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WW1 Peerless lorry restoration

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At some stage Gaston Williams and Wigmore were asked to stop putting this name plate and revert to just Peerless. Instead, on the FWD they added a very nice enamel disc which shows the importers name which they mount on the inside of the scuttle as can be seen on the Banfield FWD. The holes match up exactly with Morgys FWD which I think was 1918 so I presume all ex WD FWD's would have this badge?   


Edited by Great War truck
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I managed to find another example of these super badges. The question is were these ever fitted to the Peerless? If so, should we fit it, or is it too precious, easily stolen and therefore make a nice addition to the wall of badges. Or if they were only ever fitted to FWD's should I do as Morgy suggests and give it to him for his FWD?  


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Morgys FWD has the holes in the same place but the rivets are still in place so it is a bit hard to make out and the Duxford FWD has the same holes too. 



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We are in a funny odds-and-ends phase at the moment. We really need to get together again to take the engine out and pull it down. In the mean time, apart from catching up with other things, I have made up a puller toget the propshaft joint apart which is the last thing holding the engine in place. A rummage in the drawer found a ring that I made up for something else which I have been able to bore out. Goodness knows what I made it for but I suspect that it will become obvious when I need to do that job again!


Now ready to clamp to the prop and pull the cover off. Hitting it didn't work!


We have rescued the greaser, drain tap and priming cocks from the engine so I thought I would sort them out.


Some paraffin and a gentle wire brushing soon brought these up.


The priming cocks are unusual in that the cup on top is filled with fuel and then unscrewed to open the needle valve at the bottom and allow the fuel to run in. As you can see, we only have two and a half of them. First job, after cleaning up was to identify the threads. After a lot of head scratching, I reached the conclusion that they were NPT (National Pipe Straight) which is a form I don't have so I ordered up some taps and a die.


I suspect that stock turnover may be slow in this size. The printing on the box looks like it is from the 1960's and the taps were beautifully wrapped in greaseproof paper and placed in a tinplate tray. The die is dated 1950. That is 68 years on the shelf!



Anyway, they did the job alright.




You can't see it but there is a hole right through the centre and a cross hole just above the point.


Full set ready to go!


Dad is working on the rest of the pump so we will have something to show there shortly.

Steve   :) 

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And mine for me, too! We each had them for Model Engineering work but have stretched their capabilities to the ultimate over the lorries.

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22 hours ago, Minesweeper said:

And mine for me, too! We each had them for Model Engineering work but have stretched their capabilities to the ultimate over the lorries.

I've a load of old machine tools in storage... 

They're all older flat belt driven types...designed to run off steam via overhead lineshafts...

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Dad has been doing some more, this time on the water pump. Wire brushing to start.DSCN7224.JPG.484f9ffc8a18d112e95124b26a0b5746.JPG

The original factory fit was a large gear pump but centrifugal pumps were offered as aftermarket replacements. Ours has a bit of a clue cast on the side!



It has a chipped mounting flange which is unfortunate. However, we will leave it alone and see how it fares. If there is a problem, we will get another piece of cast iron welded on.



This is a very odd pump as there is no gland or sealing arrangement for the pump shaft. There is just a gap between the two bushings into which the greaser feeds. I guess that the driver just got into the habit of winding the greaser down at the end of each day to fill the space and keep the coolant inside. All very peculiar.



dad managed to salvage all of the screws which is nice as we won't have to make replacements. Interestingly, they are BSF threads when the rest of the lorry is UNC and UNF. The pump was obviously made in the UK.










The drive coupling is unusual in that it is two interwoven springs. After a fortnight in the molasses, this one will fight again. This is good news as I am not sure how I would have made a replacement.



Dad continues to sort out bits from the parts stores and has been overhauling lamps too. Meanwhile, I am marooned in Leicestershire. Hopefully, we will be able to get together again soon and pull the engine. Then we can really get going!

Steve  :)


Edited by Old Bill
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You've still got three points of location on that pump so if it were me I'd just ride it rather than attempting to weld or braze a bit on that foot....its age related and honest John... 


One of my old radial drills (the big Asquith one) has a cracked mount on the forward/reverse transfer box... 

It's clearly been like that for years...and I've no intention of introducing unnecessary stresses into it by attempting to close it up...its happy & settled as it is... 

Edited by flandersflyer

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Would pics of my Grandfather and his Peerless in Egypt and Salonika, northern Greece be of interest ?  He was a chauffeur to a "posh" family before being conscripted...  

Bert and his truck.JPG

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Yes - wonderful pictures and thank you for sharing them! I am sure that Tim will be along to comment as well as soon as he sees them!



