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WW1 Thornycroft restoration

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Yes, we are all really looking forward to getting going with it! As you may have previously read, we started this one some 22 years ago with very few bits, but over the period we have continued to collect things as they have come up. We had no engine and another collector always kept his eyes open for anything commercial and old, not only for himself but for any like-minded enthusiasts - and it was he who found the engine for us in NZ. He got hold of it - and asked us afterwards if we wanted it! It was still in transit at that time from NZ - so it was immediately diverted to us instead of going to him at his place and I remember the Shipping Agent in Tilbury telephoning me to ensure that I had a Forklift here to unload it! Something that I had not given a thought to as I assumed that the lorry bringing it here from Tilbury would have a HiHab or a powered tailboard - but I was told that it was my responsibility to unload it. A telephone call to a friend in town who did have a Forklift - so that the lorry carrying the engine was diverted yet again to there! It was taken off the lorry there - put right on to my car trailer and we got it home that way.

 

We are still tidying up one or two things on the Dennis and want to get that totally out of the way before we start properly on the Thorny. Quite unexpectedly, Steve is coming down to Devon again this weekend on another errand when we did not expect to see him here until Christmas and we plan to do what we hope will be the final Dennis Jobs. I bolted the Silencer on to the exhaust pipe when I made it where really it should have been riveted - we have lost a couple of nuts from that so that must come off and be put together properly. There is also a super Engine Oil Level Gauge on the Dennis - but it appears that the float on that has sunk so that it is showing "zero" - so that assembly must come off. Unfortunately, one of the manifolds is in the way so that must come off too! There is no such thing as an "easy job" when you get into this lark!

 

Tony

Edited by Minesweeper

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It may seem surprising, but splitting nuts with a hammer and chisel is in my view an elegant solution, the studs are undamaged and you get the job done! I learnt this method years ago and have never regretted it!

 

 

 

and you do not often need to actually split the nut, to release it, with you on this one Matthew.

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I get very excited this time of year as Christmas approaches. I cant wait until Christmas morning and i run down the stairs to see what Santa has brought. I guess I am a big kid at heart. I am really looking forwards to this Christmas and i have been following Santa's movement very closely. Here is a picture of Santas slay packed with goodies for good little boys:

 

 

 

 

I cant wait................

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Edited by Great War truck

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I get very excited this time of year as Christmas approaches. I cant wait until Christmas morning and i run down the stairs to see what Santa has brought. I guess I am a big kid at heart. I am really looking forwards to this Christmas and i have been following Santa's movement very closely. Here is a picture of Santas slay packed with goodies for good little boys:

 

I cant wait................

 

 

Hmmm.... it docked in Melbourne, Australia and Napier NZ in October. Wonder if there is a clue here ;)

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Steve was unexpectedly back in Devon for the weekend - and it gave him and Tony another chance to continue with the dismantling of the Thorny engine. We planned to leave this job for the Christmas break when we would all be around - but these jobs invariably take longer than you think that they are going to - so getting into it early on will help and perhaps ensure that the job is finished before the new year.

 

Before getting into the bigger parts today, a super brass drain cock was taken off the sump - this will live to fight another day! There were originally four pet-cocks fitted to the tops of the cylinders but one had obviously been removed some time ago and was missing and the remaining three had been broken off, flush with the top of the cylinder. Steve used a screw extractor to try to get the remains of the three out - one came out easily but the other two were solid and rather than chance breaking off the extractor in the remains of the pet-cock, we opted to leave them until later when they can be drilled out! Drilling out softer brass or bronze is a better option than trying to remove a hard extractor!

 

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Edited by Great War truck

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They then turned their attention to the oil pump delivery pipe - Steve had previously taken the pump off to show a friend who had a Thorny engine fitted to his tractor but his pump was missing and he wanted to see what one was like so that he could consider making one!

 

As soon as the delivery pipe was aimed down, a lot of water and oil that had obviously been sitting in the sump poured out. Taking this out allowed the oil filter to be removed - this was a long pipe with a gauze end and again was in excellent condition so that after cleaning and any tidying up, can be used again.

 

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Edited by Great War truck

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The ship has docked and unloaded its cargo at Tilbury. Not that we have been that keen and avidly following its every movement (as if we would).

Interestingly there are webcams set up on the Panama canal and you can follow ships going through it. By some strange coincidence here are the photos of our ship - sorry i mean the ship exiting the Panama canal

 

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Edited by Great War truck

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Next came the drive for the magneto. The plate on the end of the drive shaft is bolted onto the shaft but there can be a catch here if your are not aware!

 

Initially it looks just like a pinch bolt through that end plate to hold it firmly on the shaft - but in fact there is a section of the end of the shaft which is threaded 3/8" Whit to match the thread of the pinch bolt - this enables fine adjustment of the drive plate for timing purposes. So as this bolt is tightened or loosened, the end plate will revolve accordingly on that thread - and when it is in the correct position, it can be fixed in that position by tightening the nut on the end of the bolt.

 

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Edited by Great War truck

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The ship has docked and unloaded its cargo at Tilbury. Not that we have been that keen and avidly following its every movement (as if we would).

