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WW1 Peerless lorry restoration

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18 hours ago, Great War truck said:

These are really quite rare in the UK but I am pleased to say that I took delivery of a matching pair today which still appear to have the original Army green paint on them.

Would it be fair to assume that these emit practically no light at all? 

I am aware that Acetylene lights can actually be very effective, but I imagine that this is not as much the case for oil lamps? 

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Having used oil lamps at night it is surprising how effective they are. The problem lies is that modern traffic with infinatley brighter lights upset your eyes so once they have passed tou can't see a thing. 

But bear in mind these are 'sidelights'. So for being 'seen' rather than to use to see the road. I assume the Peerless would have had at least a single acetelene headlight?

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46 minutes ago, 8_10 Brass Cleaner said:

Having used oil lamps at night it is surprising how effective they are. The problem lies is that modern traffic with infinatley brighter lights upset your eyes so once they have passed tou can't see a thing. 

That sounds like they might actually be better than the electric light on my 1921 motorcycle. Which really doesn't emit any useful amount of light for seeing with. The one time I rode it in the dark on a country road was terrifying.

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We say this many times but of all the trucks that we own we have always been very lucky in finding original parts for the Peerless truck. For the Peerless we have once again been exceptionally lucky and long may it continue

Almost exactly two years ago we were made aware of surviving chains and headlamps which were removed from one of our Peerless truck chassis when it was collected from Middlezoy for restoration in the 1960’s. The new owner was supposed to come back and collect them but never did. By a remarkable series of coincidences we made contact with the original vendor Mike Davis who still had them and said that he had been expecting someone coming to collect them for the last 50 years.

Mikes Grandfather bought the Peerless from Army Surplus in 1919 at an auction in Southampton and drove it home in the dark. Unfortunately the lamps kept going out so he sat on the wing and kept relighting the lamps while his friend drove home. The Peerless was used all of its working life in their Sand Business. When the Peerless was eventually worn out and the remains sold on, the chains and Lamps were left behind and Mike retained them in his shed– just in case they were ever wanted again!. The unrestored Peerless eventually ended up with us after going through other owners (we have had it about 25 years). We made contact with Mike who was happy to hand over the chains and lamps and explained the background of the family Peerless. He was very pleased to think that they would be reunited with the family lorry.

Here are a selection of photos showing our new acquisitions and the Peerless as it appeared in use with the Davis family and parked up in a field where it spent a large chunk of its life. The chains need a good clean as do the lamp brackets. The lamp shells are beyond repair but the internals are perfect for some empty shells that we have.

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Hi Tim,

Was it a tipper in military service or was that a post war civilian modification ?

David

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Hi Tim,

I think we may have one of those headlamps, bought at a recent auction. Unfortunately it is missing its label. Could you tell us the makers name please ? 

Tomo

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The Headlamps are P & H - (Powell and Hanmer).

The two common makes of these WW1 Headlamps seem to be either Miller or P &H.

Tony

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20 hours ago, David Herbert said:

Hi Tim,

Was it a tipper in military service or was that a post war civilian modification ?

David

That is a post war modification for when it was used to transport sand. The tipping mechanism had long been removed so I have no idea how it worked.

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On ‎9‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 7:27 AM, Tomo.T said:

Hi Tim,

I think we may have one of those headlamps, bought at a recent auction. Unfortunately it is missing its label. Could you tell us the makers name please ? 

Tomo

Does it have WD stamped on the top or is it a civilian one?

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It's a very nice WD one, but glass and mirror are cracked.

Edited by Tomo.T

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7 hours ago, Great War truck said:

The reflectors are impossible to get

Another brass spinning job for Steve and then professionally silvered?

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Each Peerless was fitted with two wooden tool boxes with a metal lid. While at Beaulieu a few years ago were were very lucky to find an original one for a reasonable sum. After it was purchased we were asked what it was "It is a tool box from a Great War Peerless army lorry" Steve replied. "What are you going to put it on" he was then asked. "On to a Great War Peerless army lorry" Steve explained. For some reason the guy seemed disappointed. Anyway, one down, three more to find.

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We were fortunate to be down in Devon over the weekend and whilst still concentrating on finishing the Thornycroft, thoughts are beginning to turn to the Peerless. We want to start by getting the engine out and going right through it. This we can do with the space that we have without putting anything into storage so we decided to take the sheet off and have a look at what we have got.

