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WW1 Thornycroft restoration

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Only one word for this "wow" A true hard work restoraton. really impressed people like you really keep history alive. all the best in your search .

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Ref. posting no. 6 . The 'J' at the East Anglian Transport Museum, Lowestoft is probably the most original to survive. ( except for the front wings). Purchased by Lowestoft Corporation , possibly direct from Thornycrofts as reconditioned war surplus it came already Hampshire registered in 1920, for use as a tramway recovery lorry. In this guise it saw little use and managed to survive intact. I believe it still belongs to the Corporation and is well worth going to see if in the area although it does not venture out and is somewhat hemmed in. The bodywork is somewhat different from the usual g.s. truck design using very wide boards and I was always a little suspect that it may have been rebuilt but I have recently found the attached advertisement which confirms it is totally original.

Richard Peskett.

 

Lowestoft 'J'.jpg

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You may remember from a while back that Tony and i drove up to North wales to collect an old Eagle trailer axle which had two very good condition tires on it. We have found a new home for the wheels but had to get the tires off first. We loaded up Steves poor old Passat with the wheels and he took them up to see a very good friend of ours:

With the wheels gone we can put the tires back into the shed. It does not actually give us any more room, but it is another job out of the way for when we get stuck into the Thornycroft.

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That is a great piece of machinery, good to see it is still in use! Do you know pressure and cylinder diameter, or the force needed to press the tires off?

 

Thanks, Marcel

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That is a great piece of machinery, good to see it is still in use! Do you know pressure and cylinder diameter, or the force needed to press the tires off?

 

Thanks, Marcel

 

Hi Marcel.

 

I don't know the actual force this time as the pressure gauge had been removed for safe keeping and we didn't trouble to put it back. However, it is a 14" ram and the total capacity is around 300 tons. Unusually, the gauge is calibrated in 'hundredweights per square inch' and the pressure is applied by use of a hand pump. It is quite hard work but you can feel exactly what the tyre is doing and when something is going wrong.

 

The press dates from the Great War and was used by a local Dunlop tyre dealership before being rescued by our friend about thirty years ago. I believe that it weighs about 11 tons and half of it is below ground level.

 

Steve

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Thats interesting. Chain drive so it must be an early one. With a canopy like that i suspect that it is destined for India. Keep the rain off the bonnet as well as the crew.

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Re Getty photo

 

At first I thought there is some thing wrong with this photo and wondered if it was incorrectly labeled. ( only too often is the wrong manufacturer given credit in museum collections).

The radiator is of the early 1912-13 pattern and the spoke pattern of the wheels also early Thornycroft. However upon enlarging the image, this brought about another question when looking at the front of the vehicle. A lack of dumb irons or even front springs. It appears to have a pivoting front axle.

It appears to be Colonial model M designed for traversing rough ground. Exported to Australia and Africa.

Alan Townsin mentions in his book the unsold ones went to the War Dept.:

Interesting photograph. Now to find a Thornycroft like this one for the collection.

Doug-)

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Ref. post 34, well spotted nz2 !. Definately a Colonial model 'M' of 1912/13. One made its way to the Japanese war office. A full description /article on this model appears in Motor Traction , May 24th. 1913. A few detail pictures attached herewith including that of the interesting front suspension.

 

 

Richard Peskett.

Thornycroft 'M'.jpg

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In this country, I believe the survivors to be:

 

IWM Gun Lorry

WD GS Wagon at Milestones

1919 pantechnicon at Milestones

WD GS Wagon in red for Lowestoft Corporation at Carlton Colville Museum

WD wagon rebuilt with low-level radiator and now being civilianised. Originally from Warrington.

1919 Wethereds dray. Engine recently wrecked and the owner plans to install a Perkins diesel......

Flat bed wagon in civilian livery. Signwritten 'Pettifer' and last seen in Shaftesbury.

Portsmouth Corporation bus at Milestones.

Charabanc at Museum of Country Life at Sandy Bay

Kit of parts. Gosling collection, Axminster.

Kit of parts near Nottingham

Complete lorry in scrapyard in Taunton.

 

These are the ones we know of in the UK. I have been fortunate to see them all and have driven the Milestones GS wagon. It's quite an animal and I am looking forward to getting stuck into ours!

 

Steve

 

Which one is this Steve?

 

Seen at Smallwood (Cheshire) 2010

 

I'll try and huntout fathers slides of fetching the 1st lot of parts you bought, from off the mountain in Penmaenmawr.

 

All the best

 

Hedd

 

008_0110.jpg

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Which one is this Steve?

 

 

 

That is Steve Pettifer's Thorny which he restored in Shaftsbury. I wondered where it had gone. As you can see, it is on it's original tyres. Steve found that after being parked for so long, they had developed flats so he jacked the back end up and then mounted the cross-slide from his lathe on a railway sleeper across the wheel. With the engine idling in reverse, he took a cut across the tread and turned them round again. Amazing!

 

Steve

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Right. Here we go again. With the Dennis just about done it is time to take another look at the Thornycroft.

 

Steve was down in Axminster this weekend - mainly to do some fine tuning to the Dennis in preparation for the Honiton Hill Rally next month. But we have it in mind that we shall start on the Thornycroft next - with the engine first of all - and with this in mind, his and Tony's curiosity got the better of them and they started to look at the thorny engine with the winter's work in mind. The engine was imported from New Zealand and nothing has been done to it since its arrival some time ago.

 

We always knew that the clutch was going to be difficult to get off as it was very rusted in and the securing nuts for the clutch springs were very rusted over. It would be a case of some brutal but controlled force to get things moving. A hammer and chisel job!

