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Tamber

It's here! (Bedford RL)

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Sad as it, is very few industrial premises actually make it into listed or protected status. They are progressing like that in Sittingbourne where I am, except that now because they are running out of industrial property to develop, they are tearing up the local green fields.

 

Keep taking the photos, mate, it wont be long and they'll be all we have left to remember things by.

 

Rant over, back to the truck. Nice bit of plate going on the roof, you going to hide the welds under a skim of filler?

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Rant over, back to the truck. Nice bit of plate going on the roof, you going to hide the welds under a skim of filler?

 

I'm going to try knock them down a little bit more, but filler might have to be involved if I can't get it to something acceptable without thinning it too much (I try to use as little in the way of filler as I can; if it's not just a very thin skim, the voices in my head start shouting at me. :D)

 

Still plenty of metal to go back in yet, even just in the roof; I'm just glad it's mostly simple shapes to make.

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I'm afraid it's RLW327659! :embarrassed: I've fed that into their chassis number search, and I'm hoping that it turns something up.

 

Yep - that one is there - and requested for you.

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Yep - that one is there - and requested for you.

 

Oh! Marvellous, and thank-you! Now I feel like a right goof. :embarrassed: Hopefully this uncovers something thoroughly interesting!

 

(I shall have to buy you a drink, at some time, or something!)

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Going back to the building the fundamental issue is that in 1995 the only railway rolling stock not UK produced was 30 class 56, and that was because of no UK capacity, and a few GM class 59's.

 

Given the performance of the Class 59's not really surprising EWS ordered 250 Class 66's and in total over 400 now in the UK.

 

As to the rest just diesel 170's and 22x with electric 375/377 and 390's, the last of those even built abroad - Italy? , might be boring but they do the job just as well as the massive quantity of Siemens units and smaller numbers of others in use or on order.

 

The Hitachi plant at Newton Aycliffe is now open but bodyshells are built in Japan and some other orders will still be built outside the UK as insufficient capacity.

 

Horwich, Washwood Heath, Eastleigh as just 3 examples of sites that could be in use keeping thousands or people in decent paid jobs.

 

Rant over - back to the RL restoration.

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So it goes sometimes, it seems. But, one never knows what the future may hold! (With any luck, this truck back on the road... :cool2:)

 

Only a small update, for now. I've taken a week off work to de-stress, so I'm having a busman's holiday...

 

Couldn't get the truck into the workshop over the weekend to do any welding, because a paying job was in the way (How inconvenient!), so I changed all the spark-plugs, and made up some new spark-plug leads.

 

utmoHXn.jpg

 

(Ordered from cylinder #6 to #1.)

 

Honestly, those plugs could be a damn sight worse considering they're the ones that were in there when I bought the truck. (You can even see the rust-pitting on the end of #3, because that was the cylinder with its intake valve open, if you look closely!)

 

QpBrPb9.jpg

 

6 of NGK's B6S plugs; I like NGK's spark plugs because the box is a nice cheerful yellow. ;)

 

sFkrCQR.jpg

And new leads, which are a bit of a rat's nest at the moment, because I was replacing one at a time to make sure I got them all connected in the right places. (Fireballs out of the carb are distinctly unpleasant when your face is so close to it.)

 

I'm going to go back and do a bit of tidying/cleaning up tomorrow, including making sure that all the contacts on the inside of the dizzy are clean of corrosion/gunk, and all the moving bits move freely.

 

Have to say, though, changing those plugs was not my favourite job; laying across the board that's currently acting as driver's seat, legs stuck out of the driver's door, and smacking myself in the back with the steering wheel every time I tried to get up.

 

Was almost worth the siezed-up knees and aching chest when it fired up and ran so smoothly afterwards, though! (Right up until I walloped the dizzy-cap while refitting the engine side cover -- Yup, I'm just that clumsy -- and dislodged it. :n00b: )

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I went to go do some tinkering with the truck; and I did!

 

I fell off it, and landed with one elbow on the cab roof, and the other on the body; both elbows thus brought sharply level with my earholes. Something went crunch. I think it was me. That's prepared me quite nicely for my return to work tomorrow, I think.

 

Other than that, I cut a hole in the roof, and put some more metal in; thus reducing some of the holey-ness. Just got to keep working my way around...

 

oVDxkfH.jpg

 

(Even fairly small patches are pretty time-consuming. Particularly with a welder that randomly decided not to flow any gas... )

 

I did apply some body-filler just to soften those ridges where the welds were; it was overheating alarmingly quickly trying to take them down with a sanding disc, even being careful, and I didn't want to thin it out too much.

