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About ED-1617

  • Birthday 11/28/1997

Personal Information

  • Location
    Sunny Sussex
  • Occupation
    Engineer Surveyor

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  1. Whilst the bigger bits of the rebuild go on in the shed, I always try to find little bits I can carry out at home (which pleases the mrs!). I have been on the lookout, since I purchased the lorry, for a correct style oil gauge; the one that was previously fitted being of 1930s vintage. Recently I have been lucky enough to obtain one, and so that led to a bit of dining table tinkering. The first step was to check the function of the gauge. Luckily I have a good friend who has a gauge tester. The device showed up that the gauge was fully functioning, and was only 1psi out over its full range when compared to the 50psi gauge on the tester, which is good enough for me! As usual the gauge didn’t stay complete for long, I was curious to see how it worked one evening and so dismantled it very carefully. Whilst apart I was also keen to try and preserve the patina on the gauge face, and so very gently cleaned off any debris, before applying a matt finish varnish, the idea being to prevent any further decay to the face and also stop any more bits coming away. I was dead happy with the result, and so with a good clean and reassemble it’s back on the shelf ready to be fitted. Some of you may also recall that I was unfortunate enough to lose a correct pattern Thomson-Bennet magneto switch in a house fire, along with a couple of other spares that I had collected. Well luckily since then I have been able to source two more! One I have kept for my Thornycroft rebuild, and the other has since been purchased by a friend who is rebuilding a 1919 Leyland RAF type. As with the gauge I was curious to inspect and learn the operation of the switch and so that was taken apart too, the simplicity of the design is very refreshing and will go again without repairs, I’m sure there will be a few on here interested to see the insides so I’ve chucked a couple of pictures of that up here too. Some more pieces of the Thornycroft puzzle ready to go!
  2. Another job that I had been meaning to do for a while was a quick strip of the steering box. I had been in the fortunate position of having the vehicle running a few times before it’s major strip down, fortunate for both the local pub, and for myself being able to identify what aspects were good about the vehicle, and what might need deeper investigation. I had identified on our couple of jaunts out that the steering on the Thornycroft was remarkably light and easy, at any speed over a crawl the use of one finger could be sufficient! This was a pleasant surprise to me, having owned a Matador in the past for which the same certainty couldn’t be said! I therefore had it in the back of my mind that the steering box should hopefully be a reasonably straightforward task, with no real faults needing investigation. On a personal note however I do enjoy stripping assemblies down to give myself both a further understanding on their operation, but also a reassurance on their physical condition. The steering box had been removed from the vehicle ready for disassembly. Nice to see the unit stuffed nicely with grease upon splitting the case. The shaft and lever arm were removed from the casing and given a good clean and inspection, very little wear apparent in here, even in the white metalled nut. With the nut showing minimal wear, the bearings in good nic and still tight on the shaft, It was just a simple case of reassembling and packing with fresh grease. The end float of the shaft can be adjusted on a nut against the thrust bearing, this was set back to the recommended adjustment before stripping the box back to metal. And then a couple of coats of primer on all the bits before top coating in black. The unit will then be fitted back into the chassis and all the jiblets refitted.
