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CONQUEROR ARV, METEOR M120, UPDATE

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Dear All,

I have some tales of woe regarding the Meteor M120 engine fitted to the Conqueror ARV.

I had concluded that the plugs were fouling with oil due to failure of the inlet valve oil seals which I have discussed in an earlier post.  A problem has been to hold the inlet valve closed whilst the springs are compressed.  Help from the Forum has been invaluable.

It was decided to take the engine out of the hull for reasons of improved engineering hygiene.  Once the special tool was made, changing the inlet valve oil seals was straight forward although I am not convinced that they were the problem going by their condition and position.  The top of the valve stem only had about 4 thou wobble.

The first big problem was that the camshaft was very badly pitted on some of its rubbing surfaces on the cams.  This had taken out 17 rockers/ followers.  The valve clearances had opened up to 35 thou.  Not too much of a problem.  I bought two new camshafts and the rockers came from a scrap MkIVB engine.  Then I touched one of the cylinder head /block studs. It was loose!  Worse still the stud was sheared.  Apparently this is a common problem with the Merlins and Meteors.  Ok so I needed to lift of the cylinder head block assy.  To do this I made an engine turning frame and special lifting tool to lift the block dead square and vertical.  I have made a special tool to drill out the sheared stud accurately.  So some problems but still manageable.  Then I felt the big end bearings.  Unfortunately there was 10 thou in and down movement in the big ends and the mains have problems as well.  Fortunately the crank looks OK.  There does not appear to be any white metal on the shells!  The pistons and liners are great as well.

Another problem was that the sump was full of a horrible gelatinous gulutinous muck.  This was despite having changed the oil some time ago. 

I started with the simple job of valve oils seals but now have the engine completely in bits!  However, we could not keep running the engine with these known faults as it would certainly have led toa total failure in due course.

I wonder whether when the oil sump got contaminated with E5 petrol, that allowed the white metal bearings on the crank to be attacked by the ethanol.

SOME LESSONS & TIPS FOR CONQ / CENT

The oil sumps needs to come out and be cleaned in case it is full of sludge.  In service I expect that they would fit a new engine without cleaning the sump.  This would only be done at base overhaul.

If you take charge of a meteor, take off the rocker covers and check the condition of the cam shaft.  It is the first component to start rusting and the consequences are serious. Check that the corner studs are not sheared.  Just check the nuts are secure.

Unfortunately the Conq is not fitted with an oil pressure gauge.  If it had one, surely it would have revealed that all was not well with the bottom end.

 

The good news is that I am confident that I can get the engine back into good condition.  It will just be a little bit more involved than I thought!

 

John

 

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sorry to hear all has not gone well. i think it's known as mission creep when one job leads to another. good luck with it.

i know of two m120 owners that might be persuaded to part with them if you decide life is too short :)

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Not sure how the fuel pump works on a Meteor but if it’s mechanical it may be worth checking all the seals to make sure that fuel isn’t leaking into the oil. If you get chance, I’d love to see photos of the work in progress.

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Dear All,

I have been diverted onto other tasks but hope to get back onto the Conq engine next week.  I will see if I can get the crankshaft and bearings out of the scrap and very seized IVB engine.

Rick,

All I wanted to do was the inlet valve oil seals!  However, it is very interesting work, especially making the necessary special tools.  It can take 3 hours to make a tool and then 3 minutes to use it.  The engine has got to be put back together with all faults rectified.  I could not live with myself if I did not get the job done.  My hope is to have it ground running by Christmas.

On the other hand if the economics staked up it might enable me to get the Conq running again sooner which would enable me, when at Lyneham,  to address matters such as the track slack adjusters. (Why a proper tankie has never taken the mick out of me on that account I know not!).  Could you PM me further details!

Chris,

The original fuel injection pump was mechanical and it would indeed have been the seals that let the fuel into the engine oil sump.  With hindsight, it might have been easier to develop the necessary special tools and test equipment to overhaul the pump. However, the modern electronic fuel injection system has such huge advantages that I have persisted with it.  Particular advantages are starting, cold running and fuel efficiency.

Unfortunately, I cannot download the pics from my camera because I have lost the USB lead and my new laptop won't take the SD card.

John

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Don't panic about the USB lead, eBay is overrun with them!

Andy

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2 hours ago, PanzerJohn said:

Regarding petrol, Esso Synergy Supreme Plus doesn't have any ethanol in it.

Not entirely true, the following is from the Esso site:

Esso super unleaded petrol (Synergy Supreme+ Unleaded 97) is ethanol free (except in Devon, Cornwall, the Teesside area and Scotland). We would therefore advise anyone who has concerns about the presence of ethanol in petrol to use Synergy Supreme+ – providing they do not fill up in Devon or Cornwall, the Teesside area or Scotland.

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On ‎10‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 10:29 PM, radiomike7 said:

Not entirely true, the following is from the Esso site:

Esso super unleaded petrol (Synergy Supreme+ Unleaded 97) is ethanol free (except in Devon, Cornwall, the Teesside area and Scotland). We would therefore advise anyone who has concerns about the presence of ethanol in petrol to use Synergy Supreme+ – providing they do not fill up in Devon or Cornwall, the Teesside area or Scotland.