EGe2htN.jpg

 

It'll look significantly less-ugly when I can sand it smooth. It still hadn't set by the time I needed to vacate the workshop; which makes a change from how using Isopon usually goes for me... normally, it's gone and set before I've even managed to get it off the little flexy scraper thing. :D With my luck, it still won't be set by tomorrow...

 

The picture makes it look like there's quite a bit more filler on there than there is; I think it's the light making those ridges look deeper than they are...

 

Also discovered the O/S cab mount has delaminated...

 

this was discovered by the whole cab tipping over alarmingly as I heaved myself up by the grab-handle above the N/S door. (This same thing also claimed another victim; my co-workers' iPhone, which fell out of his pocket and landed screen-down on the carpark when he did the same thing I did, to point out the body-mount separating. It popped the whole front off it, cracked the screen, and launched the home-button off to realms unknown. Those things are the very definition of fragile, by my book...)

 

...and that the brakes are dragging on one side of the rear axle; so I'll need to unstick that again.

 

WEF5v69.jpg

(Also, how'sabout that parking? I managed to put it back into in its own tyre ruts, in reverse, with no mirrors!)

 

0IFVeCd.jpg

 

xIZdCue.jpg

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Well, I figured out what went crunch; my elbow has been utter agony for the past week and a bit. Yesterday, I was swinging my way up and down a stepladder -- 24" adjustable in hand -- to get to some hydraulics with only one good arm; it's good exercise, I hear. (Someone else finally exorcised that HIAB today; because I couldn't find all the gremlins. Apparently it didn't get the memo that Halloween was over... :shake: Funny when it tries to knock its own valve-block off, of its own accord, when you put the truck in PTO, though.)

 

Anyway, the weekend is here, and I had my rebuild kit (ZSK33) for the carb: mostly gaskets and springs, and a few adjusting screws; so I settled in for a couple of hours at work cleaning, scraping, prodding, poking and twisting.

 

Completely forgot to keep taking pictures throughout the process, but there's only so interesting you can make "wire-brush like hell", "scrape at little bits of crud", "undo stuff", and "have springy thing launch itself across the workshop" in photographs; it really needs HD video for the full tedium quotient.

 

But I didn't have my video headcam, so you're saved all of that. :D You get the few pictures of the results.

 

PWTsiia.jpg

 

The big scary diagram of DOOOOOOOOOM.

uNMKBzj.jpg

 

"Assembly is the reverse of disassembly, but you curse in different places."

buxTC8l.jpg

 

And then, reinstall it in the truck without dropping anything down the intake manifold. See if you can spot what very important thing I forgot to reinstall, that caused bricks to be shat when I started the truck up for the first time after the rebuild... (Besides a pipe to that vacuum port that is apparently still blocked by gunk. :mad:)

 

OXFveb3.jpg

 

Yup. Throttle pedal linkage. Cue hilarity, as the carb sits at wide open without the return spring on the linkage pulling it closed. :shocked:

 

 

At the end of the day, it still leaks a bit of fuel out when the pump first fills the float bowl (but not any more after that, foiling my attempt at figuring out where it's coming from), and I can't really say it runs any better. Certainly doesn't run any worse, though, so I'm happy enough.

 

 

 

Still can't stand the smell of petrol, though. :D

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Master cylinder has arrived. Looks -- and feels -- absolutely marvellous!

 

This is take two of the replacement master cylinder; the first time I went and collected it, two weeks ago, it turned out to have rusted up and seized solid internally while it was on the shelf.

 

HTS returned it to their supplier -- who had apparently gotten it from someone else -- who have made it good; they were just as surprised as to the discovery of the corrosion as HTS were, since it looked immaculate externally.

 

(I, thanks to Sean's warning, was not so terribly surprised; this is why I partially stripped it to check it after I got it. See, I do listen occasionally! ;) )

 

i2BOd04.jpg

 

eSyaKSV.jpg

 

BEsqstw.jpg

 

I've had the end-cap off, and given the piston a good few experimental shoves; it moves as expected, and signs are reassuring. (It's making all the right noises, shoving air in/out of the right places.)

 

I also know that it does bolt up to the truck in the exact same place as the old one; having tried it before running it back to HTS the other week.

 

They actually had it ready to go on Friday, but I had just started my work week; so was unable to pick it up on the Saturday. Now, I feel like I've taken an important step forwards to having working brakes; even though there's still a long journey ahead.

 

I've read, and re-read, the section of the WSM regarding the brake drums a good few times; and I'm still 50/50 on whether or not I can actually take the drum off without pulling the bearings.

