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Hi.

The weather down here in the South West has been the monsoon season - non stop rain. Every time I go out when it does stop, to take catch up photos - it rains. But I hope there will be a dry spell to take them this weekend.

Right bit of a update. I did manage to change the top piece of the side locker but not able to paint yet. The top was a bit flimsy and if any one had walked on it , then it would possibly bend in the middle as I used 1.2 mm steel, this is now 2 mm . The order for the new cable for the rear marker light and junction box is now on the go and await it's delivery.

I have ordered a 50 m reel of black cable as the power take off starts at the electrical gear at the front of the cab and the cable runs down the inside of the chassis rail all 22 foot and across the rear. So to save using a wonky tape measure that some times gives me the wrong size to cut, to play safe and get a full reel.

The passenger side foot rest was also made up and fitted, but still needs the tread bar /pyramid nosing to be obtained and fitted. I did try a fab shop that I use  to see if they had a small off cut , when asked and tried to describe it to him, his blank face never moved.

I need to catch up on the time off and get frustrated when I cannot go out to work on it due to this weather. When I did try to work underneath the chassis in the rain , all the drips off the sheet covering it found their way down my neck !

Will try this weekend for photos.

Paul Burns.

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I'm sure you are aware of this, but you should decide at what period of its service your truck is to represent.  The L number you have found would be the number it wore from manufacture until about 1949;  the YX number would then be the number it wore from the change date until release from the Army.  No way would it have worn both at once!

Chris

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Hi.

Many thanks for your thoughts, but I'm well aware of the difference. The only reason for putting both numbers on is that the  18 YX 66 are display plates and will be changed and the proper legal road number plates will be fitted in their place.

The  lorry will run as the 1944 - 1949 livery but by taking off the L number plate, will also be displayed as in the post war number registration.

Cheers.

Paul Burns.

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Hi.

Update photo's of the Albion

 The rear marker light fitted with new bracket . I measured off the works photo and with a piece of cardboard made up the bracket. I did fix it behind the rear off side mud guard but it was too far back so I moved it behind the number plate.

Next is the new plate for transporting the oars as these were carried on the inside of the chassis.
 

New passenger foot rest but needs  tread bar fitting to it, but might just fit strips of flat steel strip instead.

This next photo has jumped the que but shows the rear lights bracket and fits behind the towing hook. There was the remains of a pull out switch in the middle, but will have a ponder about fitting the originals back again as they are too far back to see them .

 

Rear number plate but this has been leaft blank as the bolt heads have to have a touch of black paint on them. This will carry the 18YX66 numbers but only for display purpose, but will not be displayed when being shown in the 1944 livery. When registered for the road then the legal reg plates will be fitted. The front number plate showing the post war number and if any one writes in to tell me that one of the numbers isn't straight - it is -  the number plate has a slight curve in it and puts the number skew.

Then I removed the covers to give it a breath of fresh air.

Paul Burns

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The rearlight bracket photo has appeared 3 times, I can say that there is only one bracket.

PB

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It's looking really good Paul, thanks for sharing the photos. I have to say its been a really hard week at work and this is the light relief I was looking for. I'm trying my best to restore an old land rover in my spare time, but am always in awe of those who manage to do it all on a much bigger scale. It must add an extra challenge moving the pieces around when they weigh several times as much!

Whats the next step? More electrics? The cab? Don't leave us in suspense..

Keep up the good work, 

Andy

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Hi Andy.

Many thanks for your kind words about the project and it has been a labour of love. My biggest problem has been working on it outside and trying to dodge the bad weather, rain, frost, snow, more rain ! Another problem has been with it being the only one, you are stuck to go and have a look at another BY5 to check on parts etc. I have had to work from the offical war time photo's of a BY5 and size it to what should be the correct size, then with a handy piece of cardboard make one - then try for size and adjust. Then cut out  - a bit of trial and error

As for lifting heavy parts around, I have a handy sack truck and having strong arms, thick back and being daft in the head helps ! But the dear wife keeps telling me - "You are 65 not 18, be careful"

I'm sure that once you get taking a few parts off your Land Rover, you will find that restoration will be in your blood.

Right, I have wanted to finish off the small annoying jobs that if I don't do them then they will never get done. So I'm going to wire up the rear light, fit the junction box and the two way switch. Now this where the problem starts.

