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HammerTime

Humber Pig / Saracen ... vehicles of the Troubles.

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Hi there. New to the forum. Don't know if I'm wise but I am interested in purchasing a Humber Pig and/or a Saracen. Always been fascinated in them since seeing them on the streets of N.I. in my younger days. I've a keen interest in the iconic vehicles used during the Troubles. Not sure if I'd prefer the Pig MK2 for the proper N.I. 'look' or the less hassle that comes with a MK1 (so I'm led to believe!). I wouldn't want it as an ornament, definitely would have it in use, personal and commercial. A few questions as many of the posts with good info are nearly 10 years old now :-

Do these vehicles come up for sale often and what sort of price these days for a good refurbished one?

Are there any experts on here could give me any advice?

MK1/MK2? Possible to get the MK2 look on a MK1? With the barricade buster?

Would they be reliable enough to use these days? Are parts easily obtainable? Are they easy to work at? 

How hard are they to maintain (basics i.e. Oil, grease etc) by someone who doesn't have much experience? Would a general heavy mechanic/fitter  be able to work their way round these machines?

Is a Saracen just completely out of the question in 2017? Doing my research, it seems Saracens are a bit of a nightmare with possibly the Pig a tad more manageable? 

Thanks in advance. 

 

 

Edited by HammerTime

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Hi Hammer,

                Welcome aboard.

None of the above vehicles are out of the question !

I have two saracens, FV610 and FV603, once you get them right, they are easy to maintain, tax free, mot free and £95 a year, fully comp insurance. Bits are easy to get. I just had an engine in one of them, relined, pistons etc runs like brand new. The MPG is nowhere near a prius, but who cares !

 

Go for it !   get a sarry !

Give me a shout if you need any help.

 

 

 

 

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Oddly I have a Mk1 Pig that looks like a Mk2!

30BK43 was one of two that spent the 'Troubles' as training aids in barracks in Kent, so while it is 'dressed' as an NI operational vehicle it was never up-armoured. Probably has one of the best Pig drive trains in the world as a consequence.

They don't come up for sale often. There was one on ebay recently asking over £10K - I don't know whether it sold. Maintainance is straight forward, but time consuming. In the order of 90 different lubrication points underneath - some take grease, some SAE30, some EP90.....

Spares are an issue - I'm currently after a new exhaust and will probably end up having to fabricate one.

 

Nic

 

 

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i have one of each,great fun to drive, both have there problems,spares are not a major problem as they are availible,i do know some one who has a pig project if interested

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Drive a Mk 2 Pig steadily, remembering to use 1st gear to set off in and selecting the four wheel drive will ease the strain on the drive train. Have to remember its 2.5 Ton overloaded. As heavy footed drivers can and will break half shafts. Then a long hard job to change and locate a spare.

Lots of owners do remove the internal armour, could be replaced with plywood and covered with 1/16th steel sheet to look the part, others just remove it and have more room.

Mine is a true Mk2 with all the armour, but was converted from a Missile launcher Armoured. So as its not a normal Pig will keep it as used in Northern Ireland with its history. Registration 21BK96

Normal servicing with oils and grease will keep it happy. Doing it every 250 miles will keep the suspension happy, with oil injected with a grease/oil gun.

Will take most part of a day to check all the oil levels, but you will have the satisfaction of owning a wonderful piece of engineering from the Humber factory.

What ever you get, enjoy it. Nigel.

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11 hours ago, Nic.Clay said:

Oddly I have a Mk1 Pig that looks like a Mk2!

30BK43 was one of two that spent the 'Troubles' as training aids in barracks in Kent, so while it is 'dressed' as an NI operational vehicle it was never up-armoured. Probably has one of the best Pig drive trains in the world as a consequence.

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Nic,

Your Pig would have been based at Lydd then. I would have seen it when it came up to the workshops no doubt. One Pig down there had a Shorland turret mounted on it, think it was an idea they were trialing at the time.

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4 hours ago, saracenstump said:

i have one of each,great fun to drive, both have there problems,spares are not a major problem as they are availible,i do know some one who has a pig project if interested

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I'm intrested in the pig project 07885231365 thankyou 

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Hi Nic,

 

You actually have my old Pig. It's nice to see that it is still being cared for. I bought it around 2002 from John Newton in West Sussex. He had it in storage since it was cast from service. I owned it until around 2010.

 

You will find it was indeed used in the UK and never saw use in NI. It was at Lydd as a training vehicle. You will also find if you look at the wheel arches on the inside that there area weld/cut marks. I was told by a very good source (Clive Elliott) that this was a first attempt at a new seating confederation in the rear that was not adapted. It was originally in Olive Drag and not Deep Bronze Green, that was my doing as it was more user friendly. I have quite a few pictures of it when I purchased it if you are interested. 

 

Also an interesting thing - the offside light guard was actually from a chip fryer! Shows some in service modifications. I may still have it, although I replaced it with the current correct one.

Where about's is the Pig in the UK now? It lived in Sussex for most of its retirement. 

 

Great to see it at shows still!

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Paul,

I wondered when you'd spot your old warhorse - I bought it from Dave Powell about 2 years back when he was downsizing his collection. He'd done a lot of work on the brakes, so it didn't need a great deal doing when I acquired it. Dave passed on it's paperwork and some old photos so I saw you featured in the text!

It now lives near Thirsk, North Yorkshire., and has been to some of the 'Northern Shows' over the time I've had it - YWE, Croft, YMVT Crank-Up in York and the NEMVC event at Ryhope. 

I had it returned to the Olive Drab and Adam Wright of MV Depot at Helperby refitted the nearside fuel tank, added the mudguard mirrors and generally serviced anything that looked in need last winter.

It currently needs a new silencer and the fuel primer lever has fallen off - restarting after a few months rest is something of an issue! 

You'll recognise the older 'riot' painting seen here on it's journey north ....

 

Nic

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Everything has a price, but I'm not actively looking to sell it. You will find one elsewhere far cheaper than I'd be prepared to part with this one. Keep looking and one will come along. Good luck.

Nic

 

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Clive is the expert on Pigs although he's probably far too modest to admit it!

Andy

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I Have been ringing up enquiring about insurance for a Saracen. Insurance that would cover the carriage of passengers. Most of them won't touch it. Has anybody got any advice? And this is in N. Ireland where it is even harder to get insurance.

Edited by HammerTime

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I've owned my Saracen for about 4 years now and, for the most part, maintenance is time consuming but not overly difficult, although everything is harder to get at than it should be. Where you might have problems is if anything breaks (mine destroyed a hub), it's very big and heavy to remove and replace, but the spares are out there and aren't too expensive.

Another vehicle that you might want to consider is a Ferret. They're a little smaller and easier to live with than the Saracen, but have pretty much the same running gear. Being a physically smaller vehicle, things are easier to get to and maintain. Compared to the Saracen I would say that the ferret is a little more cramped, considerably faster and a whole lot less civilised. The Saracen has a double floor, so the layer of oil and grime down there is generally hidden, while the Ferret does not, and the Saracen has considerably less interior noise. The Saracen is also easier to get in and out of and has much more interior room. I really like my Ferret, I love my Saracen.

Cheers,
Terry

 

 

 

Ferret Mk 2 and Saracen Mk 5.jpg

Edited by Starfire

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