Why would some shires have ethanol and others not? Isn't England a country instead of a United Staes of England with different laws like the US of A?

I don't mean this in a political way, just confused.

 

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21 minutes ago, Enigma said:

Why would some shires have ethanol and others not? Isn't England a country instead of a United Staes of England with different laws like the US of A?

I don't mean this in a political way, just confused.

 

It's refinery practice.  I'd guess Esso doesn't actually own the refineries supplying those areas ( or any areas...) but just sub-contracts the production.  Scotland would be supplied by ( Ineos? ) at Grangemouth, Teesside by Billingham, and Devon & Cornwall by someone down there.  The refinery owners have decided that their majority customers will put up with Ethanol so it is in there.

EDIT - later - Billingham / Teesside is now just storage and distribution, so I'd guess it was distributing fuel refined by Grangemouth and moved by pipeline.

 

Questions for the house then, what refinery supplies Devon & Cornwall area, who owns it?

Edited by Gordon_M

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These are the choices:

Essar_logo.gif?sfvrsn=0

Essar Stanlow Refinery
Situated south of the Mersey estuary near Ellesmere Port, refining at Stanlow dates back to 1924.

ExxonMobil ExxonMobil Refinery Fawley
Situated on the west shore of Southampton Water, Fawley is the largest refinery in the UK, with refining activity on the site dating back to 1921.
petroineos.png?sfvrsn=0  PetroIneos Grangemouth Refinery
Situated close to the Firth of Forth, Grangemouth traces its origins back to 1924 and up until the Second World War it handled about 400,000 tonnes of oil.
logo_Phillips_66.png?sfvrsn=0

Phillips 66 Humber Refinery
Situated on the Humber Estuary at South Killingholme, the refinery came into operation in 1969 with a capacity of about 3 million tonnes.

 

Total_Logo.png?sfvrsn=0

Total Lindsey Oil Refinery
Situated close to the south bank of the Humber Estuary in North Lincolnshire, Lindsey Oil Refinery, originally a 50/50 joint venture between Fina and Total, is now owned by Total.

 valero_1_2.jpg?sfvrsn=0 Valero Pembroke Refinery
Pembroke Refinery is situated on the Pembroke coast and came on stream in 1964

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Fawley, then?  Apologies for off-topic drift.

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Any chance you could post a picture or two of the Conqueror ARV? would love to see it

 

Regards

John

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On 10/15/2018 at 10:36 PM, radiomike7 said:

 

These are the choices:

Essar_logo.gif?sfvrsn=0

Essar Stanlow Refinery
Situated south of the Mersey estuary near Ellesmere Port, refining at Stanlow dates back to 1924.

ExxonMobil ExxonMobil Refinery Fawley
Situated on the west shore of Southampton Water, Fawley is the largest refinery in the UK, with refining activity on the site dating back to 1921.
petroineos.png?sfvrsn=0  PetroIneos Grangemouth Refinery
Situated close to the Firth of Forth, Grangemouth traces its origins back to 1924 and up until the Second World War it handled about 400,000 tonnes of oil.
logo_Phillips_66.png?sfvrsn=0

Phillips 66 Humber Refinery
Situated on the Humber Estuary at South Killingholme, the refinery came into operation in 1969 with a capacity of about 3 million tonnes.

 

Total_Logo.png?sfvrsn=0

Total Lindsey Oil Refinery
Situated close to the south bank of the Humber Estuary in North Lincolnshire, Lindsey Oil Refinery, originally a 50/50 joint venture between Fina and Total, is now owned by Total.

 valero_1_2.jpg?sfvrsn=0 Valero Pembroke Refinery
Pembroke Refinery is situated on the Pembroke coast and came on stream in 1964

Essar  is the old Shell Stanlow Refinery, spent half my life in there.

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Dear All,

 

Here are some photos of the Conqueror ARV:Conq8.JPG.df1aa04da3cabadffbb1324c8672aca6.JPG

Conq25.JPG.ec1064715dc963031fd34cdb23ca0746.JPG

These were running around Slab Common a few years agoConq33.thumb.JPG.5ea247d3529020b2e41061aa80701e8a.JPG

This was doing work on the rear spade at Bordon in the museum. The frame in front is the Antar's winch / fifth wheel sub-frame,Conq36.thumb.JPG.a4f669cb1957951ba2727083a9016054.JPG

This was testing the winch.  I have never seen a photo of a Conqueror's spade embedded into the ground.  This arrangement will resist a pull of 135 tons.SANY0713.thumb.JPG.311f2fb94ab9c65490cd1e9f10701e66.JPG

This is the engine when I thought that all I had to do was replace some inlet valve oil seals.SANY0719.thumb.JPG.e2dd44ae699448f92f7edb57b30ee961.JPG

This shows rust damage due to not running the engine.SANY0748.thumb.JPG.1c17364858a77f3f144953fe4ef606fb.JPG

