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The truck is now under cover and the restoration has begun. The remains of the body have been photographed and dismantled to improve access to the chassis. The heads have been removed from the engine and I was pleased to find that the bores are in good condition so the engine looks to be viable. This is very important as I want to get it running before the engine is removed to shotblast the chassis.

 

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The restoration will be slow at first as I have several other big projects to complete before this can take priority but I hope to work on it properly over the winter.

 

- MG

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  • 1 month later...
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Took the top off the gearbox and was pleased to find it looking as good as new. This is impressive considering the truck is believed to have sat in the same position for over twenty-five years before I acquired it.

 

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The engine is now almost fully stripped of ancillaries, It still won't rotate although I have successfully drained diesel through all of the bores. The next big job is to remove the sump and see what's going on in there.

 

- MG

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Underside of engine shows no cause for concern but still no rotation.

 

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This evening I made a valve spring compressor. It worked a treat in removing the first of the valves. It required a gentle tap to release from the seat so maybe the sum of all the stuck valves is the problem.

 

Home-madevalvespringcompressor2.jpg

 

Home-madevalvespringcompressor1.jpg

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Freed off all the stuck valves. A couple needed a hard tap on the top to free off and one had to be levered up with a tyre iron!

 

Now they are all free the engine rotates which is great news.

 

Photos of valve as Adrian describes.

 

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Revised plan is to remove the engine and all loose parts so the chassis can be blasted. Then the engine can be rebuilt back into the painted chassis.

 

- MG

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  • 4 weeks later...

It was good to see Mikes engine in the Autocar is in good condition, and likely to be brought back to life. It was the same story with Roy Bakers Autocar which is now in running condition. I have the Federal 94x43 which was in Bekes yard in Paris next to Roys Autocar both of which were kindly brought back to the UK by Mike. I recently took the cylinder heads off the Federal, to reveal very rusty bores and valves, and number 2 piston corroded around the top. The rust in the bores was just on the surface and cleaned up rather well without leaving any pitting, and after filling the cylinders with diesel it has run through all six. It now remains to remove the valves and see if it will free off but I think it may be tight particularly in number 2 where the piston is almost at the top with both valves open, hence the corrosion. The bores have no visible signs of wear, the gearbox is similar. I have to hope that the bores are in reasonable condition below where the pistons are at present, but it might rebore being standard, but I know I will have to replace number 2 piston. I had a piston stuck in an RXC a few years ago, and freed it of in a brutal fashion with a mate on top hammering down with a brass rod, and me underneath in similar fashion, but it cracked the piston through the bottom ring groove. I was told that it is possible to help release stuck pistons by running hot water through the block with a steam cleaner, has anyone had any experience of this?

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Don't know about steam cleaners, can see it might work. A mix of old gear oil and disiel works well. I have had a lot of useful results with a stuff called Ultra Crack super, or you mightt try freezing compound on the piston.

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It's been a while so here's a bit of an update.

 

The chassis is almost completely stripped for blasting and painting. Fuel tanks are off, all propshafts and handbrake assembly removed, air tanks and all accessible pipework removed. I already have well over 200 photos of parts prior to removal and during disassembly but these wouldn't make very interesting viewing here. This evening I removed one of the rear hubs and was pleased to find the brake shoes are almost new. Hub bearings are also fine. My concern is the other side as that was seized when the truck was first recovered. I'll find out over the next few evenings. Once the hubs and brakes are back together the truck can come out of the shed to remove the 'box, engine and transfer box.

 

Rear right axle end, hub and drum.

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- MG

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Does anyone have any experience of renovating pitted axle swivels?

 

The ones on the Autocar are very poor, with pits of up to 0.5mm in places. They are the same part as WLF, of which I have two spares. These are not as bad, with pits of maybe 0.2mm or less. The swivels are greased so the seal does not have to be perfect. The question is whether I will get away with them as they are or should I use something like Belzona to build them up?

 

Top photo is a WLF one, bottom photo is Autocar:

 

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Comments welcome :) - MG

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Mike;

I would use the one from the WLF. I would just polish it up. The portion that is covered when the wheels are pointed straight ahead looks good. I had a similiar issue on my Chevy truck with some small pits, and as you said, the grease will cover up the pits as long as the surface is smooth, so long as the wiper seal does not get hung up on anything, you should be fine.

 

John Gott

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Does anyone have any experience of renovating pitted axle swivels? Comments welcome :) - MG

 

 

I haven't tried it myself but somebody once told me that pitted bits like this can be repaired by thoroughly de-rusting and then filling with epoxy resin and smoothing off. It might be worth a try.

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Thanks John and Ivor, also to others with whom this has been discussed. The general consensus seems to be to use the best swivels as they are and only worry about it further if they leak. I'll leave it another couple of days in case anyone comes up with a magic tried and tested cure :).

 

- MG

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Hello Mike,

 

I would suggest that you clean the rust from the pit holes and fill them with weld ( mig should do ), and smooth off the surface with a buffing pad on a small angle grinder.

 

Tony.

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could they not be metal sprayed in a similar way to crankshafts?

 

They could be, but you'd really need to machine it undersize and then grind back to original size after coating... which would be pretty expensive.

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Hi Mike,

 

You should have no trouble in retaining the shape after welding if you use a flat, rather than bevelled buffing pad, ( correct name flap disc ). Gentle rotation being the method, following the contour, find something to practice on first.

 

Tony.

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