisting as a child!

 

:D

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A fine looking vehicle, always had a soft spot for the RL too, I remember many years ago in the '70s a then local company, Laportes, who mined and processed fullers earth, had a bright yellow RL tanker, whether for fuel or water I don't know. I would often see it caked in mud and dust on the A25 just outside Redhill. Often wonder what happened to it, hope it survived...

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My memory of RLs is smashing your elbow on the back of the cab when changing from 1st to 2nd.....

 

And of reversing hard against the handbrake while shoving of the transfer box lever to get it out of low. Our TAVR ones were always winding up whereas the ones at work (seismic exploration), which spent a lot of time in low box, never gave a problem.

 

Gordon

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Finally got around to unearthing the engine number; it's... a wee bit higher than the 32999 that the 1955 service manual lists. :D

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Also changed out the coil and condenser for my new parts, and now I have spark! It just doesn't appear to be happening in the right order; so I'm going to print out the section of the manual I need to set the leads in the right places, and whatnot.

 

Just waiting for the battery to re-charge, and my head to stop throbbing from all the fumes. :nut: Very nice to hear a big "whuMPH" out of the exhaust, though.

IMG_20160223_125032_crop.jpg

IMG_20160223_125032_crop.jpg

snap-1456329198.jpg

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It wouldn't be unusual for a commercial vehicle of this age to have had an engine change or two over the years. Some reconditioning companies also remove the original number and stamp in one of their own.

 

Might even be a different number on your V5C, there aren't many who bother telling Swansea they've changed the motor, so nothing to worry about.

 

Best of luck with the firing up. There's nothing more satisfying than hearing her fire up for the first time.

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Yeah, it'd actually surprise me a great deal if it was the original engine. The truck doesn't actually have a logbook, nor show any signs of having plates on it; apparently it was pretty commonplace just to drive them around on trade plates up until the mid 80s or so, so it may never have actually been registered.

 

I'm hoping to gather a decent amount of evidence for when the truck was first introduced into service, and suchforth, so that I can -- when I have it running -- send off the relevant forms to the DVLA and get its first registration. (Which would mean I'd be the first registered owner; trippy. :D)

 

Waiting to see whether the RLC Archive can find an ERM for it; if so, then I can hunt down a copy of the B vehicle card, for the date into service.

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