This is a look into the ECU box that controls the electronic fuel injection. It controls 24 Rover V8 injectors. There have been several iterations of this ECU.SANY0758.thumb.JPG.fe2be689d6e64b7dd6f3cb0e576d674d.JPG

This is the rig for lifting the cylinder block off the pistons and crank case.  The long studs attached to the cylinder head ensure that the block is lifted up square. The engine is rotated and fixed 30 degrees from horizontal to allow for a vertical lift.  When I found that the crank had to come out I then had to make a rig to rotate the engine 360 degrees. LOL.SANY0760.thumb.JPG.164b27355ab19a4ed34cc1fe84fde1f6.JPG

Nearly off!SANY0780.thumb.JPG.d53027266fc108fbfb09354f1230f4af.JPG

Two of the end, or corner, studs were broken off.  The plan is to drill and tap the remains of the stud.  The drill jig is ensuring that the stud is drilled absolutely central and vertical.

I now have to strip down a scrap IVB to get a better bottom end.  Unfortunately I will not be able to start this work until December.

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On 10/16/2018 at 7:49 AM, Gordon_M said:

Fawley, then?  Apologies for off-topic drift.

image.thumb.png.6be9b11e45b6de62c487693fadae8c10.png

Pipeline Network

The south west isn't served by a liquids line on the above map - the red lines are gas pipelines

Not sure if there is a specific Terminal or refinery for the South West - logically it would be Fawley being the nearest

 

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Getting back on topic - great photos of the Conquerer

A question for the Forum in general - Were the Conquerer and Centurion ARV's designs on the drawing board at the same time?

The earth anchor on both vehicles remind me of the anchor arrangement on the Bergepanther.

Did Chertsey/FVRDE "borrow" the concept?

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In reply to wether the BERGEPANTHER was used for ideas for the CONQUEROR  ARV  what i can tell you is that two CONQUERORS  41 BA 15 and 41 BA 16 were at FVRDE  at the same time period as the BERGEPANTHER  41 BA 16 is the one stripped and engine been removed it later was disposed of  and went to pounds then to the USA  41 BA 15 was disposed of 18/08/59

cont.jpg

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On ‎10‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 7:35 PM, attleej said:

Dear All,

 

Here are some photos of the Conqueror ARV:Conq8.JPG.df1aa04da3cabadffbb1324c8672aca6.JPG

Conq25.JPG.ec1064715dc963031fd34cdb23ca0746.JPG

These were running around Slab Common a few years agoConq33.thumb.JPG.5ea247d3529020b2e41061aa80701e8a.JPG

This was doing work on the rear spade at Bordon in the museum. The frame in front is the Antar's winch / fifth wheel sub-frame,Conq36.thumb.JPG.a4f669cb1957951ba2727083a9016054.JPG

This was testing the winch.  I have never seen a photo of a Conqueror's spade embedded into the ground.  This arrangement will resist a pull of 135 tons.SANY0713.thumb.JPG.311f2fb94ab9c65490cd1e9f10701e66.JPG

This is the engine when I thought that all I had to do was replace some inlet valve oil seals.SANY0719.thumb.JPG.e2dd44ae699448f92f7edb57b30ee961.JPG

This shows rust damage due to not running the engine.SANY0748.thumb.JPG.1c17364858a77f3f144953fe4ef606fb.JPG

This is a look into the ECU box that controls the electronic fuel injection. It controls 24 Rover V8 injectors. There have been several iterations of this ECU.SANY0758.thumb.JPG.fe2be689d6e64b7dd6f3cb0e576d674d.JPG

This is the rig for lifting the cylinder block off the pistons and crank case.  The long studs attached to the cylinder head ensure that the block is lifted up square. The engine is rotated and fixed 30 degrees from horizontal to allow for a vertical lift.  When I found that the crank had to come out I then had to make a rig to rotate the engine 360 degrees. LOL.SANY0760.thumb.JPG.164b27355ab19a4ed34cc1fe84fde1f6.JPG

Nearly off!SANY0780.thumb.JPG.d53027266fc108fbfb09354f1230f4af.JPG

Two of the end, or corner, studs were broken off.  The plan is to drill and tap the remains of the stud.  The drill jig is ensuring that the stud is drilled absolutely central and vertical.

I now have to strip down a scrap IVB to get a better bottom end.  Unfortunately I will not be able to start this work until December.

Never realised the M120 had more oval exhaust ports John, is there a huge difference in power out put between the above and a standard 4B meteor ?

Cheers

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The EMER for the Gun tank say 810 BHP at 2800 RPM and 1580 FtLbs torque at 2000 RPM.  It is interesting that a Meteor has quite a lot of grunt at idling. The Conqueror ARV will neutral steer with the engine idling.  The REME museum's Cent ARV has rubber pads on track and so will generally require a touch of throttle to neutral on tarmac.

The cylinder heads on the M120 and the Meteorite are very different from a IVB with its more direct Merlin ancestry.  As for he exhaust ports, they are different but I have no idea if they are better or not.

 

John

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