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Everything posted by paulbrook

  1. There is a lot to be said for a decent hot air gun and a scraper, at least to get the worst off. Even the flap disc will quickly clog otherwise.
  2. Right let's deal with Maggie and the Bedford first shall we? The reason that Bedford lost out to Leyland Daf in the 4t class was that the truck that was produced was hopeless in comparison to both the Leyland and the Volvo. It would probably have been inferior to the Iveco Ford too but they dropped out of the competition. I should stress at this point that the trial was run against a description of what the user was looking for in a modern military truck, and judged against that requirement none of the contenders was perfect - but the most worst was the Bedford (or rather that AWD). Political considerations were not an issue (in that they were all "british" enough - even the Volvo would have been built in Irvine. Bedford had already produced the 8 and 14 tonne (interesting the latter was supposed to be an 8t with a driven trailer but they never really sorted the torque into the trailer so some bright spark realised that if the trailer was bolted to the back it would carry the weight (although it is important to remember that mobility is to do with manoeuvrability as well as driving in a straight line). These trucks filled a gap in the resupply business (8t replacing 4t and stalwart in RCT transport regiments and at 1st line with 14t going to other arms and services particularly the engineers and REME) But the real challenge, as a result of the Battlefield Attrition and the Resupply of Ammunition Rates and Scales (collectively known as BAS/RARS) was to resupply artillery at a much increased rate - between 4 and 5 times as much/as fast as had been planned for and no-one was going to make the RCT and others 4 to 5 times as big. Hence DROPS. Bedford did not produce a DROPS proposal. At first line though many saw the reduced mobility of the 8t (in relation to stalwart) as a bit of a retrograde step, particularly as by then both Warrior and Challenger were on the horizon. So work was undertaken to have a look at improved mobility 8t. There were two proposals, the one in the photo and what became known as the Big Wheeled 8t. Because it had huge wheels. Trials showed the 6 wheeler to be a complicated way of achieving little by the way of improved mobility whilst the big wheeler seemed to show more promise and was pursued further. I have a VHS video somewhere of a run-off between a stalwart and the big wheeler taken down at Hurn - on a big muddy swamp area the Bedford gets through whilst the stalwart fails. The big wheeler was surprisingly good to drive too, whilst the 6 wheeler was horrible. Consideration was also given to central tyre inflation; this, like the 6 wheeler, was seen as too costly and only promised marginal improvement, although we did trial a clever tyre valve that if you twisted it let the tyres down to a pre-set cross country pressure. The trouble was the on-board compressor was pretty feeble and the only way to pump them back up was one at a time, slowly, at the side of the road. I seem to recall that this took about 45 minutes in all and would generally result in one very grumpy trials driver if it was raining. Soon after the trials the folks at first line seemed to twig that 8tons was a decent payload, and what the heck, if the tanks had to detour a k or two to get at the combat supplies then so what? They also realised that a huge TTF with half a dozen filler nozzles was a lot more efficient that humping jerrycans off the back of endless streams of stalwarts. So the "we want a replacement stalwart" thing rather died a death. Then of course the IMMLC and to an extent MMLC were transforming logistic matters and before you know it the world changed: 3rd Shock Army went home and we all went to play in the sand. I hope that provides a little more background!
  3. 36x6 is a fairly common pre-war size - what is more odd is why Firestone adopted the decimal point in the middle to make it 3.6.
  4. I happen to think that they are pre-1938 as it happens....I have asked some of my US chums and will post any findings!
  5. They are equivalent to 7.00x24. They would look nice on the front wheels of my Mack AC (it should be on 38x7s or 7.50x24 but I think the difference would be marginal) So if they need a home, then there is one here! Oh - what ply rating are they?