The diagram makes it look like the drum is bolted on the back; but the text of the manual reads like the drum is pushed on over the wheel-studs, and retained by the three screws. (And the conical washers for the wheels.)

 

I've got some material to make a socket to remove the bearing retaining nut, if I have to; but I'm going to try removing all the cone washers and seeing if I can just slip the drum off. The bearings may well have to come out later on, but right now, I'm hoping to get away with not removing the hub.

 

We shall see...

 

 

EDIT: Well, I didn't get to find out; decided to beef up my axle stand, in order to prevent possible squishage... and that took long enough that I'd lost all the light. There's always tomorrow...

Edited by Tamber

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Well, you may resume laughing at me. The hub does have to come off to sort the brakes out... :-D

 

The drum came off nice and easily with a little careful persuasion, after removing the cone washers. So, without further ado, here's today's progress, along with the thoughts I was experiencing at the time.

 

Just after pulling the cone washers. "Oh, this looks promising."

yWyim7I.jpg

 

The drum retaining screws came out as if they were still brand new; which was a little strange... Cue the tap tap tapping; and "This is going well!"

HY0Z5CP.jpg

 

"Oh, wow, I might just about be able to do this!"

oSgnhn3.jpg

 

"Ahaha, this is going great!"

CVE1SPX.jpg

 

"...Oh. That's why the manual says... right. Hm. In hindsight, this is blindingly obvious." :red:

SdNEFx6.jpg

 

 

On the bright side, it did mean I got to check the condition of that drum -- this is on the corner that was dragging somewhat -- and the shoes.

EGVveYi.jpg

 

The drum appears to be in good condition; no grooves (other than one or two that can just about be felt with the thumbnail test), etc. Though I've not measured diameter, runout, and suchforth.

 

The shoes, on the other hand, have seen better days.

EL7vAbr.jpg

 

There's lots of grease, gunge, and gunk built up everywhere in there; and the friction material is contaminated, I'd say. However, they should be able to be re-lined. Will look into that once I've got the shoes off all four corners.

 

In the meantime, I've wound the brake adjuster right in to stop the shoes from dragging on the drum; run a tap through the wheel nuts just to clean the rust and grunge out, slapped the drum back on, and wound the nuts on just a little bit... Next attempt at getting the brakes dismangled will probably be next week.

 

Inching my way forwards, bit by bit... Looking forward to a finish date of 2025 or so! ;)

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Least you know where you stand with the brake shoes. That side doesn't look too bad, compared to some. Back plate looks dry, so hub seal and bearings probably OK. Shoes relined, de-rust and repaint, adjust up and away you go :-D:-D:-D Easy!!

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Least you know where you stand with the brake shoes. That side doesn't look too bad, compared to some. Back plate looks dry, so hub seal and bearings probably OK. Shoes relined, de-rust and repaint, adjust up and away you go :-D:-D:-D Easy!!

 

As the wheel cylinder is outboard on the RL rear axle, it is more likely the contamination is the hub oil seal leaking, not much else it could be. I would renew it while you are at this point.

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I'd agree with Richard; it's difficult to see where else it could be coming from.

 

I would check the expanders are operating correctly, as the grease can go hard and make them stick; and remove the brake cylinders and strip them to check the seals and make sure they're operating correctly, as they tend to corrode when left standing.

Edited by Sean N

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Wasn't meant to be a precise diagnosis, anyway the hardest bit of the whole operation was probably teasing the seized drum off without breaking anything in the process.

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Wasn't meant to be a precise diagnosis, anyway the hardest bit of the whole operation was probably teasing the seized drum off without breaking anything in the process.

 

 

Sorry Rob, I thought I was replying to Tamber, and only realised it was to you when I looked again later.

 

cheers Richard

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Yup, I'll have to hunt down the source of that sludge, if it's not coming from the hub seal, before putting new friction material in there. And since the hub has to come off anyway, I might as well change that seal.

The torque-multiplier makes fairly light work of taking the wheel-nuts off, but it's still a whole load of effort I don't really want to have to repeat more than I have to.

 

Expanders and brake cylinders definitely coming out for inspection/cleaning when I get the hub off; I'm hoping to be lucky and find out that the cylinders just need new seals, but I don't expect to be that lucky. ;)

 

Also, for some reason, the drum on the side I attacked this time came off really easy; it almost felt like it'd been off relatively recently. Two out of the three drum-retaining screws just unscrewed like they were still fresh, and the other wasn't even there. Then the drum tapped off easily enough, too; just had to alternate sides...

 

Maybe the other drum comes off just as easily once I remove the cone washers... Well, I can hope, can't I? :)

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h'okay!