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We put the lorry ito Father's car-port about twenty years ago and packed all of the spares around it before sheeting it down. Tim started pulling bits out and we are amazed at what we have. One forgets after so long!

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We had turned the wheels onto a hard lock to improve access to the back door of the house so the next task was to straighten them up. The steering had seized completely so I disconnected the drag link.

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Still no movement until I realised that it had sunk into the tarmac by an inch! I jacked it and we put boards under the wheels whereupon they straightened easily and revolved freely as well.

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After doing the same for the back, we rolled it back six feet to give us some acces for removing the engine.

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Exciting times!

Steve    :)

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Posted (edited)

Father has been trying out a new rust removal techniqued recommended to us by our antipodean friends and that is by using molasses. You may remember Father picking up the original lamp brackets complete with lamps.DSCN6554.JPG.e647aec398f10022f1cd09bfa9b48cab.JPG

He removed the lamps and dropped the brackets into a plastic dustbin containing a 1:7 solution of Molasses in water and has left them for a fortnight. They could be seen to fizz gently and developed a scum on the top in the shape of the brackets. When he pulled them out and hosed them off, rather remarkably, they were bright but went almost instantly ginger with rust.

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The threads cleaned up very well.

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A few seconds with a wire brush and they looked like this.

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They are now in the paint shop to stop the rust forming again. Father was so impressed that he has picked out the sidelamp brackets that we found at the weekend and they are getting the same treatment.

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Something we have been puzzling over is the best way to clean up the chains. This now looks to be the ideal way as it doesn't involve getting sand everywhere so once the brackets are out, it will be time to put them in. We will keep you posted.

Steve   :)

Edited by Old Bill
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Not just the Antipodeans, I used this on my Ner-a-Car chassis and other parts with great success. 

Though I did feel a bit strange buying all the molasses in Tesco. 

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I have used molasses for several years with great success on very rusty parts, just leave to soak a couple weeks and scrub with a wire brush under a tap as you said. Often when I have done this original paint has appeared. 

Don't put any alloy parts in it though as the will dissolve as I found out with my carrier gear leaver with alloy reverse trigger which disappeared.

Also keep it coved to stop birds and rodents getting in and drowning as it adds to the smell!

Peter.

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Thanks for the warning!

What is the chemistry going on in there? I wouldn't have thought a sugar solution was very aggressive at all. It works though!

Steve   :)

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20 minutes ago, Old Bill said:

What is the chemistry going on in there?

Ben's Glamorous assistant said, some time ago "chelation by the oligosaccharides"

So that's your answer. Now you just need to understand it 🙂

 

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The way I had it explained to me was that the molasses water mix allows a algae to grow and as it need oxygen to live it obtains it from the rust which is as you know is a reddish- or yellowish-brown flaking coating of iron oxide that is formed on iron or steel by oxidation.  The algae attacks the rust and survives on the oxygen.  What is left is a fine powder of iron in the bottom of the tank and a clean item.

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10 hours ago, andypugh said:

Not just the Antipodeans, I used this on my Ner-a-Car chassis and other parts with great success. 

Though I did feel a bit strange buying all the molasses in Tesco. 

I thought that we are going to need a lot of this stuff so I bought14Kg from Amazon for £22.85 - delivered. The cheapest way that I could find for buying it at the time.

Tony

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I too use molasses.  I read somewhere that the molasses made for human use is not as good as that used for horses so I buy mine from the local feed shop by the gallon (at a much reduced price).

I once asked a friend of mine, who worked for a large engineering company, to ask his company chemist why it works.  All I can remember is the statement "Of course it works!" followed by such complicated chemistry that I could not understand it.

 

Alastair

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Alastair said:

I too use molasses.  I read somewhere that the molasses made for human use is not as good as that used for horses so I buy mine from the local feed shop by the gallon (at a much reduced price).

I once asked a friend of mine, who worked for a large engineering company, to ask his company chemist why it works.  All I can remember is the statement "Of course it works!" followed by such complicated chemistry that I could not understand it.

 

Alastair

This stuff that I bought from Amazon is for Horses - I wonder what the difference is?

Tony

 

Edited by Minesweeper

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Molasses gets used in Australia a lot as it is a by-product of the sugar cane industry and used as cattle feed supplements. In rural areas you buy it by the ton or in 44's at rural produce store.  I believe citric acid may be the active ingredient. The process can be speeded up with electrolysis. Let that light rust remain and dip (or spray) into a phosphate solution and the resulting iron phosphate coating is the protective layer under paint (when you get round to it).

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