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Jessie The Jeep

My Flying Control Jeep

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They do tend to rust in the usual places. Good work repairing those parts.

Edited by Enigma

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December 5th - Bodywork Repairs

The 5th was just a day of sanding and filling. Even with the heater in the garage, it was cold, and that was slowing down the cure times for P38 polyester filler and air dry acrylic fine surface filler. As a result, this delayed the sanding of each layer, slowing down the job. A couple of areas were still too soft to sand by the time I had to pack up for the school run.

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December 6th - Bodywork Repairs

On Thursday 6th, there was lots more filling and sanding first thing, then a coat of primer. After that had hat time to harden, with a little help from a heater, it was given a light key with a Scotch pad and then I was ready for the olive drab. Because of the cold outside, and the cramped conditions inside, I decided not to spray the side of the Jeep. Instead, it was brush painted and before it had too long to dry, I went over with a mini paint roller to even out the brush strokes and to matt the surface off.

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The rollered finish turned out pretty good so then I painted all the mounting hardware. I also made some plastic washers for all the bolts. These would go between all the mating surfaces where the fender contacted the Jeep bodywork or chassis. These plastic washers, only about 0.75mm thick spaced the metalwork apart slightly, preventing dirt and moisture from being trapped between the metalwork. This tiny gap isn't really noticeable, but allows me to get the hose pipe in to give them a good rinse out. The white styrene washers were also painted olive drab.

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December 8th - Bodywork Repairs

After a day and a bit for the paint to harden, it was time to re-fit the fender. As with the Ford GPW when I rebuilt that, fitting the fender was a bit of a battle. The top rear and top front bolts were fitted loosely to support the weight of the fender. Then I started fighting to get all the other holes to line up.

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The hat channel needed a G clamp to pull it in to allow the bolts to start in their threads. The two lower bolts where the bracket had snapped were fitted next, followed by the other two rear and two front grill bolts. That left the step bolt until last. It was a little tricky slotting in the plastic washers, but once all the bolts were in by a few threads, it was then an easy matter to tighten them all up.

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With the fender attached, the battery cable clamps were attached, along with a small earth wire. All the nuts, bolts and machine screws were then touched up with olive drab. The seat was then bolted back down and the radio electrical box on the side of the Jeep tub bolted back on.

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January 29th - BC-348 Handles

For some time, the handles on the BC-348 receiver in the Jeep have been broken and re-glued several times. They are in a bit of a vulnerable position, especially the front one. They were carved and sanded from a block of modelling polyurethane resin, which while easy to shape, it was also brittle. They could really do with being cast from aluminium, but for now, I'm looking at a quicker option. One of the original handles was glued back together and the cracks filled and sanded. I then built a styrene box around the handle to pour a silicone rubber mould. 

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Once the silicone mould was cured, polyurethane casting resin was poured into the mould, but with a number of carbon fibre tows laid into the mould to add strength to the resin. They need drilling for the mounting screws, then painting and fitting. Hopefully they will be a little more sturdy, but if all else fails, aluminium casting is the next step. I've done home casting of aluminium before, but it's far more effort than resin casting, hence trying this first. 

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The 2019 Season Begins

Out in the Snow - February 2nd

With a couple of days of snow fall and a nice sunny day, I couldn't resist and had go go out Jeeping. Both Jeeps have been out in the snow before, but never together; until today. Since my daughter had a morning dance class and an afternoon dance rehearsal, we only had a couple of hours free over lunch. We stayed local and found a couple of places with decent backgrounds not far from home. Both Jeeps had a good hose down upon their return, concluding their first trip out of the 2019 season.

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April 12th - Springtime Service

After a February which started with snow, it turned into a record breaking mild month. Perhaps I should have done the servicing then, as March was terrible, as was the first half of April. Finally, mid-month was looking good and with it being the school Easter holidays, plus wifey needing to work, daddy day care was going to be a working one for little legs. At nine years old, she's sensible and big enough to be useful. So right from the start, I let her do the fuel priming and engine start before pulling out of the garage and onto the drive to warm the oil before the change.

While the engine was running, were checked all the lights. I'd done all the wheel bearings over the winter and checked the brake shoes. Idle and charge voltages were checked using the volt meter fitted last year. After a year of monitoring on long and short trips, the regulator seems set about right, so no more cooking the batteries.

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Putting the sump plug back in after draining the oil.