 

I managed to work up the will to do something today, seeing as it was a glorious, sunny day.

It starts with undoing the half-shaft retaining nuts; some of which took the studs out with them. Some of which let out axle oil.

 

JvBVTPk.jpg

 

NBoIDtM.jpg

 

Then pop the half-shaft flange off the hub by means of setting the handle of a breaker bar in the notches; and tapping the head with a hammer to break it loose.

 

nZcJeHK.jpg

 

And out she comes!

 

Mt9Skeq.jpg

 

1/2" drive ratchet for scale. Such a delicate little shaft this is... ;)

V9JLghL.jpg

 

Locking nut next. Signs that someone else has been in here before me who also didn't have the right socket...

0zHEiw0.jpg

 

Came out nice and easily. Flat-faced punch used, this time around; rather than the chisel of the previous attempt.

rRVPuKh.jpg

 

...which exposes the bearing retaining nut. Punch and some careful -- but firm -- taps motivates that out.

PuFrgTy.jpg

 

Mmmm, shiny. :D

AsUEf6y.jpg

 

At this point, the hub was ready to come off. I braced myself to pull really hard, took a firm grip...

 

And about fell over, nearly dropping the hub on my foot, as it slid off with a nice easy schlorp...

 

XBshltc.jpg

 

...and a great big splatter of oil.

RdlGL30.jpg

 

The bearings look, and feel, in great condition; but the seal has clearly had it, and that's what's contaminated the brakes. New seals are on order (from LMS Lichfield, who have them at £12/pair.)

 

Jaw162u.jpg

 

SQZWKyf.jpg

 

There's lots of this on this truck.

lBUfjIn.jpg

 

Anyway, onwards! A few bolts, and some finagling, and the brake shoes were off...

ABBmDOB.jpg

 

 

I'll be taking the drums along when I go to have the shoes relined; then they can be measured and it can be figured out if any work needs to be done on the drums. (The surface of that drum feels great (the minor flash-rust aside); but I don't have the tools needed to check diameter, runout, and so forth. I'm not expecting to have much trouble there, though.)

CsnJsHM.jpg

 

I made an attempt to undo the nuts that hold the expander and brake cylinder together on the rear; but they refused to move, and I was worried about losing light before I had everything back together. (It was about half two at this point...)

 

So I left those soaking in oil, and started reassembling everything else. The half-shaft was easily fifteen minutes of wiggling and cursing, trying to get the splines to line up and slide back in. >:(

 

Started putting the wheels back on at a little after three; which took a little over half an hour's faffing and farting about, including the use of a fork-lift. Those wheels are heavy; and getting them lined up onto the wheel studs is a pain.

 

But, by *mumble* past four, it was back on the ground. Which is good, because it was very quickly starting to darken. Drum and shoes stashed in a storage locker, tools away, washed up; then home-time.

 

The other side is next; whenever I manage to drum (badum-tish) up the enthusiasm to tackle that. (It'll probably be a while; I'll need to turn the truck around first, to make sure I can get the forklift in to put the wheels back on afterwards, or I'll be stuffed. :rotfl: )

 

Today has been a productive day!

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Now I can see the back plate with the hub removed I can see how the plate and expander can remain dry but the shoes can be contaminated. I didn't realise there was such a large gap between the hub seal and the back plate, and there is that splash guard in the way too.

 

On a lot of vehicles the hub seal sits quite close to the back so any oil leakage goes onto the plate and spreads out from there.

 

All good progress, have to make the most of any decent weather in the short daylight hours at this time of year

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Now I can see the back plate with the hub removed I can see how the plate and expander can remain dry but the shoes can be contaminated. I didn't realise there was such a large gap between the hub seal and the back plate, and there is that splash guard in the way too.

 

On a lot of vehicles the hub seal sits quite close to the back so any oil leakage goes onto the plate and spreads out from there.

 

 

 

The oil leaks from the seal and is caught in the cone guard in the hub, the disc on the axle tube is just inside the cone when assembled. Why the oil has got on the shoes is due to the drain holes in the hub are blocked with crap or paint. A tell tale sign of a seal leaking normally is oil on the outside of the hub. It should be flung out by as the wheel turns.

I would recommend you try and borrow a Bedford hub tool when refitting the hubs as it is impossible to adjust the wheel bearings correctly with a hammer and punch. The tool fits most Bedford models so you should find someone with one I would think.

 

regards, Richard

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Good idea to take the drum in too. For what it's worth:

 

4 weeks back I did M Series rear brake - one side like new, one side shoes had oil contam, so had that side only relined. Drum was like new, new cylinder and hub seal sorted the leaks.