If you look at the start of page 3, there is a copy of the wiring diagram that is in the workshop manual. I was going to use this to sort out the light, on the rear BUT on checking the drivers manual there is a different diagram. The diagram from the workshop manual shows at the rear a tail lamp, junction box, feed off to the trailer adapter, carries on to a two way switch and the rear axle floodlamp.

Okay so what's the problem? well on the drivers manual diagram, it shows a feed to a stop lamp switch, then to the junction box , with a feed off to the stop lamp, feed to the tail lamp, then to the two way switch for the axle floodlamp. 

So which one do I do, this would explain the lamp bracket under the tow hook with two red lights fitted and the pull out switch but not sure on how or where to fit the stop lamp switch or what type to use. Or shall I just fit as per the workshop manual

Regards.

Paul Burns.

 

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Posted (edited)

Personally I'd wire the rears and the diff light together to operate from the main lighting switch in the cab and leave the two way switch in place but by passed, you need all the illumination you can get on the rear end with today's traffic and I doubt that the RCMP will pull you over 74 years later and put you on a charge for showing a rear light instead of a blackout diff light or vice versa xD

Pete

Edited by Pete Ashby
missing word

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, PB1954RNS said:

Hi Andy.

...Another problem has been with it being the only one, you are stuck to go and have a look at another BY5 to check on parts etc. I have had to work from the offical war time photo's of a BY5 and size it to what should be the correct size, then with a handy piece of cardboard make one - then try for size and adjust. Then cut out  - a bit of trial and error

Well there are three others. Trouble is, all are in at least 20m of water...and two are mostly buried under a pile of Morris Commercial, BSA M20 motorcycles, the odd Lee Enfield rifle and aircraft spare parts. And there is a good chance they are BY3 F.B.E. They are all in the forward hold of the SS Thistlegorm in the Red Sea. Access for most is, I will grant you, practically impossible.

But...I have heard some good news and that is a return to Egypt and the Thistlegorm in the early stages of planning. It won't happen for a few months, but when I am there I'm more than willing to scan/photograph the most accessible* example if needed?

Just let me know and I will see what I can do.

You can see a pair of the pylons that held the cargo of boats in place sticking out of the debris pile here:

3D model of debris pile in forward hold

*The term "accessible" is still relative. Its quite tight in the forward cargo hold but can get to 3 sides of it.

Edited by SimonBrown

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You are doing a fantastic job restoring this vehicle and when it is finished it's going to be a real head turner.

 

Jon

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Hi

 Many thanks for the kind words and advice, it's a good feeling to know  that you are doing it right. Perhaps I'm bit of 'Old School' and want to see it right and having spent many years restoring steam loco's  back to their original condition has  stuck with me and want it to show on the Albion. But there are times when I have completed a job, I stand back , look at it and think  'No not happy with that' and do it again.

As for the rear electrics , I going to take the easy route and use the workshop diagram. I did buy a 4 way junction box and is now happly fitted to the chassis but I won't wire in the trailer adapter as there is no need for it. As the lorry is 75 years old, wont be pulling any trailers . 

The axle flood light will be wired in when I can get hold of one and use the bracket that is fitted at the back of the towing hook, to fit one red and one white lights to throw more light  on the rear end  for any following motorist

Simon, on your next visit I would like to see any photo's you can get of the BY3 's on the wreck for my own collection. And perhaps you could take a couple of air bags, box of spanners , unbolt a rear axle, fill the air bags with air from a couple of handy air cylinders you took down with you on the dive and float the axle to the surface.  Might be a bit of a job fitting it into your luggage but just push it with your foot and tell Customs it's a very old wheel barrow !

I can then strip out the rear diff as trying to get one in this Country is very rare and reverse engineering to make one is very expensive.

Cheers.

Paul Burns

 

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8 minutes ago, PB1954RNS said:

Simon, on your next visit I would like to see any photo's you can get of the BY3 's on the wreck for my own collection.

I will almost certainly have some already. Give me a few days and I will have a look.

Quote

And perhaps you could take a couple of air bags, box of spanners , unbolt a rear axle, fill the air bags with air from a couple of handy air cylinders you took down with you on the dive and float the axle to the surface.  Might be a bit of a job fitting it into your luggage but just push it with your foot and tell Customs it's a very old wheel barrow !

I can then strip out the rear diff as trying to get one in this Country is very rare and reverse engineering to make one is very expensive.

This is going to be trickier, on so many levels...we would need an air lift and a grab to shift the several tons of debris they are buried under...the first job before tackling the matter of luggage would be getting the axle back on deck as none of the boats have a crane. Plus the sheer volume of WD40 needed to loosen those bolts is going to make the Torrey Canyon look like a drop in the ocean.