  3. Wheel fitting time! Now that the rear wheels had finally been finished I was keen to get them fitted back on and have the Thornycroft sat back on all 4 wheels for the first time in what felt like too long! Before I could do this I needed to finish the rear brakes, for which the shoes had been sent away and re-lined. One of the brake shoes had had a packer fitted over the heel, I assume to account for some previous wear in a past life. I removed the packer and started fresh. A trial fitting of the wheels with the re-lined shoes showed up that the new lining was perhaps ever so slightly too thick, perhaps a imperial/metric material error. As it was a minimal amount I was able to get away with simply shaving a fraction off of the face of the heel, just tickling off the high spots was enough to get the drum to slide happily over the shoes, I couldn’t be happier with the fit! Unfortunately I can’t find any pics from these stages, however I always seem to remember to take pics of the shiny bits going back on! As mentioned previously I had found that the rear wheel bearings and bearing faces were all in impeccable condition, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had been renewed at some point in its life, and if not then they have been made of some bloody good stuff! Both bore clearances and end float were bob on, I wouldn’t have given them any less clearance if I were to make new ones so a good clean and some quality fresh grease will do here. A nice finishing detail was to sort out the rear hubcaps. The drive shaft flange is sandwiched between the hubcap and the wheel and so these needed to go on for me to call the back axle complete. The brass hubcaps were in a bad way, the near side example has had a hard life with many bumps and grazes, which I personally like, they tell a story! However for some reason someone in the past had decided to go over the brass with an angle grinder and had therefore left very unattractive marks all over. I spent a good couple of evenings with a file sympathetically removing the grinder marks, whilst leaving the hard life dents in tact. A good polish up and then they were ready to re-fit. Final assembly, with some quality (if expensive!) vintage bearing grease, and the re-lined brake gear all in place. I had made some new felt seals prior to fitting, so it was a simple case of popping them into the recess before sliding the wheel gently on. The wheel nuts were screwed on and the locking pegs fitted, in turn locked in with a split pin, as described in the Thornycroft Auriga book. There’s nothing else to do here but give the wheels a go! A very satisfying spin. IMG_0006.MOV The drive shafts were dragged off of the shelf and cleaned, as you can see these are still happily serviceable. The hub caps and drive flanges fitted. Back on 4 wheels again!
  4. Thank you for the tip Tomo, I might have to invest in one. I did think about one at first but I had heard that the temperature difference between the warm object and cooler air could cause issues, but I guess not?
  5. With the chassis mostly back together and complete I turned my attention towards the rear wheels, this was something I had been putting off for a while, as these pressed disc wheels a right buggers to get inside! As with the fronts they have had new rubbers spun on recently, and the bearings are in exceptionally good condition, which was a bonus! Because of this I try my best to avoid shot blasting, and so many hours of wire wheeling began, I don’t think the insides had been painted since new! With a good coat of grey primer once cleaned back to bare metal, it there begins the long task of building the paint back up again, beginning with a quick skim of filler in the outer faces to get them to a nice ‘show finish’. I like the contrast between new and old, and so I left the insides and inner faces of the wheels pitted, so you can still gauge the age of them, a smooth surface also makes it a little quicker to clean the outside! I was advised a while ago by an old coach painting friend that using a black undercoat for maroon helps both build the colour up quicker, and also give a much deeper and richer finish, and so this is the method I have adopted for painting the Thornycroft. I also like to think that any chips that will occur when the lorry is being enjoyed will only reveal a black colour, instead of a bright undercoat. By the time I was into gloss it was mid January this year, and the weather was pretty grim! I decided to build a paint booth in the shed in order for me to continue painting, a couple of greenhouse heaters worked well to keep a low but constant temperature within the plastic sheeting. My shed is also horrendously dusty, which the sheeting managed to mostly keep out. After a very fine wet and dry it was time to get the lining brush out again, before a final varnish. IMG_2480.MOV Im glad those are done! IMG_2480.MOV
  6. A bit of a distraction from the main rebuild perhaps, but after a long time doing the gutty bit cleaning and painting the chassis I fancied doing something a little more interesting and delicate. The civilian J types all the the axle weights and speed restriction sign-written on the chassis rails, so I fancied reproducing this on mine. After some research I decided to copy the styles shown in the following pictures. First was to try and replicate the scripts on paper, I only had photos of the same quality as above to work from which made it a little tricky, but I reckon I got them pretty close. Once on paper the designs are transferred to the work area using chalk on the rear of the paper and a thick pen to trace the design on. Before being drawn onto the chassis using a chinograph pencil Now it’s just the simple task of painting them on! I’m no professional signwriter, however I enjoy learning how to do things myself, and I’m pretty happy with how the lettering came out! They are actually painted in the same ‘off white’ colour, however my photos have managed to make them look very different colours! Another little detail complete, now on with more important bits!