  6. Nope, they were going off because they were not going to land straight on the trailer. It was a matter of professional pride that the No1 (the chief crewman of the tank transporter) could get the panzer dead square on the trailer - and it needed to be especially with the 50 ton trailers (the ones with the manual ramps) because the tank tracks were actually wider than the trailer bed. In addition a non-central load would put extra weight on the already stressed tyres on one side of the trailer. On the way towards the ramp the No1 would watch carefully to see if the tank were pulling to one side or another (due to slope, camber, track tension or any one of a hundred reasons), then aim off accordingly before waving it up the ramps. If the thing was not coming up as he wanted it, the good No1 would chuck it off and get it lined up again for another go. Manoeuvring on the way up or on the trailer was a no-no for reasons stated previously (it was the quickest way of losing one off the side) and in all the 20 minutes or so of footage I only saw one little illegal wiggling on a trailer and that was on a 60 tonner which were wider. Taking the tank off again took seconds but saved hours if it all went Pete Tong. The Saracen clip was excellent I must say....
  7. You could get a 432 on easy enough without extra ramps - but the driver had to boot it. Certain 50 ton trailers had double loading kit fitted (which as the name suggests allowed two to go on by putting the first right up over the tank stops onto the swan neck). It was only when they were double loaded did the extra length ramps come into their own as there were only a few inches between the two APCs when loaded - without them (unless the second APC driver had the reactions of Lewis Hamilton) it would pile into the back of the first 43. You might also notice tanks seeming to be coming on and off at the same time. Anyone care to guess why?
  8. Hands out of the hatch please!! The only time one ever went over the side was when someone (either the No1 or the driver) tried to manoeuvre on the way up or going forward onto the stops.
  9. Oh and for Brooky the majority of footage is of 16 Tk Tptr Sqn but there are bits of 617 and 3 in there too. Much of the footage is Fallingbostel and Hohne Ranges, with lots of memory jogging footage of Reinsehlen Camp (http://www.baor-locations.org/Reinsehlen.aspx.html). Happily the camera man decided not to add any of the graffiti from the toilet block there. 16 Sqn at the time was half and half Brit and half Polish. 617 (from Hamm) was Polish with a single troop of Brits (Warsaw Troop) whilst 3 (Sennelager) were all Brit. Whilst the Antar stuff was lovely (I had forgotten the sheer scale of things) I did like the 'Can at the end during NI training.....
  10. I quite liked the music as it happens - and there are bits with real sound on. That said I think we are a bit spoiled these days as to have a home movie camera with sound in the early 80s was pretty special. I have a few snippets of Super 8 from my time in 7 Regt but I had no idea that this footage existed or had been "remastered"
  11. I stumbled across this earlier and thought that it might be of interest.... Set aside 20 minutes or so, grab a beverage of your choice, turn up the volume and enjoy!!! Oh and not a high vis vest or hard hat in sight....
  12. When the good Wally D had a mack engine re-sleeved for me I am pretty sure that they used a ceramic coating. I am unsure of the process but Wally may remember.
  13. Hence the need to purge the carb of any TVO before attempting to start it. What tends to happen is although you starve the engine of fuel by shutting the tap off and letting it run out of fuel some TVO can weep back past the tap and into the carb when the tractor is stood. You need good fresh petrol in there for a clean start hence the drain and refill sequence. As for mags and leads my old Allis Chalmers bucks the trend - it hates being inside in the warm and dry whereas if it stands outside in the cold and wet it will fire up without hesitation. Yet other tractors of the same make had to be nursed into action and many is the time when I were a kid when going to get something out of the airing cupboard I would fine a shelf taken up with a magneto and plug leads all drying out and warming up!
  14. It is a fact that some folks can start a Fordson and some can't, which is why my granddad and dad used Allis Chalmers! Then when you get them started there is always the fun of getting them into gear... Actually they are great tractors and provided the mag, plugs and leads are nice and dry it should go. If there is any doubt drain the carb before switching the petrol on (sometimes a drop or two of water or some TVO leaks in and upsets things). Pull the choke right out and give it three swings with the choke out hard, push it back in and one more swing should do it. Just swing it over from 9 oclock to 3 oclock, don't try and wind it round and round. If it does not start then keep trying and congratulate yourself on how much you are saving on gym membership.