Now, about those photos? If there is anything specific you really need to see then let me know and I can direct the camera accordingly.

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Hi Simon.

My last posting was only meant as a light hearted comment and having looked at the photos most of the details I want are below the piles of motor bikes. If you could get permission to remove a axle, then you would need burning gear to cut it out.

Some thing that is puzzling me about the wreck and that is - is it a war grave as 9 were killed when it was hit; 4 crew and 5 Royal Navy .

Also, the most concerning thing is, that there divers messing around with live munitions  that are getting more unsafe as time goes on. The ship deck and hold are still covered with live  rounds which could still go off  and supply new members to the Grim Reaper !

Even a 100 year French WW1 bomb still caused injury to a 18 year old metal detectorists, who lost his index finger and 50 pieces  of shrapnel in his body when he hit the  1915 French MLE impact detonator by accident.  The hospital did manage to sew his finger back on and remove all of the shrapnel.

Is it time to the leave ship wreck alone like the SS RICHARD MONTGOMERY and just let it rest in peace.

Cheers.

Paul Burns.

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6 minutes ago, PB1954RNS said:

My last posting was only meant as a light hearted comment and having looked at the photos most of the details I want are below the piles of motor bikes. If you could get permission to remove a axle, then you would need burning gear to cut it out.

Sure, understood. Irony and humour is one of the hardest things to convey on t'internet.

There is a third and far more accessible vehicle on the upper cargo deck. I will dig out some images.

Quote

Some thing that is puzzling me about the wreck and that is - is it a war grave as 9 were killed when it was hit; 4 crew and 5 Royal Navy .

Also, the most concerning thing is, that there divers messing around with live munitions  that are getting more unsafe as time goes on. The ship deck and hold are still covered with live  rounds which could still go off  and supply new members to the Grim Reaper !

Correct on the loss of life. Some of the RN DEMS gunners and ship's crew were sleeping on on the holds when the bomb landed, according to accounts at the time. Angus McLey's George Medal citation makes humble reading.

Generally, divers are not messing around with the munitions. There are a few 4in shell cases that have had the base plate buffed up to reveal the crows foot, date of manufacture etc but for the most part divers have no idea what they are looking at, let alone fiddle with it. There are some 15" shells near the aft end of what is left of hold No 4 but with marine growth many won't realise what they are looking at. 

No 5. hold was crammed with boxes and boxes of 4in shells, and the seabed is littered with boxes and individual shells thrown from the wreck by the explosion.

As long as its left alone underwater UXO is pretty benign and the depth of hold No4 & 5 generally limits the time most divers can spend here. Plus most dives are done with a guide leading a group around the wreck. Most divers swim by without realising its all there, or have it pointed out by a guide as they swim by.

So in terms of risk, by far the biggest risk to loss of life is all due to the divers themselves and right at the top of the list is running out of gas. In the time I spent there I saw two individuals hanging off the dive guide's alternate air supply as they had drained their tank. The underwater world punishes mistakes quickly and thats before anyone has even realised there are tons of bang in the aft end of the ship.

Quote

Is it time to the leave ship wreck alone like the SS RICHARD MONTGOMERY and just let it rest in peace.

Ah yes, the Montgomery. If that lot ever high orders, the east coast of Kent and Essex will be a little different. The longstanding policy has been to leave well alone...if that is a sensible long-term strategy remains to be seen. I'm glad I do not live on Canvey Island.

Could we leave the Thistlegorm alone? Aside from the munitions there are few comparisons between the two wrecks. One sits very challenging conditions, almost akin to very cold, liquid mud. One is located in tropical blue warmth. The location makes a dive on the Thistlegorm as about as easy as it can be and its a very popular dive. One day we had 7 boats moored alongside ours, each with 15~20 divers aboard and all doing at least two, possibly three, dives.

Attempts to calculate the simple economic value of the wreck has been attempted over the years, but with that volume of tourists willing to spend hard foreign currency in what is a relatively poor country the chances of the Egyptians closing the wreck to divers is at best guess close to nil.

Besides, most divers want to see the vehicles in the forward holds. Helps keep interest in military vehicles alive...which is no bad thing.

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Really good to see progression on this interesting vehicle. I continue to follow it with admiration and look forward to seeing the finished product. Thanks for providing the updates and pictures. 

 

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