A look inside one of the inspection panels revealed that the inside of the engine didn't look too bad - although it is seized at the moment. The water delivery pipe of the water pump is broken off so it does mean some pattern making and a new casting there. You will also notice in the photograph that the flange on the large aluminum casting has broken away so that will have to be replaced as well. Yet another job for the foundry

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Poor spelling - must try harder

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The first job in dismantling the clutch was to get the clutch springs off. All badly rusted in but perseverance - some plus gas and brute strength eventually freed them and they came off. You will notice in the last of this sequence of five photos that the ball race is rather beyond its "sell-by" date!

 

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The actual clutch "drum" is a steel pressing with the lining bolted to it. In was very firmly stuck within the fly wheel and it took constant niggling at it and with Tony and Steve working around the rim with large screw drivers and crow bars, to eventually free it - is that "New Zealand" water running out which has been trapped there ever since the engine left New Zealand?

And it eventually came apart to reveal a wet interior. Overall very pleasing as there is nothing there to cause a problem!

We are on our way again, but really do not intend to do a lot more to the Thorny until the autumn when the summer rally season is over.

 

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You will notice in the last of this sequence of five photos that the ball race is rather beyond its "sell-by" date!

 

 

Ah, Great War ball-races! Such was the problem of getting new ones during the war, 3rd Heavy Repair Shop at St Omer were renovating on average 1,000 ball races per month. I suspect that the other main workshops were doing much the same.

 

 

Although St Omer didn't overhaul Thornycrofts (they simply shipped them on to 1st Heavy Repair Shop, Paris for overhaul) they did average some 10 complete overhauls per week, which means your Thorny should have been finished by last Thursday at the latest! Hopefully when I get to Paris, via Calais, Boulogne and Rouen, I'll have a better idea of how long it took them to overhaul a Thorny and get an accurate idea as to just how late yours is. I will of course take into account the 1,000 men employed at workshops and their facilities, compared to the 3 of you as I wouldn't want to appear to be unfair.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing the Thorny progress and every confidence it will be as good as the Dennis.

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It should be marginally easier to find the 'impossible' parts with the power of the 'net and HMVF at your elbow

 

Might be worth listing, in order of impossible-ness, the primary bits that you need - do I remember you need a rear diff from an earlier page?

 

List of bits, and the exact model of the truck please, so all us far-flung types can put the word out, though since the engine is from NZ it has travelled far already.

 

Gordon

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It is such a long time since we did anything on the Thornycroft i have lost track of what we are still missing. Quite a lot as a general rule i think. We will have to do an inventory.

Tony had some time on his hands so thought that he should have a go at dismantling the Water Pump! These four pictures show it before battle commenced!

The first job was to undo the 1/2" Whit nut on the end of the shaft to free up the drive disc - presumably for the fan - and slide that off. That was on a key and pleasingly this was free and easy to do.

On the aluminium "shroud" is a screw of some kind - very rusted over and impossible to undo - but appears to be an oiling point for the pump shaft. On looking inside the aluminium shroud, a rusty steel rod or pipe is apparent which leads from this screw and it must be further investigated when the whole thing is apart. The bottom end of this rod or pipe is "free" and not attached to anything. It is so heavily rusted that it is not possible to see if it is a pipe but we think that it must be.

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The nuts holding the aluminium shroud were easily removed and after some wangling, the shroud started to slide along the shaft so that it could be taken off. But before the shroud can be slid down the shaft and right off, the pulley has to be freed as that must be slid off at the same time.

In these two pictures you can see how damaged the aluminium is and that the pulley is rusted on the shaft. That is attached to the shaft with a taper pin pushed through it and that can be seen in the second photo.

It was not possible to knock the taper pin out because of the severe rusting so that the protruding parts of it were cut off with a Dremel - and then the now flush ends were drilled out and it then became easy to knock the pin through.

The pulley should now be free but it is still rusted to the shaft and at the close of play today, had still refused to move! Have left it soaking in Plus Gas - the shaft will have to be cleaned up with emery tape to get rid of the rust on that so that the pulley has the opportunity to move. It may well be that heat will be required on this one!

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Tony has had another go at the water pump - the pulley has to come loose on the shaft and slide along it to release the aluminium shroud. Could not move it last time so he left it soaking overnight in Plus Gas in the hope that it would move - but no luck! He polished the shaft with some emery in the hope that this would help to get it moving - but again not successful. Apart from the Taper Pin which was removed last time, the pulley is also on a key way.

Having reached a temporary impasse with the pulley, it was perhaps a time to try another approach - remove the water pump entirely, from the engine.

The nuts holding this in place all let go fairly quickly after the usual procedures with Plus Gas and it was possible to lift the pump right off.

This revealed a considerable amount of loose rust in the pump - and also in the water jacket surrounding the cylinders. It also revealed a crack in the impeller - can be seen in the photo.

 

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Thankfully we have a spare impeller in stock so that is something we wont have to make.

Rather a nice little brass label still on the pump!

The Pump has now been put to one side for a while - standing vertically with a pool of Plus Gas in a saucer-shaped recess surrounding the shaft where it goes through the pulley - in the hope that this will soak in and start to free it.

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Well good luck on this project.

Seeing the Dennis being restored on this forum I'm sure you'll do a great job on it with the team.

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I'm reasonably sure your little steel tube was connected to the packing gland, and was a means of injecting extra packing as required.

 

There would be what looked like a grease cap with a threaded top, and every day you would run the engine, and just screw the cap down ( injecting packing ) until water stopped leaking up the shaft

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