 

No better when tested, so off with hub again to find new linings only contacting on about 5% of area!

 

The modern thinking now is to get drums measured and then machine the relined shoes to right size - surprising how riveting distorts the linings (also blasting and painting shoes takes off rust and creates low spots).

 

So I took drum and linings in and they machined linings to suit drum. * I would add they couldn't do the linings on their machine as normal because unlike modern shoes the two linings are different thicknesses, so had to do them by hand held surfacer.

 

Better on test but still not what it was (shows up on handbrake - MJR h/b works through brake cylinders not input shaft), so hub off again to find linings are now working on about 30% of area. Took high spots off linings and reassembled. Getting better but will take a bit more bedding in to be spot on.

 

This is all a bit strange as 10 years back I did the same with the other side and brakes both well matched from the off.

 

Certainly new lining material is quite different to the old stuff - you may find you end up with uneven brakes.

I would recommend as a routine relining both sides in order to get a good matched brake.

 

Which is just what I've done with the fronts (another brake cylinder) - mind you the front drums are de-mountable which saves taking hub off each time :mad: Although they came off for bearing inspection and new hub seals.

 

Let us know how you get on!

Edited by N.O.S.

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Why the oil has got on the shoes is due to the drain holes in the hub are blocked with crap or paint. A tell tale sign of a seal leaking normally is oil on the outside of the hub. It should be flung out by as the wheel turns.

 

Hmm. I'll have to see if I can find and unblock those drain holes, then. There was certainly plenty of oil trapped in there.

 

I would recommend you try and borrow a Bedford hub tool when refitting the hubs as it is impossible to adjust the wheel bearings correctly with a hammer and punch. The tool fits most Bedford models so you should find someone with one I would think.

 

 

The double-ended castellated socket? I've got a short length of thick-wall tube that I've marked out for turning into one of those for the next time; I had planned to make that up today, but I'd gotten so into the swing of things that I marked it out and left it while I ploughed on through everything else.

 

Don't trap your fingers when refitting the half shaft. It hurts

It doesn't half! Squishy bits vs. metal is a battle that fingers tend to lose... :cry:

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The oil leaks from the seal and is caught in the cone guard in the hub, the disc on the axle tube is just inside the cone when assembled. Why the oil has got on the shoes is due to the drain holes in the hub are blocked with crap or paint. A tell tale sign of a seal leaking normally is oil on the outside of the hub. It should be flung out by as the wheel turns.

I would recommend you try and borrow a Bedford hub tool when refitting the hubs as it is impossible to adjust the wheel bearings correctly with a hammer and punch. The tool fits most Bedford models so you should find someone with one I would think.

 

regards, Richard

 

Richard - it seems the M type rear hubs have only one drain hole? The fronts have 4 I think so oil cannot rise above the lip of retainer unless as you say a hole is blocked.

 

I was surprised at only one drain on the rear hub - when I did the rear brakes recently I turned the hub so drain hole was left at bottom over the weekend so I could be sure new hub seal was not leaking!

 

I think the hub spanner is still readily available from Bedford parts stockists.

 

Tony

 

P.S. external rear brake cyl leak will go through the internally mounted actuator straight onto shoes (**).

I know this because the first new cylinder I put on had a bad seal and contaminated the newly-cleaned linings (I'd tried cleaning them up first), I had another spare cylinder but then decided to get the shoes relined as they were soaked again with fresh oil.

 

** This relates to MJ rear cylinders - I assume RL rears are similar, being at 90 degrees to drum?

If not then maybe I'm wrong about oil being able to get onto shoes?

Edited by N.O.S.

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Good idea to take the drum in too. For what it's worth:

 

-- snip --

 

Let us know how you get on!

 

Taking both sides in is already in the plan; I don't expect the linings on the other side to be up to much either, even if they aren't just as contaminated (which is a long shot).

 

Actually, my current plan is to pull all four corners and take them all in, in one go. That way, they should all be about the same afterwards. Whether or not this avoids the aforementioned issues, we shall see. And I should have plenty of time to bed them in, I hope... :D

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FWIW - getting the wheels back onto an RL (or a Militant or Stolly for that matter) without mechanical aids or spare hands was - is - a bit of an acquired art. :wow:

The way I was taught back in the day was to get the hub just high enough to slide the pick-axe handle under the wheel whilst its on the vehicle. Then when you refit the wheel position it so that the holes line up with the stud whilst its sitting on the ground and slide the shovel and the pick axe handle under the tyre and use as levers to lift the wheel up so that the studs line up with the holes, you can jiggle it a little either way to fine tune the line up - then basically use the upper body to push the wheel onto the studs.

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