 

Very interesting! Does this mean you will need an even bigger cup now? :D

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I just spoke to the captain to raise some more sails, because we need to see what's in the box :D

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Attention was then turned to getting the Exhaust Manifold off. This was secured to the engine by eight nuts on studs - one nut was already gone and the remaining seven were badly rusted.

 

The usual treatment of heat, Plus Gas and a Hammer and chisel eventually did the trick!

 

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Edited by Great War truck

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It's off! More mess to clean!

The Core Plugs on this engine are substantial castings fixed to the Blocks on 3/8" Whit studs and are nutted. Usual treatment to get the nuts off - the covers when removed again revealed rust and scale.

The engine is a four cylinder engine but the cylinders are cast in pairs - two cylinders in each casting. The top water circulation manifold has already been removed but the two blocks are connected at the bottom by two separate castings with each one bolted to a block and the two castings mating up.. The bolts are hard to get at but must be undone before we attempt to re-move the blocks so that the blocks can be taken off one at a time and not both together.

Just before we called it a day, we were able to remove the bolts from one side so that when we are ready to loosen and remove one of the blocks, then this joint should come apart. We should then be able to remove the mating casting from the remaining block when we have more room to get in there!

 

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Edited by Great War truck

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Basically it should be an evolutionary thing.

 

As I understand it, the first engines were single cylinder, then twin cylinder, and it was some time before the casting technology got to the point where they could make a single casting with four cylinders in it with a water jacket round each.

 

Making a big engine before that was just a case of bolting as many two-cylinder blocks together as you needed, on a single crankcase.

 

Anyone know to the contrary?

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Those mated castings. Has this design purpose? Coolant circulation?

 

Yes, they just connect the blocks at the bottom to let the coolant through.

 

Even just with two cylinders in each casting, they are spectacular pieces of foundry work for manual sand casting. Before we obtained this engine, I was looking at making the patterns for them myself so that we could make them up but I never did quite work out how it was done. Fingers are crossed that I never have to do it!

 

Steve :-)

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Just as a matter of interest. The water pump on a Leyland motor (RAF family) pumps water directly into the cyclinder castings via an outside pipe. Water is pumped in at four points opposite each cylinder. Circulates. Returns to the radiator via the brass tube bolted above castings. Who knows which method of cooling is the more efficient. Leylands also used huge radiators.

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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

 

Remember saying this last July, Gordon?

 

Well, wait and see the results - all very shortly, now! We make many great friends on the HMVF - all very wonderful and we are grateful for that and to them!

 

Tony

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We didnt know that the crate was going to come this morning and the first that Tony knew about it was the appearance of a forklift truck on the drive.

This was closely followed by a large truck with crate.

A little bit of manouvering and everything was unloaded:

Then with it safely unloaded the truck reversed down the hill followed by the forklift:

I cant wait for Christmas Day so we can open it, although i must admit the choice of wrapping paper leaves a little bit to be desired:

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Edited by Great War truck

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Richard was quite correct in identifying the route of the ship having passed through New Zealand. What we have in fact is the culmination of 22 years of searching – the complete back axle and differential for the Thornycroft J Type. The last major component missing from what was to be Steves first restoration project. Since the Thornycroft was purchased we have in fact restored five other vehicles while searching for parts. Now we have it all. We just have to put the thing together.

 

The axle and diff was very generously provided by Blaster Mike in NZ after he had followed the various postings on the Forum relating to the Dennis and then to the Thorny. Many thanks Mike. Without this the restoration would have taken years and years longer. Also many thanks to Jack and HMVF as without this we would never have got in contact with Mike in the first place.

 

 

 

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Edited by Great War truck

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Wonderful Tim, no stopping you now. I marvel at how we are able to solve problems and source parts so quickly via the internet. In the past we would have given up after months of fruitless letter writing and false trails.

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Tim has mentioned how grateful we are to Mike for his kindness and generosity - and for all the trouble that he has taken for us with this. I hope that one day that he and his family will be able to visit us here - and drive the Thorny!

 

We have been fascinated, too, in following the journey that the crate took to reach us. It was placed in a container in Tauranga, NZ and as far as we knew, it was to sail directly to Tilbury. But it seems that Container Ships don't work quite like that. After leaving NZ, it crossed the Pacific, went through the Panama Canal and then headed for Kingston Jamaica. The ship stopped off there for just a few hours - presumably to offload and load other containers and then it sailed for Savannah, Georgia in the USA - again stopping off for just a few hours there. From there it sailed to Philadelphia - just a few hours there and then on to Tilbury. So, thinking of its first journey to NZ all those years ago, would the axle - presumably as part of a complete lorry then, have gone through the Suez Canal - and if it did, the axle will have travelled right around he world in its life time.

 

Since it left the axle at Tilbury, we have just for interest continued to track the ship - it has in the last two weeks called in at Rotterdam, Dunkirk, Le Havre, New York, Savannah again and is now once more heading for Kingston Jamaica! The crew don't get much time ashore.

 

Mike had a good look at the "diff" before it was despatched - Tim has some photos of it which no doubt he will post in due course and from those you will be able to see that it really is in superb condition! What a tremendous shot in the arm all of this is!

 

Tony

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