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OK, some more... The originals are stuck into an album as you can see. I could probably get better scans if I could work out how to get them out one by one... Winter 1917.


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From British & Dominion Vehicle Signage 14/18, the above unit is identified as 346 Coy (MT) ASC. Which operated  in Salonika as 28 Div. Supply Column  and later 92nd Auxiliary (MT) Coy.

Unit was formed in 1915, served on the Western Front with 34 Div. before being posted to Salonika and was disbanded 1919.

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That is correct and fits my Grandfathers service records. Some of the pictures are noted as "Salonika", some as "Macedonia" - which would be "up the line" and others "Egypt".  For those unaware of this theatre of war, the British & French intervened in the area to support Serbia in its fight against Bulgaria which was allied to Germany. More men died of Malaria than enemy action... It looks as if the roads were a hazard too ! 

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Steve and Tim have been back in Devon for the weekend and we have been going hard at it on the Peerless. The engine is successfully out of the chassis and the strip down of it is well under way. Full report and pictures to follow - probably tomorrow!

No real surprises - the last owner of the Peerless said that he had broken one of the pistons but in fact two have been damaged beyond repair and will have to be replaced.



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Hi Chaps.

As Dad has said we have had our first get together in Devon for the year with the express purpose of removing the engine from the chassis. This is a bit of a performance due to our limited ability to move stuff about and the need to push the chassis uphill underneath the chain block. This is what we have been up to.

First task was to disconnect the prop shaft. You may remember that I made a puller for it but unfortunately, it didn't fit! We tried lashing up the legs from my puller to drag the cover off but to no avail. In the end, we tried heating it again and, for some reason, this worked.


Using a drift whilst hot.





Big Mark then proceeded to pull it out of its resting place. It was OK once moving but had first to be extracted from the dents it has left in the tarmac.



The strong point for the chain block is in the position where we keep the Autocar so this was extracted next.


Whilst we had it out, it seemed sensible to use it to drag the Peerless up the driveway.






Mark then let it slowly back until we could push it up into the garage.


I steered!



A lifting strop of the correct length was then needed so I spliced a couple of eyes in some rope. A rough job but better than my knotting ability!






Pull the chassis back to clear.


And onto the previously prepared stand.





There was a days work there but nothing was broken and nobody hurt so it was a success. After clearing up, we started on the strip-down.

Steve   :)

Edited by Old Bill
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Now to start on the tear-down.


Tim removed the nuts from the studs.


Then it was just a case of lifting the block off.


Looking good!


Bores are nice and the rings are free.


For an engine that was taken apart just before we got it, there is a remarkable amount of 'stuff' on top of the piston.


Now the other end.


Oh dear! That doesn't look very good!


The chap we bought it from warned us that he had broken a piston whilst dismantling it but that he had put it back. I don't think it would survive long in use so we will have a to make some more.


One bore has a scratch where the gudgeon pin has walked. They should have bronze plugs in each end but every one is missing one plug, hence the scratch. It will probably be OK but we will take a closer look in due course.



On to the clutch. First job was to use the puller to remove the propshaft coupling. After removing a transverse parallel pin, it proved to be simply a firm fit over a pair of woodruff keys.



The clutch release puller is a very fancy casting.


Then time to remove the tensioning spring nut. I don't like undoing big springs!


Fortunately, it released without firing itself across the room. The thrust bearing is a plain bronze casting with white metal inserts.


No sign of any wear so that will fight another day.


Then time to pull the clutch cone. Surprisingly, it released from the flywheel quite easily but took some persistent tugging to get it off the shaft.


The shaft is mounted in a rolling bearing in the middle of the flywheel and this is beautiful. Not shake or rattle at all so we will leave it alone.


The clutch lining is a bit unusual as it appears to be a rubber material with cork inserts. I have never seen anything like this before. It will need to be replaced though.


John removed the cam followers and they look nice. A good clean will allow us to confirm this.

DSCN7616.JPG.de2db04b0e29154ab1438ff9f2bc3a23.JPGThe engine has oil in it so we tried to remove the drain plugs but they would not shift so we decided to drop the sump instead to pour it out. To that end, the timing cover had to come off.


After taking all of the nuts off, some persistent chiselling with a very sharp cold chisel and some levers saw it off.




The gears look very nice.



The sump was dropped and some lovely clean fresh oil was found. This went into the waste oil can, sadly.


Dad has been cleaning the timing cover today.


Generally, we seem to have a very nice engine with little wear showing. Only the broken pistons are a real disappointment and will require some serious work to bring them back. The rings are nice though so I shall make the pistons to suit them. Further tear-down and cleaning next.

Steve  :)

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