  15. The Rough Terrain Crane. I think I have a brochure and maybe even a handbook for that beastie. In fact come to think of it I think they were called The Beast.. In will see what I can dig out
  16. My Armstrong Siddeley experience at the weekend was a timely reminder that assumption can be the mother of all - er - mistakes. In my case hand priming ran the engine - stopping pumping caused the fuel to run dry. The reason for this is that the hand pump works over a much greater stroke and this can mask other issues, particularly duff valves. Now internet diagnostics are notorious but the sequence described previously will determine more precisely where the problem lies. Fitting a 12v pump of modest output will do the trick for sure, but to be honest the original set up (when working correctly) is more than up to the job and if there are issues with leaks and splits then pressurising the pipes may not be a great plan. We have a Leyland fire engine in at the moment with a standard MGB electric pump and it seems to work a treat. As for the cam, take the top off the pump (the ring of screws) and turn the engine over. If the cam is OK you will see if the diaphragm is lifting as the cam goes around. Be aware though it does not move all that much - maybe 1/4 inch or so. And check that the two valves are seated properly, undamaged and the right way around...
  17. A good question to ask is "what has been disturbed....?" It is always good just to go back and check! Does it pump with the engine turning over?
  18. To test the pump slacken off the banjo union on the carb, then turn the engine over on the starter and there should be a definite pressure at the carb end. If required take the spark plugs plugs out so the engine spins over quicker. If you have good pump pressure then suspect the valve at the top of the carb float. If not then the problem is back along the pump system somewhere. Did you change the little valves in the pump as well? To test undo the feed side of the pump (the one that comes from the tank and gently blow back down the pipe that runs to the carb. You should not be able to blow backwards as the valves should be shut. You should be able to suck but unless you are keen on the taste of unleaded I would take care with that one (I would try but I am old and daft) Assuming that is OK then look at the suction (ie tank) side. Does the pump have a sediment bowl? If so make sure the gasket at the top is in good condition and the bowl is properly seated and tight. If air leaks in there it will destroy any "suck". Also check any lines (especially rubber ones) between the tank and the pump. Splits will draw in air under suction but not necessarily leak fuel out the other way (trust me I was fixing this very problem on Saturday morning at the side of the road on an Armstrong Siddeley car)
  19. If you want the contact details for my converted Fire Engine fella drop me a line.
  20. I happen to think this is a great idea. A chap I know converted a B60 engine Dennis fire engine and not only does it make the thing relatively economical cost-wise but it runs an absolute treat. I would commend it to anyone - and there are plenty of folk who know what they are doing to fit the gear (not me by the way)
  21. Jimmy I see that you are sneaking up on the top of the bulkhead/windscreen area - we have just been fabricating this area so if there are any measurements or pictures you need give me a shout. The Album of all 440 or so pictures we have taken so far is here and the bulkhead ones should be at the top: http://s484.photobucket.com/user/RustyTrucks/library/Humber%20Heavy%20Utility Do you have the screens by the way?
  22. I think that there would have been something there - probably either a woven asbestos material or else something like a graphite block. I have some early reference books so will have a look!
  23. Or a chap with a beavertail truck with a 20 ton winch..............
  24. We use a hired-in 120Cu Ft/Minute (minimum) towed compressor for a Hodge Clemco set-up. You need plenty of air especially as you should be using an air-fed mask (and it will use 10-15 Cu Ft/Min). Oh and Charlie if you had been a day or two quicker you could have had a lovely little 2 bag set up all ready to go for £750 - sadly it was palleted up and dispatched to a new owner in Oxfordshire yesterday! Whilst really effective even these small pots have their limitations. With the wick turned up Deb (my blast-ace) needed to refill the pot every ten minutes or so, great for small items such as mudguards but a pain when she is doing larger things as she had to stop, get the mask off, refill the pot then work out where she had just left off. We have now purchased a pot that will take nearly half a ton. For the record be prepared to haggle for the blast medium - I pay a lot less than John did for his. Also as I said before recycled glass is very good indeed, it produces a bit more dust but is less messy than the other alternatives. It is also brilliant for more delicate items.
  25. Well RIP Mike. Fine chap and Mrs H was lovely too. I first met them in the late 70's when I was at Shrivenham.
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