  7. That is a fine assumption, however I would argue that my productivity is generally sped up after an alcoholic warm up aha! I have equipped the shed with a kettle, however most visitors to the lorry seem to prefer a slightly stronger beverage under these current circumstances. I can only hope to regain some more wall space once the public houses reopen!
  8. With the diff now refitted I continued to strip the old paint off of the chassis down to bare metal in preperation to paint back up. At some point in its life the very rear chassis cross member had been replaced with a quickly fabricated one. It was my intention to replace this with a slightly stronger, more original style crossmember, onto which I could fit a rear drawbar. After discussing this point with some fellow J type owners it would appear a rear hitch was not a common fixture from the factory. However in my original logbook it stated that ED 1617 was ordered new with a 4 wheel trailer, and so I thought it likely mine would have been fitted with a rear drawbar hitch. This would also make it much easier to shunt the lorry around if needed to! I fabricated the new rear cross member and used fitted rivet-head bolts to hold it in place. The rear hitch is of the flat plate design over a casting, being a little stronger and more forgiving. I wanted to be sure that the rear hitch was sufficiently supported, and so with some help, a pair of tie bars were black-smithed from solid, my intention being that it would all look as if it had been made 100 years ago, using period techniques. Fast forward a little, with more cleaning up and painting, the chassis is mostly back together, and coming into a black top coat.
  9. Good to hear from you Steve, yes it would seem we have a strong Thornycroft presence here! We’ll have to get a few more J types back to Basingstoke one day! Moving on with mine, it had now come to the end of the first lockdown back in the summer, and once we had re-established ourselves with the local, work carried on with ED 1617. I had managed to find a more suitable, undercover location to continue the rebuild which would certainly help me out through the winter months. I had not yet been lucky enough to store any of my previous vehicles inside before so this was quite exciting! It did mean that I would have to temporarily re-assemble some of the lorry in order to get it to a towable state, the new shed only being a few miles up the road. This delayed me a few weeks but it would definitely be worth it in the long run. Once in the dry the dis-assembly continued, removing as much as possible down to just a bare chassis at the rear. The last major drive line component to dismantle and inspect was the rear axle, so off came the wheels, the half shafts and differential unit. These were all components that I was curious to see as I had no real idea of their mechanical condition. Luckily I was very pleasantly surprised, the half shaft splines were all like new, with minimal wear apparent. The wheel bearings were also in extremely good fettle, I wouldn’t have given them any less clearance if I were to manufacture some new ones, so all could be used again! The differential very handily (and luckily I may add!) was parked under a roof beam in the shed. This aided removal of the unit no end! With a block and tackle slung from the roof, the unit was hoisted out slowly in order for me to have a good clean up and measure up. In the J type this is an epicyclic unit driven through a worm and very large bronze wheel. Under close examination, using the boroscope in the hard to reach areas, the general condition was very nice, everything was present and correct, still nice and tight and secured with pins and wire where it should be; most importantly all the contact faces were damage free, phew! The backlash in the worm and wheel was measured, along with the thrust clearance on the input shaft, and both compared to the original specs. With both being considered ‘serviceable’ by Thornycroft standards, and the visible condition being faultless I decided it would be of no benefit to further dismantle the unit. And so with a good clean and some fresh oil, it would be ready to refit.
  10. Thank you. They way I roll the brush in the hand to achieve a smooth curve I found easier to work with the wheel stationary over rotating. But as I said I’m no expert, just having a go aha!