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So I had her lifting, carrying, unfastening and refastening bits and pieces. Cleaning and gap checking the plugs, holding funnels, looking for cracks and leaks underneath, but the biggest help by far was greasing the multitude of grease points. I have a flexi-hose on my grease gun as a number of grease points are very difficult or impossible to reach with a fixed shaft grease gun. Now holding the flexi-end firmly onto a grease nipple while also holding the main body of the gun ( sometimes off the ground to reach the nipple ) and pumping the handle on your own is really a job for an octopus. However, with my little helper on hand, I was able to fasten and hold the tip firmly in place while she did the pumping of the grease. It's never been so easy!!

Checking the oil level.

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After everything was put back together again, she did another engine start, then fastened in for a 5 mile test drive around Washington. We parked up on the drive again to let the oil settle before checking the level once more. While we waited, we refastened the sides and roof on ready for our first event next weekend at Heugh Battery in Hartlepool. I was meant to be at the Yorkshire MVT Crank Up on Sunday 14th, but I'm still recovering from a serious chest infection and I'm not up to the five to six hours behind the wheel for the round trip to York and back.

Plug cleaning.

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14 years ago today, I signed the paperwork and filled the tank, having just bought a Hotchkiss M201. The Jeep was originally bought by WHB Jeeps in St. John's Town of Dalry, straight from the French Army auctions in Toulouse, in the year 2000. It was viewable at the Army Camp at Muret, prior to the sale. I found the Jeep in February 2005, during a three day break in Scotland, paid a deposit and arranged to come back after some work was done and it was registered. The Jeep was finally ready to collect on April 16th 2005. 

Here's some pictures of the then un-named "Jessie" , heading home for the first time. 

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Heugh Battery Museum - April 20th
Britain's WW1 Battlefield

It was a lovely cross country drive down to Hartlepool, to visit Heugh Battery, not too far from the Historic Quay and HMS Trincomalee. The battery is now a museum, but was first opened in 1860 to protect the port of Hartlepool. The guns were gradually upgraded over the years and by World War 1, was equipped with 6 inch guns.

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The battery, manned by the Territorial Force gunners of the Durham Royal Garrison Artillery, were to see action in the Bombardment of Hartlepool on 16 December 1914 against a German Naval Fleet. During the bombardment, the leading German battle cruiser fired a shell which struck aground less than 100 metres from the battery. This marked the first death in action of a soldier on British soil in World War I. A plaque commemorating the event is found on the coastal walkway just outside the battery.

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The battery has been fund raising and the military vehicle event was just one of a number of new events to bring more people to visit. At the end of the day, they announced on their Facebook page that they had raised £1,500 across the day.

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There were around two dozen visiting vehicles ranging from armour to Jeeps. Having missed the Yorkshire MVT Crank Up due to illness, the Heugh Battery event was my first of the 2019 season and a great way to catch up with friends and start the season.

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I’ve just seen this in today’s telegraph, the jeep looks familiar 😉 

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Yes, I had a great weekend at Elvington and the Jeep was grabbed for the photoshoot before I'd even finished putting my tent up. I have several hundred RAW photos to sort and process before I can add a report. Several pictures from the shoot were in the Telegraph, Yorkshire Post and Times I believe.

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Against the Odds at the Yorkshire Air Museum - May 11/12th

This was my second time at the "Against the Odds" event and only the third time it has been held. I travelled down to Elvington on Friday, leaving late morning and arriving around 2pm. I began to unpack the trailer to set up in the same spot as last year, next to the Night Flying Equipment Store, near the Tower.

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I'd just about finished putting up the tent, but hadn't yet started to unloaded everything into it when the Jeep was requested for a press photo shoot. I drove around to the Halifax and parked up where requested, then left it to go back and finish unpacking the trailer.

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It was a dull and cloudy afternoon, but the clouds only added to the atmospheric feeling to the pictures. A couple of my pictures are shown from during the shoot. The press photos ended up in the Telegraph, Times and Yorkshire Post.

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Overnight rain stopped by morning and after a freezing cold night, it turned out a nice bright start to the day, though a bit of a breeze. Before the museum staff swept away the excess water, I got some nice reflection photos around the site.

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The museum's Halifax recreation represents two different aircraft. The starboard side of the aircraft is in French markings, while the port side is painted at the famous "Friday the 13th". The aircraft is constructed from an original rear fuselage, a new build tailplane, a Handley-Page Hastings wing and new build front fuselage. It is the only example of an intact Halifax in Europe. One other example is located at the RAF Museum, Hendon, in the condition it was found when recovered from a Norwegian Fjord.

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It was just a short walk from my tent to the Halifax, through the RAF encampment. RAF re-enactors were frequently seen coming and going from their camp to the NAAFI. 

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