  11. With the various jobs I wanted to carry out on the engine at this stage now completed (unfortunately I cannot find many of the pictures I took from this stage), next was to splash a bit of paint around it all and reassemble the front end. The front axle and components had already received a bit of attention as I was required to move the spring clamps further apart, reason being the front springs had been replaced recently and the clamps fitted too close to the centre by the manufacturer, meaning they were very close to fouling the bottom of the radiator. Once this was sorted, a good weekend was spent reassembling the front end and the results were very satisfying. As far as I could research the M4 engines in the J types were painted either black, or a light blue/grey colour from new. On a personal note I like engines picked out in a different colour from the chassis, and so I opted for the light blue/grey option, similar to that seen in the Portsmouth bus, and S.C.A.T.S. box van J types in Milestones museum. With the front end coming back together I turned my attention to the wheels. Again the mechanics of the wheel/bearing/stub axles were all very good, and with some new vulcanised rubbers it was only really a bit of paint that the wheels required. I prefer to clean metal up with a wire wheel in a grinder over shotblasting. Much more gutty and time consuming, but I have known too many people suffer from shotblast grit related damage and wanted to avoid that myself. And after the usual array of primers, undercoats and much rubbing down it’s always pleasing to get the first top coat on. The living room, come paint shop worked well at this point, still being in lockdown! I am a fan of having a go myself, and doing things in a traditional manner, and so all of my painting is done by hand, which included having a go at lining. I am no lining expert but I am pretty pleased with the results here!
  12. Hi Dave, the chassis is 22ft long, I hope this helps? How is the Kent lorry works getting on
  13. A quick little job that I enjoyed was making some correct style grease cups for the front spring pins. The front pins had been run without any grease caps for a little while and hence left the threads exposed to some damage. The threads were turned back, built up with weld and re-cut. The grease cups were made to the same style as the remaining originals on the rest of the lorry. I’m no expert at Knurling but I’m happy with how they came out, another job done ready for the front end re-assembly.
  14. One of the other jobs I wanted to tinker with was to give the valves a good inspection and a bit of lapping in. The valves have been replaced at some point and have plenty of meat on them still, with minimal wear in the guides which is good. All valves and valve caps were lapped in, the caps being affectively valve heads, being clamped down onto their own seats to create the seal. ^ After removal from the engine. ^ A little better with a good clean up and a gentle lap in. ^ A gave the bottom end a thorough clean, a good inspection and measure up, all seemed good to me. Amongst other tinkering, bolt checking and fettling, the rest of the engine and First section of chassis frame was stripped back to metal, and prepped for a lick of paint.
  15. Thank you for your comments peeps, I had a busy weekend making the new scuttle for the Thornycroft, which is now back in bits awaiting painting, but I’ll continue where I left off before jumping forward in time! It must be nearly a year ago now that the first national lockdown was announced, and with that news I decided that I would start dismantling the Thornycroft and have a bit of a sort out over the year, seeing as many events would no longer be able to go ahead. First to come off was the cab, which although strongly made by the previous owner, wasn’t quite correct to the drawing, nor did I think was the correct style for my chassis. The front axle was removed and all components heavily inspected, which was pleasantly found to all be in remarkably good condition, the result of a previous rebuild I suspect, including new springs and pins, but more on those in a bit. Most of the axle components were good enough to simply strip back to metal, and paint back up. At the time I moved the vehicle to where I was living in order for me to continue work whilst the wuhan did it’s thing, however it did mean the poor Thornycroft would have to live outside for a while. Like much of the Thornycroft, the engine had already received much attention during its preservation life, and hence ran sweet enough for me to leave mainly intact for now, with just a few tinkering jobs to keep it up to scratch. First was to repair a couple of damaged areas to the cylinder blocks. There are a couple of small cracks into the water space, one which had already received a slightly iffy-looking repair. After some advice from friends I decided to go down the route of making some well-fitting copper patches, sealed and screwed up tight against the blocks, this seems a common old fashioned repair for non-pressure systems so I thought it be worth a go! The first was in between the two exhaust valve chambers and heading towards the water manifold. I decided a strong repair would be to pick up all the manifold bolts and hug the patch round over the edge. ^ After gently shaping the patch down to the block. ^ An attractive repair I think! ^ And the same again for the rear block. This was a little trickier, being a very ornate shape with many curved faces. But with gentle heat and much annealing I got the patch fully touching underneath. Sealed and screwed on it looks quite pretty polished up, almost a shame it’s to be hidden behind the exhaust manifold and heat shield!
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